Sunday, June 5, 2011

Day 1: Castleton Festival

Day 1:

Ever been deep into the heart of Virginia’s farmland? Well, if you get lost for long enough, you just might stumble upon Lorin Maazel’s “never-land ranch”. Castleton, is the home to 600 acre’s of Maestro Maazel’s very own private estate, complete with Emus, Llamas, Donkeys, Horses, a Zebra and something called a Zonkey (the unusual outcome of a Mule and Zebra). Now in it’s 3rd season, the music festival aptly named “Castleton”, hosts a full orchestra of worldly musicians and more Opera singers than is normally considered safe to have in one place for 7 weeks. Upon arrival, signs are posted to help you get to know the your new home better by pointing you in the wrong directions; up and down hilly terrain and open green pastures. All goofing aside; this place is very beautiful, especially for nostalgia sake, remembering your hometown before they replaced the flock of sheep with a mall and endless horse trails with Starbucks and Wal-marts.

After a lonely 10 hour drive from Boston nothing is better than showing up just in time for dinner! Chinese food? and it was dericious! way to set the bar high music festival, don’t let me down though... “did I mention we’ll be serving wine with every dinner?” response:  “no... but if you had put it in the info email right next to: Beijing tour cancelled, all would have been forgiven weeks ago.” 
“Sooo the food is good, great! What about our quarters?”....  let’s just say it won’t be featured on Cribs: Castleton Edition.  Six guys, one house, two rooms, no furniture (other than beds) but once we set up a decoy light outside to attract the moths and fireflies away from the place, find something to sit on that isn’t the floor or a bed, and stock the fridge with libations, it’ll be a real deal. Hey, it’s free right? 

Today is the 5 minute placement audition which I imagine to be somewhat like the Mark Gould 3-note audition ( Wish me luck! 2 out of 3 would be great ;-)

ta ta for now....I’m off to go find the mystical ZONKEY!


Friday, January 28, 2011

Redline Brass Quintet Update

I never really had a plan for this blog... but I think it should be all-encompassing. Definitely the biggest thing in my life at the time is my brass quintet! We meet pretty much everyday and somehow have managed not to kill each other... yet :-p. There are quite a few big projects and opportunities coming our way in the next few months, so I felt this might be a good place to brag/excite my family and friends.

The Longy Family Concert Series

We were chosen to headline a show aimed at kids, it's titled "Next Stop... Brass! With the Redline Brass Quintet".  Nice title huh? So we're trying to come up with a scripted program that takes kids on a musical tour of Boston, the goal being that music can take you to places you know, or never heard of, and even places that don't actually "exist" at all without even moving out of your seat.  Even places in time could be explored through music! ooooh I might throw in some time travel too! Anyway, we're pumped about the idea of people buying tickets to see us and the possibility of doing the show at schools, etc...

if you want to see the show or know people who might be interested visit this link for tickets ($5-10).

Juvenile Hall

This week we're going into a youth correctional facility (otherwise known as "Juvy") to perform and interact with the kids there... we have nooo idea what could happen, but we're up for the challenge. We want to involve them in the process of creating music! Still sketching out ideas, but we're thinking it would be pretty sweet to lay down some horn licks and have them tell us how they should go, which instrument(s) should play it, and when. Sorta like working with Garageband.

 Apparently, the kids rap... hmmm.... i'll let Joe handle that one. Maybe if one of the kids is good with beat boxing we could get them to lay down the percussion track with our horn licks. I'll have to listen to some Roy Hargrove or Young Blood Brass Band to inspire myself.

Community Band Master Class Series

One of our big projects this semester includes working with a community band in Middlesex on chamber music concepts! We're planning to do one where we display and explain the benefits of playing like a chamber musician in a large group. Then come back and have an "open rehearsal" where they use what they learned to help us practice something we're working on, since communication through music and speaking are sometimes VERY different worlds. Finishing up with a final visit where we have them discovering when/how to lead and when/how to follow! The conductor can't do everything... often times they're not important at all juuuust kidding... sort of.

Recital at the end of March

Program includes: Arnold, Crespo, Monteverdi, Dahl, and Mozart

more details on this soon!

Brass Quartet new music Concert

February 15th @ 8pm in Pickman Hall, Longy. We'll be performing works by Adolphe and Premru sans Bass Trombone (he'll be in beautiful Miami performing for New World... luuucky)

Boston New Music Initiative

We're beginning to develop a relationship with BNMI to premiere new works of music for brass quintet by mostly local composers (but not limited to it). Our new friend's Tim and Curtis (President and VP) are looking to create relationships with local chamber groups like ours! We hope to bring a high level excellence to the program and maybe inspire other great players in the area to invest their talent into the program... it could really grow into something special!

