The Singing Man

Photo: Aeioux– A Man Passes on a Bicycle It’s 4 o’ clock and the Singing Man has just gone by. Every day at around this time, a man rides by our house on his bicycle singing long, luscious tenor notes. The first few times, I thought it must be someone drunk –a sad reflection of …

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Music and Consciousness

Photo: Ange Four Seasons– Autumn http://www.flickr.com/photos/gallettas_pics/ I turn on the car radio to a blast of sound from KCRW, our great local indie station. My tastes are eclectic these days, partly thanks to Robert, but today I’m not in the mood to be blasted out of my seat. Instead, I switch to Classical KUSC. Instantly, …

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Salaam

Just got back from a fantastic concert of Persian, Armenian and Arabic music by the Salaam Ensemble, right here in Ojai. Led by the multi-talented John Zeretzke, these world-class players assembled a couple of years ago at the request of the Music Center of Los Angeles and have since performed in concert and also in …

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Artistic Intimacy

I was completely stunned by two video excerpts I saw yesterday on the ubiquitous youtube of Dawn Upshaw singing Messiaen‘s “Saint Fran├žois d’Assise”, directed by Peter Sellars. (I’m indebted to Alex for posting one on his blog). The excerpts show the rehearsal process, Dawn’s valiant struggles with the virtuosic music and Peter guiding, encouraging and …

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Leonard Bernstein lives

When I was studying at the Guildhall in the 80’s, I had the fortune to hear a talk by the late, great Leonard Bernstein. I don’t remember the content now as much as I remember his extraordinary charisma. He was the most wonderful speaker– relaxed, intelligent, warm, provocatively interesting… We all, male and female, fell …

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Performer as Composer

I thoroughly enjoyed Stephen Hough‘s article in today’s Guardian about the relatively recent separation of the roles of composer and performer. It is only since starting to improvise and compose over the last ten years that I realize how my education was so separatist in that regard, both at school and university– “composing was for …

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Platypus

I recently returned from a trip to Sydney, and was drawn as usual to the fabulous wildlife. Here’s my first attempt at videoing my favorite Australian inhabitant– the duck-billed platypus. When underwater, playpuses (platypi?) close their ears, eyes and nose and navigate by a kind of radar. They are monotremes, which are egg-laying mammals, and …

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