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Posts from — July 2011

Cafe hopping (7/8)

Weekly roundup of (mostly) arts-related chatter around the web:

  • An evening with C.S. Lewis:This one-man show by David Payne gives a good feel for C.S. Lewis as a man and as a thinker.”
  • Biggest Mahler 8th ever? In Slovenia, Valery Gergiev recently conducted Mahler’s 8th with 1,140 musicians/singers — possibly the largest group ever. Here’s a spectacular set of photos from that performance.
  • Charles Wesley Modern Hymns: A group of musicians have put out Love Divine, a collection of modern takes on Charles Wesley hymns. You can sample it online. Bob Kauflin also has a helpful review.
  • Fungus-Treated Violin Outdoes Stradivarius: In a blind sound test, that is. No word on who was in the audience, though.
  • Singing bird pistols: This has to be one of the strangest ways to spend ~6 million.


July 8, 2011   No Comments

3 Reasons for a Chamber Music Concert

In about a month, I’ll be putting on a concert with several of my Seattle-area musician friends.

We’re calling it “7 by 10: An Exploration of Chamber Music by Numbers.” Our program concept is 7 pieces performed by 10 musicians, starting with a solo and adding a musician for each piece. So we’ll progress with a duo, trio, quartet and so on — ending with Maurice Ravel’s Introduction and Allegro for septet.

A few reasons for the concert:

Support Seattle classical radio.

The classical radio station in Seattle, 98.1 FM, recently transitioned to a listener-supported model. We wanted to do something to support the station, and putting on a benefit concert seemed like a logical — and fun — project for a bunch of musicians.

So, we’re not charging admission for this concert, but are asking for freewill donations to support Classical King FM 98.1.

My brother is starting music school in the fall.

My brother Tim is heading off to the Peabody Conservatory of Music this fall, and one day we were brainstorming ways he could prepare for school (in addition to insane practicing and reading my old theory textbook). Somehow the idea of getting experience planning a concert came up, and eventually the “7 by 10” concept emerged.

One of the most helpful opportunities I had as a music student was helping organize a number of student ensemble concerts. The experience of coming up with programs, finding venues, arranging rehearsals, marketing the event, and dealing with the many other details a single concert requires was a huge eye-opener. I definitely learned to appreciate artistic administrators; and all the skills I gained in that student position have proven useful as a working musician.

So my brother is diving headfirst into the world of concert organization and doing the bulk of the behind-the-scenes work for this event. Go Tim!

An excuse to play chamber music.

Practically all the classical musicians I know love playing chamber music. There’s fantastic repertoire. Each member of the ensemble has input regarding musical interpretation. The open, immediate onstage communication creates a unique vibrancy for both performers and audience. And to top it off — practicing involves hanging out with other people. Playing chamber music is easily one of my favorite parts of being a musician.

So if you’re in the Seattle area on Saturday, August 6th, join us for a good time. More information is available on our concert webpage and Facebook event.

Also — we are looking for a few volunteers to help out at the concert, specifically with taking pictures and running our recording equipment. If you’re interested, shoot me an email.

July 5, 2011   No Comments

Happy Fourth!

Happy Fourth of July! Thanks to my friend Chris Vaughn for that musical pun. I know you’re groaning. But you’re also laughing.

Here’s some music to help celebrate the occasion.

Take 6 – National Anthem

Ray Charles – America the Beautiful

4 Van Cliburn Winners – Stars and Stripes

July 4, 2011   No Comments

Redeemer of the plural

“Pentecost is Babel turned right side up: all speech is unified because it is God, no longer people, who is building toward the heavens.

The story of Pentecost goes further than its historical reality. It is also a parable that urges us into the knowledge that the gospel is comfortable in any culture and its message finds easy residence in the languages, cultural
ways and thought styles (but not thought systems) of countless societies. In other words, whoever seeks to move a culture towards transformation by Christ must join it, participating in the transformation from within.

God is not Western; God is not Eastern; God is not exclusively the God of classical culture or primitive culture; God is the Lord of the plethora, the God of the diverse, the redeemer of the plural. Likewise, God calls for
response in different languages, dialects, and idioms, accepting them through the Son. Pentecost tells us that one artistic tongue is only a start and a thousand will never suffice. There is no single chosen language or artistic
or musical style that, better than others, can capture and repeat back the fullness of the glory of God. This truism cannot be avoided. Cultures are not infinite. No single one can hold the wholeness of praise and worship or the
fullness of the counsel of God.”

– Harold Best, Music Through the Eyes of Faith


July 3, 2011   No Comments

Flame-throwing trombone

Can’t set off fireworks where you are? How about a flame-throwing trombone instead?

Caution: according to the video description, “It can be difficult to play since it has a recoil.”

July 2, 2011   No Comments

Cafe Hopping (7/1)

Happy Canada Day to my friends up north, and an early happy 4th to my fellow Americans. Here are some links for your holiday weekend:


July 1, 2011   No Comments