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Notes to G

From Shalaine in Tacoma, WA

 

Hello! Just wanted to tell you that my husband Oz and I were so blessed to see and hear you in the Sea-Tac airport mid-December. What a special moment for us! We actually never did get away together for a honeymoon and this was going to be our first little get away since our wedding. We missed our flight in the morning and now we were back at the airport, but a now a little more relaxed as we had some time to get coffee and sit a couple minutes. I didn't yet see you but when I heard the music I instantly relaxed even more and was taken to a peaceful serene place even in the midst of all the movement of people. I think you cast a spell on everyone in there! They forgot where they were going and were forced to be still within themselves for a minute as they were given a taste of heaven... Even if they didn't realize what was happening. All I know was that It was a divine moment for Oz and I as we were placed there for that couple minutes to be blessed... Then we had to run to go and still wrapped up in it we didn't realize we would barely make our flight again lol. I hope all is well and i'm so glad to have seen and heard you again! Have a beautiful day!

From Giovanni C. in Pasadena, CA

 
Hi Gretchen, my name is Giovanni, we've never met. I was driving, listening to KUSC, the Classical radio station here in L.A. and all of a sudden a sweet, slow, ethereal yet intense melody started to play.... I had to pull over to the side of the road to Shazam the piece, it was your "Will" playing. How beautiful. Thank You! I am going through a rough patch and your music is food for my hurt soul. If I'll ever travel to Seattle I'll make sure I'll see one of your live performances. Thank You again.
 

From Loren in Tacoma, WA

 

Dear Listeners,

In my last post, I invited folks to respond to ideas around food and music. Shortly thereafter I received an amazing email from Mr. Loren S., which I have his permission to now share with you. I am so grateful for the heartfelt words sent to me, and I am grateful that people take time to write to me. I am also grateful for warm smiles, kind words spoken, and support felt in so many ways. Thank you. 

Here is Loren's email:

Dear Ms. Yanover...

Last Saturday night, me, my brother and his girlfriend attended the "Wolfgang at the Gates" concert at the Rialto Theater. My brother is the one person who is most responsible for whatever degree of interest I’ve developed in classical music, so, naturally, he was thrilled, as was his girlfriend, by the Northwest Sinfonietta’s performances that evening, especially Mozart's symphony. Samuel Jones' concerto really commanded my attention, and all three of us were delighted by what I would call the “narrative excitement” of Gregory Youtz’ “Wolfgang at the Gates”, which we all felt would provide a fine dramatic accompaniment to a short film on its subject. Again, for all of us, one of the most remarkable things about the Gluck  performance was the energy and enthusiasm that seemed nearly to burst out of your conductor, Mr. Chagnard! “Goodness gracious!” as my mother used to say. The sheer pleasure he communicated through his spirited conducting would have been ju
 st as apparent to us even if he had conducted the orchestra in total darkness.

After such an invigorating evening at the concert hall, I could not wait to get home and read the evening’s program book more closely. Since I vibrate very strongly on the “jazz” wavelength, we certainly plan to be present at the “Havana Heat & Harlem Beats” concert in March. All of the musician’s biographies that were placed throughout the program were quite interesting, and in ways that were variously humorous (Todd Larsen’s confession about hating to practice), surprising, or simply intense (Steven Creswell’s near-ecstatic insights into the structure of Beethoven’s music).

However, your bio in particular drew me in because of your casual, but nonetheless pointed and inspiring recollection of the encouragement you received at the commencement of your musical studies by “noticing a girl who had the same color skin as me…” Been there, done that! I can relate also to the sadness you expressed over the fact that “…there is not always an acknowledgment of mutual ‘Brown-ness’ in Seattle anymore…” I worked in Seattle from 2005 to 2008 and noticed the same thing. That, and the words you chose to describe the experience of performing with pianist Joel Fan got me hooked: “mesmerized…soul-cleansing…energizing.” Wow! Those words speak of transformation. I thought, if that’s what you’re capable of feeling when you’re performing, then what might another person feel during, and/or after listening to any of your performances? So, off to your website I went, in search of inspiration…

…and found it right way – well, almost right away, because I got side-tracked by an entry in your web-blog titled “Cello Virtuosity/Gourmet Cuisine”. Any mention of food has a tendency to render invisible, or nearly invisible, any other subject that was unfortunate enough to have been placed above, below, or alongside of it. That being said, I agree with your interpretation of Mr. Jones’ concerto as being “complex and lush”. Somewhere I read a quotation that said, “Music is what feelings sound like,” which I thought was a pretty cool and definitive statement. So, by association, a “complex” and “lush”-sounding musical work such as Mr. Jones’ concerto would reflect the composer’s skill in conjuring-up, assembling, and then putting into various forms of musical motion, streams, or maybe rivers, even, of feelings…and that leads me to your composition titled, “Turnaround”.

In the same web-post, you wondered aloud about “what food is like my music?” Well, to my ears and heart, the experience of listening to “Turnaround” was like preparing a roux for a pot of gumbo. As you may already know, a roux is nothing but oil and flour heated in a skillet and cooked slowly over a length of time until it darkens to the color you desire, after which the remaining ingredients – water, or broth, vegetables, seafood, and meats are added. You must stir it, and stir it, and stir it continuously, without interruption, to prevent it from burning. You are advised not to turn your back on your roux, not to cut your fingernails, not to fix broken window blinds, not to take clothes out of the dryer, not to run to the store, or attempt to do anything else that could distract you from cooking that roux, or else it will most surely burn. The process could take up to an hour, or more, depending on how high the heat is and how much control that you feel you have o
 ver it. Theoretically, you could cook a roux until it turns as black as tar, but as long as it doesn’t burn, it can add such a sublime flavor to the gumbo that only by sampling the finished product could anyone ever believe that something that dark could taste so good.

