Stravinsky and Halloween

Happy Halloween!  To celebrate and spook you, all at the same time, here’s a video that combines Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite  with macabre imagery, edited by Gilda Tabarez.  Just for fun.  Oh…and BOO!               While there are hundreds of thousands of great performances captured on tape, the music videos featured...

Warp Speed Vocal Percussion

Lori Cotler grew up as a jazz singer, embracing improvisation and scat singing from an early age.  But her career was transformed after studying a highly complex South Indian rhythmic solfege system known as Konnakol or Solkattu.  The syllables from this language correspond to rhythms and playing techniques applied to percussion...

Creating a Budget

How much money is going in and out of your life?  Most musicians have no idea.  One practical and helpful exercise is to create a budget. CLICK HERE FOR SAMPLE BUDGET   Click the link above for a budget template where you can calculate earnings and expenses for an average month.  Another great exercise, especially for students, is to try...

MONEY

Money.  Now there’s a word that can strike fear (or denial) in even the boldest of us!  As musicians, we often come to believe that money is a forbidden, taboo subject. That our calling to make great art takes precedence over building a healthy financial profile.  When doing a presentation for a wonderful group of musicians this past weekend,...

Chamber Music Reaches a New Low

Sure, you’ve seen string quartets.  You’ve probably even seen saxophone quartets.  But how ’bout this: a bass sax quartet?  That’s right.  Four low, rumbling, oversized, gritty, bass saxophones. In the same room nonetheless!  That’s what you’ll witness in this video of the German/Dutch group Deep...

How Do You Find the Time?

Practice those scales.  Work on sightreading. Draft grant proposal. Begin passion project. Be a good friend. Go to concerts. Take kids to the ballgame. Leave a legacy. Develop website. Improve tone. Read blogs. Market CD. Rewrite bio. Pay bills. Build brand. Meet spouse. Teach. Study. Network. Sleep. Think. Eat. Compose....

String Quartet: The Solo Instrument

Diego Stocco is a sound designer and composer who specializes in creating new sound experiences in unusual ways.  Many of his creations are include found objects or instruments he builds from scratch. This video features his Experibass, which combines violin, viola, cello, bass, a fork, and a kick drum foot pedal.   While there are hundreds of...

8451. And Shrinking…

“Eight-thousand-four-hundred-fifty-one. And Shrinking…” That was his response. After I asked if he’d be participating on some project in which (it turns out) he had no interest whatsoever. I returned a perplexed stare, as if to inquire “what on Earth?”  So he explained.  That’s how many days he has left to live. You see, he...

Writing an Approach Letter

In my recent post Career Mentorship: The Lost Education, I argued the benefits of seeking out individuals to serve as role models and coaches when it comes to career related issues.  The article generated a lot of questions, which I will address in this and future posts.  What’s the best way to make initial contact with a career mentor,...

The Musician-Blogger: Finding Your Niche

Of course! You don’t have time to blog.  You don’t even have enough time to breathe, with all your practicing, composing, teaching, career promotion, life responsibilities, and the occasional social engagement.  If there’s one thing you simply can’t squeeze into the schedule, it’s maintaining a blog! Don’t be ridiculous. That’s...

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