New Year, New Hope, New Stuff…

New Year, New Hope, New Stuff…

I promised in my last blog entry, some time back, that I would be working on new piano instrumental pieces. I have been, eagerly, and I’m very pleased with the results. All I need now is a few weeks of practice time before I can get them all recorded. Which won’t happen til February, most likely. Because I’ve got a few other fish to fry:

Vivaldi's Virgins CoverOver the past year I’ve been talking with novelist Barbara Quick, author of “Vivaldi’s Virgins”, about a musical adaptation of her book. We hadn’t gotten anywhere substantial on the project, but I had some thoughts about how it might work, using Vivaldi’s music to construct songs that would work in the context of a musical. Yeah, I know, Vivaldi’s music is already pretty good, why mess with it? Well, because I’m just not into Opera, and that’s the genre that Vivaldi’s vocal music falls into. And, I don’t really have an interest in just compiling a bunch of Vivaldi’s music. It’s just not my bag. But the idea of using his music as a springboard into writing new material is intriguing to me.

By a grand stroke of good fortune, we find ourselves enrolled in the Theatreworks Writer’s Retreat this month. They put us up for a week, provide us with singer/actors, and we pound out ideas and try them out. A week of solid work should reveal to me whether or not my ideas of adapting Vivaldi’s music will work. I’m excited about it. And I’m very much enjoying listening to the wealth of great music that Vivaldi has written. Don’t worry, I don’t PLAN on ruining it 🙂

 

I rented a FANTASTIC movie recently…

Jazz on a Summer's DayJazz on a Summer’s Day – A documentary film of the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival and the America’s Cup that went on concurrently. A documentary, you say? Snooze-ola. Of Jazz? Double snooze-ola. Au contraire, my friends. I confess, I like jazz. I rented it for myself, and it took ME a while to get around to putting it in the DVD player. As I did, I apologized to my wife, saying “you probably won’t like this, but I’m curious to watch just a bit of it, okay…?”. From the first moment, we were hooked. The images are stunning, like Richard Avedon portraits come to life. And while it takes place at a jazz festival, and there’s lots of fine and fantastic performances therein (a young and un-guarded Chuck Berry, a stunning Anita O’Day), half of the film is of the audience, all caught unawares, and all tremendously fascinating. It’s one of the most beautiful and unique films I’ve ever seen. I guarantee it.

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