Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Ok, I know this is old news, but not so much for me! I heard about MySpace in mid-September on a train to Paris, where Magnus and I met to musicians (popular music). We had an interesting conversation and Angèle told me about MySpace. I signed up shortly after we got home. They were right, it's very addicting. You can spend a lot of time, especially browsing other people's Spaces. But that is the way to network. I've "met" several interesting people, mostly composers (because that's all I've had time to search), and there's a possibility of a collaboration with one of them early next year! If it works out, I will be very excited! At this point I'm not sure how virtual all of this is. Do people in the music biz actually end up working together, meeting each other in real life, or is this purely virtual? I guess I'll find out. I've only been active on it for about 2 months. We'll see

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Sad Hotel #6

Just got back from Germany where I performed "Sad Hotel" again with Barbara Wachendorff and Jens Peter. In case you don't remember, Sad Hotel is the program on poetry by Anne Sexton. Jens plays the piano and composed the songs I sing, and Barbara recites other poems with Jens quasi-improvising accompaniment. It's a very powerful program and we always get good feed-back. Thursdays performance wasn't any different. The audience was made up mostly of psycho-therapists, I think, since the concert was sponsored by the IGST-Forum and part of their seminar on Fear. They appreciated the choice of poems and the program itself. It was recorded this time by the technician on the premises. I hope it turns out good. However, a terrible thing happened on my first note: The technician had forgotten to turn the volume down and at the last minute I had decided to stand directly behind the microphone, albeit a good distance back, because he said the recording was only through those microphones. No ambient mics. Anyway, the first note is good and solid and scared me half to death! So much so that my voice cracked and I jumped away from the mic. I wish I had stopped and started again, but oh well. I'm quite satisfied with the rest and am glad to have made a recording if only for posterity's sake. We agreed that I would try to sell the program in England, which would mean Barbara reciting everything in English. She'll do a wonderful job, I'm sure.

Ten days in the States

I'm just about to end my tour of the US.  Just kidding, I was only in Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York City. I had a concert with the Voices Found Singers (formerly known as the Lady Chapel Singers) at Bryn Mawr college in Pennsylvania yesterday.  It went extremely well, especially given that it was a completely new program.  But it's a wonderful program, full of fun music from all over the Americas - Cuba, Mexico, Canada, the US (folk songs, spirituals and modern compositions). I had a great time.

Last Tuesday Lisa Thomas and I gave a presentation on Voices Found and a bit about Hildegard von Bingen at Rowan College. Another member of VFS, Lourin Plant, teaches voice there and is co-teaching a class entitled "Songs of Protest, Songs of Praise", for which we gave the presentation.

From there I went to New York City for lessons with Cornelius Reid.  He looked well, but complained a bit about disintegrating - he turns 96 later this month!!!! My lessons were great and restored my confidence greatly.  I also went to Patelson's Music Store and bought the last remaining book of Cornelius', his Dictionary of Vocal Terminology. Now my collection is complete!

While in NYC I spent a lot of time with Anna Levenstein, a member of Elysium. We had some stuff to do to prepare for our concert in Salem, OR in March.  It was lovely to spend time with her. I also took advantage of Tower Records' closing sale and bought several DVDs ("Good Night and Good Luck", "The Big Sleep" and Peter Sellars' opera production "Cosi fan tutte") and CDs ("The Magic Flute", Mozart; "Don Pasquale", Donizetti and "The Cries of London").

So, that was that.