What an unexpected pleasure to see New Music Box absolutely dominated this weekend by my long-time comrade-in-arms Robert Carl – unexpected because, though we’ve been trading e-mails lately, he never mentioned it was coming up. Two Chicago grad students who managed to get East Coast teaching jobs within a couple of hours of each other, Robert and I have been talking regularly for more than thirty years. I used to think we were from different sides of the tracks, but actually Robert skips all over the tracks. I believe I once described him as half Uptown and half Downtown with no touch of Midtown. His rock-solid sense of composer priorities and politics has always served as a reality check for me, so if you think I’m off-the-wall, you can thank Robert that I’m not even more completely unhinged. He’s been a moderating influence, and an inspiration.