“Stories from My Favorite Planet“ is likely the first musical composition inspired by the Wall Street Journal. The piece intertwines readings from five of Danny´s articles published in At Home in the World: Collected Writings from the Wall Street Journal, into a musical tapestry that portrays Danny´s compassion as well as his sense of the ridiculous. This piece premiered in October 2003, for the Second Annual Daniel Pearl Music Days with the same major artists who are featured on this recording - Los Angeles Philharmonic violinist Mitchell Newman, actor Josh Coxx (costar of Lifetime Channel´s medical drama Strong Medicine) and composer Russell Steinberg on piano. A new reader for the Elegy, John Schneider (guitarist, composer, author and broadcaster), was added in 2007.
The piece begins with a musical overture that represents Danny´s drive from California to Massachusetts for his first job at the North Adams Transcript. In the first article, a young Danny delivers a hilarious indictment against the bureaucracy of the Registry of Motor Vehicles. Next is a powerful story from the Wall Street Journal, set in Kosovo, where Danny tries to discover if any Serb and Albanian friendships still remain amidst the war, leading to a melancholy violin soliloquy.
Perhaps Danny´s most humorous article concerns the rediscovery of a UCLA-owned Stradivarius violin that fell off the roof of a car, but whose new owner is loathe to return it. Musically, Russell Steinberg could not resist setting this movement as a tango.
The climax of the piece is a musical tarantella that prepares Danny´s 2001 story detailing Osama Bin Laden´s gem smuggling trade in Africa.
The CD ends as it began, with a sequel to the first article in Massachusetts. Danny gloats that he has outlasted the chief of the Motor Vehicle Registry, only to learn that you can´t beat City Hall!
- Music: Overture
- Article: Going to the Top Won´t Get You to Bottom of Bureaucracy
- Music: Bureaucracy Runaround
- Article: Search for Mercy Ends in Tears on Quiet Kosovo Street
- Music: Tears in Kosovo
- Article: Missing Violin´s Case: The Finder Fiddles While Losers Sue
- Music: Missing Violin Tango
- Article: Underground Trade: Much-Smuggled Gem Helps Bin-Laden Supporters
- Music: Tanzanite Tarantella
- Daniel Pearl Murdered
- Music: Elegy
- Article: Registry Saga, Part 2: Intrepid Reporter-Driver Outlasts Chief
- Music: Epilogue
- Stories From My Favorate Planet: Music Alone (from track 1,3,5,7,9,11,13)
To hear short clips of music and narration of the Missing
Violin section, please click on the links below:Tango
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Musicians interested in performing Stories from My
Favorite Planet are invited to email the composer at
for information on receiving the score and parts.