'Still Life' at the Penguin Cafe

by CynthiaYockey on November 28, 2009

In the late spring of 2004 I was driving and listening to the radio when the most amazing music came on. I got to my destination and just stayed in the car for at least 20 more minutes to hear it all the way through and get the name. It was “‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Cafe” by the late Simon Jeffes.

My favorite part starts at about 3:55 when the chimpanzee in the gold top hat starts to dance. I never saw the ballet until tonight, so I had to imagine my own scenes for the music. That part sounded so filled with joy and personality and humor that it always seemed like the essence of a Gay Pride march to me. After Margaret was diagnosed as dying in September 2004 and came home to be with me under hospice care, I started almost every day by dancing and clowning to this music for her, which she loved. (Margaret is the only person who ever saw me clown around for laughs. She made my heart feel so light and happy that it was easy to do for her.)

Blogging will be light this weekend. I am working on a project that will require several days of focused attention. But let me know if you enjoy the music — other parts of the ballet seems dark to me, so I’m glad I only knew this until now as music:

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