30. June 2007 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Ramble


Many major figures in modern art were fascinated by the relationship between visual art and music, especially those who followed in Van Gogh’s footsteps and experimented with colour in novel ways. Vincent himself took music lessons from an organist in Eindhoven, but they were not a success, because he constantly compared chords with pigments such as Prussian blue and cadmium yellow. His teacher concluded that he was dealing with a madman.

The above comes from an article about visual artists and music.

I like jazz. Sometimes. But so often, to me, it becomes far too self-indulgent. I feel as if the musicians are saying (or shouting), “Look at us, look at us!” and that gets in the way of the actual music. In addition, when improvisation goes on. And on. And on. I sometimes want to say, “Enough already!”

Maybe I’m just too uptight? I wonder!

But, really, I like jazz and the creativity that can take place in it. I just don’t want to feel as if I’m being held captive by the players.

I also like visual art. A lot. And more as I get older and have more time to spend with it. Which reminds me that this summer is a perfect time to get to some art museums. I’ve certainly got the time.

Back to my earlier post … and I’m happy to say that the CD I purchased which arrived today, American Masterworks for Woodwind Quintet, has some great works from which we could choose for the recital. In addition, the CD Impressions, for oboe, clarinet and piano, has other alternatives. (The latter would involve some rehearsal issues, as I’ve mentioned.) There is fine playing on both of these CDs, too!
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So my quest for the right work continues. It’s not like I’m too picky … is it? I only need a chamber work written by and American composer. Oboe is a must, but there are different combinations that would work. Available for the recital are oboe (me), flute, clarinet, violin, piano. In addition we could try to persuade a bassoonist to join us. (Why? Because she likes us …?!) Most convenient would be four woodwinds, since we all live on “this side of the hill”. But I’m open to other suggestions.

I did find a trio for oboe, clarinet and piano that could work. It’s by Griebling-Haigh. Anyone familiar with that name? She was new to me! I have a recording of the work and I think it sounds like a lot of fun to play. The only issue I have is rehearsals, since the pianist is “over the hill”. I mean that in a non-age sense; UCSC is a drive over the Santa Cruz Mountains, and we adjunct faculty only make that trek once a week.

I also ordered a woodwind quartet work by Arthur Harris, but now I’m wondering if he’s British. (The work was included on an American composers CD, so I made the assumption he was American, but doing a search I only come up with a British composer.) Anyone know this guy?**

And is anyone familiar with the Peter Schickele work for woodwind trio (oboe, clarinet, bassoon)? I have owned that forever, but have never heard nor performed it.

Why American?

Because that’s what the person in charge decided. It does help narrow things down and adds a theme and all. (Last year we did French composers, so it’s not like we are USA centric.) Hmmm … perhaps “American” could be Canadian also … yes?

Anyway, I’ll gladly take any suggestions. If you are a composer and have something to offer just say the word! (The concert isn’t until January, but we need to get the program in sooner.)

In Other News: we have switched our internet service provider and I’m pretty darn happy with the speed at which things now download. Nice! Next step (yeah, I’ve been saying this for far too long now) is to get this site moved. It’ll happen. Really.

**Well, now I know more about Harris. There must be two of ‘em, because this guy is an American composer, born in 1927. Nice. We could do this one! (The British Arthur Harris isn’t even a composer, actually. So never mind about him.)