Friday, November 30, 2012

Back from Berlin!

After an easy return to the U.S. and a fabulous family Thanksgiving--I hope everyone also had a wonderful Thanksgiving!--I'm returning to post on my shamefully occasional blog.

Yes, oh faithful and forgiving blog readers, today's post goes into the shameless plug department, to quote, shamelessly, from the recently retired Car Talk show hosts, the "Tappit" Brothers.

But first, a tad of catching up...
The last part of my trip was a whirlwind of train rides (Go, Eurail!), meetings, a beautifully played, moving concert in Berlin, archival research at the Akademie der Kuenste and snippets of sightseeing here and there.  Budapest, for example, is ever so schoen (oh, so lovely)!

The moving concert was "Musik der Erinnerung," performed by the Neue Juedische Kammerphilharnomie Dresden, conducted by Maestro Michael Hurshell at the Synagogue Rykestrasse.  The NJKD program explores orchestral music by some of the composers that we also focus on in the Jewish Music & Poetry Project.

Which leads me to the shameless plug.  Coming up on Sunday, December 9 at 3:00 p.m., at the Berkeley Arts Festival, 2133 University Avenue in Berkeley, pianist Dale Tsang-Hall, cellist Adaiha Macadam-Somer, and I will perform new music to poetry by Jewish women writers, as well as "forbidden" music, i.e., by composers whose works were banned and whose lives were altered--or worse--during the Holocaust.

The program includes songs and solo piano music by: composers Alexander Zemlinsky, Arnold Schoenberg, Erich Korngold, Pavel Haas, Edwin Geist, Vitezslava Kapralova, and David Garner, the collaborative composer-in-residence and co-director, with me, of the JMPP, to poetry by Mascha Kaleko, Annette von Droste-Huelshoff, Rose Auslaender, Richard Dehmel, and more..

If you're interested in coming to the concert:

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Speaking of David Garner, kudos and congratulations!  After years of writing terrific, cool, and beautiful music, he has been nominated for a 2013 Award in Music by the American Academy of Arts & Letters!

What I'm working on: music for our December 9 concert (natch)

What I'm reading: after waiting for from the ever-popular and well-stocked Berkeley Public Library, Gone Girl.  Definitely worth the wait.  A twisted murder mystery about a woman who goes missing.   Without adding any plot spoilers, suffice it to say that the usual suspect is...suspected, but the missing woman's body is...missing.

What I'm listening to: Dresden songwriter Ursula Kurze's CD, which she was kind enough to send a copy of to me. Very nice.  She has a setting of Mascha Kaleko's "Gebet" (which David Garner also set), that's quite different from his.  It's always interesting to hear two different artistic minds approach the same text!

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