A few weeks before he passed away, Toru Takemitsu wrote postcards to his friends with a poignant message concerning his approaching reincarnation.
“I’d like to become a whale that swims in an ocean that knows no east nor west.”
I’ve reflected on this idea often since my friend Peter Grilli made me aware of Takemitsu’s last thoughts. As you know, I’ve been traveling up Highway 1 from Santa Barbara to Big Sur for an important meeting about the next LA International New Music Festival. Jan and I have been talking about Elliott Carter with his friend Virgil Blackwell near Pt. Lobos and Big Sur. Composing brilliantly until 103, Carter is one of the greats. There is a sage wisdom in all the late works waiting to be explored. And we will be doing just that as part of future festivals.
Finding Carter in Big Sur and Pt. Lobos felt just right.