|The habanero chili originated in the Amazon region. An intact fruit of a small domesticated habanero, found in the Guitarrero Cave located in the Peruvian highlands, was dated to 6500 BC. Habanero chilis are extremely hot, rated 100,000–350,000 on the Scoville scale. What can the pepper do for you, today? In the “El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer (The Mysterious Voyage of Homer)" episode of the animated TV series “The Simpsons”, Homer hallucinates after eating one of these chilies and meets his "Space Coyote", voiced by Johnny Cash. Yes, this is possible with powerful peppers in the Americas. At least on TV. Here at home in LA, the hottest things can be on TV. I do not watch enough TV, but I think the most important thing, which is composition, goes well with a Tequila of sorts, also known as the ‘ZAP PA’. If you subtract Frank Zappa’s endless noodles on guitar and all the sexist and homophobic songs - in other words you distill him - you’re left with something that is as hot as Silvestre Revueltas, the “Mexican Stravinsky”. Of course this is a condescending, Eurocentric statement, surely made by one of these ‘New Complexity’ adherens who never had a habanero. In fact, Stravinsky lived in LA and watched TV. Hot peppers and tequila were never far away. I’m not quite sure if he tasted either of these. He had a raw egg in the morning, that’s all I know. After the commercial failure of ‘Porgy and Bess’, even George Gershwin moved to LA and to this day I don’t know how he survived without access to a true New York bagel. Besides getting paid for anything, this truly is the biggest challenge a composer can face. If you have enough of these bottles of what I christened ‘ZAP PA’, you might see the big habanero appear, and if you’re lucky or musically inclined, you get to hear your “Pink Panther”. Do you want to go that far? I have scored the 399 pages of this ‘Concerto Habanero’ just for you!
|John Singleton Copley
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