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Whistle while you work

It’s true, fate does work in mysterious ways. How else can I explain my metamorphosis over the past few months from serious musician to … well … a sweetly-oiled backing track to a potential world whistling champion. For last Sunday night, as the moon hung low over the bustling streets of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, my whistling protegee made his debut at a local open mic night. Yes. And what a rousing debut it was – his first public performance in preparation for the World Whistling Championships which are being held in America early next year. I tell you, the room was full of earnest musicians – beret wearing singer/songwriter types, with their heartfelt lyrics and Nick Drake sensibilities – who really didn’t know what hit them when the whistler got up there and weaved a melodic thread through the chords to Norwegian Wood and Plush. You could hear a pin drop as the last soaring note echoed and tremored through the room. And then, applause … loud and enduring. He has passed his first test. Now for the next challenge. Though I believe Letterman is fully booked for the next eight years. [paintings by Alex Gross]

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