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Music Memory from Duane Pitre

In this episode of Confetti Park, we hear a formative childhood music memory from Duane Pitre, American composer, sound artist, and guitarist.

Photo of Duane Pitre by Sharon Pye.

Photo of Duane Pitre by Sharon Pye.

Duane tends to focus on one thing at a time and learns it inside and out—whether that thing is skateboarding, composing experimental music, or playing guitar. (The former pro skateboarder says he has an “obsessive personality” in this 2012 ESPN article about his journey through the worlds of skateboarding and music.)

Currently, Duane is focusing on studying classical guitar.

Duane, who was born and raised in New Orleans, says his parents regularly attended rock and heavy metal concerts, and ensured that he was immersed in a healthy soundscape of the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and the Allman Brothers. (In fact, Duane was named for Duane Allman.)

In Duane’s music memory, he reveals how a single note can emotionally affect a listener. Duane was only 5 or 6 when he put on a vinyl record of the self-titled Black Sabbath album. The mood was set by the thunderstorm, the church bells, and then the music came in…. with the tritone.

Little Duane was terrified, and immediately turned off the album, but the seeds of wonder were planted.

“It was an experience I will never forget,” says Duane. “It was the earliest musical experience of me hearing something and it really affecting me in some way…. It made me aware of the power of music.”

Thank you, Duane, for sharing this fascinating memory with Confetti Park!

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