Monday, May 21, 2007

Dreaming of Americana

I mentioned dreams earlier... I was shocked when I read that diary entry from 1999. I had forgotten how I dreamt of being a good classical saxophonist (!!!) and my heart jumped when I read that I wanted to be not a decent, nor good, but great as I had underlined, dancer. That’s the lost dream I most lament. Funny how there was no mention of writing. Of course in ’99 I had not yet taken that fateful jazz arranging class with Steve Haines that put me on my current path.

Recently, I have developed a new dream. This one inspired by the reading of Asne Seierstad’s A Hundred And One Days. I now dream of refining my writing skill and becoming a musical journalist, reporting from places around the world. Typically this day dream involves places outside the US of A. After all, I have my shiny new passport and I want to bulk up the stampage!

However, I have been once again inspired by another artist.

I know almost nothing about photographer Stephen Shore. Only the little bit mentioned in the NY Times article promoting his latest exhibit and some follow-up wikipedia research. The slide show accompanying the NYT article featured shots of 1970’s Americana.

Those eight pictures remind me of the hidden intrigue America’s interstates can offer. I know they are there, I’ve experienced them myself.

Growing up military, I have lived in three of the four corners of our country. I have driven across the US at least 4 times. I loved these monstrous car trips. The hotels, the rest stops, the diners, the occasional tourist attraction. I yearn to experience them again. They call to me to be found, and reported on.

Asne writes the books, Stephen took the pictures, I want to write the music.

“Biographical Landscape: The Photography of Stephen Shore, 1969-1979” runs through September 9 at the International Center of Photography, 1133 Avenue of the Americas, at 43rd Street; (212) 857-0000 or

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