Recent comments

  • Attachment   10 years 28 weeks ago

    I thought of that, too, Andrew. Maybe she'll show up on my doorstop someday and want it back! Or maybe it contains a tiny camera recording everything it sees. Many of my favorite objects are accidental possessions. I think Meryl Cadell has a song about that. She goes through her stuff and recalls how each piece fell into her possession. Mostly randomly.

  • Attachment   10 years 28 weeks ago

    I like it. It brings new meaning to the term "found art."

    It's interesting to consider that, had the artist not discarded this item, it probably wouldn't have been appreciated nearly as much. I wonder if that thought crossed the artist's mind. After all, it wasn't left in a dumpster or trash can. Maybe they hoped it would be found and taken by someone.

  • Attachment   10 years 28 weeks ago

    There's a great metaphor in there somewhere!


  • Attachment   10 years 28 weeks ago

    I have an ear like your head. A friend in college fired a bust of someone and it exploded in the kiln. He gave all of his friends a piece, and so now I have a pink and black speckled ear that I hide somewhere in each new apartment. Right now it's in the nativity scene as a placeholder for baby Jesus until Christmas.

  • The Happiness Meme   10 years 28 weeks ago

    Alright, Brenda, here's 10 back at you:

    1. family, especially my husband and son
    2. friends, hanging out without caring about dust bunnies
    3. painting - the viscosity of the paint, the drag and slide on the support
    4. dogs - sniffs, squeezes, tail wagging, constant devotion
    5. chocolate (that should have made your list)
    6. jazzercise - especially the top of the green songs (the heart-pounding, maybe I'm overdoing it, but no, I can push more songs) + winning T-shirt contests
    7. color, everywhere, all the time, even in grungy places
    8. public radio - brain food, beautiful music, and favorite hosts like yourself and especially Mordecai (he always makes the music feel more a part of home; he is so warm)
    9. baking (esp. wheat bread, health cookies, and vegan cupcakes)
    10. doing something new

  • RPO, Grammys   10 years 28 weeks ago

    Your point is well-taken, Mark, but a Grammy is still a nice affirmation for any artist. And the money from extra sales doesn't hurt.

    This morning, the Eastman School sent out these names of other locally-connected contenders:

    Renée Fleming (MM ’83) received two nominations, in the Best Classical Album and the Best Classical Vocal Performance categories, for Homage: The Age of the Diva.

    Maria Schneider (MM ’85) is up for the Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album Grammy for Sky Blue and also for Best Instrumental Composition for her work “Cerulean Skies.”

    In addition, the album recording of The Greater Good, a work commissioned by the Eastman School’s Hanson Institute for American Music, is one of the works bringing Blanton Alspaugh a Classical Producer of the Year nomination. The opera was written by Stephen Hartke and received its world premiere at Glimmerglass Opera.

  • RPO, Grammys   10 years 28 weeks ago

    Winning a Grammy means exposure and more sales for the winner, but does anyone really look at the award as a legitimate measure of artistic merit? And if they do, do they agree that Milli Vanilli was really the Best New Artist of 1989?

  • Snow and Happiness   10 years 29 weeks ago

    I've been thinking about this lately. My kids are WAY better at having fun that I am.

  • Yes, we have no Endangered Bananas   10 years 29 weeks ago

    The pictures are great! So is your writing.

  • The Happiness Meme   10 years 29 weeks ago

    Random things that make me happy, no order
    1. making lists
    2. attempting a new recipe
    3. Alexander McCall Smith books
    4. mail
    5. an incredible bargain
    6. get my hair blown dry at the salon
    7. listening to records
    8. Stephen King's back page articles in Entertainment Weekly

    4th floor tagged: Joy, Andy, Tim, Shelley, Suzie, Carol and Dinh.

  • Kids & Computers   10 years 30 weeks ago

    A site that I would highly recommend is Puzzlemaker at Discovery Education. This site allows you to input information and create your own word searches, math squares, mazes, hidden messages and other popular puzzles. All puzzles are free to print and most have printable answer keys as well.

    After doing a bit of research, a few other sites that are highly recommended by their users are:
    Best Crosswords, which contrary to its name, has a variety of printable puzzles. has a wide range of online puzzles as well as a Web Guide for puzzle and game websites.
    Family Shopping Bag lists word searches, cut-out puzzles, tic-tac-toe, connect the dots and holiday puzzles to print for free.

    I hope that the above sites help you find what you were looking for- enjoy!

  • Kids & Computers   10 years 30 weeks ago

    You mentioned in your blog, Julie, that November 18-24 was Nat'l Game and Puzzle Week. Do you have a great website where one can find printable puzzles for fun?

