Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Talking about recording

I was part of a very interesting focus group discussion on the necessity and viability of recording art music of all genres.

I was very touched that this large government group asked "How important is it for you to make recordings?" and never once asked, " How do you justify the large number of recordings that you have made and continue to make?"

I was also touched and puzzled by my invitation to this event, since I have rarely been successful in my grant applications... maybe one in 10 applications has received any funding. The big advantage is that I use the experience to focus my ideas and I have learned to keep trying and not be bitter. It is a passionate process though, and my voice shook embarrassingly as I spoke (very briefly) about my experiences in pushing through big projects.

I will tell you more (I took copious notes) about this day-long symposium though I suppose the most interesting thing was that the wide variety of musicians represented at the table (flamenco, ojibway, south indian, jazz, celtic, accordianist and, well, me) all agreed vehemently that recording was integral to our living breathing creative lives as fully functioning artistic musicians.

Monday, September 20, 2010

CBC Concert Recording of music by John Beckwith

Tonight I had the fun of playing in a Toronto concert of music by John Beckwith. Among the many intriguing works on the programme, I played his 'Solo' for bassoon, written in 2008 for George Zukerman but never previously performed. There were duos, a trio and a quartet and the larger group also played 'Eureka,' a complex, fluid nonet for three trios which move around on the stage. Ken Winter's review in the Globe and Mail is a good description of the full concert, though he did not realize that my 'Solo" was indeed a premiere (I'll forgive him this time).

It was a real privilege to have 4 serious rehearsals with John Beckwith. He is an exceedingly gentle yet searching individual... demanding yet flexible. There is enormous variety in his music, but nothing flirtatious or coy... it is oddly lyrical and intriguingly unique.