Hello everybody! My usual long hiatus is actually justified this time, as we welcomed our daughter KEELEY into the world on November 15. Things have been busy, but in the best of ways.
At the beginning of the month, I started playing drums for a run of Little Shop of a Horrors at Geva Theatre here in Rochester. Geva is a professional regional theatre, so the run is over a month long, and the experience has been great. Everyone I’ve encountered has been a consummate pro, from the actors and other musicians, to the crew and stagehands. It has been an experience that I hope to replicate in the future, no matter where I work..
The coming months have a lot of exciting musical events in store. After Little Shop closes, I’ll be diving into Matt Curlee’s mammoth project “H”. Matt has written an hour of music for orchestra, choir and small jazz group. I’m fortunate enough to play drums on the project, and am even featured on movement 4 (which grew out of the piece he wrote me for soloDRUMsolo). You can learn basically everything about the project at his website http://www.h-universe.org.
When KEELEY was in the hospital, I wrote a piece for Aaron Butler, of Athens Ohio fame. It’s called “Losing Touch” and it’s for solo vibraphone with spoken word. The performer can either speak as they play, or can record it prior to the performance. Aaron did a fantastic job with the first recording. It will be available for purchase on my COMPOSITIONS page shortly.
In March, I am honored to be a guest composer and soloist with the Eastman Chamber Percussion Ensemble. We will play my piece Rough Compliance, and I will play the Drumset solo part. (Rough Compliance, and many other pieces are available on the COMPOSITIONS page). I’m also really excited to be invited to play with the Respect Sextet in Rochester. These guys were super important to me as a young drummer at Eastman and it’s going to be a blast to play with them!
In April, I will be in residence at Ithaca College. I will work with the percussion studio on soloDRUMsolo stuff, do a recital of that music and also do some work with the new version of NORMAL PEOPLE. I can’t tell everything just yet, but I am excited to say that there are some new members of the band and an entire new set of music. If you missed the first round, check it out here: NORMAL PEOPLE.
Finally, and maybe most exciting, in June I’ll travel to one of my favorite places on earth (Boston) to play a soloDRUMsolo concert with Sō Percussion’s Jason Treuting! Special thanks to the most connected woman I know, Maria Finkelmeier for organizing this show. I hope to see all my Boston friends on June 6!!
Beyond that, I hope to continue writing for a new band called Desired Things. The band consists of Doug Stone, Andrew Links, Tyrone Allen and Brandon Choi. It’s like Bending and Breaking for the 21st Century…
I love talking about things I’m into, in hopes that someone else might be into the same things. Since Christmas, I’ve been roasting my own coffee. It’s safe to say that I am a huge coffee nerd (thanks Ivan Treviño). Check out sweetmarias.com if you’re interested.
I also really am into this show BLACK MIRROR on Netflix. After one episode, you will be hooked. 5 words: prime. minister. (youknow..). with. pig.
KEELEY and I have been reading Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling, and I’m reminded of how much I love the cleverness of the language and the creative ways that he explains some of nature’s mysteries.
New music that I’ve enjoyed lately comes from Hozier, Damien Rice, Talking Under Water (Dave Chisholms new project), and lots of music from old America, like spirituals, folk songs and this Uri Caine/Dave Douglas record called “Present Joys” where they play from the Sacred Harp songbook. Beauty in simplicity..
I might do a 2014 in Review but maybe not. Until next time, stay cool.