  • the classical flipside   10 years 30 weeks ago

    From its conception in 2002, Quartsemble has sought ways to bring chamber music to new audiences and to promote arts education. Performing in different venues has been an enlightening and inspiring experience to me as a musician. I have been amazed to see how open our listeners are to a variety of music, and my expectations about the tastes and responses of our audience have been dismantled. It has given Quartsemble an entirely new perspective about how we program and perform chamber music.

    The power of playing at venue like a club is that the audience comes without preconceived expectations. When Quartsemble plays at the Flipside, there is no published program. We loosely plan several sets, but we might change based on the mood of the audience, and we may even take a request or two. I love the fact that I can play chamber music for an audience I can interact with. These performances have a level of intimacy, intensity, and friendliness which is unique. The audience is free to be emotional with us as we play. Clapping in between movements is welcome, yelling Bravo after someone plays a virtuostic lick is ok.

    In contrast, I love the silence and suspense as we begin to perform in a concert hall. I love a space that has an acoustic which is a blank canvas for us to paint with sound. I love that the audience has come because they can’t wait to hear a piece of music they already know, and they want to hear us recreate the sounds that they love.

    The joy of playing chamber music at a variety of venues is that each experience is unique for performers and audience alike. We don’t necessarily prefer one over the other because every performance allows us to grow, increases our creativity, and strengthens our connection with our audience.

    Since Quartsemble feels enriched by performing in casual and intimate settings as well as in formal concert halls, an ultimate goal for us is that our diverse audience members are able to enjoy the music we perform everywhere.

    Diego Garcia
    Quartsemble Cellist

  • Running with Steve Reich II   10 years 30 weeks ago

    Thanks for forwarding the NY Times article. I hadn't seen that one, but I'd heard that some races were banning iPods. I'm a little conflicted about my own use, and I don't always run with mine. There's the safety issue (I might get run over by a bus or grabbed by a mugger) and there's the hearing loss issue. Since I started using ear buds in 2006, I think my sensitivity to sound has weakened a little. But that's hard to track: I haven't ever had my hearing checked, and there are other factors that might be affecting it such as being on the radio, using head phones, and hearing loud music blasted on big speakers where I work out.

    Like a smoker, I can make up all kinds of excuses. iPod gives me energy . . . iPod makes me feel less lonely and sad . . . iPod is my friend. Sounds pathetic, I know. Maybe you should try it.

  • the classical flipside   10 years 30 weeks ago

    Karine's response reflects a passion for performing and connecting with non-traditional classical audiences that's inspiring. Live from Hochstein host Mordecai Lipshutz said he was impressed by the size of the crowd at their recent lunch-time concert. I heard this dynamic group a few years ago perform with Madrigalia. Their next gig at the Flipside is December 16th. It sounds like you'll have to go early to get a seat!

  • Running with Steve Reich II   10 years 30 weeks ago
  • the classical flipside   10 years 30 weeks ago

    Quartsemble is committed to nurturing the art of playing, preserving, and composing chamber music in all of its forms, and to valuing our diverse chamber music audiences by performing dynamic concerts in intimate and unexpected settings. We play Beethoven and Mozart side by side with tangos and Beatles tunes.

    Quartsemble does not want to be defined by one type of venue any more than we want to be defined by one genre of music. We are expressive and flexible by nature. As a group, we want to communicate the beauty of the music we play and we want to connect with our audience.

    We try to share performances with those less likely or unable to attend concerts in traditional venues, and we search out ways to incorporate educational and community building aspects into performances, seeking to cross lines of race, class, age, and culture to help unify the diverse members of the Rochester community through music.

    We love to play in bars, parks, churches, schools, private homes, and concert halls and have found that people enjoy listening to music in all of these places. We have to turn people away from the Flipside because it is too small to accommodate our fans, but we love being so close to our audience. We like to talk with them at the break, and we love the casual atmosphere. Beethoven, Turina, Mozart and Dvorak are received with as much enthusiasm as Diego’s tango arrangements and our favorite pop songs when we play at the Flipside.

    We have found that classical music is far from dead or dying. We had not just “a few” community members but actually quite a large and enthusiastic crowd at our Live From Hochstein performance last week. We were happy to see several of our Flipside regulars at Hochstein smiling up at us from the front row. We were also happy to see a few RPO musicians, some stalwart classical concert goers, and even several school music teachers venturing out to our recent Flipside performances.

    We are not, by the way, a string quartet. Without Gaelen, our bass virtuoso, we would not be able to play most of our repertoire. To quote a recent review of Quartsemble: Tango, “she is the heartbeat of Quartsemble…” (see review at http://www.allabout php/article. php?id=27600.) We also love the singers, dancers, narrators, and instrumentalists with whom we routinely collaborate.

