Saturday, February 18, 2017

The wine-dark sea

This new(ish) work for winds and percussion by John Mackey is based on three episodes from Homer's Odyssey. The first movement "Hubris" is a big exciting portrait of Odysseus and crew setting off boldly... and being shipwrecked. The second movement "Immortal thread, so weak" is the love story of Odysseus and Calypso. I think it's my favorite. I'm currently in rehearsal waiting on pins and needles for the harpist to arrive. It's primarily a magical duet for harp and clarinet and I can't wait. The third movement "The attentions of souls" is about the crew's journey to the mouth of the underworld. I'm happy to be a percussion instrument in this movement because we get to do all kinds of spooky things.

It's my first time playing Mackey, my first time playing at Dartmouth, and it had been too long since I last played in the percussion section of a big ensemble. It's awesome. If you're in the area, come join us in Spaulding Auditorium, Dartmouth College (Hanover NH) at 2pm tomorrow Sunday Feb 19.





Monday, October 10, 2016

House concert in Boston through Groupmuse - playing with Robert Bekkers, classical guitarist

I've been following the activities of Groupmuse for a couple of months now. It looks really cool -- it's an organization that makes it easy for music lovers to host chamber music concerts in their homes. Now I'll be playing one so I'll get to find out what they are really like.

Classical guitarist Robert Bekkers and I will team up at a house in Boston on Saturday night Oct 22 at 7pm. We'll play the Rondos Op. 68 by Giuliani, one movement of the Arpeggione Sonata by Schubert, and the Fantasia by Castelnuovo-Tedesco. And possibly one or two solo pieces to be added later.

It's a house, so spots are limited, and you have to reserve one. Here's where to do it:
https://www.groupmuse.com/events/4167-interlude-on-aldworth/rsvps/how
And here is a sneak peek at how Robert sounds on the Fantasia:
https://pages.groupmuse.com/guitar-solo

Papa Papa Papa Papa Papageno

This June, Amherst Ballet and Bill Venman are teaming up to present a ballet of Mozart's "The Magic Flute." I have always, ALWAYS, wanted to be in the pit for this opera. It being a ballet just makes it better; it being Amherst Ballet makes it perfect. I don't know much yet about the production beyond the dates (June 8-10, 2017) and the location (Academy of Music, Northampton MA). However, Bill keeps asking me if I'm sure I'm doing it, so at least this post will make it a matter of public record.

Also, Papageno's aria. With a good view of the pit which I have always coveted

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Night Spirit update (and the other WIP recording)

Had a great day in the studio today with Beethoven Op. 90 and Chopin Nocturne Op. 48 no. 2. Some cicadas singing outside. We'll see if they make it onto the record or not.

I realized I never posted my other WIP recording here -- of the beautiful Debussy prelude Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir -- so here it is! I decided on a tempo change after hearing myself on this recording. It will be a bit faster on the album. This is the kind of piece where you have to move around the keyboard so much that it feels like you're playing faster than you actually are.


Friday, May 13, 2016

Chamber music with Scott Slapin, Tanya Solomon & Kaila Graef, Sunday in Amherst

Hope you can come join us for an afternoon of chamber music by South Hadley violist and composer Scott Slapin!
This free concert is also the CD release party for Violacentric Sonatas (see two posts below for some sample clips.)

Lots of superb duos for Scott and Tanya on viola.
I'll be joining them on piano for the Trio Sonata.
Kaila Graef will be playing violin.

3pm Sunday May 15 at the Unitarian Universalist Society in downtown Amherst.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Night Spirit WIP recording #1 (add your feedback!) - Fauré Barcarolle no. 4 in A flat major

I am preparing some music for a new album called Night Spirit.
It is music that follows the quiet, melancholy, strange, and vulnerable path of a thoughtful heart at night. Debussy, Coleridge Taylor, Shostakovich (pending getting the rights), Beethoven, Harizanos, Chopin, Fauré and hymn improvisations.

I am sharing some work-in-progress recordings in the hopes that others will find this music interesting and share their thoughts and feedback!

(These WIPs are home recordings made on a tablet. The album will be recorded in a studio by a professional engineer.)


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Violacentric Sonatas by Scott Slapin - Video preview

Take a first look at the CD! And get to enjoy Scott & Tanya's beautiful playing on all the clips of the duo pieces. (The trio sonata is in here too.)