Time, patience and commitment, in cooking as in music, yields something greater than the sum of their ingredients. The un-hurried, yet forward-moving tempo of “Turnaround” gives it a “journeying”, yearning feel, and to such a degree that at first I was tempted to describe its movement within me as contemplative, meditative, or inner-directed, but that just wasn’t accurate enough. And then, I thought, “Wait one cotton-pickin’minute, here! This is a music video, dum-dum! Don’t use just your ears. Use your eyes, too!” Where the song was taking me was right in front of me. All I had to do was to acknowledge, and embrace the setting. It’s outdoors, alongside a coursing river, amongst generations of families of trees, at the foot of hills that are the shoulders of mountains, under a sky that yields to something even more vast and infinite the higher you go above it and beyond. So, as the title, “Turnaround”, implied, I realized that your song was actually ˜turning me around”, leading me outward and away from my narrowly-proscribed, little self and toward “the big picture”; Creation, Nature, God, the Universe, or however anyone else would name the maker of all that beauty.

What I believe I heard your cello say was something like this: “Loren? Hey, Loren! Listen up, brother! Slow down. Slow, it, down! Come outside. Talk with this river. Listen to those trees over there recite their lineage. Let those mountains tell you how long they’ve been here, and what they’ve seen. Listen!”

Ms. Yanover, thank you for sharing your musical gifts and your thoughts – and also for allowing me to interact with you -- on your very warm and very welcoming website!

Sincerely,

LOREN

From Bob in Anacortes, WA

 

Gretchen
A week ago Sunday I was in the Seattle Airport. You were there performing. Your music inspired me. My wife had just dropped me off at the airport & I was feeling lost. I travel a lot with my work & she was staying home in Anacortes. 
So... Wit
h our Anniversary coming up on the 7th of August. I wrote this in a card that I am sending to her.
Honey:
I 1st heard this song played live in the Seattle Airport after leaving you. The name of the song is: "The Story of an Embrace." Musician: Gretchen Yanover
As I stood there watching/ listening to the Artist Passionately play her Cello. I realized this song summed up my relationship, in music, with you, my wife.
The song starts out with a Solo Low Note. (Me)
As the Song continues a Higher Excited Note chimes in. (You)
Then the tones build into a Beautiful Blended Melody (Us)
When I listen to this song, It's Our Love that I hear!
Honey, You are the Color in my World!
Happy Anniversary!

Gretchen
I bought your CD there at the Seattle Airport from you & I am currently in Tulsa Oklahoma. My Love is in Anacortes, Wa.

Can you suggest a way for me to send this song to her for our Anniversary. If I were home I would bring her to your performance on August 4th. I want her to hear this song for the first time when she reads the card for her.
There is a Song by Yanni called, "Whispers in the Dark" that was the 1st song that became a, Song for Sharon, my wife.
This song you wrote has touched me Very Deeply.
It is now my, Sharon Song. I can't stop listening to it.
It breaths the Essence of our Love.
Thank-you for writing such an Incredible Song.
Your new Fan!
Bob

From Nancy in Las Vegas, NV

 
"Your music is so beautiful!  As if your hands were directly guided by the Lord God Himself by His own personal strings attached to your very hands.  Musicians like you restore my faith in humanity.  Thank you for being a musician."

 

2 from Tom in Nipomo, CA

 

Hi Gretchen:

We had just landed in Seattle a couple of weeks ago and my wife (in a wheelchair) went to the ladies room while I waited with my ukulele and our luggage. I was tense and anxious about the things we needed to do next.  Rent a car, negotiate the streets to get to W. Seattle to see our daughter.  And there you were playing so beautifully.  I was mesmerized by your playing and I bought a CD...Bow and Cello.  

And now, as I start to prepare dinner I play the CD again.  I am so moved by it that I stop to write to let you know how calming or uplifting or both the music is.  I love chance encounters and unexpected opportunities.  I just wanted you to know that your music is being listened to on the Central Coast of California right now and is appreciated.

 

Hi Gretchen:

We had a very stressful day today and needed some respite.  Well, once I put on 'Bridge Across Sound' we began to chill and even feel inspired. 
My wife is in a wheelchair and we bought our first CD (Bow & Cello) when we got off the plane earlier this year in Seattle.  It helped us cope with that visit that was about medical care.  And then we bought the recent CD.  I know this sounds a bit maudlin but we just wanted you to know that there is a couple on the Central Coast of California that finds your music soothing and uplifting.  Best to You.

From Eric in Ventura County, CA

 

Wow, Gretchen, I can not begin to tell you how beautiful your music is. I really enjoy the three downloads that I purchased, from you, when I was in Seattle. There is not one piece that I do not like. I have always liked New Age, but not everything. Your music really puts me in a "place" a different "state of mind". I hear so many different influences in your music. I hope that you come out with more albums, and even visit Southern CA sometime. All the best, Eric

From Bryan in Olympia

 

Hi Gretchen,

I just wanted to congratulate you on the success of your concert and the release of your new album!  I am blown away by your new works...there is something about your music that just taps right into the emotional part of my brain.  I'm not a weepy guy, but there were a few songs that had me tearing up...they're that beautiful.

BRAVA!
Bryan

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