lunar aspect

Sunday, February 19, 2023

My Introduction to the Music of Alan Hovhaness

Having to support myself while a music maker required other means.  I ended up working as a scenic artist in Hollywood. I started at the bottom which consisted of having to clean the the rollers, buckets, brushes, and what ever else needed to be cleaned up and only when then thing would i get out onto the floor.  While a noisy environment, i would still listen to the classical channel as a good contrast to the commotion.  One day a piece had just started a few minutes before when one of my co-workers, Dennis Mancini, who also worked as an actor, entered the room, stopped, and listened and then commented about how the music reminded him of his living on Mt. Shasta for months by himself. He described how he lived totally off the land and this was his way of self-healing from his time engaged in the Vietnam War. When the piece finally ended the announcer said that the piece was "Mysterious Mountain" by Alan Hovhaness and we both were quite taken back that the music had captured his experience. Something that music seems less inclined to do these days. 

Years later, the composer Los Harrison told me that the music that saved him from his breakdown was the music of Harry Partch and Alan Hovhaness. I have many recordings of both, but the later's output is so large i have much more.