Monthly Archives: August 2015

Dr. Sacks and the Brain on Music

I just read a tremendous obituary in the New York Times – Dr. Oliver Sacks, renowned neurologist and prolific author and polymath, succumbed to cancer at 82 at his home in New York this morning.  His case studies of his patients, most famously brought to life in the 1990 film Awakenings, helped humanize people who […]

Bach and Another Suzuki Gavotte

BWV 822 is Bach’s  Suite in G Minor for Harpsichord, and part of it has also been arranged into a Suzuki Book Three song for violin, Gavotte in G Minor.  Content with my progress on the Bach Minuet I’ve been working up for weeks now, Teacher started me on it yesterday.  This new Gavotte is […]

Diplo, Bieber, and Skrillex

I watched the video embedded below on the New York Times this morning; it features a collaboration between three megastars – the producer Diplo, the electronic master Skrillex and the pop phenom Justin Bieber.  I know virtually nothing about any of them, though I did read a nice writeup on Skrillex several years back in […]

Two to Tango, One to Minuet

I have worked up my first duet from the Suzuki Duets book – I know I wrote about that little D major ditty that I played along with just fine right out of the box, but I’m not counting it if it doesn’t take any work (I failed to mention that the entire part is […]

Duets and Music Proper

My duets book came yesterday – it contains violin two parts for many of the Suzuki Book 1-3 songs.  I am pleased to see that in a few cases there are multiple parts – for one song in particular I could now lay down four tracks if I want to (with a little practice, of […]

Cremona Story

Those who know violins know Cremona – a region in Italy famous for producing them.  The great golden age makers Amati, Guarneri, and Stradivari all lived their lives and had workshops in the area, and the area remains a center of production for stringed instruments.  Last night I was with a small group eating dinner […]

Sight Reading and Playing with Others

Last weekend’s chamber music festival has me thinking a lot about sight reading and playing with others.  I found a chamber music association online – it has over 5,000 members, and aims to help them find each other so they can get together and play music.  There’s a minimal membership fee, and in order to […]

Chamber Music and a Concert Hall Debut

Saturday’s “Never too Late” chamber music festival in Naperville was a blast.  I had a wonderful day meeting people passionate about music, spending time with Teacher, and, yes, making some chamber music.  The festival was nicely organized – our groups were pre-assigned so we could work on our parts for the music prior to the […]

Not Simple

While I do know these songs I’m scrambling to prepare for the Chamber Music Festival tomorrow, I am not playing the melody.  My part in Simple Gifts is not too bad at all – I can basically sight read it smoothly and without major problems. Amazing Grace, however, is quite a bit more complicated.  During […]

Two Songs in Two Days

I received the music for the Chamber Music Festival last night, and I’m itching to practice.  Happily, they are tunes with which I’m quite familiar – Amazing Grace, for which I’ll be playing the violin 2 part, and Simple Gifts, for which I’ll play violin 1.  Neither of my parts is the top melody line […]