“SEEING RED” is a cut-and-dried emotional state — no ifs, ands or buts about it. Someone gets your goat, pushes a very particular button and, bingo! Rage, remorse and, if one has a sympathetic judge, community service and anger management courses.
There are however those other situations where one hesitates to push the red rage button, even if only briefly, while trying to figure out whether one has actually been offended. “Are you talking to me?” DiNiro’s character in Taxi Driver would say at that point, giving the other party an opportunity to say something like “No actually, but thank you for asking. Because I can see why you would have been rather offended if that were the case.”
“SEEING ORANGE” you might call this slightly more circumspect approach to things — a warm haze that can turn either into a glow of contentment or into blazing anger, once one has ascertained whether one was being laughed at or laughed with, truly lauded or merely damned with faint praise.
Well it seems that our inaugural Orange Pages education directory, launched in March, has the eminent educator Sterling Beckwith “seeing orange” in more ways than one. This is why, in 391 words’ time, I will temporarily cede this thunderer’s podium to him, to say precisely what is on his mind. (For those of you who dare to admit that you don’t know who Sterling Beckwith is, one theory has it that he was named after a studio in the Department of Music at York University, well used not just for intimate musical performance but for workshops, seminars, symposia and the like — events related to his own personal passion which is music education.
Before he does though, here are two or three other things I’d like to note.
VANCOUVER VIEW POINT:As devoted readers of this little essay both know, we have a habit here at The WholeNote, when taking on new things, of learning to swim by diving into what we hope is the deep end and striking out for the far side. Take last month’s column, West Coast Notes, exploring the music scene in Victoria BC, for an example. Not content with just asking Ian Alexander to write about the music scene in his relatively newly adopted home town, we positioned the piece under the rubric “Canadian View Points,” evoking the grand vision of dipping our stylus in the Pacific and heading off on a grand cross-country adventure, acquiring loyal local correspondents as we go, laying the groundwork for the gathering and dissemination of vital information about live local musical activity coast to coast to coast ... but without having the foggiest idea what the very next step should be.
Well, either fortune favours the brave or fate smiles on fools, but either way, it’s opera to the rescue, as OPERA America and Opera.ca descend on Vancouver in early May for a major conference, and Christina Loewen of Opera.ca steps into the cross-Canada batter’s box with our second Canadian View Points report. Loewen being Toronto based, and the conference being a one-off event rather than part of the ongoing Vancouver scene, we’ll still have to find someone “on the ground” in Vancouver to carry the ball on an ongoing basis. So if you’re reading this in the Canadian left coast’s largest city, and don’t mind diving in the deep end, get in touch. And would-be correspondents anywhere east of Vancouver with an ongoing live local music picture to paint, take note. We’re coming your way.
And now, Mr. Beckwith, over to you.
—David Perlman, email@example.com