Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Catching you up

I've been too busy, or rather, I've been held captive by a little boy a lot over the past 3 - 4 weeks and haven't been able to blog about events! So, here's it all in brief:

The group I've been singing with, Raggio di Sol, performed at the Hannover Choir Festival, which took place in the Gallery Hall at the Herrenhäuser Gardens here in Hannover. We did 3 Monteverdi madrigals, Verleih uns Frieden by H. Schütz, and Riu, riu, chiu. We were mentioned in the general review of the festival as one of the highlights. Yay!

I was able to attend Carol's (Baggott-Forte) Masterclasses in Hamburg because someone cancelled with short-ish notice. Of course, the day I left, I woke up with the same throat ick that Dante had had for a week or so. It was ok for the first 3 lessons but the 4th was pretty useless. It was great to see Carol and also the other participants, most of whom I know from previous Masterclasses around Europe. We are a dedicated bunch.

Sang a wedding, near Hannover, filling in for my friend Andrea Doig, a dedicated wedding singer, who got sick. Kind of a new experience for me singing to Karaoke in a church wedding, but that's what they'd hired Andrea to do and so I did my best, singing Caro mio ben, Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah and Widmung by Schumann (instead of Somewhere Over the Rainbow, which is impossible to find in a higher key as karaoke). This was also my first venture driving a car from Stadtmobil, the local CarSharing company. A bit nerve-wracking, but all went well enough. 

I recorded a Flash Fiction story for Tony Smith of StarShipSofa, very last-minute, rush-rush, hush-hush for a Sekrit Projekt he's working on. It's like to run in the feed of StarShipSofa as a bit of teasing. I hope I notice when it's up. For such a spontaneous thing, I'm quite proud of it. I recorded and edited it in less than an hour, the same day Tony asked! Yay me! I hope it's not awful! ;-)

Still working on the next Poetry Planet on the theme of Time Travel. I'm pretty sure I won't manage to finish before Christmas, so I apologize to all the poets whose poetry will be included. It will come out eventually!

Heading off to Italy for almost 3 weeks, where I'm going to become an Aunt again! Magnus' sister is due to have her first child on Dec. 19 and I'm looking forward to cuddling a tiny baby again.

So I wish all of you a beautiful holiday season, whichever holiday you celebrate. Enjoy your families, listen to good music and count your blessings - I'm blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life and to be able to pursue and do the things I love. Thank you for being a part of that!

See you in the New Year!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Poetry Planet No. 4 "Coming Home" live on StarShipSofa

Finally, after many trials and tribulations, the "Coming Home" edition of Poetry Planet has gone live on StarShipSofa Episode No. 208

This is a biggun! With 11 poems and some news it comes in at about 35 minutes of aural delight! You'll hear poetry by Ann K. Schwader, Terrie Leigh Relf, Melissa Frederick, Lyn C. A. Gardner, Rachel Swirsky, David Kopaska-Merkel, Joanne Merriam, Dennis M. Lane, Rich Magahiz, Mari Ness, Geoffrey A. Landis, Mikal Trimm and Amal El-Mohtar. Please follow the links below to visit a poet's blog or website, read or buy the poem that ran in the show or buy their most recent collection! They'll appreciate your support!

Ann K. Schwader - Yaddith Times LiveJournal , Twisted in Dream
Terrie Leigh Relf - Sam's Dot Publishing
Melissa Frederick - Chapbook "She"
Lyn C. A. Gardner - Dreaming of Days in Astophel
Rachel Swirsky - Through the Drowsy Dark
David Kopaska Merkel - Dreams and Nightmares Magazine , The Tin Men (with Kendall Evans)
Joanne Merriam - Upper Rubber Boot Books , Seven By Twenty
Dennis M. Lane - Film Talk
Rich Magahiz - There and Back Again
Mari Ness - At Tor.com
Geoffrey A. Landis - Sultan of the Clouds (Story on StarShipSofa No. 201)
Mikal Trimm
Amal El-Mohtar

Mentioned in the News section of the short were:

SFPA Annual Online Halloween Poetry Reading
Bruce Boston, Surrealities
Maria Alexander, At Louche Ends
Necronomicon, Horror Convention, St. Petersburg, FL Oct. 21 - 23, 2011
Regular poetry reading events in Toronto, Canada


Friday, September 30, 2011

Carol Baggott-Forte teaching in Germany again

My teacher, Carol Baggott-Forte is returning to Germany and France to do 7 weeks of master classes. Yippee!!

