Your Pet's Musical Proclivities

Your Pet's Musical Proclivities

To each her own.

Does your Spot have a favorite radio station? 

Does she wish you'd turn it up or down, or off?

A growing body of research suggests that animals react to music as uniquely as humans. It can soothe or infuriate the soul, even lure one into an animalistic mood, as it were.

Our toy poodle Cocoa likes opera, especially if it goes above a soprano G. Once it reaches high C she's in ecstasy and can't resist howling along. At least I think it's ecstasy, but there's a fine line between ecstasy and agony, and I'm no scientist. 

A similar phenomenon can at times also be experienced in the concert hall with humans, but again, I'm not naming names, and no one's complaining yet.

If pets had accurate horoscopes, I might be able to be more scientific about it, but my last dog took the most rejuventating naps to Simon & Garfunkel, and reacted to Paul Simon's musical evolution after their breakup by taking to the streets as the needle hit vinyl for "diamonds on the souls of her shoes..." Yet Garfunkel's later solo opuses (opi?) left him indifferent, and I suppose I can't blame him, but what a voice! 

Ubiquity: Music and Garbage

Ubiquity: Music and Garbage

Define Music.


Go ahead, take a moment...


What is it?

Why is it?


For some, music is simply one of life's many luxuries. Ubiquitous as water, it makes tasty more refreshing.

For others, it's as necessary and pleasurable as a cool glass of water after a long walk through the scorching desert; it's essential, life-giving, life-affirming.


Like many of you, I've spent a lifetime under Music's spell, and it's my lifeline, my muse, my better self. It elevates and transports me.

Music makes me believe.


Yet I can't define Music; it defies math or science or rhyme or reason, while encompassing them all in a ball of string as if it were but a game.

Suspended gratitude



A snowy, glistening day in a land of rolling hills and purposefully winding roads, wind and hail blustering hither and thither, has me pondering forwards and backwards...

This magical place on any other day bustles with what once seemed to this northern transplant, an aspirational New Yorker at that, uncanny good-naturedness. Who waves to their neighbors anymore, even strangers! Yet they do, without irony. (I mean we...?) 

Today branches of icicle-laden pine trees overpowered the pathways of electricity and cut a slice out of the continuum. Coerced back into the 19th century, the century of Beethoven and Chopin, of letters and printed books, the coating of the internet disappeared and gave way to a few precious hours of angels in the snow.  

It got me thinking about the simpler truths of life, the good things. And gratitude.

It's been just over seven years since we bundled up our sparse belongings and oversized concert grand from a tiny flat on the edge of Harlem, headed south. What gave us the nerve or insanity to start an orchestra in the middle of the countryside I can't say. Just about everyone I knew said it was folly. And they were of course right. We'd seen Pinehurst on a brief afternoon drive-by, and it beckoned. It made sense.

In the meantime, as time continued to accelerate, this fledgling orchestra without an audience somehow grew into a part of the landscape, as if it had grown up among the pine trees and sand hills. And I take it for granted now.

But not today. Today was a slice of gratitude.

Maybe what I love about music is that it stops time just like that. It defies gravity and momentum and carves out its own space and meaning. And it never seems to take the bounty of its gifts for granted; or rather, it doesn't allow us to. It coerces a sharp, cool inhalation of gratitude, of eternity, of now...


A slice out of time also grants a glimpse into the future.

What's next for the Philharmonic? How will we grow? If we've come this far in seven short years, what will the next seven or fourteen bring? I'm poised for an adventure.

Thank you for being a part of the first leg of this journey. You are why we're here and why we keep moving forward.

And I'm grateful.

David Michael Wolff