Tag Archives: history

Historic church with beautiful acoustics

Nice article about my aunt and uncle’s efforts to preserve one of the last buildings left from Preston Ranch – it’s church:
Cloverdale site testament to religious leader, healer

The acoustics in that church are supreme for classical and folk instruments. The room is 100% seasoned wood paneling, giving it perfect resonance with the instrument. The church itself is quite cozy and very beautiful inside. The old Seth Thomas clock in the tower there has been running since I first saw it in the 1970s, and it’s an amazing piece of machinery.

The ranch mentioned in the article is a place where I spent many weekends and summers. It was there that I began studying flamenco guitar with the great Chris Carnes – although I’ve mostly let the flamenco chops slide in lieu of more classical technique lately. I should do something about that one of these days, but I have too many hobbies and responsibilities as it is…

Dave Holland, Jazz in China, and Censorship

The Winnipeg Sun has a clever title for this article though: Spotlight – Holland invaded China – two times

As the Chinese government slowly eased its restrictions on jazz, bassist Dave Holland had a whole new audience to win over.

The communist government banned what it deemed decadent music when it came to power in 1949, driving the once thriving jazz community in places like Shanghai — known as the jazz centre of Asia — underground.

The ban was lifted in the mid- 1980s, and western artists have slowly been allowed to visit the country. Holland has toured the country twice, finding a new generation of die-hard fans getting turned on to the music denied from their parents.

“China is obviously a developing situation. For many years they were denied access to jazz and if caught playing it, you were in trouble. For that reason alone it’s a developing thing, but there’s a dedicated and serious group of people that love the music,” he says.

“It just goes to show you music crosses political borders and geographic borders and touches peoples’ hearts.”

For almost 40 years Holland’s new fans in China had no way of hearing one of the most respected and talented bassists and composers to emerge from the exploding jazz scenes in England and America in the 1960s and ’70s.

Being denied the appreciation of art in any form is a terrible tragedy of censorship, and it makes absolutely no sense. My America is no stranger to this practice – from the historic cases of censoring James Joyce, Henry Miller, and John Steinbeck all the way up to today, the Land of the Free still must struggle to counter the tyranny of thought oppression.