Warring with Subotnick’s “Touch”

June 16, 2010

There was something missing in my life: I realized it was TOUCH. No, not being touched, the electro-acoustic piece by Morton Subotnick from the 1970s.

touchI remember first moving to Boston in 1976 to attend the New England Conservatory of Music. First I lived in Malden, but that was SO boring, I eventually found a dive on Westland Ave for $75 a week. The day I moved in, a woman with her front teeth missing sitting on the steps next door, who I was later to learn was called “Blow Job,” asked me whether I wanted one for $5. My cheeks turned red and I said NO, but thank you for asking–being the polite midwestern boy my parents had raised me to be.

Several months later, I became engaged in late night music war with some dude who decided to play disco at full blast at two in the morning while he screamed at his woman. He was on a Donna Summer’s Greatest Hits thing. I decided I would try to come back at him with Pierrot Lunaire. It just didn’t have the power that a disco groove does. I came back with Subotnick’s TOUCH. It took a while to get going, but once it kicked in, it kicked ass! I was so proud and so cool, dueling with some pimp screaming at his–well, all of a sudden, the music turned down. I heard a very angry black woman tell of the dude playing the music. Whoa! I turned Morton down, and called it a draw.

I couldn’t find a YouTube clip for this music, so you should do your homework to see whether you can buy it. And if not, go here and download it yourself.

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