Here are the details:

The Liberated Voice
Master Class Season 2011-2012
Carol Baggott-Forte

cours individuels de technique vocale  / Formation de Formateurs (Lyon)
individual singing technique lessons  / Teacher's Training (Lyon)
Einzelunterricht in Gesangstechnik / Lehrerausbildung (Lyon)

  • Week 1, Hamburg: 8 - 12 November 2011
  • Week 2, Hamburg: 15 - 19 November 2011
Place: Studio Almut Stäglich
Address: Stresemannstr. 140a/Courtyard, 22765 Hamburg

  • Week 3, Iserlohn: 29 November - 03 December 2011
Place: Studio VokalForum
Address: Sporenstr. 38, 58644 Iserlohn

  •   Week 4, Bremen: 17 - 21 January 2012
Place: Sophie Drinker Institut http://www.sophie-drinker-institut.de
Address: Außer der Schleifmühle 28, 28203 Bremen 

  •   Week 5, Wiesbaden: 24 - 28 January 2012
Place: Wiesbadener Musikakademie
 Address: Schillerplatz 1 – 2, 65185 Wiesbaden
  •   Week 6, Lyon: 8 - 12 February 2012
  •   Week 7, Lyon: 15 - 19 February 2012
Place: Centre de la Voix Rhône-Alpes
Address: Les Passerelles – Parc d’activités de Gorge du Loup, 24 Av Joannès Masset, 69009 Lyon.

Infos et Inscriptions / Details and Application / Auskunft und Anmeldung

The Liberated Voice

I'm hoping to go to Bremen at the very least and hopefully a few days of Hamburg as well.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Alles was ihr tut - Benefit Concert

Saturday, 10 September 2011 marked the culmination of many hours of rehearsal and preparation, in the form of the benefit concert for Chile post Earthquake 2010. The director of Raggio-di-Sol, the vocal ensemble I've been singing with lately, comes from a German-Chilean family, so this was close to his heart. He went all out and managed to get extra singers to fill out the choir in tutti places; an excellent mini-orchestra of 2 violins, 2 violas, cello, organ and harpsichord, who all played for the benefit; instrument transportation and tuning at reduced rates or free and no rent on the concert space (a church). The church was pretty full. I'd say there were probably 130 - 140 people there. 12 of them were friends/colleagues/pupils of mine. I'm glad that some of my friends finally got to hear me sing solo! The church (Friedenskirche, Hanover, Germany) was an actually lovely little modern church with a wood interior. The acoustic was a bit weird empty, but warm and clear and lovely with an audience. The program: Alessandro Scarlatti - Quadro in A minor for recorder, strings and basso continuo Michael Praetorius - Kyrie à 6 XXII - Gloria à 4 XVII Thomas Tallis - Salvator Mundi Nos. 1 and 2 Claudio Monteverdi - Nisi Dominus Heinrich Schütz - Verleih uns Frieden Michael Praetorius - Kyrie à 6 XVIII Andreas Hammerschmidt - Wie lieblich sind Deine Wohnungen, Herr Zebaoth J. S. Bach - Arie "Wohlzutun und mitzuteilen" for Baritone from Cantata No. 39 G. Ph. Telemann - Sute in A minor for Alto recorder, strings and basso continuo Dietrich Buxtehude - Kantate "Alles was ihr tut" J. S. Bach - Recit. and Duet (Soprano and Baritone) and Chorale from Cantata No. 79 It was a lovely program with a LOT of wonderful rather unknown stuff. But WAY too long. Over 2 hours. But the audience was indulgent and gamely clapped while Alfredo passed out roses to each and every participant. -------

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Poetry Planet No. 3 "Rhysling Award Showcase"

I've done it. I've finally managed to finish another Poetry Planet! I pre-empted the planned theme for this edition because I lost the complete recording and didn't want too much time to pass before I podcast the Rhysling Award winning (and placing) poems.

