Wow, I am listening to the recording that the Tanglewood Music Center performed this summer [of the Reich] and it’s great. Two things really strike me: obviously the musicianship and the great care and coordination it took to rehearse/perform this piece, but also the audio quality of the recording. I’m not sure how well known it is, but TMC has other programs than just instrumental and vocal. There are conducting fellows, composing fellows, audio fellows, a publications fellow, librarian fellows and piano technician fellows. It’s great because it’s very inclusive of all the things a major symphony orchestra needs to function at a high level. While the music and musicians are clearly the focus, many other things go on so a successful rehearsal or great concert can be had.
This summer was wonderful. I learned a huge amount, met fantastic musicians and listen to great music almost constantly. What more could you ask for? (Perhaps some air conditioning once in a while…) Not only did this summer cement my career path, but it will stick out as one of my best summers in my life, hands down. Hopefully, being at Tanglewood in some capacity will continue for a long, long time.
2 days until Tanglewood!
It’s more or less official: I am done with my master’s! Exciting stuff, though I’ll only feel the real thrill when I’ve got that fancy schmancy diploma in hand. Actually, completing my last paper and giving my last presentation seemed anticlimactic; where were the fireworks, the dousing of champagne and jewels? Perhaps it was because I’ve only been going to school part time and still have a full time job to go back to that it seemed less exciting. In college, I had some freedom and rest to look forward to. 50 days until Tanglewood; now that’s definitely something to look forward to.
Eventually I’ll cull all the interesting and informative bits I’ve learned while getting my master’s and working…but for now, I’m going to try to bask in the sun.
I stole that from my comrade and colleague, Jason Gottsacker (Web Technologies Officer of Music Library Student Group, aka MusLibKids, aka MLSG, etc. etc.). Upon further research (like any good librarian), it’s also an ice-skating move and a type of insurance plan. Great! But that’s basically how I’m feeling, with intermittent bursts of life! Spring! Graduation! Summer! Everything seems to be happening all at once, as it usually does.
I literally have two weeks until I am done with my MLIS. Graduation isn’t until May 10, but I’m not walking. I’ve decided to use the money I would have spent on the cap/gown/hood ridiculous-ness on a nice frame for my diploma (and do my undergrad one while I’m at it). My final project = print music vs. digital music…who wins? Wouldn’t want it to give it all away now (especially since I’m not quite finished, ahem), but I think in the end, we all win! Sounds cliche, but we can make informed decisions that work best for our respective situations (and wallets).
Onto the most exciting news: I’m a Tanglewood Library Fellow! This is super exciting and I’m SO jazzed and honored. I know a few previous fellows and they’ve all given rave reviews. Let me see, 8 weeks of classic and contemporary music, made by amazing musicians from all over the world, conducted by world class maestros/maestri (I think both are correct, but please let me know!), coached by principal BSO players…oh you know, no biggie.
So, death spiral be damned! You will be over briefly and a music/libraries/summer spiral will commence. Hopefully some swimming will also ensue.
In my last post, I began with “Hiatus, over!” Well, as you can see, it continued into the new year. But, since we all escaped the Mayan apocalypse, I’m here, I’m a musician, I’m a library student and I’m writing!
Not too much has changed; I finished my penultimate semester and am now ready to tackle my last class: music librarianship. How fitting! Since starting at the music library at Boston University (a timely change from the law library) I’m learning more and more about music: how it’s cataloged, how students search for it, how they use it, how librarians can make it easier to find and all those kinds of good things. I’ve also [finally] gotten my horn cleaned (by the illustrious and fabulous Ken Pope, no less), so I’m hoping to start back up and take some lessons. I’m also gearing up to go to MLA San Jose! I’ll be meeting with fellow MLSG members, as well as some summer friends from Interlochen! I think it’s going to be a great opportunity and really round out my spring of music. Musical spring? Either way, on y va!
Hiatus, over! Well, it was never officially taken, but that’s how life goes. After a fairly uneventful end of summer, the semester steams ahead. Projects and deadlines are looming ahead and I’m trying to stay on top of things and get ‘em done. (I’m tragically trying to recreate the post I had half way finished, but didn’t save, since there’s no option in the “quick” post module…grrrr.)
Two weeks ago, I went to a really interesting discussion at Harvard. The panel was: Joseph Horowitz, Mark Volpe, Jeremy Eichler, and Lloyd Schwartz. Respectively, they are a historian, managing director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and two music critics. The alarmist title to the discussion was <<Classical Music in Crisis.>> Don’t worry, the panelists and hosts also denounced it as such. The biggest point that all the panelists could agree upon was that classical music is NOT for the privileged or hyper educated crowd—it needs to be, as Eichler stated, “more things to more people.” Bingo! However, the steps to make it such are somewhat nebulous. Horowitz is a promoter of combining performances and education simultaneously. He has led very successful and engaging programs that fuse literature and visual art with music. His big push is for an interdisciplinary approach of spreading classical music around. Schwartz, one of the music critics, is also for education, but doesn’t want “learning thrown at him.” An interesting take on the situation for sure…how much do we need to be extolling the virtues of classical music? It should be self evident, but it’s not, in many cases. I’m don’t think it’s from lack of interest, but from lack of exposure and opportunities. But creating those opportunities isn’t easy either…
Basically, it boils down to how music affects people, how it changes people, how it’s all about relationships. Horowitz said the orchestra’s circle needs to expand—how to do it it is the big question. This presents a lot of food for thought. One interesting and interdisciplinary (or inter-genre) approach is an album of remixed Philip Glass compositions. More information can be found here (http://philipglassrework.com/). I really liked the two sample tracks, so much that I even splurged and bought the special “glass” LP! This is more of a commercial/popular approach to spreading classical music, but it’s a start. I don’t think there’s one solid answer: solutions will be fluid, personal and localized. Suggest a favorite symphony to someone who’s never explored classical music, or drag (er, invite) friends to an afternoon concert. A lot of universities and conservatories give free/donation based/very reasonably priced recitals and concerts. Take advantage of what your city/local schools/youth orchestras are offering—it’ll always be more than expected!