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Transatlantic Antiviral & Wedding Songs

Bob Goldberg, accordionist, composer, CEO of the Brooklyn Academy of Noise, and member of NYC's definitive [summer] campy "post-modern jug band" Washboard Jungle, is an old friend. He played at my wedding reception in the Grange Hall in Rockport, Maine, in the free-for-all jam after the contra dance band went home. We both played in a band assembled for mutual friend Carlo's wedding, a group that lived on as Le Nozze di Carlo (without me–I'd moved to New Hampshire). And I was honored to play at Bob's wedding on the music barge in Brooklyn. More recently, as a fellow music educator, he encouraged me to get Orff/Schulwerk teacher training, for which I am forever grateful (though no longer teaching music, movement, and theater, alas).

He has dedicated a song to me! "Canzone Antivirale Transatlantica" is a sweet little composition to play on my accordion, which currently has a stuck high Eb reed (that is likely to remain stuck until, God willing, the coronavirus here in Italy has run its course and I can get it serviced). I've never had a song dedicated to me before. This gesture of friendship, in the form of a calming, hopeful, minimalist composition, warmed my quarantined heart.

So I tasked myself with going back and notating the piece I wrote for Bob's wedding, "Grandma Missed the Wedding (But She Sends He Love)," as I wanted to offer Bob a piece of music in return. It's written for mandola, but could as easily be played on mandolin a 5th higher in D major (which I could print out for you; just ask). Fans of my Americana band The Buskers might recognize the B section; the melody worked its way into "Let's Not Say Another Word," which we recorded on our first album. I think the title takes on added meaning in this period of postponed weddings and world-wide quarantine, when we are often thinking of family that we can't visit in person, especially our vulnerable elders.... Anyway, here's to Bob & Katya, once again, with love.

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