While visiting my parents over the weekend (New Year's Day is also my father's birthday) I found a cassette tape in the bottom of a box. A talisman of time travel, it was a recording I had made in 1990 and had totally forgotten about.
I had been singing at New York City Opera for two years and was approached to record a song - She Walks in Beauty- that had been commissioned by a patron for the New York Philharmonic. I met with the composer Joseph Turrin, coached the song and then recorded it at a studio in midtown in two takes a week later. Another piece - Lullaby - was added at the last minute and was recorded in one take. That was quick! Being a busy thirty-two year old, I put the cassette in a box when it arrived in the mail a few weeks later and went on with my life.
It's a curious experience hearing yourself after so many years. You hear not only the voice, but who you were and weren't, what you knew without being taught, and what you had yet to learn. In this case, I hear that my right ear had not yet fully awakened, a process that began after I went to the Listening Center in Toronto in 1999.
Oh, but I was a young man. Unlike Benjamin Stone in Follies, I do remember him. He idolized Gerald Souzay and listened to everything he recorded.