Going to Forbidden Places, On The American Sound, 6pm Saturday

Music that takes us to places where we should not go, Saturday at 6 p.m. on The American Sound on Classical 101.(Photo: David Howard (Creative Commons/Flickr))
Music that takes us to places where we should not go, Saturday at 6 p.m. on The American Sound on Classical 101.(Photo: David Howard (Creative Commons/Flickr))

It might have been someplace dark and seedy. Or it might just have been the corner office, your older brother’s bedroom or even the cookie jar on the kitchen counter. It doesn’t matter: it was somewhere you were told, in some fashion, you were not allowed to go.

But you went there anyway. What makes the room behind the closed door so attractive, the taboo so alluring, the off-limits so seductive?

Saturday evening on The American Sound three composers will take us to places forbidden to some or all of us. At the time Amy Beach composed her “Gaelic” Symphony, the pervasive cultural myth was that women just didn’t write symphonies. But Beach “went there,” earning her union card from Boston insider George Whitefield Chadwick and securing her reputation as a woman composer of music in large forms like the symphony.

Michael Torke describes in sound what he calls “the romance of travel” in his tone poem An American Abroad. The work conveys the excitement and nostalgia of an American traveler trying to accomplish the sisyphian task of really understanding – as a stranger – the culture of a foreign land.

And if your mother ever told you to stay out of the juke joints, well, then don’t tell her about Polyphonies and Riffs, the final, jazz-and-blues-inspired movement of Frank Ticheli’s Playing with Fire. We’ll dive into that Saturday night, too.

Join me in some forbidden places Saturday at 6 p.m. on The American Sound.

Go on. You know you want to.

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