We just had the first day of NYFOS@North Fork, our newest Emerging Artist Program. I’ve nurtured this dream for a number of years and—as if in preparation—I’d done a few concerts out here in Orient, Long Island, in past years. Orient is the easternmost point on the North Fork, and has a serenity unlike anyplace else I know. The Orienters (not Orientals) are hungry for live music, and the shows I gave in tandem with Paul Appleby, John Brancy, Sasha Cooke, Kelly Markgraf, and Darius de Haas were unforgettable nights, peak moments. Still, this is a little different: having the NYFOS imprimatur on this endeavor changes the equation. I feel as if I am bringing my significant other home to my parents, an electrically charged merging of powerful strands in my life.
Three of the four cast members arrived today: Toby Greenhalgh, David Margulis, and Meredith Lustig. I had been looking forward to this moment for a long time, and their arrival did my heart a lot of good. I told the cast very little about Orient in advance. Toby thought it was going to be big and commercial, with hotels and crowds. “No, that would be the South Fork.” My greatest joy was watching each of them discover where they were and how special the place is—I could see it in their eyes. My second greatest joy was hearing them sing: three great sets o’ pipes.
The hall is half a block from the bay, and the songs seem especially meaningful in this marine atmosphere. When David sang Peter Warlock’s “My Own Country” it seemed to have been written about Orient, not the English countryside.
Today I heard we’re almost sold out. I suppose we could sell lawn seats…if we had a lawn. It’s one problem I shall enjoy having.