Friday, March 13, 2009

Stumble Audio

I just discovered that my CD "Silence" with lutenist Meinhard Gerlach is on Stumble Audio. This is a fun site, where you hear random tracks from CDs available on CD-Baby. You can give each track you hear a thumbs up or down and choose your favorite genre or listen completely randomly.

Silence can be found in the Contemporary section of the overall Classical genre. Here's a link to the song "Silence":

Title from Silence at Stumble Upon

And yes, we do get paid (granted it's peanuts!) for each play. From stumble audio you can click links to go to CD-Baby or Amazon or other sites to buy the album (or just listen to the whole thing). If you like what you hear, please don't forget to log-in and give it a thumbs up. I'd suggest pausing it or logging in early, because you can't back-track once the song is finished playing. If you end up at Amazon or CD-Baby, please write a review. We'd be eternally grateful!


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Upcoming events

A flurry of activity is marking my days lately. Well, relatively speaking anyway. Aside from teaching and recording for the StarShipSofa (and not much of that actually), I haven't done much the past few months. That has changed to a certain extent (I'm still not what a lot of people would call busy, and stress isn't really a part of my life at the moment, but, you know, it's all relative).

I will be singing for a wedding on March 21st. Weddings are small, low-key affairs for me. I usually sing 2 or 3 songs (in this case it's 2) and they are usually songs that are familiar to me and not too difficult technically. I'll be singing Amazing Grace and Climb Ev'ry Mountain (from Sound of Music) for this one. Had a bit of a hiccup when 2 days ago the organist called and said she is bowing out of playing these songs for the wedding. Huh? She said, the arrangements were not suited for the organ (well, I told her *that*) and she didn't want to play them. I think she thought that I had chosen the music I was to sing. I said to her, I have a hymn accompaniment for Amazing Grace which is certainly more suited to the organ, if that would help, but as for Climb Ev'ry Mountain, there is simply no other arrangement that I could find and I had hoped she would be able to cope. I was wrong. She simply flatly refused (2 weeks before the wedding I might add) and said she'd already spoken to another accompanist, one that had an electric piano that he could use. Fine with me, but is it fine with the Bride, I asked. Well, she hadn't spoken with her yet, but she would. So I called the new accompanist to arrange a rehearsal and discuss things with him. He asked me about his payment. What do I know? That's something he and the Bride and possibly the organist are going to have to work out. He told me the organist said I'd arrange that! Sheesh! She seems to live in la-la-land, this one! So, to make a short story even longer - it's all worked out now and I'm sure I'll prefer working with the pianist more than I would have the organist!

A couple of weeks ago I got a call, out of the blue, from a church musician in Wiesbaden, Germany for whom I've sung before. He wanted to know if I was free on April 4 to sing Bach's St. John Passion? I tried to remain calm, but in my mind I was saying, "Duh! I would be over-joyed, I would kiss your feet for giving me this opportunity, Thank God I'll get to sing a real concert again!" I told him, "Yes, I'm free and I'll be glad to sing for you again." Yippee! It's been about 2 years since I sang solo in an oratorio, and I tell ya, I've missed it.

So now, I've got my work cut out for me. I'll keep you posted.

I've recently finished recording a couple of stories for the StarShipSofa, which will be airing eventually. One was a story I've been working on for months. The Green Calling, by Storm Constantine. It's not that long, about 45 minutes total, but for some reason, I was have a really hard time with this one. I recorded most of it, got distracted and when I came back to it, I realized that it sucked. The accents were horrible and my narration was flat. I realized also that just recording the rest would not cut it either, because there'd be no way I could match the beginning to the end. So, I just re-recorded the whole thing. Then came the editing. Because I'd played with accents on this one (and the still suck, but not as much as before) I had a lot of flubbers to edit out. I can't say how many hours I spent on this one, but it was far and away the most of any story I've done so far.

Another story is Vinegar Peace - or the Wrong-Way, Used-Adult Orphanage by Michael Bishop. This is a great story. Mr. Bishop was motivated to write this story as a way of processing the grief over the death of his son in the shooting incident at Virginia Tech a few years ago. This is an event that was actually covered on the news here and I remember it distinctly. I corresponded with Mike a few times to work out some of the details and clear some things with him. He's a very gracious man and I enjoyed our exchanges. I had two songs to sing in this one and it's a powerful story. He also wrote a short commentary, which will follow the story when it airs on StarShipSofa.

Upcoming recordings are: 26 Monkeys by Kij Johnson - a Nebula Nominee! I'm really looking forward to this one; Poetry by Bruce Boston; Daughter of Botu by Eugie Foster - this one will be fun too, it's for PodCastle; Silence in Florence by Ian Creasey; and Project Mastodon a novel by Clifford Simak that I'm doing for SFAudio.