Poetry you'll hear:

CSE Cooney, Dogstar Men (3rd place, short form)
Robert Frazier, Wreck-diving the Starship (3rd place, long form)

Karen A. Romanko, Binary Creation Myth (2nd place, short form)
Bruce Boston, Dark Rains Here and There (2nd place, long form)

Amal El-Mohtar, Peach-Creamed Honey (winner, short form)
CSE Cooney, The Sea King's Second Bride (winner, long form)

They are all wonderful poems - wonderous, whimsical, erotic, funny, wry, sentimental. Those are some of the words I'd use to describe these poems. Go listen to them. You can find them at StarShipSofa Show No. 202.


Monday, September 05, 2011

Singing Hildegard in Poland

This is really seriously after the fact, and I apologize, but no one ever accused me of being timely, so there you have it!

My good friend and colleague, Allegra Silbiger (a member of my girl-group Elysium), asked me to fill in for a singer in her ensemble for medieval vocal music, "Diadema", for a pair of concerts near Krakow, Poland. I thought about it for about 2 seconds, said yes, and then wondered how I was going to manage with the Boy.

As it turned out, it was even more difficult to find someone to babysit than originally anticipated because the concerts were in the middle of the school summer vacation in Lower Saxony and all my regular girls were away. However, one had a friend who was still in town and we were able to have her babysit on a teaching day before I left, so that Dante could get to know her a bit.

So, at about noon on Thursday I left home first for Berlin to meet up with the other women in the ensemble and fly onward to Krakow. Magnus was traveling until I don't remember when that day. The train and air travel all went off without a hitch and we arrived at the Tyniec Abbey (full of Benedictine Monks), where we were staying and singing on Sunday, 25 July 2011, at dinner time, albeit a bit late.

We were shown our rooms and advised that the doors to the guest house are locked at 9:30pm and that if we were going to leave the building that we should be sure to return closer to 9:00pm. Silence was to be observed after 10pm. Morning bells would ring at 5:45 and breakfast would be from 7:30 to 8:30. Phew! It was going to be a restful weekend! And I wondered if I would be able to spend even a couple of hours visiting Krakow, "Poland's most beautiful city"? More on that later.

The rooms were small but clean and serviceable. I did, in fact, go to sleep around 10:30 every night and slept until 7:30 (with a brief interruption for the bells) so I did come home pretty rested! Woot! We were fed in the refectory, but women were not allowed to eat with the Monks. They were somewhere else. Unfortunately, 2 of 3 meals consisted of bread (pasty white stuff mostly), cheese, cold cuts, tomatoes and cucumbers. Lunches were hot and quite tasty, but it took me merely a day and a half to realize that I wasn't going to see a fresh fruit for 5 days and so I went into the village and bought some. Which was delicious. Fresh and regional peaches! Mmmmmh!

We rehearsed most of the day on Friday, in the concert hall in the beautifully renovated/remodelled building where the guest house was as well. Considering we had only rehearsed together the one time in Berlin, it went very well. To our credit, the others in the group have sung together numerous times, Allegra and I are like a two-headed, Hildegard-singing monster, and I'd done the Benefit concert in Barbara Thornton's honor a couple of years ago with them and other add-ons as well. I guess it shouldn't have been such a surprise. Nevertheless, I did feel a bit like I didn't know a couple of the pieces well enough, but that soon passed.

The weather sucked. Except for Saturday, which was at least sunny, if not exactly warm. After the concert on Saturday we sat out on the patio of the cafe on the premises (closed by that time) and watched the sun set spectacularly.

The Saturday concert was at the Benedictine Convent about a half hour's drive from Tyniec. The tiny church had a very interesting acoustic, which was a bit hard to suss. The place was filled pretty much and the audience included about 10 children under the age of 8, who were unbelievably well-behaved. I guess all that church-going trains them pretty well. The performance went very well and we were satisfied. We got a standing ovation. A Consul from the German Consulate in Krakow and her family were in attendance and we spoke to them at length. They were pleasantly surprised and taken with the music, which they'd never heard.

Sunday's concert was at Tyniec in this beautiful hall. The acoustic was wonderful for Hildegard and vocal music. It was a pleasure to sing there.


Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Pending Poetry Planet Projects

I suppose, being on vacation would mean I'd have gotten around to posting about this sooner, but sand is no place for an iPhone. And I still have a 2 year old to look after once in a while!

