I am an accomplished violist, and I consider myself to be a highly accomplished player of the violin. But this is not a matter of strength: I’ve read enough books to understand that the strength of an instrument—including that of the human voice—lies in the ability to connect to your partner through playing and speaking. A lot of my most effective conversations are with my wife because she has a wonderful sense for how to get a listener’s mind to focus while listening.
On what I listen to (if at all)
I listened to John Coltrane’s “Freedom” on “The Late Show with David Letterman.” I’ve also listened to The Beatles’ “Magical Mystery Tour” and even recently (as I was writing this) I took some of the album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” with me, with the permission of the band’s owners, to visit my mom in New York City.
On what we’d have for dinner
We would start with a simple, hearty family recipe from the book “Dinner Without Dish” by David Chang.
We might then move onto another classic or contemporary work of the kitchen. Maybe he would have been tempted to start on beef—the delicious thing. Or maybe we would start out with a classic British dish, or some regional dish. Or maybe we would start with a new creation.
On his best musical memory
At the end of the day, that memory is the gift that brings us joy, and it is a gift to others as well.
As a final thought
I have never been more thankful for writing, or for the ability to be alone to work, or for the ability to hear the voices of others.
I hope you enjoy the stories below. They are designed for listening and not for learning: we’d like to thank the following folks who provided insight, comments, and encouragement:
I am also pleased to recognize that this piece was designed by the talented Andrea Smith. Andrea is a composer, teacher, and performance artist, as well as a blogger for the blog of the same name. You can find much more at AndreaSmith.com.
Pietro Gotti: Composer, educator, and teacher. He studied with violinist-artist Giovanni Sondrio at the School of Music in Florence, Italy, and he has taught at the Academy of Music in Italy and the School of Fine Arts in New York City, and has
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