Pained by a Guilty Conscience: A Lament on Missing "Trek – The Concert"
Folks, I sense the need to write a big public apology to Maestro Erich Kunzel, a celebrated conductor who recently conducted the Colorado Symphony Orchestra (with themed appearances by Trek actors Robert Picardo and John de Lancie), at Boettcher Hall in Denver, Colorado while I sat at home in my paper-strewn office typing away. It was the closest he’s knowingly been to my geographic location and I wasn’t at the concert hall where a self-respecting fan should’ve been. For that, Mr. Kunzel, I wish to tell you that I am mighty sorry.
I feel as though I was playing the hypocrite that night because I’m always complaining—uh, ‘verbally observing’ that we don’t get enough of the likes of him in the Colorado Springs/Denver area. I whine and say that if they’d bring such talent as an Erich Kunzel, John Barry (don’t have much chance there anymore) John Williams, James Horner, or a James Newton Howard, the people will come. Well, Mr. Kunzel was just one hour away from me and I wasn’t there. I felt like a heel about it too; I still do. After all my moaning & groaning about the lack of film music being put on display, I was not there to support it that time around. Oh, I could go into the reasons, but would it really matter? The bottom line is that I was here, not there. And heck, he wasn’t just giving a concert; he was giving one right up my alley – Trek: The Concert. That’s right, a collection of music from the universe of Star Trek! “Oh, the pain. The pain,” as an old iconic character I know might say.
Maestro Kunzel is no stranger to those interested in film or classical music (just two of the ponds in which he dips his toe). He’s been conducting professionally for just over fifty years, with 125 albums under his belt and ten million recordings sold. And like John Williams with the Boston Pops, he’s got a long & respected relationship with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. Over fifty-five of the eighty-five albums he’s made with the Cincinnati Pops have landed on Billboard’s top ten charts. He’s won several Grammy Awards, the Grand Prix Du Disque, and the Sony Tiffany Walkman Award for “visionary recording activities.” He’s even made historic trips to China. I mean, we’re talking about an artist who’s been presented with the National Medal of Arts, the highest honor given to artists and arts patrons by the United States Government. Why on earth was I in my office, feeling guiltier with every key stroke while this distinguished artist was in Denver performing with the Colorado Symphony for people like me?
Could I regain any modicum of personal pride if claimed that I was listening to albums of the Maestro’s while I typed away (like Time Warp – full of neat science fiction cues and Classics of the Silver Screen – which focuses on classical music that’s been used in films)? I don’t know, somehow I felt unworthy of listening to them right then. But I had to do something to connect with what was going on up the road.
Such puny efforts ain’t good enough though. I wasn’t walking my talk that night and I feel a bit like a Denebian slime devil about it, Mr. Kunzel. So again, I’m sorry. I’m sorry about not being there to bask in the emotive notes wafting through the hall. I’m sorry for shooting off my mouth about the need to support such efforts, then not being on hand for yours. I’m sorry for being a fanboy of yours—who has for years enjoyed listening to and collecting your body of work—yet not showing it where I needed to at that moment. I’m sorry for being that heel I was that evening.
For the record, I and a lot of other fans think you’re grand, even if we couldn’t be at Denver’s Boettcher Hall that November 1, 2008 evening. We do sincerely thank you for being there though! Would it help any if I said I was there in spirit, dear sir?
For more information on Erich Kunzel and his work, visit http://www.erichkunzel.com/.