Monday, February 22, 2016


The other night I went to a party for the release of Rain Worthington's new CD of her orchestral compositions: DREAM VAPORS. Rain and I lived together in the 1970s in downtown Manhattan, first in a loft on Church Street across from the artists'  bar Magoo's, and later on the corner of Duane and Greenwich Streets, back before there was a Battery City and "Tribeca" was not a realtor term and living in most lofts was illegal so only artists and other creative artists lived there.

Back then Rain composed solo piano pieces, with no formal musical training, just self-taught playing of compositions she composed directly on the piano, memorizing each new musical phrase as she added it to a piece. Laurie Anderson was just beginning to be recognized as a musical performance artist, but Rain was the only serious "new classical" female composer on the scene (to my knowledge). Though some of her male contemporaries dismissed her contributions because she didn't share their academic backgrounds.

Nonetheless her concerts in various loft spaces or at the Kitchen, the New Music venue at the time, mesmerized listeners not interested in credentials but in results. At the beginning of the 1980s she fronted a "rock" band called Zone that one critic described as the most noncommercial band ever. But then she got into composing for large and small orchestras and solo classical instruments like violins.

DREAM VAPORS was recorded with different orchestras at different times in the new century and for me is the answer to what I was hoping the future of "classical" music would be as a kid in mid-20th-Century "America." The music on this CD satisfies the yearning I had for orchestral music to move and enlighten me in ways only jazz was able to do when I was young. I highly recommend buying the CD or downloading it from iTunes etc.

For a taste of Rain's music see her website here.

[PS: It was a great gathering at The Fitzgerald Gallery celebrating Rain for decades of serious commitment to composing orchestral music, with old and new friends not just applauding her efforts and the results, but enjoying several solo performances by violinists who have performed her music around the world. And I got to reconnect with mutual old friends and members of her family, who I hadn't seen in over thirty years. Ah, life's rewards if we stick around for them.]

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