Working Around Microphones

Sep. 23rd, 2017 01:36 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Recently I came across a couple of discussions about technology, public speaking, and accessibility. One of them is in [community profile] access_fandom and links to the other which is a Unitarian-Universalist post. The crux of the matter is that people with hearing impairment often need amplification in order to hear, but not everyone is willing or able to use a microphone. And those groups don't always know about each other's concerns, which causes friction.

Read more... )

One-Card Draw

Sep. 23rd, 2017 01:01 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
 [personal profile] wyld_dandelyon is doing a one-card draw.  Tipping gets you an extra card, or you can buy a 5-card reading.

(no subject)

Sep. 23rd, 2017 01:01 pm
starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
Alex: “You know what I think it is? I think we got off balance somewhere down the line. I think you should just go ahead and hit me.”
Evan: "What?"
Alex: “Yeah, that's it. I think if you go ahead and hit me, knock some sense around in there, maybe we'll start making sense."
Evan: "You're being ridiculous."
Alex: "It couldn't hurt, figuratively speaking."
Evan: "You're assuming there's sense in there to knock into place."
Alex: "Yeah, I guess you're right.”

--Kristine Williams, Madness
wyld_dandelyon: (Default)
[personal profile] wyld_dandelyon posting in [community profile] crowdfunding
Want inspiration for your life or for a creative project?  Need to find a better balance? I can do a reading for you, for a character, as a writing prompt, draw a card to meditate on, etc.

Free one-card readings are still available, as are longer readings.  Tips are always welcome!  So are signal boosts.

I'm doing the readings over here on Dreamwidth. 


(no subject)

Sep. 23rd, 2017 04:45 pm
tree_and_leaf: Isolated tree in leaf, against blue sky. (Default)
[personal profile] tree_and_leaf
Belated happy birthday, [personal profile] nanila!
[syndicated profile] bruces_poems_feed

Posted by Bruce Levitan

Always repeating the same mistake
going up and down the escalators
passing shops, billboards, neon signs,
hundreds of thousands of things for sale: running shoes
a glass brooch, old-fashioned soap flakes, a small tube
short white socks, buy one, get one free.
Read more »
[syndicated profile] planet_hugill_feed
Mark Padmore & Till Fellner (Photo by kind permission of Izumi Hall, Japan - photographer credit Satoaki Hikawa)
Mark Padmore & Till Fellner performing in Japan
(Photo by kind permission of Izumi Hall, Japan - photographer credit Satoaki Hikawa)
One of the highlights of this year's Tetbury Festival is a recital by tenor Mark Padmore and pianist Till Fellner on 29 September combining songs by Schubert with Schumann's Dichterliebe (they are repeating the recital at the John Innes Centre in Norwich on 30 September). It comes at the beginning of a busy year for Mark as he is artist in residence with the Berlin Philharmonic and has already launched his programme there with Hadyn's The Creation. I spoke to Mark by telephone to find out more.

Mark Padmore (Photo Marco Borggreve)
Mark Padmore (Photo Marco Borggreve)
This year is the 14th Tetbury Festival (it was founded in 2013 by Graham Kean and its president, Elise Smith). Mark is familiar with the festival, having sung there three or four times before and he describes the parish church (the venue for his concert) as a very special building.

His recital at the festival is very much in two halves, in the first Schubert and in the second Schumann's Dichterliebe, a real stand-alone work. Mark describes Dichterliebe as one of the most extraordinary works of the repertoire, but he clearly has a very clear view of the piece as he goes on to describe it as a piano piece with vocal accompaniment. Schumann wrote Dichterliebe in 1840 as part of his astonishing year of lieder writing. Mark sees the songs as messages to Clara (whom Schumann married in 1840), and feels that you can tell that Schumann was writing them for a pianist (Clara Schumann was one of the most distinguished pianists of the Romantic era). So whilst the vocal lines deliver the text, the piano carries the most important music particularly in the piano postludes.

For the first half of the concert Mark and Till are performing Schubert songs, a selection which mainly includes later songs including settings of Seidl and Leitner. Mark finds this later period of Schubert's song writing extraordinary rich, as in the last couple of years of his life he became a real master of the art form. Mark says that he finds songs from this period increasingly interesting to perform, especially the not so well known songs and feels that some are some of the greatest music for voice and piano. He adds that it is lovely to be able to explore music with interesting piano parts with Till Fellner, who is a distinguished pianist in his own right.

Parish Church of St Mary, Tetbury
Parish Church of St Mary, Tetbury
Whilst Mark and Till are performing mainly late Schubert, they are also including Viola D786 which is a large-scale song from 1823. Mark has included the song because it uses a bell-effect which links to the passing bell in the previous Das Zügenglöcklein D871, and is the sort of musical connection which Mark feels is helpful to audiences.

In Dichterliebe Schumann set the poetry of Heinrich Heine, a poet whom Schubert set in his final cycle Schwanengesang. I was interested to find out how Mark thought about the differences between Schumann and Schubert's approach to this poet. Mark first of all comments on a pair of fascinating co-incidences, Schubert was born the same year as Heine and Schumann died the same year as Heine. So that Heine's life encompasses the lives of both composers.

Schubert came to Heine's poetry rather late and only set the six poems in Schwanengesang. They are all extraordinary songs, but it is easier to look at Schubert's relationship to other poets like Goethe, as Schubert built up a significant body of Goethe settings. Also Mark feels that Schubert did not go into the famous Heine irony. Schumann, on the other hand, had a taste which was more literary; Schumann's father was a bookseller, and literature was an essential part of Schumann's life, he was a prolific writer of music criticism. So Schumann connected with Heine's irony.

The poems in Dichterliebe might not seem an obvious gift to the woman you are marrying, but Mark thinks you need to put the cycle into context. It is true, they did eventually marry, but 1840 was a year of tension and after the immense struggle with Clara's father there was the worry that he might spirit Clara away before they had chance to marry. You can feel this in some of the songs, the sense Schumann was worried his beloved might marry someone else in Ein Jüngling liebt ein Mädchen and the same sentiment crops up in the Eichendorff Liederkreis and the Hans Christian Anderson settings from the same year.

In Tetbury, of course, Mark will be singing in German to a predominantly English-speaking audience, whereas during his Berlin Philharmonic residency he will be singing in German to Germans, so I was interested to find out if Mark felt that there was much of a difference. Communication of the text is important to Mark, and he finds it wonderful to be putting texts across to audiences in their mother tongue. He calls himself a very text based singer, concerned to reach the audience with ideas and thoughts, so he feels that it is more rewarding for the audience if they have a some sort of grasp of what is going on in the text.

Another interesting aspect of his Berlin residency is that he will be performing a programme of English song, including RVW's Blake Songs (for voice and oboe) and Warlock's The Curlew (for voice, flute, cor anglais and string quartet). When I comment that I don't know what its like singing English song to a German audience, Mark's immediate response is 'nor do I!'. He feels that the advantage of a residency like this is that he gets to work with the players, and meet them on a different level rather than just jetting in for a concert. So for the English song recital he will be working with the Berlin Philharmonic instrumentalists, and is intrigued to find out how they respond to the songs. He will be talking to the players to see how they understand the songs and the poetry.

Mark finds it enormously important when performing a works in English (like Britten's Serenade for tenor, horn and strings) that he is able to talk to the orchestral players about the text, but too often players do not have the text and have not read the poems.

Berlin Philharmonic, Sir Simon Rattle, Elsa Dreisig, Mark Padmore, Florian Boesch (Photo Berlin Philharmonic)
Berlin Philharmonic, Sir Simon Rattle, Elsa Dreisig, Mark Padmore, Florian Boesch (Photo Berlin Philharmonic)
Mark's period in residence has already started with Haydn's The Creation which he performed with soprano Elsa Dreisig, baritone Florian Boesch and the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Simon Rattle in Berlin, Salzburg, Leipzig and Paris. (You can catch the performance on the Berlin Philharmonic's Digital Concert Hall website). He describes it as joy to do, for him The Creation is one of the most joyful pieces ever written. He will be working with Simon Rattle and the orchestra in Berlin again in Schumann's secular oratorio Das Paradies and the Peri. Other concerts in the residency include Schubert's Winterreise with pianist Kristian Bezuidenhout (playing on a fortepiano). Mark will also be working with the players of the Karajan Academy and Pekka Kuusisto, in Lutoslawski's Paroles tissées and Britten's Les Illuminations. In his last concert of the residency, Mark will be performing Robert Schumann’s Liederkreis op. 39, Leoš Janáček’s Diary of One Who Disappeared and Ryan Wigglesworth’s cantata Echo and Narcissus. Wigglesworth's piece was written for Mark as a companion piece to Janáček’s Diary of One Who Disappeared.

Looking further ahead, Mark will be premiering a new piece by Thomas Larcher at the 2018 Bregenz Festival. Mark has not seen the new piece yet, but Larcher is a composer whose work Mark likes very much and Mark thinks he has a wonderful understanding of sound. Larcher wrote his Padmore Cycle for Mark, first with piano accompaniment and later orchestrated, in which version Mark has performed it a few times including with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and with Edward Gardner and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra. And Larcher's Third Symphony was performed at the BBC Proms last year by Semyon Bychkov and the BBC Symphony Orchestra (see Tim Ashley's review in The Guardian). The new work is a setting of a Japanese novella, The Hunting Gun by Yasushi Inoue.

Another highlight of next year will be Mark's performances in Bach's St Matthew Passion with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, when Mark will be singing the role of the Evangelist as well as directing the performance

For all of Mark's performances, see the Events page of his website.

Elsewhere on this blog:
[syndicated profile] planet_hugill_feed
Peter Phillips and the Tallis Scholars
Peter Phillips and the Tallis Scholars
Palestrina, Monteverdi, Allegri, Gesualdo, Lotti; The Tallis Scholars, Peter Phillips; Cadogan Hall
Reviewed by Robert Hugill on Sep 22 2017 Star rating: 4.0
The Tallis Scholars open the 10th Choral at Cadogan series with Italian motets on the cusp of Renaissance and Baroque

The Tallis Scholars and Peter Phillips opened the 10th season of Choral at Cadogan on Friday 22 September 2017 with a programme of Italian motets at Cadogan Hall. The programme ranged from Palestrina, through Gesualdo and Monteverdi (including the Messa quattro voci da cappella) to Lotti, with Allegri's Miserere as a bon bouche.

