Thursday, October 23, 2008

Concert in Berlin

On 8 November 2008 I'll be participating in a benefit/memorial concert in honor of Barbara Thornton, founder of Sequentia, ensemble for medieval music, and director of the women's vocal ensemble, Vox Femina (of which I was a member), who died 10 years ago of a brain tumor, while Vox Femina/Sequentia was touring doing Ordo Virtutum by Hildegard von Bingen.  The concert proceeds will go to the German Brain Tumor Fund (die Deutsche Hirntumor Hilfe).

8 November 2008 8pm / 20:00
St. Johannes Evangelist Church
Auguststr. 90
Berlin, Germany

The concert is organized by my fellow Elysia, Allegra Silbiger, who had a close pupil/mentor relationship with Barbara. Several of the performers in the concert worked with Barbara at one time or another.

I can't believe that it has been 10 years already. It seems like yesterday, somehow. Her death, while we were all on tour, was hard to take. We all knew it was coming and we had all suffered through trying periods (the first tour half a year earlier), while Barbara was still working with us.  But she was a brilliant musician, a real work-horse and inspirational in many ways. She brought the world the music of Hildegard of Bingen in a way that made it immediate, not 900 years old. It was an honor to work with her and I hope that in some way she lives on through me.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Recent and upcoming narrations

I've been very busy with the new home lately, but I've still been doing the occassional narration for the StarShipSofa. Especially poetry. It's still a total blast and I'm looking forward to doing some more meaty stories soon. 

Here's a run-down of my recent bits on StarShipSofa:

- Like the First Morning, Cyril Simsa (Flash Fiction) Episode No. 43
- Fairytale Graveyard, Mikal Trimm (poetry) Episode No. 42
- Judy Resnick, Laurel Winter (poetry) Episode No. 40
- Tideline, Elizabeth Bear (Main Fiction) Episode No. 39
- Moon Over Baton Rouge, Atalanta Pendragonne (Flash Fiction) Episode No. 36
- Staying the Course, Mark Rich (poetry) Episode No. 33
- Goodbye is Meaningless, Laurel Winter (poetry) Episode No. 32

You can find the complete listing of Aural Delights segments here: StarShipSofa Aural Delights

Narrations you can look forward to in the future:
- Ancestor Money, Maureen McHugh (Fiction) - on PodCastle
- King's Man, Samantha Henderson (poetry) - on SSS
- Gunfight at the Sugarloaf Pet Food and Taxedermy, Jeff Carlson (fiction) - on SSS
- 3 Days in a Border Town, Jeff VanderMeer (Fiction) - on SSS
- View from a Height, Joan D. Vinge (Fiction) - on SSS
- More poetry from Laurel Winter, Mark Rich and Mikal Trimm

Also, I'm creating the role of a succubus on Chris Lester's Metamor City Podcast It's one of the first short stories that he released on his podcast, which he simply narrated himself. Once he's finished with Making the Cut (a full-lenghth novel) he'll go back and remaster the early stories. That's where I come in. :-)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Sorry, this post is very late. I forgot I never finished it or posted it!

So, I had my first audition in years the other day. I sang for 5 or 6 church musicians around Hannover. It was the strangest audition.

When I first arrived in Hannover I heard that there had just been one of these Audition-for-everyone-at-once sort of events, and that I'd missed it.  I called the office that organizes it to get the names of the musicians so I could contact them and audition for them personally. But no, the woman wouldn't give me that info! It's a German thing - Data privacy, dontcha know? Anyway, she put me on the list for the next one, which was on Tuesday.

I got a letter and a form to fill out about 6 weeks ago. In the letter it stated that they had had so many applicants that they could only allot each of us 6 minutes. Six Minutes?!? The next requirement was that we should sing 2 pieces. One from the standard baroque sacred music repertoire (ie an aria from a Bach Cantata or Oratorio). I'm sorry, but there isn't a single aria that is less than 5 minutes! That leaves 1 minute for the 2nd song. At best. Sigh.

In the end I chose to sing "Ich will Dir mein Herze schenken" from the St. Matthew Passion by Bach, which is a da capo aria, meaning I could skip the repeat of the A section, making it about 3 minutes long. It's relatively fast, has lots of sixteenth notes, shows a good range and has a few endless phrases which Bach is famous for, which I can do well. As my second piece I chose something contrasting, slow with long lilting phrases: Evening Hymn by Henry Purcell. The song is very long, but I figured if they didn't want to hear the rest they could stop me.

They didn't. Which I'm glad of. They were pretty stone-faced throughout my singing, but then when I thanked them and offered them my Curriculum Vitae or resume, they all smiled and seemed interested.

I was the first one on for the day, and I think they were still pretty unorganized (one of the musicians was late and came in during the Bach), so I didn't get any information as to when or if I might hear anything official.

I'm still waiting. I hope that's not a bad sign.  They've probably got singers lined up through Easter at least and so I don't really expect to hear about specific jobs until after Christmas, but it would be nice to get feed back.

We'll see!