Mother’s Day, May 10, was absolutely beautiful. Blue skies, decent temperatures, no rain, flowers in bloom. Had a nice dinner with an extended troupe of in-laws in Catskill, an hour south of Albany. Got home that evening, went to bed with a hacking cough, which led to a sore throat, in lieu of sleeping. This was not a cold or the flu; this was an allergy, to trees, and grass, and pollen. There are conflicting theories as to whether a long and harsh winter could lead to an equally irritating spring allergy season because it postpones the budding.
All I know is that I was miserable, despite getting injections every four weeks for several months. Now I’m on Fluticasone (nose spray), Advair (an inhaler), and am taking Zyrtec tablet (actually the OTC equivalent); the latter makes me tired, so I take it only at night. I’ve been sleeping sitting up for most of last week and a half. Oh, yeah, The Daughter has almost exactly the same symptoms.
Saturday night, The Wife and I went to the concert of the Albany Symphony Orchestra at The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in nearby Troy. EMPAC is a technological marvel, but more than that, it is really cool. Inside the glass enclosure, it reminds one of a ship, in a good way.
I was so looking forward to the concert. ASO highlights living composers. But shortly after the beginning of the first piece, by John Harbison, I felt a coughing jag coming on. Since I was smack dab in the middle, I had to quickly climb past several people, and leave the theater. Couldn’t stop coughing for about ten minutes. Finally, the hacking subsided, and I caught, outside the doors, most of the second piece, also by Harbison.
But I was happy to sit in the back while catching Scattered, a “Concerto for Scat Singing, Piano & Orchestra,” written and performed by Clarice Assad. Here’s the second movement, performed a couple of years back; that section is much slower than the first or third movements.
After intermission, composer Joan Tower, who is quite funny, introduced her piece that featured famed percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie in her return to the Albany Symphony; she played on the ASO’s Grammy-winning recording, awarded this year. Glennie, not incidentally, has been deaf since the age of twelve.
The concert was not a total bust, as I did to hear more than half of it. Still, I want this lousy feeling to GO AWAY.