The have been a few changes in the ensemble (Amy Haworth, Emma Walshe, Emily Atkinson, Charlotte Ashley, Caroline Trevor, Helen Charlston, Steven Harrold, Simon Wall, Simon Whitely, Greg Skidmore) with some regular members moving on, and the sound did not always feel completely bedded in, though perhaps that was the effect of the Summer holidays. The group started with Palestrina's Laudate pueri, in a strong, up-front performance where there was far more of a sense of individual voices than we are used to with this group. It was a large scale piece, and made a terrific concert opener. More intimate Palestrina followed with Virgo prudentissima, with some beautifully shaped phrasing, vibrant but controlled.

The remaining work in the first half was Monteverdi's Messa quattro voci da cappella from 1650. Monteverdi's music in the prima pratica style does not receive as much publicity as his music in the more advanced style, but Monteverdi clearly thought it important. We heard all five movements from the mass, 'Kyrie', 'Gloria', 'Sanctus & Benedictus', 'Agnus Dei'. Written for four part choir, for all the Palestrina-eque polyphony, the 'Kyrie' had a very direct feel with a strong sense of impetus. The 'Gloria' was lively and rhythmic, keeping going until 'Qui tollis' brought a more contemplative pause before a vibrant finale. The 'Credo' was surprisingly gentle, though the words were admirably clear in the setting  and the 'Incarnatus' was beautifully intimate. A lively triple time 'Resurrexit' led to vibrant finish. The 'Sanctus & Benedictus' was gentle and intimate with surprising variety of textures given there were just four parts, and a lovely lively and engaging 'Hosanna'. The 'Agnus Dei' started quite busily but gently unwound in a striking manner.

After the interval we had Allegri's Miserere given in the now traditional modern edition with a top C (which is a 20th century invention, see Ben Byram-Wigfield's essay). The work is something of a Tallis Scholars party-piece (we heard it at their 40th anniversary concert at St Paul's Cathedral), but it is tricky to bring off in the rather dry Cadogan Hall acoustic. The performance felt very present, and the small second choir did not always sound ideally relaxed though the top soprano gave us some lovely ornamentations to her line, and Simon Wall contributed some finely relaxed chant.

Next came a pair of Gesualdo's motets. Whilst it is easy to associate the composer's chromatic and intense style with his tortured private life, it is worth bearing in mind that Neapolitan composers of the time were also experimenting with the chromatic, and that Gesualdo was also influence by the work of g Luzzasco Luzzaschi, in Ferrara. But when all is said and done, Gesualdo's motets are almost Sui generis. We heard two, O vos omnes and Aestimatus sum. Perhaps the performances did not sound quite a second nature as they ought, the chromatic shifts a bit too studied, and we were again very much aware of individual voices in the group.But they certainly captured the sense of unease in the music, highlighting the dark and dangerous way that Gesualdo illuminated the text.

Lotti's Crucifixus a 8 is not actually a motet, but in fact part of a larger 'Credo' (which received its premiere recording by the Syred Consort, the Orchestra of St Paul's and conductor Ben Palmer on Delphian Records in 2016, see my review). But it is a striking moment with Lotti's use of chromaticism and suspensions, and her the ensemble made quite a strong sound and clearly relished the forward-looking harmonies.

Peter Phillips and the ensemble finished with a group of motets by Monteverdi, from a group published by one of his former pupils, Giovanni Bianchini, in 1620, preceded by a setting of the 'Crucifixus'. Almost certainly the would have used a mixture of voices and instruments, but the motets reflect the way music was changing. 'Crucifixus' (four-part, sung by just give sings, Altos, Tenors and Bass) was a piece of chromatic polyphony, very dark and rather severe. The motet, Adoramus te, Christe, was much more our concept of Monteverdi, homophonic with individual voices being allowed to flower out of the texture, sung in expressive style by the whole group. Domine, ne in fuore was similar in construction but had a far busier texture that, frankly, seemed to cry out for instrumental colours too. Finally Cantate Domino sung with a happy bounce and lovely sense of dancing.

As an encore we were treated to more Lotti, another 'Crucifixus' movement, this time in 10 parts. If the performances did not seem quite vintage Tallis Scholars, there was much to enjoy and there was much to fascinate and illuminate too , with a nice blend of familiar and unfamiliar.

The group returns to Choral at Cadogan to close the 2017/18 series with a programme which includes Tallis' Spem in alium.

Elsewhere on this blog:


Sep. 23rd, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"It is the most GOP thing in the world to create the Kimmel test for p.r. reasons, fail it, and then blame Jimmy Kimmel for being political." -- Brian Beutler, 2017-09-22

“Child” by Audrey Zhao

Sep. 23rd, 2017 07:00 am
[syndicated profile] rattle_feed

Posted by Timothy Green

Audrey Zhao (age 15)


The first day in spring in 1998,
you realized I would not move your womb.

The doctors said it would be alright.
Next day: “She’s suffocating; your womb buries her alive.”

I came out red and swollen,
an angry thing disturbed too early.

I fought grasping and swallowing the world whole
and you did not know how to protect

a thing so delicate,
one who did not see how close

it was to simply not existing,
to simply disintegrating and falling

apart like the placenta, the afterbirth,
in hydrochloric acid.

I fight you; this is evident.
You sigh forever and hold me close.

from 2017 Rattle Young Poets Anthology


Why do you like to write poetry?

Audrey Zhao: “It’s strange to see this poem again three years removed and still know the reason why I write poetry is simply because I can and want to—there really is no other more profound explanation.”

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Crowdfunding Creative Jam

Sep. 23rd, 2017 01:07 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
The [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam is now open with a theme of "black swans."

What I Have Written

From My Prompts 

[personal profile] alatefeline  has written the poem "I Don't See Black Swans" about compensation and decompensation.

Crowdfunding Creative Jam

Sep. 23rd, 2017 12:47 am
ysabetwordsmith: (Crowdfunding butterfly ship)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith posting in [community profile] crowdfunding
Welcome to the sixty-fifth Crowdfunding Creative Jam! This session will run Saturday, September 23-Sunday, September 24. The theme is "Black Swans."

Crowdfunding Creative Jam

Everyone is eligible to post prompts, which may be words or phrases, titles, images, etc. Prompters may request a specific creator, but everyone else may still use that prompt if they wish. Prompts may specify a particular character/world/etc. but creators may use the prompt for something else anyway and post the results. Prompters are still encouraged to post mostly prompts that anyone could use anywhere, as this maximizes the chance of having creators make something based on your prompt. Please title your comment "Prompt" or "Prompts" when providing inspiration so these are easy to find.

Prompt responses may also be treated as prompts and used for further inspiration. For example, a prompt may lead to a sketch which leads to a story, and so on. This kind of cascading inspiration is one of the most fun things about a collective jam session.

Everyone is eligible to use prompts, and everyone who wants to use a given prompt may do so, for maximum flexibility of creator choice in inspiration. You do not have to post a "Claim" reply when you decide to use a prompt, but this does help indicate what is going on so that other prompters can spread out their choice of prompts if they wish.

Creators are encouraged, but not required, to post at least one item free. Likewise, sharing a private copy of material with the prompter is encouraged but not required. Creative material resulting from prompts should be indicated in a reply to the prompt, with a link to the full content elsewhere on the creator's site (if desired); a brief excerpt and/or description of the material may be included in the reply (if desired). It helps to title your comment "Prompt Filled" or something like that so these are easy to identify. There is no time limit on responding to prompts. However, creators are encouraged to post replies sooner rather than later, as the attention of prompters will be highest during and shortly after the session.

Some items created from prompts may become available for sponsorship. Some creators may offer perks for donations, linkbacks, or other activity relating to this project. Check creator comments and links for their respective offerings.

Prompters, creators, and bystanders are expected to behave in a responsible and civil manner. If the moderators have to drag someone out of the sandbox for improper behavior, we will not be amused. Please respect other people's territory and intellectual property rights, and only play with someone else's characters/setting/etc. if you have permission. (Fanfic/fanart freebies are okay.) If you want to invite folks to play with something of yours, title the comment something like "Open Playground" so it's easy to spot. This can be a good way to attract new people to a shared world or open-source project, or just have some good non-canon fun.

Boost the signal! The more people who participate, the more fun this will be. Hopefully we'll see activity from a lot of folks who regularly mention their projects in this community, but new people are always welcome. You can link to this session post or to individual items created from prompts, whatever you think is awesome enough to recommend to your friends.

(no subject)

Sep. 22nd, 2017 09:05 pm
starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
I didn't remember this remark at all.

Alex: “I just never cared much for things."
Evan: "I know. And it shows. I think these rich people, some of them anyway, find it intriguing."
Alex: "Most of them find it annoying. I know my mother always did."
Evan: "I think it's honest."
Alex: "Yeah?"
Evan: "At least you never pretend. I never realized how much difference that could make. I'd go out with you.”

...Really! Under what circumstances, I wonder?

(no subject)

Sep. 22nd, 2017 07:51 pm
starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
I was updating Mint today. When I got back to the beginning of the year and saw the garage bill I was like, “What on Earth happened to my car in January?! ...Oh, right."

By the time I had listed all desired car repairs to my (awesome) mechanic, I had to finish with, "Oh, and the windshield is cracked all the way across; sorry about that. It's getting replaced tomorrow." He was like, "Wow, I hope everyone's okay." I just looked at him for a second before I realized he must think I'd been in an accident. "Oh," I said, "Yeah, it's fine. It happened while the car was parked in the driveway."

(no subject)

Sep. 22nd, 2017 07:38 pm
starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
Alex: “We should eat something. What do you feel like?"
Evan: "I... Whatever you want is fine with me."
Alex: "Well, what I want is for you to pick a place."
Evan: "Did you have anything specific in mind?"
Alex: "No. I want you to pick something you want. It's not rocket science, Evan. You do it all the time anyway."
Evan: "What do you mean by that?"
Alex: "You're always making the decision what to eat and when."
Evan: "That's because you get so busy you forget to take care of yourself. Someone has to."
Alex: "So you make decisions all the time. You're only getting angry now because I told you I wanted you to pick something you want, instead of something you think I want."
Evan: "I'm not angry. I just don't see the need to make such a distinction. If you want me to find a place for us to eat, that's fine. Why do you have to make a point about whether or not I want the same thing?"
Alex: "You know, you are the hardest person to be nice to sometimes."

--Kristine Williams, Madness
[syndicated profile] bullish_feed

Posted by Jenny Palkowitsh

Bullish Conference Ultimate Guide


The Bullish Conference is the summit of the year that brings together ambitious feminists from across the world. At BullCon, you’ll have the opportunity to meet and network with #bossladies in every field and many walks of life. We’ve created this ultimate guide to help you know what to expect from this annual summit. Check us out!

