Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Sometimes I’m slow about embracing new technology, and sometimes I’m the first one there. When I worked for Channel 13, I was the very first to buy a fax machine for the Great Performances unit. Until then, we had been using snail mail, FedEx and the Telex (remember the Telex?) to communicate with production companies all over the world.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
I’ve had quite the month. For the most part, I’ve been on a bus tour of Europe with the Bedroom Community label (Iceland). This label is unique in that the organizing principle is not really style or genre so much as quality, or interest or something.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
I have a thing for bagpipes--especially Spanish ones. Last night I heard Galician gaiteira extraordinaria Cristina Pato. She's a member of Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble, but this time, she was with her own ensemble, serving as ambassador to the 2010 Holy Year (Xacobeo) in Santiago de Compostela, one of the great pilgrimage sites of the world.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Do you remember when riding in a cab in New York often included either an interesting conversation with the driver or a pleasant listening experience via the car radio? These days it seems to be all about passengers on cellphones and the video screen on the back of the front seat that starts doing its thing the minute the ride begins--whether you like it or not!
Monday, May 10, 2010
A student recital I recently attended has really stayed with me. Such performances are music-school requirements, and to complete them successfully is a big relief for the performers, I’m sure. But there was a sense of exultation in the room after the senior recital of Rollin Simmons, a cantorial student at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and that feeling has continued to buoy up my spirits ever since.
Tuesday, May 04, 2010
I was rearranging some of my books recently and came across my copy of Kitchen Classics with the Philharmonic by my former WQXR colleague June Lebell (great book, btw). It made me think how important it is to have the right music playing when you are preparing meals.
Sunday, May 02, 2010
Recently the much loved opera tenor Placido Domingo stepped on stage into his 131st role at the age of 69 after undergoing colon cancer surgery. While he had given millions of opera lovers decades of joy and zillions of notes, how was he thanked? By being booed! People paid good money and sat for hours to see a super star in the world of opera return after a possibly life threatening illness--and he was booed!!
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
A few nights ago I saw a commercial for a video game called "Tom Clancy's Conviction." The ad depicted a father, automatic rifle in tow, walking through an abandoned town Wild, Wild West-style. Here’s the juicy part: the theme music in the ad was the spiritual “Run on for a Long Time.”
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Recently I went to see the play RED on Broadway. Because I knew that it was about the artist Mark Rothko, I spent some time reading about his life and work before I went. However, I did not read any reviews or informational pieces about the actual play until after I saw it. A couple of days after the performance, I had a ball reading as many reviews as I could find! For the most part, I found I agreed with the various critics. But, there was one who I felt missed the point of the show entirely. Interesting.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Recently I went to a birthday party where there was a piano. When asked to play, I had one piece in my fingers, the Op. 118 Intermezzo by Brahms--the Intermezzo isn't party music. That incident reminded me of a piano teacher saying "always have a piece in your fingers." In this case I needed two.