    We feel proud that our Tango CD is loved by real estate agents, restaurant owners, city police, bus drivers, classical musicians, jazz musicians, tango dancers, music students and teachers alike. We are passionate about performing, teaching, and sharing great music with everyone in the Rochester community in a wide variety of settings.

    Karine Stone
    Violinist and Executive Director of Quartsemble

  • Running with Steve Reich   10 years 31 weeks ago

    Tell Brenda I read her blog and am glad she runs to my music. That's a good use for it. She also points out how classical music; doesn't keep a steady beat and is no good for running. Well, tell her that's true for Brahms, Mahler and many other romantic composers of the 19th century, but she should give JS Bach a shot. Something as easy to find as the Brandenburg Concetos. He - if correctly played - certainly keeps a steady beat and would seem like a natural joy to run to.

    All best,

  • Running with Steve Reich   10 years 31 weeks ago

    I didn't anticipate running to Steve Reich. It was only after I got the album that it occured to me it would be great excerise music. I think it's the percussion that works for me, so Vivaldi might not. I'd like to know what you think of the Reich if you have the inclination to explore. You seem to have excellent taste in music. I'm working on the perfect work-out playlist, so please send the names of your top recommendations. I'm finding myself a little bored with the same stuff I've been listening to. I have no aforementioned familiarity requirement!

  • Running with Steve Reich   10 years 31 weeks ago

    When I exercise I tend to listen to albums, favorites that I know by heart. This is because my morning ride lacks the interesting scenary - it's in my basement on the stationary bike. That's why I like music that I know so well - the songs become the landmarks along the way. Lately I have been stuck on Foo Fighters, but I go with classic rock (e.g. AC/DC) and some 80's modern rock standards (New Order, EMF). I don't necessarily need a fast tempo, as long is consistent throughout a song I can assign some number of turns to it and stay moving. I haven't thought of classical music to ride to. Maybe The Four Seasons (mine is Gil Shaham with Orpheus) would fit my aformentioned familiarity requirement....

  • Running with Steve Reich   10 years 31 weeks ago

    I've been reading Alex Ross' blog and was happy to see Roberta Flack mentioned. Alex excerpts a Jason King essay that refers to Roberta's "predilection for spaciousness". If you want a good example, you should listen to "Quiet Fire". It features what I consider to be the definitive reading of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and a hypnotic and heartbreaking version of Van McCoy's "Sweet Bitter Love", neither one much good for running, I'm afraid.

  • the classical flipside   10 years 32 weeks ago

    I saw this band open for someone at Water Street last year and thought they were great. The crowd seemed to really enjoy it. The group's made up of three cellists and a percussionist and they call themselves a rock band, but one that combines "the beauty of classical music with the energy and chaos of rock". It could just as easily be the beauty of rock and the energy of classical. Maybe that's the point.

  • culture clash   10 years 32 weeks ago

    It was OK. They sang a song I can't think of at the moment - a familiar carol that they recorded with Sarah McLachlan several years ago. In the middle of it, one of the singers said, "Please welcome... Sarah McLachlan!!" The camera scanned the excited crowd. You could see one flabbergasted young woman saying, "No way! No way!". Then they cut back to the stage and the singer said, "Wouldn't that be great? That would be awesome if she was here!" or something to that effect. Got a big laugh.

    Anyway, the crowd did look younger than your average Boston Pops crowd, even compared to other shows I've seen with guests like Alison Krauss. There was some patter between Keith Lockhart and the band members before the song so maybe he scored some points with the kids. Who knows if he lost any with the usuals.

    Boston Globe reviewer Joel Brown found BNL and the Pops to be a good combination, since "both aim for crowd-pleasing fun rather than deep artistic exploration." He also mentioned a Pops show with My Morning Jacket, which is an even more intriguing match.

  • Reading + Writing + Family = Loads of Fun!   10 years 32 weeks ago

    My daughters are 17 and 12 now. Both avid readers, but only the younger one still feels like reading with her dad on occasion. Your suggestions for younger readers made me fondly recall several books by Michael Dorris. "Guests" is particularly timely. It tells a Thanksgiving story through the eyes of a young native boy. "Sees Behind Trees" and "Morning Girl" are also set within indigenous cultures. "The Window" is a modern tale but also worth a read. For me the books were remarkable because they didn't talk down to kids, gave them credit for profound and subtle feelings, and acknowledged that life can be very difficult. And the writing is just beautiful.

  • the savage breast   10 years 32 weeks ago

    Funny notes! And a beautifully clear explanation of why you love to sing. The effort does end up being worth it (one hopes) for that sense of community, I agree.
    Ta, Suzi

    PS "All WL Sheep" note made me laugh very, very hard. Now it's going through my head though. Back to the iTunes for some Threepenny Opera!