ANYWAY, PP No 3 "coming home" has been significantly delayed. Had a snafu with Audacity while editing and had to revert to a back-up version which was unedited. That happened 10 days before going on vacation and I spent 5 of those singing in Poland. Nevertheless, it will go live as soon as I can finish editing it and submit it to Tony.

In other news, I had the brilliant idea to podcast the top 3 poems in each category of the 2011 Rhysling Awards. I went about gathering permissions, bios and back-stories and am eased to say it's all set! I had huge problems getting in touch with Robert Frazier because my ISP apparently sets off some spam filter function and rejects my email. Just like that. Luckily, Bruce Boston came to the rescue and acted as middle man. I'm hoping to get that show done before the end of August.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Poetry Planet No. 3 and concerts

Oh NOOOO! Editing the rough recording of the next Poetry Planet for StarShipSofa and Audacity crashed. Thought I'd only lost about 2 minutes of work, because I'd been a good girl and saved after almost every change. No such luck. Upon reopening the file Audacity claimed it couldn't open it (or the back up file) because there was no data on it. AAARRRGH! Luckily there was some other back-up file of the same recording, but it was the rough recording with none of the edits. Arrrrgh. Well, it could've been worse. I might've had to re-record everything....

In other news, today I leave for Poland. I'm singing 2 concerts with women's medieval singing group Diadema, directed by my good friend Allegra (from Elysium). We will be singing at this beautiful convent near Krakow. The program will consist mostly of music by one of my favorite composers and historical figures: Hildegard of Bingen.

Then I have a few days at home and it's off to the Italian seaside for 2 weeks in the sun! Yippee!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

List of Podcast appearances

OK, I've been at this awhile but it's only just occurring to me that I should start an (as yet incomplete) running list of my podcast appearances complete with links, etc. Here it is with the most recent first:


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Report: Raggio di Sol - Concert "Colors of Life"/"Farben des Lebens"

Raggio di Sol gave a concert on Pentecost Monday (as it's called here). The first one since I joined the group. The concert went well but not without more than it's fair share of drama before-hand. One of our female singers, and alto, got into a fairly serious bicycle accident after our penultimate regular rehearsal. She spend several days in the hospital, underwent surgery on her arm and suffered from a mild concussion. It was clear that she wasn't going to be able to perform, so Alfredo asked one of the singers who's supplementing the ensemble in September's big benefit concert to fill in. As fate would have it, she came down with the flu and had no voice, so had to cancel at the last minute. Such it is with singers. You just can't sing if you have some infection in the upper airways!

So, what were we to do? Some of the pieces we couldn't shuffle the rest of us around to fill in the gab, so they got axed, others we could. This is the program we were left with:

Pierrre Attaignant (1530) - Tourdion
Thoinot Arbeau - Pavane
Michael Praetorius (1571 - 1621) - Kyrie XXII
- Gloria XVII
G. P. da Palestrina (1525 - 1594) - Sicut cervus
Orlando di Lasso (1532 - 1594) - Lebensregel
Mateo Flecha? (1481 - 1553) - Riu, riu chiu

Thomas Morley (1558 - 1603) - Hard by a Crystal Fountain
Heinrich Schütz (1585 - 1672) - Verleih' uns Frieden
Claudio Monteverdi (1567 - 1643) - Sfogava con le stelle
- Anima mia perdona
- Che se tu se'il cor mio
- Luci serene e chiare

We had to leave off pieces by Thomas Tallis, Giovanni Gastoldi, Melchior Franck and Andreas Hammerschmidt. A real pity, but hopefully we be able to perform them at a later date.

I think despite the truncated offerings, that the concert was well received. The church was not full, by any stretch of the imagination, but neither was it empty which was positive, given that it was the end of a long holiday weekend when most people go away. Our hard work trying to memorize the Monteverdi paid off for the most part. They were emotive and pliant which is what they need. Even if we couldn't do them memorized because Ingo was stepping in for Irma.

I was especially pleased to see a couple of my voice students (and parents) there as well as a neighbor and some colleagues of Magnus'.

