Monday, August 31, 2015

Belated Birthday

A friend of mine e-mailed me to say that it had slipped her mind that one of our major influences, Marilyn J. Ziffrin had recently had her 89th birthday.   I knew her in the 1960s and 70s and, though we haven't kept in touch frequently, her influence marks everything in music I have done since then and will continue to do throughout the rest of my life.  She is also the biographer of Carl Ruggles, the person who introduced me to his music.   My friend kept in touch more, I always felt like I was interfering with her work when I got in contact with her.  One of the things I learned from her is the necessity of ignoring the telephone if I'm working,  I unplug mine, that was a more important lesson than you can imagine.  I don't have any idea how kids today get anything done being plugged into the world all the time.

Marilyn Ziffrin's personality, her no-nonsense approach to doing music, her identity as a composer with the values of a composer leave a permanent impression. I don't know how she is doing but I hope she is doing well and continuing to compose music which, no matter how much it might refer to the past, is always individually her own music.

Anyway, it's all about the music, another thing she taught me.

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