Updates and more updates

Splash image for the website

If some of you hadn’t noticed, I’ve changed the look of the blog. This template is a bit cleaner and less distracting than the previous one, I think. I also spent most of last night completely overhauling my website. Though most of the content is previously existing content from the old website, the structure is newer and I think a bit more streamlined than the old one. I’ll be spending a lot of time over the next week or so re-doing content (especially the bio) but also making it easier for folks to know what services I offer for various function (both performative and educational).

What I’m especially looking forward to is highlighting my compositional activities more, as I am now getting much more work in that area.  I’m also looking forward to showcasing some of my more academic and scholarly work – especially the slow development of a Klingon Music Theory which will be the basis for some of the new music I’ve been writing for various projects.

The side-column (where the current facebook like page is located) will eventually be used for more content rather than just the like page, but I have to sort out how to import/display content there. Any tips, suggestions, and/or complaints are very welcome!

Linkblogging news

I know I haven’t been posting here the past few days as I’ve been hella busy, but wanted to post some recent news in the Classical music world.

The Louisville Bach Society will cease operations at the end of this season:

After 47 years of performance in the Louisville, area, the Louisville Bach Society has decided to cease operations at the close of the 2011 season. The season will culminate with a performance of Bach’s magnificent Mass in B minor, a work which was one of Bach’s last works.

The decision was prompted by the retirement of the founders, Melvin and Margaret
Dickinson, compounded by a difficult economy facing the arts community. The Mass in
B minor will be performed on May 1st at 3 p.m. at Harvey Browne Presbyterian Church.

The Syracuse Orchestra board has officially suspended the rest of its season after having difficulty reaching their fundraising goals to get the organization out of the red.  Drew McManus brings up the issue of the non-refundable tickets and donations in his recent blog post.

The Syracuse Symphony Orchestra‘s board of trustees has voted to suspend operations on Sunday amid financial woes.

There were more than 20 concerts remaining in the orchestra’s season, including an April 27 concert by renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

The orchestra’s 18 full- and part-time staffers and 61 core and 14 contract musicians will be laid off Monday.

The Festival of Orchestras in Orlando, Florida, will close down.

After a recent near sell-out spectacular performance of the world famous Boston Pops, the 27-year-old organization announced it must cease operations at the end of the month due to waning finances directly related to the struggling economy, the organization’s Board of Directors announced.

As responsible stewards of the non-profit organization, the board recently announced to patrons that the Festival’s 27th season for presenting world-class orchestra performances would be its finale.

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra may now shut down its summer season as well.

The Louisville Orchestra has been granted two more months for filing its reorganization.

EDIT: David Beem has some great things to say about Music Educators and symphonic organizations (especially about the Syracuse Symphony) in a recent post:

http://davidbeem.wordpress.com/2011/03/31/the-lowest-of-the-low-your-music-teacher/

Catch Up

It’s spring break here both in the school system and at IUS.  I’ve been spending the week making up some lessons for students since we’ve has some snow days at IUS–and more importantly, I’ve been just playing catch up in general.  Also, the wife is out of town with her father to take care of her late grandmother’s house down in Alabama.

What I really need though, is just a real spring break for me.  Not having to coach at the local schools and do some rehearsals is nice, but teaching does take up so much time.  Having three shows this past weekend certainly hasn’t helped.  Up until now the year has been a light one for shows–probably the lightest I’ve had in years and I’ve gotten spoiled with having so much extra time during the weekends that I just didn’t have last weekend and won’t have this weekend (I’ve got three more shows this weekend as well).

*sighs*

As you folks can see, I’ve also taken a couple day break from the blog as I’ve had so many ideas floating around in this head that I wish I had more time to sort through them but just don’t have that right now.

Continue reading “Catch Up”

SoundCloud and a new look for the blog

SoundCloud Logo
SoundCloud Logo

So as some of you have noticed, I switched themes for the blog.  I’m not entirely sold on this one, but I wante something with a bit more color but similar functionality to the previous theme.  This was about as close as I could get.  Some things are a bit more clear in this template, but I don’t particularly like that there’s so much space in the header above.  If I ever feel inclined I might go into the template and see if I can’t modify it some, but for now it will suffice.

And Ive been toying around with SoundCloud ever since I noticed it on Tony Woodcock’s recent blog post about Pushing Boundaries.  I’ve noticed it around some sites before but it wasn’t until listening to some of the tracks he had posted by New England Conservatory students (in particular Goodbye Ben Ali by Yasmine Azalez) that I realized how it works.

Basically the track itself becomes a social networking system by allowing folks (who have an account) to make comments at specific points on the track much like how Youtube allows comments to be embedded into the videos now.

The best thing is the ability to  embed the track onto websites individually which makes it much more useful (for me) than the more traditional artist audio sites out there right now.

Continue reading “SoundCloud and a new look for the blog”

The things that bring people to this blog

So often very interested in what brings folks to my blog.  WordPress has a nice little site stats function (as many blogging software does) and one of those stats is the Search Engine Terms which is basically what phrases people use that brings up your blog in search engine (e.g. google.com, bing.com)  results.

The full list from when I actively started using this blog (it will officially be one month tomorrow–though February was a short month) is below but I wanted to make some comments about some of the more interesting items.

A few notes — since I have been importing entries from other blogs there are far more entries here than a month would indicate.  I’ve been an active blogger in some form or other since about 2002.  Nearly ten years of me blathering on about something or other online.  I’ll be importing my old livejournal posts here within the next week but often I will cross-post to blogs especially during periods of transitioning between them.  In other cases, I cross-post when I feel at all inclined to try to keep more than one blog up to date.

Given that, there are a number of posts I’ve already found that are doubles of each other, so I’ll be tweaking things around here to eliminate the double posts unless there happens to be non-double-posted comments on both or (in some cases) more copies.

I haven’t put any of the phrases into a search engine myself yet so have no idea where they fall generally and neither do I know which particular post (since I’ve quadrupled my posts here with the blog imports).  Ok, now some of the interesting ones.

“diana deutsch” musical – this one I found particularly odd.  Diana Deutsch is a psychologist who has done tons of research in musical illusions and how early language acquisition can shape how we hear music.  I don’t know if she’s written a musical (or if a musical has been written about her) but now I’m intrigued by the idea!

arabic musical instruments that europe borrowed – ok, I suppose since I’ve blogged a bit about the origins of stringed instruments, this make sense.  But since I spend far more time talking about how European instruments have been integrated into non-European Art ensembles, this is a bit of a reversal.

don helms – so what is a post-classical cellist doing blogging about the steel guitar player of Hank Williams Sr.’s?  It was actually a pre-written post for a show I did in Nashville that happened to be a Don Helms Tribute concert.

sad ram – I know this is going to really confuse whomever came here to look for info about a depressed sheep only to find a post about a Klingon Ballet instead.

Continue reading “The things that bring people to this blog”