What is BullCon?

The Bullish Conference is a career conference designed for feminists who want to make the world and the workplace better. We believe that there’s no reason you shouldn’t have a roundtable on sexism in the workplace followed by champagne. No reason at all. You should boost your career, network with fabulous career rock stars and have an amazing time.

BullCon is an inspiring event for women at all stages of their careers, from students and entry-level employees to midcareer badasses and elder stateswomen. Since 2013, we have hosted attendees from ages 19 to 60. Some of us are employees, some are entrepreneurs or want to be someday. Some of us have PhDs, some of us skipped college. Some of us are looking for what we want to do, some of us are rocking it and want to give back. But we’re all interested in deepening our knowledge, supercharging our careers, and contributing as much as we can to making work better for women. Come to our 5th annual BullCon!


Our Location: Embassy Row Hotel in Washington DC

This year’s conference will take place at the beautiful Embassy Row Hotel. We’ve secured a group of rooms for attendees (with a bullish discount available) and will be meeting in rooms like The Situation Room and The West Wing.

Embassy Row Hotel sits on Embassy Row (as one would expect…) in Washington DC  with access to incredible sites, fabulous shopping and plenty of opportunities to #resist.

We’ve also compiled a list of things to do and ways to get political while in DC.  See more here.


Personalize Your BullCon Experience with Tracks:

This year, we’ve separated our workshops into three tracks. You can pick and choose based on your interests, but the structure will help you design a conference experience that’s as unique as you are.

Slay @ Work – The track for employees, managers and career-oriented feminists who want to succeed at their jobs and make the workplace a more diverse, welcoming and supportive atmosphere.

This track features the following workshops:

Caro Griffin: Practical Advice for New Managers
Janice Omadeke: From Token to Asset – How to Use Being Different to Your Advantage
Kathryne Dunlap: How To Write the Best GD Interoffice Memos The World Has Ever Seen
Emily Chapman: Tools, Systems and Processes: Automate What Should Be Automated
Romy Newman: How YOU Can Help Create Gender Equality in the Workplace… and Advance Your Career at the Same Time
Jenn Green: It’s Not Right But It’s OK: Using Allyship and Support Systems to Deal with Bias and Inequality in the Workplace

Side Hustle Sisterhood – for the #hustle queen who wants to build her side business, make extra money with passive income or just figure out how to balance wanting to do ALL THE THINGS.

Jasmine Smith, Chianti Lomax and Dominque Broadway: Starting and Balancing your Side Hustle + Your Life
Jennifer Dziura: MVP Isn’t Just for Software: How I started a meal kit company without venture capital
Ijeoma Nwatu Enemanna: You Already Have Your First Client… You Just Don’t Know It


Personal Development Powerhouse – Take charge of your life and hook your future self up with this track.

Mariah MacCarthy: How to Recover After Life Punches You in the Face
Lillian Karabaic: Investing Like the Bad*ss You Are
Kara Davidson and Stephanie Judd: Own Your Future
Takeallah Rivera: From Beginning to End: Creating a badass morning and evening routine


First Ever Bullish Pop-Up Market

This year, we’ll be hosting a pop-up market for our #ladybiz entrepreneurs, small business owners and exclusive sponsors.

How to participate: Buy your regular ticket to BullCon, and add on a pop-up market table for $150.

What you can sell/promote: Most things! No food or beverage, no MLM/pseudoscience/woo/bullshit. Other than that, it’s pretty open! You can promote your service business, you can sell jewelry on the spot, etc.

When: Saturday of the conference, for 1-2 hours of mingling/networking/shopping. (You won’t miss any of the regular conference.)

Logistics: The tables will be 4 ft or 6 ft tables, depending on how many people sign up. We’re limited to about 20 tables, space-wise.

The pop-up will be open to anyone in the hotel as well.

How + Why You Should Learn to Code – Happy Hour with General Assembly DC

Our fabulous partners at General Assembly DC will be leading a workshop on How and Why You (that means everyone!) Should Learn to Code – whether it’s because you want a new career, want to be able to bootstrap a startup, want to be able to better communicate with people who do the coding for your company, or whether you just want to get a little smarter by thinking in new ways.

Following the optional workshop, General Assembly is hosting a happy hour for the whole conference. Yay!

General Assembly has locations all over the world – check them out here. General Assembly DC is on Twitter here.


Free Headshots and Feminist Photo Booth

This year at BullCon17 we're offering free headshots and a feminist photobooth

Need a new LinkedIn headshot? Or maybe just a new Bumble profile picture? #BullCon17 has you covered. Our official Bullish Conference photographer is bullicorn Jackie Scripps! Our goal is to make sure that you’re prepared to absolutely #killit after BullCon, and part of that means having a badass new headshot/book cover photo/dating profile pic/whateveryouwant.

Learn more about Jackie and the free photos here.

Swag Bag

We like to think of our #swagbag as the cherry on top of an already amazing and badass weekend. We’ll be putting together a collection of Get Bullish goodies as well as gifts, discounts, and treats from our partners and sponsors.

Sample Schedule

Subject to change – official schedule released in October. 

4-7pm – Check in and Happy Hour
Get to know your fellow attendees, meet with experts and explore DC

Saturday:8:30-9:30 Breakfast
9:45-10:45 Opening Roundtable
11-12 General Session 1
12:15-1:15 Lunch
1:30-2:30 Breakout sessions 2-3
2:45-3:45 Breakout sessions 2-3
4-5 Breakout sessions 2-3
5-8 Dinner on your own – Free time!
8-10 General Assembly — talk + happy hour

8:30-9:30 Breakfast
9:45-10:45 General Session 2
11-12 Breakout Sessions 2-3
12-1:30 Break/Lunch free time
1:30-2:30 Exhibition hall / Networking
2:45-3:45 General Session 3
4-5 General Session 4
[free time, dinner on your own]
8pm Closing Party

Checkout, sightseeing, social time

November 2-5 is right around the corner, so get your tickets here and join us for this life changing conference. See you there! 

Jackson, Francis - 100th birthday of

Sep. 22nd, 2017 01:33 pm
[syndicated profile] sinden_feed

Posted by Sinden

The birthday celebrations have begun! English organist and composer Francis Jackson will turn 100 on Monday, October 2.

With Heart and Voice, the organ and church music program from WXXI in Rochester, N.Y., begins the celebration with this week's episode, "Comes Autumn Time." The program include Jackson's hymn tune EAST ACKLAM and his Benedicite in G.

Episcopalians have this lovely tune at their disposal at Hymn 424 in the Hymnal 1982.

So often we see a birth date like (b. 1917) in this Hymnal, published over thirty years ago, and mentally assume that the person must have passed on. Not so with Francis Jackson!

Last night, a young chorister asked me if the author of the hymn, Fred Pratt Green was still living. The hymnal notes his birth year as 1903. Green died in 2000.

At St. Peter's, St. Louis, we will sing his marvelous anthem "Lo, God is here" this Sunday. Jackson composed this anthem for the Oxford anthology Anthems for Choirs 1, which he edited. I love this little anthem and its raw, visceral energy.

The anthem is acrobatic. There are no fewer than four key changes. The harmonic twists and turns sound unexpected but are not terribly difficult to manage. There are no fewer than four key changes in this short anthem! I find the consecutive upward leaps of a major seventh at the words "To thee may all our thoughts arise" particularly compelling and memorable.

Anthems for Choirs 1 is out of print, and used copies are cost-prohibitive for choirs that do not already own them, like the Choir of St. Peter's, St. Louis. Luckily, an Oxford "archive print" is available through Banks Music. It is a legally available facsimile of what appears in Anthems for Choirs (the first page is numbered 88).

We'll sing Hymn 424 and hear a bit of his organ music next Sunday.

And I think it's time to dust off his lovely Magnificat and Nunc dimittis in G, too.

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Posted by maestrobeats

by Maggie Molloy Philip Glass and J.S. Bach have a lot more in common than you might think. Cascading arpeggios, rapid scales, ever-shifting counterpoint—a transcendent, almost spiritual quality to their music. It comes as no surprise to learn that Glass studied the … Continue reading
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Posted by Jenny Palkowitsh

As you know, we at Get Bullish have made it out mission to make the workplace (and the world) better for women.

We’re thrilled to announce that we’ll be partnering up with Fairygodboss who have created a community for free, anonymous workplace reviews for women by women. They believe (and we agree!) that the more you know when job hunting, the more likely you are to end up with the right company. Fairygodboss provides work place experiences and the inside scoop on culture, policies and benefits at their employers.

Job hunting for women can be particularly difficult. By crowdsourcing, Fairygodboss provides information on salaries, benefits and a unique perspective into what it’s actually like to work for over different companies in different industries.

As some of you know, we’ve welcomed Fairygodboss founder Romy Newman to our BullCon17 speaker lineup. She’ll be addressing gender equality in the workplace and how to get ahead at work. Learn more about Romy and her Bullish Conference workshop here.

Stay tuned for more exciting announcements and updates from this magical partnership. And GET THE GOOD DIRT on potential employers (we mean that in the best way) over at Fairygodboss.

What it’s like for girls

Sep. 22nd, 2017 03:39 pm
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[personal profile] marnanel
I've always dressed androgynously and worn my hair long since childhood, because of being nonbinary, but this was the first time I'd got this treatment. I think it gets more common after puberty?

When I was about fifteen, I participated in a thirty-mile walk to raise money for charity. The final checkpoint was a pub, and of course everyone went into the beer garden and lay down on the grass.

Now you know how when you've been exerting yourself, you can walk fine until you stop, whereupon your muscles seize up. Well, after lying on the ground for a few minutes I got up because I needed to go into the pub and find the toilet, and of course I could hardly walk. So I hobbled towards the pub door.

A middle-aged man walked up and held my elbow, saying, "Let me help you, my dear."

First thought: wtf?! Why has this creep grabbed my arm without asking?

Second thought: Oh! In these baggy walking clothes, he thinks I'm a girl.

Third thought: Wait a moment. That means that girls get this sort of treatment all the time and I'VE NEVER NOTICED.

It was seriously a life-altering moment.

Composing thoughts

Sep. 22nd, 2017 03:27 am
[syndicated profile] planet_hugill_feed
I have written an article for Parma Recordings with thoughts about composing, early influences and the songs on our CD, Quickening. You can find it on the Parma Recordings website, along with a whizzy new photo of me.


