David Patterson - Oak Parker - Music Historian
As I worked through my Oak Parker project I often get questioned about who or what type of person I want to include. In one such conversation I answered that I am interested in a collector, someone who has an odd or large collection of something and was connected with David Patterson and his collection of autoharps.
When I left academia in 2004 and became an "independent scholar," I decided I wanted to try something completely different. For a while in the deliberations, it was a toss-up between the ukulele and the autoharp, the latter of which I remembered only vaguely from grade school. Then one day I watched the mockumentary, "A Mighty Wind," which parodies the folk music movement, and one of the actors was playing an autoharp. And that decided it for me right then and there! So I bought my first one in late 2004, took a few lessons at the Old Town School of Folk Music, and the rest is history!After walking into David's home in early July it didn't take long to notice his extensive music and DVD collection, the thought quickly entered my head he must have every artist documentary worth viewing. We began discussing how he became an Oak Parker, one of the main reasons being to volunteer at the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust and the Unity Temple Restoration Foundation. As a music historian and expert on the work of John Cage and 20th-century avant garde music, Patterson's more recent project has been on the compositions of William Carey Wright, Frank Lloyd Wright's father. Being that I am married to an architect whose other great love is music it wasn't my first conversation on music and architecture and their influences on each, but it is an ever fascinating one and David has delved deeply into this pairing in the Wright family.
Please take a moment to read a little more about his upcoming album of the music of William Carey Wright here and music's influence on Oak Park's and America's most influential architect.