Rock on, Saw Lady

Natalie_1 Not all oddball instruments are as odd as cheese drums or sympitars. Natalia Paruz plays the musical saw (both tenor and baritone). Don't think she's some kind of nut, now; in addition to playing in the New York subways, Natalia has played the ultra-posh Rainbow Room high atop Rockefeller Center ($200 each at the door). She has appeared on stage with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Zubin Mehta, the Westchester Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Paul Dunkel, and (my personal favorite) at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall with PDQ Bach composer Peter Schickele . She has range, too; in addition to the saws, Natalia plays Austrian Cowbells, American Cowbells, Glass Harp, English Handbells, 4-in-hand Hand Bells, Toy Piano and Theremin - plus - she tap-dances while playing piano.

Well, ok, maybe - maybe - she's some kind of nut, I don't know. But we're subject to such virulent cultural homogeneity in this country. 300 million people, and they can't find more than 40 songs to play on the radio at any one time? 300 million people, and there are three virtually identical forensics shows on tv (four if you count the Navy version)?

People like Natalia are essential to the mental health of the nation, and I'm as serious as the taxman. If we had more musical saw players and fewer people playing 'Stairway to Heaven' this country would be a much better place.

Thu, 27 Oct 2005