Sep. 22nd, 2017 05:24 am
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[personal profile] dglenn

"This is a time for action -- not for war, but for mobilization of every bit of peace machinery. It is also a time for facing the fact that you cannot use a weapon, even though it is the weapon that gives you greater strength than other nations, if it is so destructive that it practically wipes out large areas of land and great numbers of innocent people. " -- Eleanor Roosevelt (b. 1884-10-11, d. 1962-11-07), My Day (newspaper column) 1954-04-16

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Posted by Timothy Green

Sandra Anfang


I read it in the New York Times
so it must be true:

a poet writes a book of poems
about why the masses hate poetry.

I ponder hatred;
surely it’s too strong a word

for the random tickle
the mind’s unravel

something we ought to welcome
when analysis of the latest 

police shooting glazes our ears.
Fear not—good neighbors

think of it as the latest staycation
an interlude of dreaming

at the kitchen table
mind in the stars

while cats trace figure eights
around a plate of crusts

and the cup of cold coffee
separating you

from all you think
you need to do today.

from Rattle #56, Summer 2017

[download audio]


Sandra Anfang: “One morning I found an extra hour to eat breakfast and read the New York Times online. A book title, The Hatred of Poetry, leapt from the screen, nearly causing me to spill green tea over the keyboard. I was stunned to find that the book being reviewed was written by a poet. I hefted my sword (Microsoft Word). I write for many reasons, but these days, it’s often to challenge an outrageous view or to give form to what feels like a world headed off the rails.” (website)

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David Curtis and Orchesta of the Swan
David Curtis and Orchestra of the Swan
The Orchestra of the Swan (OOTS) has renewed its partnership with Stratford-on-Avon Music Festival and from 26 September to 3 October, and OOTS will be presenting a programme at the festival featuring Roderick Williams, Leon McCawley, Tamsin Waley-Cohen and Julian Bliss, alongside BBC New Generation Artists Pavel Kolesnikov (piano), Annelien Van Wauwe (clarinet), the Van Kuijk String Quartet and the Amatis Piano Trio. BBC Radio 3 will be recording two lunchtime performances, and Classic FM will record the final concert where Julian Bliss joins David Curtis and OOTS for a programme which includes Weber's Clarinet Concerto and music by Rossini and Beethoven.

22 years ago the Stratford-on-Avon District English Music Festival (now the Stratford-on-Avon Music Festival) opened for the first time. It needed a conductor and an orchestra, and David Curtis, viola player with the Coull Quartet, was invited to form an orchestra for the festival and Stratford’s own Orchestra of the Swan was born. This year, the festival's new artistic director David Mills has re-focused the festival and it will be highlighting the wonderful repertoire of music for woodwinds amid an abundance of world class music making, with OOTS and David Curtis as key partner.

Full details of the festival from its website.
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Da Camera - Emma Murphy, Steven Devine, Susanna Pell
Da Camera - Emma Murphy, Steven Devine, Susanna Pell
Telemann, Bach, Alessandro Scarlatti; Carolyn Sampson, Da Camera; Kings Place
Reviewed by Robert Hugill on Sep 20 2017
Star rating: 4.0

Elegant and civilised, Telemann's trio sonatas and sacred solo cantatas

The chamber ensemble Da Camera (Emma Murphy, recorders, Susanna Pell, viols, Steven Devine, harpsichord) was joined by soprano Carolyn Sampson at Kings Place on Wednesday 20 September 2017 for a celebration of all things Telemann. Da Camera performed three of Telemann's trio sonatas, whilst Carolyn Sampson sang two of the cantatas from Telemann's Harmoniscer Gottes-Dienst, 'Lauter Wonne, lauter Freude' and 'Hemmet den Eifer, verbanet die Rache'. Da Camera also played their own arrangement of Bach's Trio Sonata in G from The Organ Sonatas, whilst Carolyn Sampson sang Alessandro Scarlatti's cantata Ardo e'ver per te d'amore.

Carolyn Sampson (Photo Marco Borggreve)
Carolyn Sampson (Photo Marco Borggreve)
Telemann's sheer productiveness can sometimes be a barrier to his work being better known, it is difficult to concentrate on one when you have so many. Da Camera's recent recording of Telemann trio sonatas was a lovely excuse for a concert which wove three of them into the programme, two from Essercizii Musici (1740), Trio Sonata No. 5 in A minor, TWV42:a4 and Trio Sonata No. 10 in D, TWV42:d9, and one from the Darmstadt Manuscript, Trio Sonata in G minor, TWV42:g9.

Essercizii Musici is the last of Telemann's 44 publications, and it combines 12 solo sonatas and 12 trio sonatas, with scoring for six different instruments, violin, flute, viola da gamba, recorder, oboe and harpsichord. Telemann clearly had an eye for the main chance, and published his works for violin, flute, recorder or oboe, to attract a wider market. So Da Camera followed this flexibility and adjusted Trio Sonatas No. 5 & 10 to be for recorder, viola da gamba and harpsichord. The Darmstadt Manuscript on the other hand, has his trio sonatas scored for recorder and treble viol and this is the combination Da Camera used in the Trio Sonata in G minor.

All three are in four movements, slow, fast, slow, fast, and Telemann shows a maximum amount of inventiveness in the way he creates varied textures for the three instruments. One of the fascinating things was hearing the viola da gamba being used as a melody instrument, so that repeatedly we heard some delightful passages where recorder and viola da gamba were in dialogue, swapping musical material. Frequently melodically very appealing, we had perky fast movements and sweetly haunting slow ones, and I was especially struck by the final movement of the Trio Sonata in G minor, which seemed to have elements of a Scottish reel about it. The trio sonatas are also very challenging with all three players having to repeatedly demonstrate nimble fingers, and Da Camera combined dazzling technique with engaging playing.
Telemann's Harmonischer Gottes-Dienst is an annual cycle of 72 church cantatas, each scored for voice, continuo and an obbligato instrument, here played on the recorder. Both cantatas were heard, Lauter Wonne, lauter Freude and Hemmet den Eifer, verbanet die Rache were of the form aria, recitative, aria. In the first, the text compared the joyful bliss in the poet's heart with the hearts full of flames of the sinful. The first aria was a joyful duet with the recorder, and the final one, slow and lyrical but with laughing effects in the voice, with a sober recitative between. The second started joyfully with much burbling delight from recorder and voice, sometimes together in spectacular fashion, and finished in graceful lilting manner. In both, Carolyn Samson sang with charming ease, bringing out the sheer joy in the arias with a more sober touch in the recitative.

We heard one extra Telemann piece, as Stephen Devine played the Fantaisie No. 2in D minor, TWV33:2 for solo harpsichord, one of 36 that Telemann wrote in this form. The name seems to have been his own, and the piece was a simple ABA structure, with the opening Allegro feeling somewhat like an orchestral tutti from an overture, but the middle section was striking indeed with a sudden move to the minor and an improvisatory feel to the writing.

Bach's Organ Sonatas BWV525-530 are usually referred to as trio sonatas because of the three part texture, and Da Camera have taken Bach at his word and arranged the Trio Sonata in G for recorder, treble viol and harpsichord. In three movements, the work started in a jolly fashion but it wasn't without complexity (this is Bach after all). The plangent interchange between the melody instruments in the slow movement developed into something interestingly chromatic, whilst the jolly finale gave s a busy dialogue between viol and recorder.

Alessandro Scarlatti's cantata Ardo e ver, per te d'amore is one of 728, but is unusual in that Scarlatti uses a wind obbligato instrument (rare in Italy at the time). All about the pains of love and jealousy, the piece started with a elegant larghetto aria with a substantial burbling recorder part, which contrasted with Carolyn Sampson's nicely passionate lyricism. Recitative led to the second, and final, aria which was nicely bouncy, celebrating the playful wind with some stunning passagework in the recorder.

This was an elegant and civilised evening, and gave us a chance to appreciate quite how charmingly inventive Telemann could be, though we left with the suspicion that for all his facility, the music rarely touched deeper emotions.

We were sent away with an encore, one of Handel's Neun Deutsche Arien, 'Süsse, Stille', delightfully rendered.

Elsewhere on this blog:

Hymnal 1982 Errata

Sep. 21st, 2017 10:35 pm
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Posted by Sinden

At rehearsal tonight someone asked a question about Hymn 307 in the Hymnal 1982: is it supposed to be "thou art here" or "thou are here?". The hymnal prints it both ways at the conclusion of stanza 2.

There are little inconsistencies like this all through the hymnal. Some are musical, some are textual. Some occur in early editions but are fixed in later ones. But it's like a big scavenger hunt figuring out where they are and what the correct answers are.

Isn't it time we had a centralized location for all these things we've learned about this hymnal in its 32 year history?

I think so.

That's why I hope you'll join me in helping to create a Hymnal 1982 Errata.

What mistakes have you found? What do other Episcopal choirs (and congregations, ack!) need to know about?

Let's work together on a list.

It will live as a Google Document until we feel like it might be ready for more formal distribution.

Please add your suggestions in the comments below, or send me an email (

You can view the current version of the document here: Hymnal 1982 Errata (Google Doc)

(no subject)

Sep. 21st, 2017 11:16 pm
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[personal profile] starandrea
Alex: “You owned a Sha'erah, according to Miranda."
Paulson: "Well, I... I suppose."
Alex: "You suppose? How do you own someone and not quite recall exactly? Did you, or didn't you?”

--Kristine Williams, Madness
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Posted by maestrobeats

by Lauren Freman There’s a fun kind of dark—take your Quentins Tarantino, your Samuels Pekinpah—a gleeful brand of hyperrealistic gore that makes you giggle uncomfortably in your seat, where the director gets lauded for “going there,” where a spray of blood … Continue reading

Nightafternight playlist

Sep. 21st, 2017 02:41 pm
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Posted by Alex Ross


— Gregory Spears, Fellow Travelers; Aaron Blake, Joseph Lattanzi, Mark Gibson conducting the Cincinnati Symphony (Fanfare Cincinnati)

— Bernstein, Complete Solo Piano Works; Leann Osterkamp (Steinway)

— Bach, Solo Cello Suites; Thomas Demenga (ECM; digital 9/29, physical 11/17)

— Bach, Solo Cello Suites; Richard Narroway (Sono Luminus)

Dynastie: Concertos by JS, JC, WF, and CPE Bach; Jean Rondeau, Sophie Gent, Louis Creac'h, Fanny Paccoud, Antoine Touche. Thomas de Pierrefeu, Evolène Kiener (Warner)

— George Lewis, Assemblage; Ensemble Dal Niente (New World)

Leonard Bernstein the Composer (Sony box set)

Grey Hair - Ashjan Al Hendi

Sep. 21st, 2017 06:36 pm
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Posted by Bruce Levitan

Jasmine fixed its heart in her braid
a flowering rivulet
touched her hair
the flavor of perfume
slept on her breath
Read more »


Sep. 21st, 2017 05:24 am
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[personal profile] dglenn

"Whatever your past has been, you have a spotless future" -- <not sure who said this>

[To my Jewish friends: Shanah Tovah!]

