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, Germany
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.
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.
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!
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: