Monday, August 20, 2012

marimba mail august 2012

Hi all, 

Apologies for the somewhat delayed arrival of this month's marimba mail! I could blame a carrier-pigeon strike, rising fuel costs for the marimba-mail steamship... truth is I've just been ridiculously busy and all over the place. Mostly pinging around between New York City and sunny Vermont. 

~~~Video Killed the Radio Star~~~ 
Video footage of Garry Jones' park-bench concertino is now up, with some of my photos. The actual bench-marimba I used for this concerto performance is now looking for a home, see for more details.

July 30-August 4th I was teaching drums at Girls Rock Vermont. I'm also director of development at this non-profit day camp, which I co-founded in 2011. Stuck In Vermont did a great video piece about camp, check it out here: 
I successfully avoided the camera, but I think my influence is present in this video -- every time a young drummer counts something off metronome-style. Plans (and grant applications) are already underway for Girls Rock Vermont 2013. It's one of my favourite things that I do. 

~~~Home Taping is Killing Music~~
I'm moving forward with recording my 0-8 mallet solo marimba album. I've already recorded Frank Zappa's 'The Black Page' (2 mallets), the Pitfield Xylophone Sonata (2 through 4 mallets), 'Indigo Spanish Fantasy' by Charles Joseph Smith (5 mallets) and the 8-mallet extravaganza 'Marimba Moods II' by Ludwig Albert. The remaining tracks are getting recorded September 12, and they'll be out on CD, vinyl and digital media shortly thereafter. 

~~~Keep it Live, Keep it A-live~~
The New York Musical Theatre Festival performances of Shelter: The Musical were a blast. Newell Bullen's score is an intricate, layered double-kicking rockfest. I sweated around NYC playing a variety of electronic drums and almost losing my cool when the theatre's kit completely collapsed during one of the performances. Crucially, it didn't unplug itself so I kept going -- at an increasingly horizontal angle -- without losing the beat... It was an honour to work with the cast, crew and pit on this show. I now have 100% more friends in Utah than I did the previous month, and see the value in (very occasionally) using drumsticks lighter than an X5B. 

I also returned to the Salisbury, VT concert series to perform rags and tangos with Rose Chancler on her birthday. Belfry-bats commented throughout our rehearsal, I played Lucas Guinot's 'Tango for Six' for the first time, Rose's little girl came on stage to sing 'Happy Birthday'. Word from the series director was that our program was "universally loved". Boast!

I also played marimba in the city-park sunshine, made my Higher Ground debut playing and microphone-singing at the marimba, and sweated behind the kit at Permanent Wave's warehouse-based music fest. Completed my second sprint triathlon in unfortunate shoes and the only swimwear remaining un-chewed by my dog. I will never be speedy but I am certainly stoic. No audiovisual linkage for this -- the finish-line cheerleaders chanting "you're looking good!" were, frankly, big liars. 

The Autumn-Fall is shaping up to feature some interesting music -- as well as releasing and touring my solo album, I'll be doing more music theatre work here in Vermont, and learning a lot of brand new repertoire with the Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble. Playing bones for hundreds of kiddos via the VSO's percussion trio outreach program is also on the agenda. 

Hope your summer's been great, 


marimba from 0 to 8 mallets

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