Global Warming

Sep. 21st, 2017 03:47 am
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[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
 ... is not new, is more solid than ever, but people still aren't listening.
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Posted by Jessica

Culture shouldn't be just a feather in the country's cap - it's the cap itself, says Jack Pepper, 18-year-old composer and writer, in this guest post on the return of Simon Rattle and what this means for his generation. Go, Jack! 

Upping the Tempo
Jack Pepper

Portrait of Rattle by Sheila Rock (licensed to Warner Classics)

Say what you will about the PR drive surrounding Sir Simon Rattle’s return to London. We need classical musicians who can grab the headlines and capture the imagination of the public. Let’s just hope we ride the crest of this wave

Exhibitions of “photos and memorabilia covering Sir Simon Rattle’s musical life to date”. A “large-scale projected artwork” that reduces his form “to a series of animated dots”. And even a screening of Henry V, with the score performed by the maestro himself. If you were an alien landing in London today, you might wonder whether you were encountering the propaganda of some vast autocratic state, or perhaps be fooled into thinking that classical music had produced its own A-List Hollywood movie. But even with eyes that are so myopic they won’t allow me to see my feet from where I stand, I can see that the London Symphony Orchestra is making the most of its new Music Director. And why not?

Rarely has the classical music world seemed so feverishly excited in my 18 years on the planet. As a young teenager tentatively exploring classical music for myself, everything seemed just a tad sterile. Serious, even. Perhaps it would be going too far to say that everyone seemed bored, but to a ten-year-old the classical world appeared, well, indifferent. In reality, classical musicians and music-lovers are never indifferent, but appearances count for a lot when it comes to engaging new audiences. Despite numerous scandals and intriguing personalities, the public rarely hear of classical musicians from the mainstream news. This contributes to an image of sterility, of distance, even if it is far from true.

Whilst my friends would be hyper at the release of a new iPhone, ecstatic at the thought of a new Bond, and positively overwhelmed by the prospect of a wireless speaker, I looked at the classical world and found that its own most publicised stirrings consisted of an elderly female pianist pirating old records and the frequently acerbic response of audiences to the latest opera production that happened to show a nude singer. Whilst a 1920s silent movie would never have shown such exposure, it would be hard to avoid it in the latest Bond release; yet classical audiences seem consistently irritated by similar things. 

Of course, the news hadn’t made me aware of Darmstadt, or of any of the other seismic revolutions that rocked classical music as a force for change. Old habits seemed to die hard, and with its penchant for tradition – constantly wearing dinner jackets and sure to hiss the latest opera production - the classical world on the surface seemed rather glued to routine.  

But it is true that some constants have damaged classical music for too long. If horror at the pettiest of nude ‘outrages’ was regular, genuine excitement seemed equally regularly hard to come by at first glance. I would watch the latest BBC coverage of the Proms to find the presenter insisting that they were all having “a great party”, whilst looking more like they were at a wake. Dig deep and you find huge excitement in classical circles, but this was not regularly communicated on the surface level that any new audience would first see. To a newcomer, didn’t it all seem just a tad rigid? We seemed so busy insisting that we were excited by a new piece that we forgot to appear genuinely excited. To a young person surrounded by glaring digital billboards advertising the latest Tom Cruise blockbuster, the classical music world seemed – to judge by its sparse mainstream coverage alone – decidedly fixed in its ways.

Rattle could not have come at a better time. Not only can he change public perceptions of classical music, nor can he only change the way seasoned music-lovers view their art form, but he can also tackle political indifference. It is disturbing that the arts seem so often to be a mere feather in a national cap, and not the cap itself; for too long, we have been reading articles crying despair at British cuts to arts funding, seen images of the latest American orchestra to close, and (most likely didn’t) read how most UK political parties entirely overlooked the arts in their manifestos in the 2017 General Election. When so many public personalities – faces we see every day on the news, and who influence everything from arts funding to public perceptions – seem so adamantly against the arts, we need a cultural figurehead who can take a stand. If politics are indifferent to music, then music must never appear indifferent to itself. It must never just ‘accept’. Classical music needs a politician, but if it can’t have one in politics, why can’t it have one in music?

The problem is clear. The world of classical music seemed indifferent to itself when I first started exploring its treasures not because it genuinely was ambivalent, but because its public image was stuffy, traditional and old-fashioned. Of course it has its peculiarities, like an audience’s strange aversion to sniffing, sneezing and any other sign of human life at a concert. We should be willing to admit this. But the classical music world is not stuffy. It was only my subsequent experience of meeting musicians, going backstage and getting involved that showed me nothing could be further from the truth. But we need someone out there saying it.

With Simon Rattle, we have a fantastic opportunity to present a rejuvenated image of classical music to new audiences who, like I was as a young child, may be intrigued by the wonders of this genre but hesitant to go further simply because it seems so daunting. If politicians and the mainstream media seem indifferent to the arts, the arts world must redouble its efforts to demonstrate the passion that itundoubtedly has. Rattle should be a kick up not just our own classical derrières, encouraging us to spread our passion to all, but also up the political rear as a reminder that this genre does have its own powerful figureheads. Yes, Rattle’s return has been coupled with a strangely omnipresent and marketing-speak PR campaign, but if it gets people talking about classical music, then consider it a job well done.

Our passion and our determination to open the arts to all must never be restricted to purely musical circles, where we are at risk of preaching solely to the converted. Someone like Sir Simon Rattle can remind us all why we adore this genre, and bring our love of classical music to everyone. That’s worth a PR campaign.
Jack Pepper

Bach to the piano

Sep. 21st, 2017 09:15 am
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Bach: Art of Fugue - Duo Stephanie and Saar - New Focus Recordings
Bach keyboard concertos, Italian Concerto, The Art of Fugue; Stephanie Ho, Saar Ahuvia, Sonya Bach, English Chamber Orchestra; New Focus Recordings, Rubicon
Reviewed by Robert Hugill on Aug 13 2017
Different approaches to Bach, different problems to solve, Bach on the piano from three pianists

Whilst performing Bach on the piano is hardly controversial in our rather pluralist age, it is always intriguing to hear how different pianists tackle the challenge of transposing Bach to modern instruments, and particularly how they respond to the challenges and problems presented by Bach's works. Two new sets have recently come my way, the piano duo of Stephanie Ho and Saar Ahuvia performing Bach's The Art of Fugue on one and two pianos from New Focus Recordings, and pianist Sonya Bach performing six of Bach's keyboard concertos with the English Chamber Orchestra, plus the Italian Concerto on Rubicon.

Bach: keyboard concertos - Sonya Bach - Rubicon
Bach's The Art of Fugue is a famous problem work, not only the challenge of deciding what instruments to use in performance given Bach's lack of specification, but the fact that the work is famously unfinished. Stephanie Ho and Saar Ahuvia perform the work on two pianos, though their approach is quite eclectic, Contrapunctus 1 to 8, 10 and 11 are performed with two pianists at one piano, whilst Contrapunctus 9, 12 (recta & inversa), 13 (recta & inversa) are performed on two pianos. The canons are performed as solo piano pieces. The unfinished fugue is left unfinished, stopping mid air and the work finishes with a solo performance of the Canon per ugmentationem in Contrario Motu.

The two pianists have an admirable uniformity of touch so that it sounds like one four-handed player, and their approach blends period and modern. The essential touch is modern, but there is a nice clarity to it. There is pedalling, so the result is more romantic and not as austere as some performers of Bach on the modern piano. When it comes to fugue subjects they seem to like a uniformity of tone and articulation, so that the result can often seem quite a uniform texture rather than different elements of the fugue standing out. The first two piano piece of the sequence, Contrapunctus 9, really makes a glorious noise.

These are beautifully fluent performances, ideal for someone who likes quite a modern sound in their Bach, but I have to confess that I like a slightly more analytic approach to Bach on the piano with less of the modern romantic styling.

This issue of style re-occurs in Sonya Bach's performances of the keyboard concertos nos. 1-5, & 7 with the English Chamber Orchestra. Using a piano in these works solves the balance problems inherent in period performances with harpsichord; too often, especially in live performance, I find myself frustrated at the way the accompaniment can easily dominate the harpsichord and wonder what forces Bach actually used. Should we view these pieces really as chamber music?
But with piano, there is no such problem and Sonya Bach easily dominates and creates a very modern idea of a concerto. Sonya Bach's teachers have included Lazar Berman and Alicia de Laroccha, so we should not expect period style from her, and the performances have no conductor (the concert-masters were John Mills for the first CD and Stephanie Gonley for the second one) so Sonya Bach's is the dominant personality in the performances. Putting on the first disc and listening to the opening movement of Concerto No. 5, it was if we had been transported back to the 1950s, the speed is steady with a big sound and a very strong bass line. Sonya Bach's approach isn't completely romantic, but there is a feeling of heaviness about the performance despite some fine finger work. As the concertos progress (in the order 5, 1, 2, 7, 4,3) we repeatedly hear Sonya Bach's preference for an over-strong bass line and a tendency for the faster movements to settle at too steady tempo.

Her pianism does not need this over caution, some of the movements are beautifully fluid and fluent, and the opening of Concerto No. 1 is very engaging. It made me wonder what order they were recorded in (there is eleven months between recording sessions and I understand that different pianos were used), because by the final one in the sequence, Concerto No. 3, artist and ensemble seem to have adjusted to themselves and there is a poetry, lightness and crispness to the performance lacking in the opening of the first disc. With the Italian Concerto it is just Sonya Bach on her own, and here we can hear the intelligent virtues of her style, crisp and engaging with a certain steadiness of tempo, she brings poetry to the slow movement and takes the final Presto at quite a lick.

Sonya Bach's performances of the concertos seem to be very much a work in progress, and I wondered if she should have worked with a conductor to shape the overall performances, or perhaps they had been recorded too early.

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) - The Art of Fugue BWV1080
Stephanie Ho and Saar Ahuvia (pianos)
Recorded at Oktaven Audio, Mt. Vernon, NY, 17 September, 22 October & 8 December 2016
Available from Amazon.

Johann Sebastian Bach - Concerto No. 5 in F minor BWV1056
Johann Sebastian Bach - Concerto No. 1 in D minor BWV1052
Johann Sebastian Bach - Concerto No. 2 in E major BWV1053
Johann Sebastian Bach - Concerto No. 7 in G minor BWV1058
Johann Sebastian Bach - Concerto No. 4 in A major BWV1055
Johann Sebastian Bach - Concerto No. 3 in D major BWV1054
Johann Sebastian Bach - Italian Concerto
Sonya Bach (piano)
English Chamber Orchestra (leaders John Mills, Stephanie Gonley)
Recorded at St John's Smith Square, 7 & 8 March 2014, 19 & 20 February 2015
RUBICON RCD1006 2CDs [48.59, 54.03]
Available from Amazon

Elsewhere on this blog:

“Trajectory” by Ann Giard-Chase

Sep. 21st, 2017 07:00 am
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Posted by Timothy Green

Ekphrastic Challenge, August 2017: Artist’s Choice


Street Folks by Jennifer O'Neill Pickering

Image: “Street Folks” by Jennifer O’Neill Pickering. “Trajectory” was written by Ann Giard-Chase for Rattle’s Ekphrastic Challenge, July 2017, and selected as the Artist’s Choice.

[download: PDF / JPG]


Ann Giard-Chase


We were young once and beautiful,
wandering loose as stones—Jed loping

along beside me, the beret he loved
like a lopsided lily pad plopped

on his head. We’re lost, I’d say as we
drifted from city to city. We’re free,

he’d mumble, cigarette dangling
like a toothpick between his lips. Nights

with him, I’d lie on city pavements,
neon sizzling in the darkness. I’d tell him

I could have been a tree or a planet fixed
to a fiery star. I’d tell him dragonflies

are in season and Monarchs migrate
along ghostly trails returning year after year

to the same forest. You think too much,
he’d mutter. But one day I knew

what I had to do and I loosened the sails
and he drifted away and that night I grew

thick roots sinking them deep into bedrock
while far above me the constellations

lit their luminous lamps and burned away
the darkness and I thought—life is full

of many hungers knowing they too are tied
by invisible strings swirling them into orbits,

looping them into galaxies, calling them
home from the vast and racing universe.

from Ekphrastic Challenge, August 2017
Artist’s Choice


Comment from the artist, Jennifer O’Neill Pickering, on this selection: “Many of the poems reflected the visual narrative of my pastel, but what I particularly liked about ‘Trajectory’ was the positive outcome for one of the characters. This left me feeling hopeful. I think we can use a bit of hope now.”

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Dominic Robertson: Mozart vs Machine - Mahogany Opera Group
Dominic Robertson: Mozart vs Machine - Mahogany Opera Group
Dominic Robertson Mozart vs Machine; Frederic Wake-Walker, Mahogany Opera Group; Jubilee Hall, Aldeburgh
Reviewed by Tony Cooper on Sep 17 2017 Star rating: 5.0
A zany, surreal, vaudeville-type show that puts Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart on trial and firmly in the dock

Dominic Robertson: Mozart vs Machine - Mahogany Opera Group
Rebecca Bottone
Dominic Robertson: Mozart vs Machine - Mahogany Opera Group
A high-octane mash-up of Mozart opera, electronic sound and video projection, Mozart vs Machine (created by Dominic Robertson) puts the Mahogany Opera Group, under the artistic direction of Frederic Wake-Walker, a visionary, challenging and unfussy director, centre stage of creative thinking. The company is currently touring the work and we caught it on 17 September 2017 at the Jubilee Hall, Aldeburgh, Suffolk.

Developed through Mahogany’s Various Stages programme, Mozart vs Machine received generous support from Sound and Music, the national charity for new music in the UK whose mission is to maximise the opportunities for people to create and enjoy new music, while Arts Council England and PRS for Music Foundation helped greatly, too.

Collectively, all of these financial contributions have helped tremendously towards the cost in bringing to the stage a totally-absorbing and totally-original work - but a totally mind-boggling one, too - that fitted perfectly the stage and ambience of Aldeburgh’s warm and intimate Jubilee Hall which, by the way, hosted the world premières of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Walton’s The Bear and Harrison Birtwistle’s Punch and Judy.

Wake-Walker and Mahogany are no strangers to Jubilee Hall either and triumphed here with Russian Tales (set to a score by Stravinsky/Walton) and Folie à Deux, a collaboration between British composer Emily Hall and Icelandic writer Sjón which brought classical, electronic and folk sounds together in a mesmerising and effective show. Now Mozart vs Machine - whose scenario focuses on the 20th-century American electronic-instrument inventor/composer, Raymond Scott and the 18th-century classical composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - is added to the growing list.

Dominic Robertson: Mozart vs Machine - Mahogany Opera Group
Dominic Robertson: Mozart vs Machine - Mahogany Opera Group
Currently, the trustees of Jubilee Hall hold exciting plans to bring the venue into the 21st century without losing its historical patina and Mozart vs Machine is the first time that they have promoted an event of this kind for a considerable number of years which was presented in association with the HighTide Festival celebrating this year its eleventh edition. Although presented and produced by an opera group, Mozart vs Machine is so far removed from the genre of opera. A ‘musical installation’ more like it but described by Wake-Walker as an ‘electronic essay collage opera’. That’s ok by me!

The brainchild of composer Dominic Robertson (formerly known as Ergo Phizmiz) he has created first hand a surrealist work which combines live and pre-recorded music, shadow puppetry and video images whilst gathering together some of history’s most iconic artists highlighting them within a theatrical sci-fi-game-show while forging together ideas and notes from across history into an irreverent collage of music, theatre or whatever, blurring the boundaries of opera and performance art. Only one musician appeared on stage, the musical director, Katherine Tinker, gracefully attired in 18th-century dress playing harpsichord.

Within his creative framework, Robertson has cleverly incorporated - with a little help from French illusionist and film pioneer Georges Méliès and Lewis Carroll’s Logic Game not forgetting composers John Cage and J S Bach - digital reconstructions which found space with scissors-and-glue edits and inversions of Mozart scores while music-box transcriptions were reversed and flipped and in doing so melodies and progressions are quoted and transformed along the way.

Central to the work is the question of how vital the march of technology is to the transformation of music. What happens, for instance, when someone like Mozart, a composer of paper and ink, is placed in theoretical space with a person such as Scott, an inventor of chance-generated loop machines?

Dominic Robertson: Mozart vs Machine - Mahogany Opera Group
Dominic Robertson: Mozart vs Machine
Mahogany Opera Group
That’s a big issue, a big question, in fact, that has been floating about, I should imagine, in Robertson’s lively and inventive mind for donkey’s years and has now manifested itself in Mozart vs Machine. Robertson harbours the view that 21st-century opera is any drama of events where the narrative is developed through the dynamic combinations of music and the human voice. Whether this voice is singing or speaking in conjunction with the music is purely immaterial.

A musical iconoclast like no other, Robertson rips up scores at will, chops them up bar by bar and reassembles them in his own inimitable style and fashion. For example, one of the most famous arias by Mozart, the Queen of the Night’s big coloratura number from The Magic Flute, received the Robertson treatment and came over in a lyrical, flamboyant and pleasing way.

Mozart vs Machine, however, is a work you have to come to fresh and without any preconceived opinion. Some things you got, some you didn’t. It was that kind of work but, nonetheless, very satisfying. But, I’m afraid, not everyone in the audience would subscribe to that sentiment. As I shuffled out of the hall heading towards Crag Path I overheard a female member of the audience asking what it was all about while a male member commented that a plate of fish and chips would have been better. Even better with salt and vinegar!

The casting was spot on and three performers portrayed six characters with the character of Raymond Scott played by Bryan Benner who also took on the role of John Cage, the American avant-garde composer and electro-acoustic music maverick.

We caught a glimpse of Robertson, too. He briefly appeared on screen at the beginning of the piece as Johannes Kepler, the German mathematician, astronomer and astrologer and a key figure in 17th-century scientific revolution. He was explaining his theories of the universe against a colossal telescope clad in a ruff collar sporting a monocle and portraying an image that seemed a near-perfect fit to Sir Patrick Moore, the eccentric and former presenter of the Sky at Night. Like Moore, with his unkempt hair-style, he looked the epitome of the school science-master, speaking slowly and clearly with a touch of nervous excitement in his voice.

Working alone in his Manhattan research laboratory Scott is seen trying to develop a machine to generate random musical patterns. But like so many scientific experiments things went wrong and, in this case, one of his devices accidentally rips a hole in the universe and in the process distorts time bringing him face to face with none other than Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The sci-fi novel by H G Wells, The Time Machine, flashed through my mind.

And from this point in time, Mozart vs Machine - using a rather loose narrative contained within a musical cabaret-type framework - kicks off and the work quickly gathers apace with members of the audience finding themselves on a fantastical journey through the ideas of art and ownership while time and music is shaken up through unexpected directions and random chance.

All of this zany action forges a surreal, vaudevillian and hyped-up show trial that puts Mozart - brilliantly sung and acted by the English-born soprano, Rebecca Bottone, whose dress and make-up depicted the wunderkind from Salzburg so vividly - firmly in the dock.

But before Mozart gets to the witness-box one sees him being charged by The Referee, played menacingly by Julien Van Mellaerts, who also doubled as J S Bach. Incidentally, earlier this year, Van Mellaerts took First Prize in the 62nd Kathleen Ferrier Competition held at London’s Wigmore Hall.

Dressed in gangster-style clothing sporting a black Trilby with a revolver at the ready The Referee’s seen pinning an obstinate-looking Mozart to a bottom-of-the-range family car. The scene echoed Hollywood B movie style action. His charge: a common criminal stealing music for his betterment from an unlikely bunch of modern-day composers including such names as Charlie Parker, Little Richard and Winifred Atwell - even The Beatles. Stravinsky was in there somewhere. Beethoven - maybe? The show's title equated closely to the conversation that Raymond Scott had with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart who argued from the point of view that human-beings created music in the best possible way while Scott insisted that machines can go one better. Therefore, to generate music, Scott experimented with sounds that were seemingly random. Mozart, too, was not without his external influences either which included the clicking sounds made by billiard-balls at play (Mozart was a keen player, I found out) which often inspired him in his writing.