Upcoming singing events include 2 concerts in Poland singing Hildegard von Bingen with my good friend Allegra Silbiger's group, the benefit concert with Raggio di Sol and more Hildegard in Dillenburg. Hopefully, some more performances will be added before the end of the year.


Thursday, June 09, 2011

Report: Pop/Rock Concert

OK, I've been so busy lately that I completely forgot to blog about a recent concert I did. I mentioned it before - Me and two others covering pop and rock music.

Anyone who knows me, knows that this isn't really my thing. However, since meeting Janusz, who takes singing lessons from me and is an avid midi-file/keyboard player, I've been playing around with singing pop music. I find it awkward to sing (I'm a soprano after all), it sits all wrong in my voice, and if I sing it comfortably, it sounds all wrong. That's changed a little lately, since I started working with Carol Baggott Forte, actually. And our choice of repertoire and the keys we do it in have helped too. Here's the list of songs I sang:

Carole King, You've Got a Friend
ABBA, Mamma Mia and Money, Money, Money
Morris Albert, Feelings (yes...)
Mike Oldfield, Moonlight Shadow
Those Were the Days
Moody Blues, Nights in White Satin
BeeGees/Barbara Streisand, Woman in Love
Madonna, La Isla Bonita

The other two sang mostly Polish (they both are) and German pop. Renata and I sang back-up for each other on a few songs.

This was a sort of open rehearsal, since we've never performed this stuff outside of Janusz's living room. Oh, wait. Actually, Janusz and I did a gig for a Christmas party for a friend of his. But we only did 5 songs - 3 Christmas, Woman In Love and Hey, Jude. Anyway, Janusz has mountains of equipment to transport and set up and he wanted a chance to go through the motions, as it were. Ideally, we'd like to get gigs playing at weddings or receptions/parties, that sort of thing.

Well regardless, it went off quite well. I was rather pleased. I didn't manage to memorize anything though, which is not so great, but I didn't flub anything! W00t! I have issues with memorization. I grew up and went through college never realizing I had problems with texts and memorization. But that's worthy of another post!

There were quite a few people there - around 80 or so. Most were friends and clients of Janusz's but 8 or so were friends and pupils of mine. I've gotten feedback and except for the occassional "you can tell you're a trained singer", which in this case is not necessarily a compliment, all positive.

This coming weekend I have a wedding to sing, in which I'm to sing Schubert's Ave Maria (in Latin) and a pop song - Das Beste by Silbermond. I sure hope I have to sing the pop song first. I'm sure I can switch into classical singer mode easily, but it's my pop-singer mode I'm insecure about.

Also this "weekend" (it's "Pentecost Monday" which is a holiday here in Germany) the little 8-person choir I sing with ("Raggio di Sol") is giving a concert of Renaissance and Baroque music. Now THAT's my thing.


Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Poetry Planet No. 2 - First Contact - LIVE!

The second edition of Poetry Planet for my favorite podcast, StarShipSofa, went live today! To listen to it and also the first episode go here.

This is a long one! 30 minutes! But it's chock full of poetry goodness! 10 poets are represented with their offerings on "First Contact". And quite a wide variety of imaginings they are! That sounded a bit like Yoda. Here's the illustrious list and links to their websites, blogs etc:

Scott Green - "First Contact"
Green Genre Poetry and
Poetry in Manchester

Mike Allen - "The Thing in the Gutter" and "On Discovery of a Habitable Planet"
Mythic Delirium

Ann K. Schwader - "The Ones Who Met Them"
Yaddith Times LiveJournal

Dennis M. Lane

Marge Simon

David Kopaska-Merkel

Dreams and Nightmares magazine

Elizabeth Barrette
PenUltimate Productions Website
Wordsmith's Forge LiveJournal

Mary Turzillo

Rich Magahiz
Poem "Your Color Palette 2011"

Larry Santoro
Bluffton in the Driftless

I hope to be able to make announcements of poetry events, awards, contests and the like at the end of each show. This time we have:

The Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection


The Rhysling Award Candidates



Thursday, April 14, 2011

Poem In Your Pocket Day - April 14, 2011


Today is Poem In Your Pocket Day!!

Or rather was. For me anyway, it's over. But if you are reading this on 14 April 2011, it may not be too late for you to participate! Go and find a poem you like and print it out. Carry it around with you and read it to anyone you think might even vaguely appreciate it. Go to Poets.org if you are at a loss!

