Blog Posts on Music

Mathis, Zappa, and my night of enlightenment

Johnny Mathis meets Frank Zappa.  Hilarity ensues.

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Petty Wars

There’s a David Sedaris story called “Hejira.” As it begins, he tells us, "After six months spent waking at noon, getting high, and listening to the same Joni Mitchell record over and over again, I was called by my father into his den and told to get out." The record in question was, of course, “Hejira.” It also deals with leaving home, breaking off relations, migrating.  The title is an Arabic word referring to an earlier journey made by another soul who felt estranged - Mohammed's flight from Mecca to Medina in 622 AD.
 
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Eastman Opera Competition finalists

Practice rooms are a-buzz and butterflies will be flying as the eight finalists in the Eastman School of Music Friends of Eastman Opera Competition prepare for the finals on Saturday, November 22nd at 3:00 p.m.

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'Til There Was You

It began with a whisper of rain. You could hear wind in the leaves, trees creaking, a distant roll of thunder. The band took the stage and just started making noises, reacting to each other, exploring the pleasures of sound.

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Dead Shark

Remember that line from "Annie Hall," the one about a relationship being like a shark? "It has to constantly move forward or it dies," Alvy Singer observes. "And I think what we've got on our hands is a dead shark."
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The Path of the Musician

I just finished an article for the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra's newletter about musical entrepreneurship.  I soon found myself being reminded of how we musicians "do it" to make a living.

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Live from Hochstein welcomes new host & rebroadcast!

Today Classical 91.5 and the Hochstein Music School welcomed Chris Van Hof as the new host of Live from Hochstein.  Chris began learning the ropes from temporary host Brenda Tremblay, and very quickly was ready to take the reins.  Today, Chris welcomed the Kilbourn Saxophone Quartet to the Hochstein stage for a program of 20th Century music.  Listeners heard Jack Marshall's Goldrush Suite, Astor Piazzola's Cafe 1930, and Faustin & Maurice Jeanjean's Quatour pour Saxophones.

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Swing Ticket

Any undecided voters have surely heard enough about Obama and McCain by now, so as a public service, here's a stump speech from a very promising write-in candidate

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The Well-Tempered Clavier

"To me it means molecular harmony. To my father, it means a broken sewing machine. To Bach, it means an experiment in writing for every available key. To Bach's wife, it means money to pay his wig maker. Who's right? Individually, we all are. Generally, none of us are."

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Harvest

I got a crash course in organ donation a few days ago. There were some interesting medical and legal details but it was a simple bit of terminology that stayed with me. The removal of the kidneys or the heart or the lungs from a dead person for the purpose of transplantation is called "harvesting." I thought about digging up potatoes. I thought about the long hours of careful tending that lead up to a bountiful harvest...sowing the seeds, plowing the field. I thought about the Neil Young song Harvest, with that one line about "your mother in so much pain."

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