Basically, both composers were reading from the same page and their cumulative ideas gave way to John Cage. Therefore, towards the end of Mozart vs Machine, we encounter Cage’s famous three-movement composition, ‘Four thirty-three’, composed in 1952 for any instrument or combination of instruments, but the score instructs the performer(s) not to play their instrument(s) during the entire duration of the piece.

It was a moment to relish and it reminded me of the London International Surrealist Exhibition in 1936 when Salvador Dalí, then in the prime of his artistic career, gave a lecture wearing an old-fashioned deep-sea diving-suit representing how he existed at the bottom of the sea of subconciousness. Nobody heard a word, of course, but the ‘happening’ has gone down in history as a challenging piece of Surrealist art. Silence is golden in more ways than one!

And to stamp his authority and to crown his quirky work, Bryan Benner silently appeared on stage as John Cage wearing a T-shirt aptly inscribed: SHUT UP - I’M JOHN CAGE. J S Bach had his moment, too, inasmuch as during the rendition of ‘O sacred Head, sore wounded’ from St Matthew Passion, a television test card was punctuated by 1685-1750 BACH. Where was the merchandise?

Supporting the principal cast was a 13-piece chorus made up by the best of local singers. They acted as The Jury and were involved in four numbers ‘Entry of the Jury’, ‘Judges’ Blessing’, ‘Judges’ Song’ and ‘The Melomaniac’ while they also spent a large proportion of their time bouncing on retro space hoppers - hopefully to the beat!

Wake-Walker, assisted by Peter Cant, has ingenuity and foresight in his approach to the work he engages in with Mahogany Opera and always gathers round him creative teams of exceptional quality. Those working with him on Mozart vs Machine delivered the goods in a positive and forthright manner and comprised Kitty Callister (designer), Ed Borgnis (technical designer and production manager), Claire Childs (original lighting design), Neill Brinkworth (re-mount lighting design), and Simon Mathewson (animation) while Jasmin Hay acted as stage manager and Emily Howard, wardrobe manager.

Historical note: Raymond Scott, by the way, was an American composer born Harry Warnow in 1908. A band-leader, pianist, engineer and recording maverick he enjoyed a long and fruitful life departing this world in 1994 aged 85. Scott was a wizard, too, in the field of hi-tech and his work as an electronic-instrument inventor earned him the title ‘the father of electronic music’. In fact, millions upon millions of cinemagoers have probably encountered his work but don’t recognise his name. It was fellow American composer, Carl Stalling, who brought his music to public attention by adapting it in over dozens of animated films such as Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Daffy Duck and Looney Tunes.
Reviewed by Tony Cooper

Tour schedule:
The Cube, Bristol: Thursday, 21st September, 7.30pm
Norwich Arts Centre: Tuesday, 26th September, 8.00pm
The Yard, London: Thursday, 28th September, 8.00pm
The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen: Saturday 11th November, 6pm
The Phoenix, Exeter: Wednesday, 15th November, 8.00pm

Elsewhere on this blog:

Lucy Parham's Sunday Matinees

Sep. 20th, 2017 11:14 pm
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Lucy Parham - Beloved Clara
Lucy Parham is returning to St John's Smith Square on Sunday afternoons with a second series of her composer portraits featuring a spoken narrative from a series of distinguished actors, and piano music from Lucy. The series opens on Sunday 24 September with Beloved Clara which looks at the relationship between Robert and Clara Schumann and their close friendship with Brahms, and Lucy Parham is joined by Harriet Walter and Tim McInnerny.

Further ahead, on Sunday 29 October, the subject turns to Chopin with Nocturne: The Romantic Life of Chopin with Lucy joined by Patricia Hodge and Alex Jennings. Then on Sunday 28 January 2017 Lucy is joined by Simon Russell Beale to celebrate the centenary of Debussy's death with Reverie: The Life and Loves of Debussy. On 4 March 2018, Odyssey of Love: Liszt and his Women features Joanna David and Robert Glenister, whilst on 15 April 2018, Elegie: Rachmaninoffl a heart in exile features Henry Goodman. Each event is followed by a post-concert discussion.

Full details from the St John's Smith Square website.
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[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Scientists have discovered a geometric shape at the center of reality, whose form defines the behavior of particles.  It's a lot simpler than trying to calculate by hand the way those things move.  It goes from hundreds of pages of math to one. 

Meanwhile I'm laughing my ass off because, well, om mani padme hum.  Not the sound of the chant, but it's literal meaning: the jewel in the heart of the lotus.  Mystical people have been staring at this thing forever, because A) it's inspiring, B) it's really pretty, and C) when you're out of your body on a lot of other dimensions it tends to be right in front of your face and kind of hard to ignore.  Which is okay because A and B.  :D  Anyhow, quantum mechanics might like to take a look at the prismatic branch of sacred art.  Perhaps it will prove inspiring.  Because quantum physics is where magic and science meet, which is why it's cool.  I may not be able to hack the math, but quantum physics still makes my existential intelligence sit up and go squee.

On the downside, this means people are getting reeeeeaaaalllly close to figuring out graviton technology.  This is about as relaxing as realizing that the toddler has just about figured out how to turn on the blowtorch.  O_O  


Sep. 20th, 2017 06:22 pm
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[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
A few days ago, I filled the birdfeeders.  Today I saw a mourning dove on the fly-through feeder, so at least one bird has discovered the seed.  \o/ 
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[personal profile] starandrea
"just give it one more try
to a lullaby, turn this up on the radio
if you can hear me now I'm reaching out
to let you know that you're not alone"
--nickelback, "lullaby"


Sep. 20th, 2017 05:24 am
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[personal profile] dglenn

"Rosh Hashanah is about relationships. Whether between individuals and the God in whom they believe, communities and the traditions which define them, or simply between individuals, whether any God or tradition is part of their lives, it's all about sustaining relationships which sustain us and help us do the same for others." -- Rabbi Brad Hirschfield

Today is...
Gregorian: 2017 September 20
Julian: 2017 September 07
Hebrew: 5777 Elul 29 --- sundown will be the start of 5778 Tishrei 01
Islamic: 1438 Dhu I-Hijja 28
Persian: 1396 Shahrivar 29
Indian: 1939 Bhadra 29
Coptic: 1734 Thout 10

Hard Things

Sep. 20th, 2017 03:50 am
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[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Life is full of things which are hard or tedious or otherwise unpleasant that need doing anyhow. They help make the world go 'round, they improve skills, and they boost your sense of self-respect. But doing them still kinda sucks. It's all the more difficult to do those things when nobody appreciates it. Happily, blogging allows us to share our accomplishments and pat each other on the back.

What are some of the hard things you've done recently? What are some hard things you haven't gotten to yet, but need to do?
[syndicated profile] planet_hugill_feed
Sally Beamish
Sally Beamish
The Judas Passion, Sally Beamish's new piece to a libretto by David Harsent, premieres at the Saffron Hall on Sunday 24 September 2017. Nicholas McGegan conducts the Orchestra of the Age of the Enlightenment (OAE) with the Choir of the Enlightenment and soloists Julia Doyle (Mar), Brenden Gunnell (Judas) and James Newby (Christ).

The piece tells the story of the crucifixion from the point of view of Judas. The intriguing combination of contemporary composer and period instruments will echo Bach's passions in its exploration of the Last Supper and the events of Holy Week. Harsent's libretto asks us to reconsider Judas and poses some very different questions. Was what he did necessary? Could he have done any differently? And can he be forgiven?

The work is repeated at St John's Smith Square on Monday 25 September 2017.

Full details from the OAE website.
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Vox Luminis
Vox Luminis
Johann Michael Bach, Johann Christoph Bach, Philipp Heinrich Erlebach, Dietrich Buxtehude, Johann Sebastian Bach; Vox Luminis; Wigmore Hall
Reviewed by Robert Hugill on Sep 19 2017 Star rating: 4.5
An exploration of the music of Bach's older contemporaries proves a vibrant evening's music making

Vox Luminis' visit to the Wigmore Hall on Tuesday 19 September 2017 was intended to be an exploration of JS Bach's musical ancestry, a selection perhaps of his mental musical furniture with works by two of his relations of the previous generation, Johann Michael Bach and Johann Christoph Bach, plus older contemporaries Philipp Heinrich Erlebach and Dietrich Buxtehude, all finishing with one of JS Bach's earliest cantatas, Christ lag in Todesbanden BWV4.

In the event, things were a little more dramatic than that. Two days before the concert, the group's artistic director Lionel Meunier developed laryngitis and could not sing. As he directs from within the choir, this caused a problem. Meunier's place in the choir was taken by Jussi Lehtipuu, and the programme went on unchanged, unconducted.  To find that your group can manage without you might seem awkward, but it is perhaps the biggest compliment that could be paid to the work of the artistic directer and shows the real collaborative enterprise of the ensemble.

Much of the music was centred round Arnstadt in Thuringia, where JS Bach's first employment was and the area where his forbears were based. All the pieces in the programme were for small choir and ensemble, with Vox Luminis using between eight and ten singers from a pool of eleven, accompanied by a small ensemble of violins, violas, violone and organ.

We started with a pair of works by Johann Michael Bach (1648-1694), father of JS Bach's first wife Maria Barbara. Herr, der König freuet sich, and Ach bleib bei uns, Herr Jesu Christ. Herr, der König freuet sich set verses from Psalm 21 with lively dancing tuttis alternating with vocal solos, each having two violins weaving round them. The group made a strong sound, creating a vibrant and joyful noise, making the piece rather appealing. Ach bleib bei uns, Herr Jesu Christ started with an instrumental sinfonia with rather spectacular string writing. The piece was expressively plangent, with JM Bach using a lot of vivid word painting, again interleaving solos with tuttis. There was a strong sense of commitment and vibrant communication from both singers and players.

Philipp Heinrich Erlebach (1657-1714) wasn't a Bach relation, but he too was based in Thuringia at the court of Rudolstadt where Die Liebe Gottes ist ausgegossen was performed in 1699. It mixes a passage from Romans.V.5 with poetry by the Rudolstadt theologian, Christoph Helm. A plangent piece, full of enlivening detail, it unfolded in quite a leisurely fashion with some notable solos (including a flowing and very present soprano solo) weaving in and out of the tutti sections, and Erlebach created some very appealing textures.