Do you already have a poem in your pocket? What is it? I'd like to read it!

I carried "Singing" by Robert Louis Stevenson from A Child's Garden of Verses and on the other side of the page "Leise Lieder sing ich dir bei Nacht" by Christian Morgenstern, for my German friends. I read them both to my German playgroup mothers. They loved it. They also thought it was wonderful that America celebrates such things. The cynic in me said, "Yes, well America celebrates everything!" And while that may be true that there is a Day For Everything, I don't think it is a bad thing per se. And I quite liked the idea of Poem in Your Pocket Day.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Seekrit Projekt is Reality! "Poetry Planet"!

Poetry Planet is Reality, folks. What is Poetry Planet you might ask? It's a monthly segment I've decided to produce for my favorite podcast, StarShipSofa. And as you might guess it showcases Poetry. Science Fiction Poetry. Or Fantasy Poetry. Or Dark Poetry. Or Speculative Poetry. All of the above and more, probably.

This has been a long labor. I first had the idea last year to record more poetry for Tony, but he wasn't fielding submissions anymore. It's a lot of work! I had the idea that I could do a monthly segment and do all the work of receiving submissions and just deliver a finished project to Tony. But I just couldn't wrap my mind around getting it done. Then it was New Years, and I was considering what could be my New Years Resolution. I decided I would create a first article and spring it on Tony, so he couldn't refuse! I joined the Science Fiction Poetry Association and ordered Suzette Haden Elgin's Handbook of Science Fiction Poetry. I roamed around the web familiarizing myself with things. I rolled the formatting around my mind and decided the first show would be simple, with only one poem - an SF poem about poetry by Suzette Haden Elgin that I'd found on her website, and otherwise, just talking about poetry, how I've come to enjoy reciting and reading it aloud and giving guidance on how listeners might learn how to appreciate poetry.

But then life happened. I got radio silence from the powers that be (all volunteers) at the SFPA. Life happened for them too, I guess. I couldn't raise any signs of life from Ms. Elgin and so I started looking around for other poems I could. I turned to a couple of the poets whose poems I'd already read for SSS and inquired about poems about poetry. I introduced myself at the SFPA Forum and YahooGroup and announced my intention for creating the segment and got good feed back (not overwhelming though - I guess I was too vague in my request for submissions). Laurel Winter and Bruce Boston gave me wonderful poems that I'm using and Ann Schwader was so helpful and supportive of the idea, that I am indebted to her indefinitely. Check out Bruce Boston's poem "The Poetry of Science Fiction" on his site.

Finally about a month ago I wrote my first draft of the article, recorded it in very rough form and sent it to Tony for approval, which he gave with his usual enthusiasm! Yippee! I could get going! Then I couldn't find the time to record the actual thing. I had grand plans of using a new recording software, but I had even less time to delve into THAT. I wanted to have music and well, it all seemed insurmountable.

Then I discovered that April is National Poetry Month in the USA. Oh MAN! I've got to get it done before the opportunity comes and goes! So I gave myself a kick in the butt and submitted the final product (flawed as it is) to Tony.

You can listen to show No. 184 by going to StarShipSofa's website. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to listen on the website or listen on iTunes Poetry Planet is after the main fiction at the 51 minute mark (Thanks Steve!).

And if you are a fan of poetry or of StarShipSofa, or of all things Science Fiction or just of me :-), please link, link, link! Thank you! And if you are a poet, my idea for the next segment in May 2011 is "First Contact". If you have any poetry even vaguely fitting that label, please get in touch with me. For discussion of the SSS show go to the Forum, where all possible links will be posted as well!


Thursday, April 07, 2011

Two performances

So, as fate would have it, I have 2 performances coming up end of May and mid June. Different (very different) music and types of concerts, so I have my work cut out for me.

