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Arts and Music

Music That Makes Mark Wood Tick

1. The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) - “The Beatles are the greatest band in the world and John Lennon’s songs and their approach to changing pop music from sugar to very, very deep messages from ‘Revolution’ to what John Lennon was doing towards the end of The Beatles. And to achieve what they achieved in literally six years. They didn’t even hit 10 years. They were very impactful and for me, [this was their pinnacle] without question.”

2. Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention - Overnite Sensation (1973) - “He is the icon of Americana on every level. He was self-taught and Pierre Boulez conducted his orchestra music, so you knew he wasn’t a hack. [This] was when he broke through commercially, so the song structures were based more on standard commercial music but his complete bent on it is very cutting edge along with his disturbing sense of humor on every level. But musically, he’s one of our superior musicians and definitely not revered nearly enough.”

3. Mark Wood - Portrait of An Artist (2001) – “This is a CD of my music that I wrote to my father’s paintings. It’s like chamber music; it’s not rock and roll. It’s chamber music for double-string quartet. These movements were inspired by specific pieces that my dad painted. I selected a dozen or so and wrote music to it. I did it right before he died and I was able to present it and perform a great concert with all his paintings around me. It was awesome.”

4. Jimi Hendrix - Band of Gypsies (1970) - “The animal-like sounds coming from his guitar shook me in my tiny little shoes when I was at Juilliard. I heard it and that was it. It was like a bolt of lightning just from two or three notes of soloing. Of course having an African-American rhythm section with Buddy Miles and Billy Cox was way different than the Experience. They were white jazz guys and all of a sudden he got these black guys and that was it. Plus the backbeat and vocals of Buddy Miles are still astounding to this day.”

5. Leonard Bernstein – Mahler: Symphonie No. 2 in C minor “Resurrection” (1962) - “Every time I listen to it, there is a bar of about 24 measures that no matter where I am in the world, I break down into tears. That’s how powerful that is. And my wife cannot hear what I hear because I played it for her when I first met her. I said she’d break down when she heard it and of course she just didn’t get it.”