Tag Archives: musicians

People think they are funny.

In Basses, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles Part 2 – Trains, Jason writes:

People think that they are very funny — One of the most annoying things about carrying a bass around town is having grown people gape at you, slack-jawed like drugged cattle, as you struggle to get from point A to point B. You know how cattle all slowly turn their heads and stare at you as you walk past them on a country road? That’s just what your fellow commuters do.

After staring for a while, a light bulb goes off in the back of their commuter minds.

“Hey,” they think. ” should make a humorous remark directed toward that person carrying that strange thing! What a great idea!”

They close their gaping mouths, wet their lips, and blurt,

“Did’ja ever think of playing the piccolo? Haw haw haw haw haw haw haw haw!”

this so reminds me of riding the T to gigs back in Boston. My favorite moment was when a fellow bassist and I were riding back on the Green Line from a rehearsal with our basses on one of those tiny little cars, and we received this exact same comment about how we should have picked the flute. Because the face on my friend after that one was priceless – looked like he just took a sip of 2 day old Pabst Blue Ribbon where someone dropped their coals in. I laughed out loud and our stand-up comic erroneously thought she was hilarious.

Penguin suitSome others I’ve heard whilst dragging my bass through the snow:

  • Is that a body in there?
  • Is that your canoe?
  • That’s a big cello/guitar/whatever!
  • How do you get that in your car/a taxi/on the train?

Every single time. Like clockwork. Try it. Walk down a busy street with a double bass in a case and see what you get. You will be running home frantically searching for the Absolut in no-time.

I get the same sorts of inane chatter from having a homophonically similar famous boxing legend.

Duruflé Requiem 9/11 Memorial Benefit Concert

I’ll be playing the double bass in a benefit concert on 9/9 and 9/10 for the program shown below. This all-volunteer performance is to honor the five year anniversary of the September 11th disaster, and proceeds will go to benefit the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation. (See this shameless cute puppy photo for more detail on what our concert proceeds go to.) If you would like to get out of the house for a change and hear some beautiful music, you might consider coming to one of these performances:

The Pacific Collegium Presents:
DURUFLÉ: REQUIEM
A memorial benefit performance
In support of the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation

  • Christopher Kula, conductor
  • Tonia d’Amelio, soprano
  • Joseph Wright, baritone
  • Susan Matthews, organist
  • Pacific Collegium
  • Pacific Boychoir

— Program —

Finzi, Lo, the full, final sacrifice
Festival anthem for chorus and orchestra

Finzi, Dies natalis
For soprano solo and strings

Duruflé, Requiem
For soloists, chorus and orchestra

Dates:

Duruflé’s orchestrated setting of the Requiem Mass is a marvel of the liturgical repertoire, as well as being a seminal work of the 20th century Gregorian chant revival.

Lo, the full, final sacrifice is viewed by many as Finzi’s masterwork, though it is little widely known and virtually unheard in its lush orchestral version. A series of musical vignettes around the hymns of St. Thomas Aquinas: Adoro Te devote and Lauda Sion Salvatorem, set in English by the 17th-century poet, Richard Crashaw, it is particularly celebrated for its final Amen in eight-part divisi.

Dies natalis, also by Finzi, sets texts of another 17th-century English metaphysical poet, Thomas Traherne. Accompanied by string ensemble, this work explores in solo voice the innocent ecstasy of a newborn child discovering the world and its wonders anew.

Visit http://www.pacificcollegium.org/ for more information and to purchase tickets for this event.

Play for the Dogs

Bay Area Musicians: September is light anyway, so how about considering doing this benefit to raise funds for the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation:

This September, to mark the five-year anniversary of the World Trade Center disaster, the Pacific Collegium will present Duruflé’s Requiem and two major works of Gerald Finzi in a benefit concert on behalf of the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (searchdogfoundation.org). NDSDF, a primary organization for the training and support of search and rescue dog teams, was prominent in the rescue efforts at the World Trade Center five years ago and in many before and since, including Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Their expert search teams are provided at no cost to fire departments and other emergency service agencies throughout the country. As a tax-exempt charity with no government funding, NDSDF relies on support from private individuals, foundations and corporations to provide this crucial service.