Johann Christoph Bach (1642-1703) was Johann Michael's elder brother. His Die Furcht des Herren used a soprano solo and vocal ensemble to explore man's need for wisdom, though evidently the whole is an allegory with the soprano representing Wisdom, and other soloists as the incoming and outgoing members of the council in Gehren where Johann Christoph and Johann Michael both worked. In the event it was a series of expressive verses for soprano solo, each concluding with an ensemble to the words 'Give me wisdom'. The fine soprano solo was accompanied by a richly textured string ensemble, with Johann Christoph creating some quite vivid moments, and the tuttis were vigorous indeed.

The first half finished with a second Johann Christoph Bach piece, Herr, wende dich und sei mir gnädig, a dialogue between the tortured soul (three upper voices, soprano, alto and tenor) and Christ (bass solo) with tutti only for the final two verses. The dialogue was in rather expressive arioso, and Christ's responses sometimes turned into small arias. This might have been a sober subject, but much of the detail was lively, and the concluding two verses sung by the whole ensemble were lively with a vigorous final chorale surrounded by elaborate string figuration.

JS Bach famously absented himself from his post at Arnstadt to walk to Lubeck to here Dietrich Buxtehude (c1637-1707) playing. Buxtehude's music was far more virtuoso and richly inventive than that of Bach's older contemporaries in Thuringia. We heard Herzlich lieb hab' ich dich, o Herr BuxWV41 ,setting three verses of a 16th century funerary hymn. This opened with the sopranos singing the first verse chorale surrounded by a rich and graceful string accompaniment that developed into something really vibrant. For the remaining verses, Buxtehude wove solos with organ, and ensembles with imaginative string accompaniment into a substantial whole. There was some quite elaborate decoration in the solo lines, whilst the tuttis were quite large scale with some dramatic moments and a really big finish. Again, the piece made me think that I do not know enough of Buxtehude's music.

We ended with JS Bach's cantata, Christ lag in Todesbanden BWV4, one of his earliest church cantatas probably dating from 1707 (the year he married Maria Barbara Bach and his final year working in Arnstadt). Here we could hear the influences of Bach's forbears and older contemporaries, the inventiveness of Buxtehude in particular, but there was also Bach's own particular genius, the care for structure and number and the remarkable combination of expressiveness and complexity. The opening sinfonia was quite intense, and the opening verse with its soprano chorale surrounded by a lively texture of strings and voices was engaging and vibrant. Thereafter we had a plangent soprano duet with a moving bass line from the violone which was very expressive, a vibrant tenor solo, a lively central ensemble with a lovely attention to the words, another vibrant solo this time from the bass complemented by a remarkable violone part, and the violone seemed to be almost as prominent as the solos in the following soprano, tenor duet. The final chorale was richly harmonised.

This concert was a wonderful exploration of the young JS Bach's mental musical furniture, with the pieces coming alive in engaging and vibrant performances. Perhaps a couple of the works slightly outstayed their welcome, but it was a fine chance to hear music that Bach regarded highly.

For an encore were treated to Buxtehude's Jesu, meines Lebens leben, which takes the form of a very appealing chaconne with a sequence of solos and ensembles before the final tutti.

Elsewhere on this blog:

“The Knife” by Jess Weitz

Sep. 20th, 2017 07:00 am
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Posted by Timothy Green

Jess Weitz


I have a knife stuck in my heart

at work I tried to button my cardigan around it
I can’t lie on my stomach in bed

when my kids sit on my lap
I ask them to stay on the right knee

my husband tried to hang a spatula off it
but I said the extra weight didn’t feel good

yesterday, gliding through the pond water
I almost forgot it was there

from Rattle #56, Summer 2017
Tribute to Poets with Mental Illness

[download audio]


Jess Weitz: “I live in the woods of Vermont with my family of humans and animals. Art, writing, and nature have been my strongest allies in navigating the waves of depression. I come from a long line of people who have a beautiful, creative eccentricity and feel the deep pain and despair of life. We all have moments of being eaten up by our emotions and creating with an open heart to the world. Many of us are women, which adds an additional layer of absorbing cultural messages that we are mad when really we are just sensing all the sadness and paradox of our worlds.” (website)

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Ten up to a dynamic engine for change

Sep. 20th, 2017 07:40 am
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Posted by Jessica

Young Professionals in the Arts - YPIA - is ten years old today and celebrating with a special launch this evening at The Koppel Project in London. The organisation has grown in a decade to become a significant driver of change in the arts field, encouraging the leaders of tomorrow - who sometimes turn out to be, in fact, the leaders of today. 

Katya Kazakevich, one of YPIA's three directors, has written a guest blog to tell its story from the inside. And if you're a young pro in the arts, eager for opportunities and ready to change our part of the world for the better, YPIA is for you. Joining details are in the article. Over to Katya...

YPIA in a Creative Cities workshop at the Royal Festival Hall

The world of work can be daunting for most fresh-faced music graduates. It’s not just the un(der)paid internships, during which you wonder how you’ll make next month’s rent, but the first proper job hunt can be a real struggle. Even when you're "in", it isn't always a bed of roses  junior roles often consist of uninspiring admin (believe me, I've been there), and when your senior colleagues leave the office for networking dos, you’re asked to stay behind to man the phones...

A YPIA session at the Foundling Museum, London

It was exactly this sort of problem that Nicki Wenham, Andreas Flohr and Lis Lomas wanted to tackle when they founded Young People in the Arts ten years ago: to give young arts professionals the chance to communicate face-to-face with their peers, and to access opportunities for career development in ways they just couldn’t do at work. The three music graduates founded YPIA right at the start of the economic crisis, when the need to raise and discuss relevant issues was of the essence. Events soon began to include panel discussions as well as the all-important social element, and the network grew. 

I attended my first YPIA event when I was a trainee in the Concerts Department at Philharmonia Orchestra. It was a ceilidh-come-networking drinks, and as a newcomer to the profession I was excited by the prospect of talking to people from different organisations in a relaxed environment, with a view to finding out more about the industry and exploring different career paths. I felt that there was a real support network present, and it was the social aspect that propelled me to obtain membership. 

Katya Kazakevich and Stella Toonen, two of YPIA's directors
Photo: Rhian Hughes
Soon I joined YPIA's Executive Committee of volunteers and I remember with fondness the first event that I project-managed – a panel discussion on classical music in the media and the changing ways in which audiences consume classical music beyond the concert platform. After what turned out to be rather a heated debate (at the very end, one of the panel members rather shockingly suggested that the compact disc was “dead”!) it was fascinating to hear people’s opinions on what had been discussed, and needless to say there were a few who heartily disagreed with the statement above…!

As an organisation, we fully appreciate the importance of peer-to-peer dialogue and the sharing of inter-generational know-how for inspiration and professional development. When Stella Toonen, Imogen Morris and I took over as directors three years ago, we were adamant that we would continue in the same inclusive, informal spirit as the founding directors. More than ever now, our discussions venture beyond music to encompass other art forms (including visual arts, museums and film), and cover pertinent topics such as leadership, the art of fundraising, diversity, access, the social impact of the arts and most recently, of course, the projected outcome of Brexit.

For instance, we held a sold-out event focusing on Diversity last season. As one of the most important issues of our age, it is vital to keep talking about concrete steps we can take to ensure a more diverse and therefore representative workforce. Heavily referencing Arts Council England’s Creative Case for Diversity, the speakers (including Chi-chi Nwanoku, founder of Chineke! Foundation, Mwila Mulenshi from Creative Access and Milica Robson, Senior Relationship Manager for Diversity at ACE) engaged in a lively conversation about what we need to do more of to embed better practice in reaching under-represented individuals, and encouraged continuous dialogue with the floor throughout the discussion. 

Audience members included junior colleagues from the Africa Centre, Arts Council, Royal Opera House, Whitechapel Gallery and English Heritage, to name but a few. At the drinks afterwards, I gauged some of our members’ reactions to what had been expressed and, encouragingly, the majority said that they would write up notes from the talk and disseminate these amongst their more senior colleagues. There’s much to be said for younger members of staff taking a leading role in driving the conversation, and in some cases demonstrable developments within organisations.

YPIA has become a leading platform for those who want to reflect on the issues in the current arts climate, and effectuate change  giving young voices more prominence in discussions about the future of the sector remains at the forefront of our yearly events programme. We have proactively approached new venues and speakers, and received support and invitations to partner with various organisations, including the Southbank Centre and National Theatre on some of their (young people’s) programmes. 

Chi-Chi Nwanoku speaks at a YPIA session at Diversity Works, Soho

I think our success is also evident in the number of initiatives we as an organisation have been asked to put our name to – for instance, we contributed to Ed Vaizey’s Culture White Paper back in 2015; we were asked to be a signatory on the Cultural Learning Alliance’s recent publication “ImagineNation”, which delineates the value and impact of cultural learning on the lives of children and young people; we've also provided representatives to speak about the importance of our existence at the Women of the World Festival and the AntiUniversity Festival, and informed an enquiry into the civic role of arts organisations last year, put together by What Next? and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. 

We now have nearly 120 events to our name, including over 200 participating speakers, often featuring leading industry figures such as Sir Nicholas Serota, Jude Kelly, Darren Henley, Tony Hall and Alex Beard. We’ve expanded beyond the confines of the M25: last year, initial networking drinks took place in Cardiff, Glasgow, Birmingham, Nottingham and Cambridge. Our ambition is to make regional hubs in the UK a permanent fixture (to provide outlets for the huge and growing number of arts institutions outside of London), and to eventually export YPIA’s model and expand its reach into Europe and further afield (of course, the latter is a long-term goal!) 

Today, 20 September 2017, we'll be opening our 10th anniversary season with a season launch at the Koppel Project in London. There’s never been a better time to join the movement – to carry on learning about the context of your industry, to be re-enthused about your work and think about how you can make a difference to the ecology.

For more information about the upcoming season, check out our website or follow hashtag #YPIA10 on FacebookTwitter and Instagram
Katya Kazakevich

Katya Kazakevich read English at the University of Cambridge, graduating in 2011. Following a traineeship in the Concerts Department at Philharmonia Orchestra and an internship at Askonas Holt, she spent three years as Music Co-ordinator and PA to the Music Director at English National Opera before becoming the Artistic Planning Manager at the National Opera Studio. Other positions have included ushering at Wigmore Hall, copy-writing the latest 'e-edition' of The Opera Guide (compiled by Amanda Holden) and administrating for London-based groups the Cantus Ensemble and the Paradisal Players. As Director of YPIA, Katya leads the Advisory Board, project-manages YPIA's regional networking events and works to maintain and develop YPIA's external relations. 


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September 2017


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