Last week, I attended A Taste of the CPO, the annual concert that dips into the musical offerings for the upcoming season. Throughout the program, Resident Conductor, Mélanie Léonard, told stories about the music and invited members of the orchestra to share their anecdotes as well. The stories were as much fun as the music.
We learned, for instance, that Aleksandr Borodin was a chemist who laboured for twenty years in his spare time to write the opera Prince Igor. The best known music from this opera, the Polovtsian Dance no. 6, became "Stranger in Paradise" in the musical Kismet.
Music and stories are my favourite form of entertainment at home as well. I grew up listening to radio where the two are an integrated experience. Often, it is a story that hooks my attention and makes me listen more closely to the music. This is what attracts the audience to stations like CBC and CKUA.
If you are a fan of Randy Bachman’s Vinyl Tap on CBC, you will be happy to learn that we have a new collection of stories from the program. Bachman, a legendary Canadian rock musician has more than 120 gold and platinum awards for performing and producing. And he is a great story teller.
Late nights I tune into The Road Home hosted by Bob Chelmick on CKUA. Chelmick chats about his home in rural Alberta , sustainable living and his latest projects. He reads poetry and plays music around a theme.
“A poem is storytelling at its most refined and distilled,” says Chelmick. “It belongs on radio.”
You’ve got me reading Billy Collins, Bob. Good show.
A few years ago, I cancelled my subscription to cable TV and do not miss it at all. I cannot imagine living without the radio. Without radio, I would be bereft.