On May 28 I will be singing a program of 70's and 80's pop (nearly wrote poop, there!) with a keyboardist and another singer. This is a private performance for "friends" only, so if you want to come then email me directly and I'll tell you where and when on that day it'll occur. Janusz (the keyboarder) has had the dream to perform as an entertainer for many years and is really keen on finally making it happen. This performance is basically practice for him with all his mountains of equipment and a bit of advertisement for us as a duo/trio. The two of us are singing among others covers of Carole Kind, Abba, the Beatles, Roberta Flack and Bob Denver (guessing which song, might get you a prize!). Janusz and the other singer will be singing mostly Polish pop music (which is very listenable, even if you don't understand the words). The 3 of us will do a couple of songs together.

On "Pentecost Monday" (as they call it here, because it's a holiday) the Vocal Ensemble "Raggio-di-Sol" will be performing a program of Monteverdi, Praetorius, Tallis, Palestrina, Hammerschmidt, Morley and others. It'll be wonderful! More info as the concert nears...


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Report: Raggio di Sol - Gottesdienst and rehearsal weekend

OK, so it's not such a big deal singing in a church service with a choir, but I did want to report that it went quite well. Unfortunately, the church was practically empty. Germany went to Daylight Savings time in the night and so it was pretty tough getting there myself especially since we had to be there an hour in advance to rehearse. I was very glad to see two of my dearest friends in Hannover, Isabel and Kristina, even an hour late. At any rate, I'm very pleased with our performance, which bodes well for more important concerts in June (Pentecost Monday) and in September (a big benefit concert).

Besides performing in the church service we rehearsed both Saturday and Sunday for upwards of 6 hours. Actually Saturday it was more like 8 with a long lunch break! We worked hard on the Monteverdi madrigals and other larger works we'll be singing. Alfredo has decreed we'll be singing lots of the program from memory. The Monterverdi madrigals will be easy enough to memorize, it's the stuff with multiple verses I have trouble with. I'm the queen of mix-and-match verses as my colleagues from Elysium can attest. I hope I manage!


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Raggio di Sol

Last Autumn I joined a vocal ensemble - Raggio di Sol. A choir if you will. There are 8 of us and a colleague, someone I sang with in a production of L'Incoronazione di Poppea, Alfredo Ihl, who directs and sings. I joined for two reasons: because Alfredo asked if I would, and because I decided it wouldn't be a bad idea to begin singing again on a regular basis (even if it's not paid). I love singing choral music, especially in a small group, in which I mostly get to sing by myself on the soprano line. :-)

Anyway, we are preparing for a benefit concert (benefitting the earthquake victims in Chile - from last year) and will be singing absolutely wonderful music by Monteverdi, Tallis, Hammerschmidt, Gastoldi and many more. I'll tell you more about the concert when it gets nearer and report on it once it's happened.

This weekend we will be rehearsing all weekend and performing at the church we rehearse at, doing the music for their service Sunday morning at 10am. If you are in Hannover or anywhere near here, please feel free to drop in and listen! We're at the Lukaskirche, Dessauerstr. 2, Hannover. If you're not near here, well then, don't worry, perhaps I'll post a recording (if Alfredo and the others don't mind).


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Blood and Chrome Podcast

Hello everyone!

I have so much to tell you, so assuming I get my act together you'll be finally hearing from me regularly again!

First, and the thing that has motivated me to blog again, is because it's time sensitive. Are you a fan (or rather were you) of Battlestar Galactica? There is a new series called Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome coming out sometime soon (I can't find an official air date anywhere!). My buddy Tony C. Smith, the host of the Hugo Award winning podcast StarShipSofa has created a new podcast to accompany the TV show. The first 4 promos and the first episode are out already - you can subscribe to the show at iTunes : Blood and Chrome Podcast The promos are original scripts and wonderfully read and acted by Larry Santoro.

And just a side note, the theme music for the podcast (and on all the promos) is a recording of me singing solo with my old church choir from Frankfurt. We're singing a spiritual - "I Wanna Die Easy" and Tony has always loved it. He used it (completely randomly) on an early StarShipSofa show with Ciaran. So, if you like it and want to hear the whole thing without Larry's (admittedly wonderful voice) over the top, then go to my MySpace space (I love writing that!).

If you are new here, having followed a link here from another website, then may I direct you to my buyable music? It's at CDbaby: "Silence" And while you're at it, you could consider writing a review or signing up to follow my blog or me at Twitter. Hmmm. Anything else? Well, yes, I promised more, but that will come in the form of subsequent blog posts! Lucky you! :-)