Frost free

Posted on Jul 23rd, 2013 by Jeanne Golan

New York City in the summer – this one particularly pungent with heat and humidity, found that my vintage refrigerator, a Hotpoint, had finally decided to live up to its name.   Ice cream turned to soup in no time while the inside of the freezer looked like an arctic panorama.  Yet in replacing it, I feel somewhat sentimental.  The well-placed magnets to cover blemishes, the collage of cartoons and calendars, poems and pithy sayings are set aside as the sleeker new frost-free machine brightens the kitchen with its clean white exterior.

The notion of never having to defrost a freezer is a bit unsettling.  Yes I’m glad to be released from the quarterly chore, and get a kick out of opening the door and actually seeing what’s inside.  Still, there was something very real and tactile about loosing chunks, sometimes sheets, of ice and flinging them across the room to crash into the sink where they’d pile and melt over the next few hours.  With years of practice, I learned to not fight the ice, but wait until it was ready to liberate itself from the freezer walls.  If I waited too long, there was a pool of water to sop up – not nearly as satisfying a sensation.

My little fridge saga seems to parallel this summer’s musical path.  Repertoire is being found; collaborations are being forged.  Pieces ranging from brand new to unfamiliar to old chestnuts, the mix includes songs and dramatic works of Ullmann.  His vocal writing requiring a singer/actor, it’s fascinating to see what poetry he’s drawn to set.  Rilke was someone he turned to at several moments in his life, and the results are stunning.   And conversational.  So much so that providing the experience in the language of our English-speaking audience makes best sense.  As we warm to these issues of text, translation and score, perhaps I haven’t given up defrosting after all…

Categories: Uncategorized