Monday, June 25, 2012

Miscellaneous Catch Up

When I went to repost my latest guest post from the Ecstatic Living Room here, I took a peek over at my blog archive and realized that I've been a bit neglectful of this blog during the first six months of this year.  It was completely unintentional - life and music just overtook me, as they can do sometimes, and there just hasn't been much opportunity to write about it.  It's summertime now - so I'm hoping to jump back on the bandwagon...

One of the projects that has kept me a bit busy has been recording my second Britten album for Avie.  You can see a bit of footage from our recording sessions in the video above.  After recording Winter Words, which focused mainly on the music the resulted from the relationship between Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears, I felt that the next step was to explore some of his other relationships that inspired his composition.  After becoming fast friends and exploring Britten's music extensively together during our summers at the Marlboro Music Festival, the harpist Sivan Magen and I decided to record all of his harp/tenor compositions for the Welsh harpist, Osian Ellis, and Pears from the end of his life.  And after performing Britten's Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings a few times over the past couple of years, I found myself also fascinated by his musical friendship with the horn player, Dennis Brain.  Horn player, Jennifer Montone, and I became friends after performing his Canticle III: Still Falls the Rain a few years back on her Carnegie Hall debut recital, and it seemed a natural fit to record the piece together along with some other music he wrote for Brain and Pears to round out this album about Britten's other muses.

I've recently launched a Kickstarter Campaign to help raise some funding to ensure the album is finished properly in time for it's release date this fall.  You can read more details about the recording project and the concept behind the album there, as well as basically pre-order a copy of the album.  A kickstarter pledge as little as $25 will not only get you an advance copy of the physical CD of the album, but it will also make you an important part of bringing this music to audiences around the world.  Sivan, Jen, and Myra (my good friend and beautiful pianist-collaborator from Winter Words) are all incredibly proud of the work we did at the recording sessions in January, and we are very anxious to push this album to the release date finish line.  We are incredibly grateful for your generosity and any support that you can give!

In the meantime, I promise that my accidental blogging hiatus is over, and I look forward to being back here on a more regular basis...

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