Oct 31, 2013
Tim Crouch's 'My Musik'
Inspired by the CBC Radio 2 programme “This is My Music,” we have launched a series in which Tafelmusik musicians offer their reflections on various pieces of music that play a special part in their lives. view full listing
Tafelmusik Marketing Coordinator Tim Crouch is also Director of Marketing and Development for the new music group Toy Piano Composers, and is currently on the Board for Musicworks magazine. He received his MMus from the University of Toronto in Flute Performance, and currently performs with the wind quintet Blythwood Winds. You can see what else he’s up to at www.timcrouch.ca.
Gustav Holst: The Planets
This was what got me hooked to "classical" music. Exciting, dramatic, colourful harmonies, meditative— The Planets had it all for me. I can remember listening to our Herbert von Karajan recording with the Berlin Philharmonic over and over again, especially at Christmas. There was something about the lights on the tree and the music coming from the speakers that really sparked my imagination. I could picture images, a complete storyline that went with each movement of the work. If I had to pick a favourite, Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age would be it. It begins with this plodding, primal ostinato, that climaxes and then moves to an almost transcendental ending.
John Williams: The Empire Strikes Back
Movie soundtracks are my absolute favourite type of music to listen to—I remember a professor of mine once said they were basically chamber music on steroids. It wasn’t meant as a compliment, but I took special pride in that comment. I could have made this entire list out of soundtrack selections, but decided to choose just one. Every friend I knew growing up was a Star Wars fan, and I was no different, though it took me some time before I eventually watched it (I found Yoda scary). Of course, it was John Williams’ bombastic score filled with Wagnerian leitmotifs that won me over. When I was older, I found the complete scores for the original three films on CD, and snapped them up. My favourite movie is the dark second chapter, The Empire Strikes Back, and the complete score is just pure fun. The track that epitomizes the whole thing is The Asteroid Field, when our heroes fly recklessly into asteroids and outmaneuver enemy spacecrafts. The track moves at breakneck speed, and evokes the danger, fun, and awe of what was shown on screen.
Tragically Hip: Bobcaygeon
The quintessential Canadian rock band, the Hip fills my deep seated pride in anything Canadiana. I grew up in rural Ontario, and you can be sure that Tragically Hip would always be playing on the radio. The song Bobcaygeon holds a special place in my heart, since I grew up quite close to there (coincidentally, the song also refers to Toronto in one of its verses, where I now happen to live). What really gets me is a couple of lines near the beginning: "It was in Bobcaygeon where I saw the constellations / reveal themselves, one star at a time." I have many fond childhood memories sitting on our decks, doing this exact thing. Corny, but that was my childhood.
Louis Prima: Sing, Sing, Sing (with a Swing)
There’s a theme here that I’m now realizing—all of my selections are made based on memories of being at home, pre-university. There was a show Saturday nights on a radio station in Barrie that no longer exists (or it may, but the formatting has completely changed). It was Big Band Saturday Night, and that coupled with a Leafs hockey game on CBC, was a real treat. There’s a certain type of imagery that is evoked when thinking of the age of Swing, much like imagery that’s evoked when thinking of turn-of-the-century Paris (I notice that "Golden Ages" never seem to happen in the present). The music really got into my bones! Perusing through my grandfather’s music collection when he was moving, I found a double-CD recording of Benny Goodman Live at Carnegie Hall, and I was allowed to take it home. It is an incredible cover recording of Sing, Sing, Sing (with a Swing)—stellar solos, an amazing riff, and that non-stop drumbeat that just makes your toes tap.
Igor Stravinsky: Rite of Spring
I can’t pick just one movement from this larger-than-life work. I was introduced to this work like so many others through Walt Disney’s Fantasia, where the artists’ take was to recreate a prehistoric world —and of course who doesn’t love dinosaurs! Stravinsky’s focus on rhythm as a driving force, as opposed to simply accompaniment, is what really stands out for me. The primal quality of the music sparks my imagination in ways that no other work has before.
Song of the Day: Paddy Murphy by Great Big Sea