One morning last week, like every morning before, I opened the back door let my dog out into the yard. Normally at that time I’m so intent on my caffeine fix that I’d probably overlook a tornado, but that morning something small caught my eye - a single oak leaf stuck in the crevice of two deck boards, one third still slick and green, the other two thirds a slow fade from a spotted yellow to a crumbled brown.
And suddenly it hit me: it’s almost fall, isn’t it? Even though Kentucky seasons are classic, the path to each is not always linear; the boundaries not always neatly drawn. I’m one of those people often so in the middle of change that I don’t notice it at all.
Luckily not all people are like me, and especially not Rachel Grimes – pianist, composer, and subject of the latest chapter of “Music Makes a City,” the PBS series created by Owsley Brown Presents.
This episode’s title, “The Corner Room”
is a nod to a song of the same name from Rachel’s 2009 album Book of Leaves. Book of Leaves, she says, is about both the subtle and dramatic changes of seasonal transitions – something she is witness to more closely than most in her home and workspace tucked in the Kentucky countryside.
Though the songs on Book of Leaves are written from Rachel’s personal experiences of the landscape, at their core they are reflections of a place many love as deeply as she does – songs she knows are meant to be shared. For Rachel, the musicians she knew would best understand her work were those of the Louisville Orchestra, with which she collaborated to perform three of her songs last spring at the Festival of American Music.
“The Corner Room: Music Makes a City Now”
celebrates that collaboration by going inside the space where it all started – Rachel’s own corner room, from which she looks out at the changing of the leaves and the long shadows that slowly come at different times of the day; the room where the light is just right and her imagination translates to sound.
Maybe we all have our corner rooms – the mental and physical place we occupy when we create – but it's rare to be able to see inside the sacred spaces of others’. We’re lucky to have been given insight in Rachel’s, a notoriously private and cherished Kentucky artist, and we’re even more grateful to have the opportunity to share her corner room with you.
- Taylor & KC