Radio

A Radio Program

My German Brass Odyssey!

All last week, I was in the small town of Lichtenberg, Germany with my brass quintet, the Emerald Brass.  We were participating in an exciting event called "Rekkenze Brass Week."  It was sponsored by the Rekkenze Brass, a group of international brass players based out of Hof, Germany.  Read on for a summary of the highlights of the trip!
The Emerald Brass on the Marketplatz of Hof, GermanyThe Emerald Brass on the Marketplatz of Hof, Germany
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Preview of my musical journey to Germany next week!

From August 3 to 7, I'll be in Germany with my brass quintet (The Emerald Brass) attending a brass festival in this lovely house:
Haus MarteauHaus Marteau 
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Bringing opera to kids...NOT!

Dad was out of town at a college reunion, so we decided to take a trip to the movies to see the new Harry Potter with friends.  Lights go down, trailers start, and then...one began.  A young lad is climbing out of a taxi, ubiqitous ominous  music thudding under the images...well, you can see it for yourself.
 
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I'm caving to peer pressure

I promised myself I wouldn't do this.  I said: "Chris, if you do a blog for WXXI, you will not post any cute cat videos, or follow any Internet fads.  No Dancing Hamsters!" said I.
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I Lvoe Classicla Muisc

Let's be honest: spelling's hard.  If you're in second grade.  For a record company though, one would think this may not be the case.  But one would be dead wrong.
 
You see, I am made quite sad today: the release of a disc I have been anticipating for a long time has been delayed because someone forgot to spell-check the cover.
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Mistakes


I found this paperback in a used book store.  In The Art of Possibility, artist Rosamund Stone Zander and conductor Benjamin Zander touch on core issues of creativity and passion and offer practical ways to sustain a spark day after day, even when faced with difficult circumstances or unwilling teammates.
 
First of all, the Zanders recommend, make mistakes. Take risks. 
 
Benjamin Zander says composer Igor Stravinsky once turned down a bassoon player “because he was too good to render the perilous opening of The Rite of Spring.  This heart-stopping moment, conveying the first crack in the cold grip of the Russian winter, can only be truly represented if the player has to strain every fiber of his technical resources to accomplish it.  A bassoon player for whom it was easy would miss the expressive point.”
 
Stravinsky reportedly said, “I don’t want the sound of someone playing this passage.  I want the sound of someone TRYING to play it!”   Let's make more mistakes.
 
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A lovely shade of Bronze in the summertime

The email was delivered a few weeks back:  Backstage Pass was a finalist in the Radio division for New York Festivals.  We just didn't know what we won.  We waited.  The word came on Friday, and it was Bronze!
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My other piano is a V-8 supercar

It's no secret that I am an automobile nerd.  While I drive a humble 11-year-old Subaru with 172,000 miles on it, I always envision myself maneuvering an eight-cylinder, two-seated, rear-engined supercar with something called "sodium-cooled exhaust valves" and carbon-fiber cupholders.  Unfortunately these types of cars are expensive, and I play trombone and work for public radio--both admirable pursuits, but neither going to cover the cost of even one of the two dual-overhead camshafts I so desire.  Now, if you play the piano, then it's a different story!  No, you'll still be a starving artist, but at least you can play one of these:
Audi's $140,000 Bosendorfer grand pianoAudi's $140,000 Bosendorfer grand piano
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China likes us, they really like us!

The Erhu, from ChinaThe Erhu, from China
 In my hours of slaving over a hot computer every day, I came across two different views of how the Chinese are taking a liking to some of our art forms.  Apparently Western classical music is huge there, and so is...completely ripping off the styling of Western automobiles. 
ripped-off Rolls-Royceripped-off Rolls-Royce
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