Our goal is to enable 100% of ticket proceeds for this event to directly benefit NDSDF by arranging for fixed expenses to be waived, other expenses such as music rental to be underwritten, and by soliciting an ensemble of top-notch musicians as volunteers for this memorial fundraising concert.

Would you consider a donation of your time and talent as an instrumentalist to help make this event possible? Your time and your skills are extremely valuable (or we wouldn’t ask you to be involved in this project!). We hope you will consider joining us on this significant memorial occasion both for the sake of an important charitable cause, and in order to bring these beautiful works to performance in two very flattering acoustic spaces, but most importantly as a fitting tribute on the five-year anniversary of 9-11.

In fact, we could not be more thrilled about the program of music, featuring Duruflé’s Requiem in full orchestration alongside Lo, the full, final sacrifice and Dies Natalis, two engaging and eloquent works of Finzi a three-part meditation on tragedy and innocence, desolation, redemption and the simple wonder of being. A full orchestra and vocal forces of the Pacific Collegium will also be joined by trebles of the Pacific Boychoir Academy. I believe you will find it a suitable reflection on the events of 9-11-01 as well as a worthwhile observance of its five-year anniversary, in which you will be glad to be involved.

Rehearsal are planned for the evenings of Sept. 7 and 8, with performances on Saturday evening, Sept. 9 and Sunday afternoon, Sept. 10. As an additional thank-you for your participation, we will also offer each participant a complimentary subscription to our 2006-07 season, featuring Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers.

Furthermore, if you know of other talented instrumentalists that might also be interested in participating in this event, I would be happy to know of them, or to have them contact me directly. Please feel free to forward this announcement as you deem appropriate, or drop me a note with any suggestions!

Photo of cute rescue puppy with captionsIn case you are still undecided about whether to sign on, I have shamelessly attached a photo of a NDSDF puppy. (Take a peek!) : )

Thanks for considering being a part of this charitable event. I look forward to hearing from you!

Warmest regards,
Christopher Kula
Artistic Director, Pacific Collegium

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Pacific Collegium Presents

DURUFLÉ: REQUIEM
A memorial benefit performance

In support of the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation

Christopher Kula, conductor
Tonia d’Amelio, soprano
Pacific Collegium
Pacific Boychoir

Program

Finzi, Lo, the full, final sacrifice
Festival anthem for chorus and orchestra

Finzi, Dies natalis
For soprano solo and strings

Duruflé, Requiem
For soloists, chorus and orchestra

September 9, 7:30 p.m., St. Paul’s Episcopal, Oakland
September 10, 5 p.m., Trinity Episcopal, San Francisco

Duruflé’s orchestration of the Requiem is a marvel of the liturgical repertoire, as well as being a (the?) seminal work of the 20th century Gregorian chant revival. Lo, the full, final sacrifice is viewed by many as Finzi’s masterwork, though it is little widely known and virtually unheard in its lush orchestral version. A series of musical vignettes around the hymns of St. Thomas Aquinas: Adoro Te devote and Lauda Sion Salvatorem, set in English by the 17th century poet, Richard Crashaw, it is particularly celebrated for its final Amen in eight-part divisi. Dies natalis, also by Finzi, sets texts of another 17th century English poet, Thomas Traherne. Accompanied by string ensemble, this work explores in solo voice the innocent ecstasy of a newborn child discovering the world and its wonders anew.

I’m playing bass. The program sounds challenging, so if you’re feeling up to it then get in touch.

Bass quartet at Zeke’s Gallery

I found this today in my Technorati subscription: Zeke’s Gallery: More from the archives – The Double Bass Quartet

Check out the recording. The opening piece is pretty cool sounding. Nice to hear a double bass quartet doing a regular appearance somewhere!

My favorite is of course Gunther Schuller’s work “Quartet for Basses”. We did that one back at NEC – and hello to Michael, Nancy, and Todd if you all read this some day… 😉

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.