As you can see, we're keeping pretty busy!! Make sure to check back for more updates and dates. Please visit out website for more info, audio, bios, etc:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What I've learned about snowball fights.

Being from the west coast, I hardly understand the natural rules of a snowball fight. Today, I learned a few things about snow as a weapon of destruction:

1. Paying the meter doesn't exclude you from being smacked by snowballs.
2. People who have grown up on the east coast (rather with snow) are deadly accurate with snow balls.
3. Rain + snow = easier to pack
4. Silly mittens, while silly, will keep your hands from completely freezing off in the process of grabbing snow.
5. People who grow up with snow don't care if their hands go numb...  esp. in snowball fights.
6. Throwing a snowball at someones ear could cause brain damage (don't worry, Steve is okay)
7. Going to school when you're not sure if you have a class or not is always a bad decision. wish i had a pic ;-)
8. If you don't engage in snowball throwing, you will soon be engaged.
9. While hitting innocent civilians may be unavoidable at times, it is most definitely to be frowned upon after immediate contact.
10. What may look like solid ground, could actually be a knee deep puddle of ice slush and toxic gas fumes.

check back for action shots...


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

too funny not to re-post.

Since Steve has an awesome sense of humor....

Monday, January 17, 2011

Current Music Obsession

ANDREW BIRD! The One Man Band.

I've just about listened to every album he's put out.... out of control amazing. Check out this youtube clip of Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left.

Since he plays almost every instrument in the "band" (except drums obviously) he has to set up each song with layers of looped violin pizz., guitar riffs, whistling, bells, and anything else he can get a hold of. Then he uses a pedal to control the different layers of loops while he sings, whistles and solos on guitar or violin over them!! GENIUS! not to mention he almost never plays, sings, or sets up any song the same way twice. 

If you ever do decide to invest in his rapidly growing discography you'll notice he's rather versatile. I guess it stems from his classical background on violin (apparently he attended Northwestern's music school). His earlier albums range from some form of parody of tin-pan alley jazz styles to flat out bluegrass. Then he sort of goes off on his own, creating entire worlds of sound that you could practically live in. 

The lyrics are extremely verbose, which might have you looking up words on your iphone's dictionary app (definitely got my .99 cents out of that one!). Don't be afraid though, you'll find that his large words aren't meant to be enigmatic for the sake of making you feel illiterate, but actually brings clarity... I've said too much, you'll just have to listen for yourself!

recommended first time listen albums:

Weather Systems & Mysterious Production of Eggs

imgres.jpg imgres.jpg

ENJOY! and a word washed ashore...

MUST SEE=======>

Why. gets me every time.



Publish Post

Sunday, January 16, 2011

First Blog!

I've never been one to jump on the bandwagon (not right away, anyway), but I'm just bored enough with my life to give a shot :-p

So here's where I'm at in the world...

1. I recently completed a Master's Degree at the New England Conservatory in underwater bassoon playing (more difficult than it sounds). Er, okay, lies. I play trumpet, ORCHESTRAL trumpet. Not Jazz- I love and respect jazz music too much to ever allow my white and super square notes touch the ears of the masses. 

So what does "orchestral" trumpet mean anyway? basically, that I wish I had a job with an orchestra and will spend most of my life perfecting 100s of 1-2 minute excerpts until I get one. Exciting, huh? Well, fortunately there are plenty of little freelancing gigs to keep my feet wet while I harvest my craft. 

i need a pic with our new bass bone: Phil
2. Currently, I have a killer brass quintet ( and we're doing an Outreach Fellowship at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge (harvard area). We keep busy with recitals, projects, and educational concerts for local schools. Get this: we taught a bunch of kids to clap a double cannon and understand how it fit into our music! pretty "badass" as Steve would say. 

Outside of quintet, I play with orchestras around town like Boston Philharmonic (not to be mistaken with the Boston Symphony... I wouldn't be blogging if I had that gig :-p) and a flourishing chamber orchestra, the Discovery Ensemble. Since playing with practically every community orchestra within a 100 mile radius and putting on shows for inner city schools regularly, I feel strongly connected to Boston/New England. I have a feeling I could be here for a long time.

3. ME? well, 2011 is a new decade, I'd prefer to start with a clean slate! I'm 25, single, and living it up with my faithful companion Sancho Schteve. I like going bowling on mondays at Kings, blue grass on tuesdays at the Cantab Lounge, watching Tosh.0 and playing madden football with my roommates, not to mention religiously attending BSO college card concerts every week. 

So there it is friends and fam. I'll try to update occasionally or when ever the muse strikes me. Hope you enjoy my bloooog. Things you can expect to see in the future: awesome new music I'm listening to, redline bq events, interesting new Boston experiences, things that are "bad-A", and of other stuff I haven't thought of yet.