Sunday, April 24, 2005

Train horns and clarinets

Yesterday I took #2 son to see a friend's model railroad layout. Imagine a basement area about 12' x 15', with an HO scale layout around the edges and a long peninsula of track down the middle, set at chest high. Miniature billboards ca. 1950, names of railroad lines on the boxcars that you haven't seen for decades because they have disappeared under conglomerate logos and graffiti. Houses and businesses and miniature people, and a tiny cat, less than a centimeter, curled up on the roof of an 8" farm house. Trees made of winter weed tops about 5" tall and sprayed green, a few of which had been felled by an adventuresome mouse who wanted to build her nest in one of the tunnels.

We then went to meet #1 daughter on campus, after a Geology field trip. While waiting we channel hopped on the radio and ran across a clarinet concerto; written to be a bit dissonant in places but played with grace. Since #2 son had recently tried mouthpieces for band instruments (looking forward to band at the middle school next year) and since he'd done especially well with the clarinet, he was interested to hear what you could do with a clarinet. I explained to him what a concerto was and pointed out a few details, but mostly we just listened. When we picked up his sister, he told her about the trains and the "clarinet contralto."

mrs james

No comments: