Thursdays at Noon: live music on a theme, with friendly collaborations. Nothing too serious.
This project was made possible by Westmoreland Congregational UCC, which allowed for a wide breadth of creativity with which to provide musical sustenance and create community during the period of distancing in the Covid-19 Pandemic. It began in March and ran every Thursday through the end of December 2020.
It began as a zoom call to the Westmoreland community, but quickly evolved to learning OBS and simultaneously streaming to Facebook, which allowed for better audio quality and automatic archiving. Many of the episodes were also recorded, sparsely edited, and posted to YouTube. Many of the early episodes contained diary entries in the comments, but this practice fell off as the year continued. Aside from a few partially pre-produced episodes (duets, etc), I limited myself to music selection and preparation on Thursdays between 9am and noon only.
Thinking back on it, it's been some of my most honest music-making; thoroughly flawed but fully and utterly intentioned. It was more like messing around in an audience-friendly way than performing, for sure. I think I will look back on with increased fondness as time goes on. Also, I think I'm frankly cheesier than I'd like to admit; I should probably just learn to be okay with that.
Live: June 25th, 2020
02:04 - Vivaldi
07:56 - Stravinsky
13:45 - Liszt
22:32 - Basso
25:37 - Waltz
30:00 - Arne
Thanks to ELIZABETH HILL
District New Music Coalition
-- Notes --
Where to start with this one! The best part was easily working with Liz, who was excited by the project and had tons of ideas - we have at least two more episodes' worth of material for someday in the rona future. The Anderson and Roe duos are awesome, and these were very manageable (sorry for messing up the Vivaldi, Greg, next time I'll practice). If you don't know their work - https://www.youtube.com/user/gnanderson
Aside from that, I was super happy to pull out the Liszt (which is in my top 3 fave concertos) and the Gliere pieces were new to me, and a gem. I think the ensemble worked really well, aside from the fact that at the last minute I had to pre-record them all.
In the past, it's worked to play the video directly in OBS and follow along, but these were all rhythmically precise, or the Liszt which required too much following to pre-record the accomp in one take. By the time I learned this, I was 2 hours out from the stream, so instead of practicing, I recorded everything and threw them into Adobe Rush so that I could at least improvise between them and then just present all the collab stuff. I forgot that in order for it to reach the Zoom watchers (via "computer audio") that I had to turn on the monitor to the sound, so the live version has a re-do of the first piece (when I figured that out), but I cut it out for the cleaned version.
It was easy enough to control as I went - I still would like to play around with a foot control to change scenes, and I think it's time for some new improv vocabulary - mine is sounding stale. Overall, I loved this program, though ambitious for only a morning of prep (I think I finished recording the last piece at 11:57). Whew...
Featuring Eya: Ensemble for Medieval Music Learn More: https://www.eyaensemble.com/about.html
Live: May 21, 2020
00:00 - Set 1 / 02:10 - Stella
07:57 - Set 2 / 09:06 - Emplorant
11:57 - Set 3 / 13:28 - Stillat
18:45 - Set 4 / 20:28 - Neuma
22:30 - Set 5 / 25:46 -Victimae
-- Notes -- Happy 10th episode!
Very excited to feature the remarkable Eya Ensemble, which the DC region is proud to claim as their own. This is usually where I complain about all the things I did wrong and celebrate what went well, but I forgot to push record today during the stream (which is all as well, because it didn't go as well as planned). Instead of recreating or skipping, I decided to lean into this collaboration - I did three additional improvs on some of their recordings (used with permission) and decided to call it a celebratory 10th. Thanks very much to Allison, Crossley, and Kristen (and Bach)
Live: April 30, 2020 (ft. Field Recordings from Japan, China, Palestine)
00:00 - Opening Improv / FR 1
04:46 - Morning Prayer
06:37 - Telegraph
13:33 - Amituofu Improv / FR 2
19:23 - Chopin Mazurka
24:15 - Scriabin Prelude
28:14 - Mountain / FR 3
-- Notes --
This was one of the most rewarding ones so far. I absolutely loved going through the old recordings, and will likely do more with those in the future. The music stand works brilliantly, I finally had it together enough to draw a little message on the whiteboard (a huge missed opportunity in the past, lol), and the tech cooperated with me much better. Still waiting to try out the Canon, but I'm closer.
I am still relying on a phone for the audio tracks, but a new cable fixed the buzz. It was rainy today, so everything was a bit humid, and certainly threw me off during Telegraph (sorry Tim). I'm loving the parameter knobs now that I know how to apply them to specific voices within a layer or split, and the mod wheel and volume pedal are now my best friends for transitions. Someday I'll get a tablet for the scores and a pedal for page turning (and maybe a loop station?)
Files are still coming in, looking forward to more collabs.
Bonus: Wore my polo made from recycled Kimono that I found at a thrift store in Tokyo.