How does rhythm ‘work’ when there is no obvious pulse, as in much classical music?

11. July 2009 · Comments Off on Dress Codes · Categories: Links

A dress code still exists for a few places in this world when it comes to concerts, but not a whole heck of a lot. Anything goes at San Francisco Opera, as I’ve seen many times over. But now I’ve run across the following, from Manchester International Festival:

Suitable footwear
Although we have stipulated that you must wear suitable footwear to the production, some audience members are still turning up in unsuitable footwear. Now that the show is up and running, it is evident that any form of footwear where the entire foot is not protected – including flip flops, open toed sandals and high heels – is not acceptable. Unfortunately we will not be able to admit audience members who arrive in such footwear to the production. Please could you make sure you pass this information on to other members of your party.

Yes. Footwear!

This is for the show (?) >It Felt LIke a Kiss Here’s more:


Imagine walking into a disused building. You find yourself inside a film. It is a ghost story where unexpected forces, veiled by the American Dream, come out from the dark to haunt you…

It Felt Like a Kiss tells the story of America’s rise to power in the golden age of pop, and the unforeseen consequences it had on the world and in our minds. Beginning in 1959, the show spotlights the dreams and desires that America inspired during the ’60s, when the world began to embrace the country and its culture as never before. But as this daring production unfolds across five floors, blending music with documentary and the disorientating whirl of a fairground ghost train, the audience is forced to face the dark forces that were veiled by the American dream – a dream that ultimately returns to haunt us all.

Created by Adam Curtis and Felix Barrett with Punchdrunk
Original music composed by Damon Albarn
Recorded performance by Kronos Quartet and Damon Albarn
Directed by Felix Barrett
Film by Adam Curtis
Recording produced by Damon Albarn and David Harrington

Please Note
The audience will be admitted in groups of 9, every 10 minutes.
This is a promenade, walk-through production, the duration of which is variable – please see information box to the right.
Please wear suitable footwear.
This show is suitable for 16+ years.
The show is not suitable for people of a nervous disposition.
Production contains strobe lighting and theatrical smoke.

Kinda makes me wanna go. But only kinda.

& they are sold out anyway. So oh well.

11. July 2009 · 1 comment · Categories: pattyRant

I know kids love tours. I know they are good for morale and all that jazz. Sometimes they are even good musically.

But sometimes I wonder about them.

I know, too, that teachers who take their students on tour are often doing so and getting perks. I wonder how many parents know that a teacher may get a free vacation later on, due to getting students to pay what is often a lot of money for a tour. Surely teachers are underpaid, and I suppose this might be the only way they get a vacation, but it still does bother me a bit. (Maybe I’m jealous; I don’t get to go to Europe as so many band directors seem to get to do these days!)

When bands and choirs go on a tour that includes those contests where they compete against other groups, it’s all somewhat silly. You are competing with whatever groups are managing to go on the same dates as your school. You may be pitted against a very weak music program. Winning gold can often be quite meaningless.

I chaperoned a tour years ago, and the main point of it all was to get to Disneyland. At that time, I, as a chaperone, didn’t pay a penny. Then the band director suggested all chaperones and teachers join her for an expensive dinner. When it came time to pay she smiled and said, “We have extra money! I’m paying for this.” Hmmm. Ethical? Were the children — or their parents, really — paying for our dinner? The drama teacher and a math instructor who came along as chaperones shared a room, telling all the kids they were brother and sister. A year later they were married. I’m guessing they weren’t brother and sister after all. Ya think?

Another tour (not a music tour, but a school tour from another department) had the teacher bringing a partner and another person (never quite figured out their particular living situation but a threesome was somewhat troubling) along with his chosen friends as chaperones. We parents were told we tended to get in the way and he preferred that we didn’t come along. But then I realized after the fact that we were told a lot of “incorrect” information. (Some might call them lies.) And money? The price continued to rise, and the teacher was the only one managing the money. Quite questionable.

So I can’t really say I’m in favor of tours these days. And I’m glad my kids are older and I don’t have to wonder what’s going on when kids go on these things. I hope parents are more careful than I was about tours; I’m just so wimpy I kept my mouth shut and never said a word.

11. July 2009 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: Opera, Quotes

The orchestration I did completely on my own. It’s very rare even for some classical composers to do their own orchestration. In a Straussian fashion, I made sure there was a lot going on in the orchestra and that’s an integral part of the drama.

-Rufus Wainwright

You can read a short bit about his new opera here.

11. July 2009 · Comments Off on OSJ for Free · Categories: Concert Announcements, Links

Opera San José will have a short (one hour, I believe) performance at Santana Row tonight at 7:00. I’m thinking of dropping by … I love me some opera! You can read about it here. (No orchestra; I’m assuming they’ll have piano accompaniment.)

Maybe, by hearing some Manon excerpts, the opera will come back to me. (We open next season with the work.) I pulled out my part the other day and, looking through it and playing a few things, I couldn’t remember one thing about it! Ack! That’s scary to think about. When we played it, we were doing six or seven rehearsals and fifteen performances. And I can’t remember it?


11. July 2009 · Comments Off on United Breaks Guitars · Categories: Videos

This video made the news, and I’m guessing most of you have seen it … but still … considering my earlier link to Bret’s post

The singer/songwriter has another video and, I think graciously, gives an update and tries to get people to lighten up about Miss Irlwig:

Ah flying! I’m sure many musicians could tell tales. I’ve watched guys load planes, and I am always shocked, seeing them not just toss, but throw in an incredibly rough way, as if in a contest to see if they can break luggage. It’s really rather bizarre to watch.

11. July 2009 · 2 comments · Categories: Links

I haven’t traveled on a plane with my oboe for so long I can’t even remember doing it. But Bret Pimentel has some advice for those of you who do. Sounds like he does a lot more travel than I.