Hello and welcome to my ‘of interest’ page. This is a page where I would like to share all the beautiful, colorful and interesting things that I hear, see and encounter on my travels or just here on the infinite internet! I feel pretty lucky to be surrounded by an incredible community of musicians and artists that inspire me on a daily basis. Please check out their music, go to their shows and continue to feed into the live music community. We’re grateful for your support. I plan on this page having a frequent turn-around so check back in regularly and keep in touch with any questions or suggestions.
As a new resident of NYC, I recently took a trip to the Met where I was blown away by an installation by the South African artist William Kentridge. ‘The Refusal of time’ is a multi media, thirty-minute meditation on time and space. A heavy industrial sound-scape accompanies a mixture of kinetic sculpture, video images conveying scenes of colonialism, strikingly elegant movement and his own artistic involvement. The work was inspired by Peter Galison, a Harvard-based historian of science and his and Einstein’s observations on a 1905 paper on relativity. Kentridge’s career has spanned the worlds of theater and art and gained international acclaim for his thought provoking stop-motion animated films, developed from charcoal drawings. I actually had another recent encounter with Kentridge’s work when I went to see Shostakovich’s operatic setting of Gogol’s satirical story, The nose. Kentridge had both directed the opera and created the set designs which were the highlight of the show for me. Sinister paper-mache figures and incredibly intricate aerial sculptures which rotated, forming images as they moved. Just a gorgeous production and I was so thrilled to have a second collision with his vivid artistic world. One that I’d be happy to visit any time!
Here’s one of his short films called ‘Journey to the moon’
One of the most significant French composers of the 20th century, Olivier Messiaen wrote his piece ‘Quartet for the end of time’ while imprisoned in a prisoner-of-war camp in Gorlitz, Germany during the second world war. This piece uses the 7th movement in collaboration with artist Zack Smithey to create a moving and highly effective short film. The colors of the paint, hazy lighting and delicately paced feel of this production seem to reflect the subtlety of color and space that Messiaen was known for. Simply beautiful!
I recently read BRIDGE OF WAVES by William Allaudin Mathieu.
Composer, arranger, writer and educator, William Allaudin Mathieu’s has been hailed as one of the most influential musicians of his generation. Mathieu’s has had an incredibly diverse career as a composer, writing numerous chamber works and song cycles as well as arranging for the legendary orchestras of Stan Kenton and Duke Ellington. He’s written four books and founded the San Francisco Sufi choir alongside serving as a musical director and educator at institutions such as the Second City Theater in Chicago, the San Fransisco Conservatory of music and Mills College. I don’t read a whole lot of music philosophy books but this one blew my mind. It’s an exploration of the listening process and the effect and importance of music in today’s world. Far from being too heady, this book connects the most complex musical processes to our every day existence and focus’s in on the connecting and positive effect that music can have on all of our lives. This book will inspire musicians and non musicians alike! Check out Mathieu’s website at www.coldmountainmusic.com
My dear friend Jean Rohe is a brilliant Brooklyn based singer and songwriter. Her debut album is coming out this fall with a CD release concert happening at Joe’s Pub in NYC on October 21st. Jean is not only a natural musician and composer with a crystal clear voice. She has a very beautiful message which she weaves into her music, embodying the spirit of what art is all about. Here is her self penned national anthem, performed in Judson memorial church in Brooklyn with a whole bunch of wonderful local musicians: