Wednesday, January 6, 2016


It's about time that I move my little blog to my website. I've had my share of trials and tribulations in the digital world, and I can safely say that I'd like to leave at least one of them behind. I don't like to leave really, but I just don't have patience to figure out how to maneuver through uploading this or that... there are far to many uploads that I must endure. Like the rest of you must also have in these kinds of days.
So here is the last post that was made on blogspot (below). And from now on, (or until there's a better way,) I'll post here.
Thanks, friends. It's always an adventure.
With love,

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Flip side.

The first post in a long time, I mean, a REALLY long time, finds itself anew like I'd never done it before but somehow I know what I'm doing.

(I almost couldn't log in, it's been so long!)

The NYC conundrum, ever prevalent, reveals the flip side through a visit with an extraordinarily creative mind. I almost thought these were gone, and I've often lamented how I've missed thee...

... but it was really nice to revel in what our dreams once were and really believe again that our creations might yet find a place in this... this... whatever this is.

New York is an awful garbage-laden prison of a place, filled with murdererers and soul-suppers. Yes, SUPPERS. Delight in the very essence of what makes each of our souls so purely unique and beautiful. And SUPPED. Engorged upon, like a delicate and fine aperitif... the finest your tongue has ever chanced to embrace. That's This Place. You, like me, are a commodity. And, oh, how exhausting it's been to count oneself amongst the creative entrepreneurs of This Place. How ought one protect and confide their spirit in a generally undeserving world when all you want to do is somehow find one good reason to share your chaos and beauty?

New York can really make one believe the worst, and yes, the best of people, too.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Moder music.

It was with great unease that I announced my first public show.

The choice was to either move forward, or stop.  Because, as music is a living, breathing creature, it can't just stay in one spot forever without withering away.

So my first show is on December 28, in Minneapolis, at Jazz Central; and in preparation, I held 3 private house concerts.  All were very different, but all were a much needed experience that I'm really grateful for.  And, in the vein of this whole project, I recorded everything.  The last night was by far my favorite set of music.  Evolution has seized me.  I'm excited to perform.

And here you go, if your curiosity lends itself. 

Here we go, post grad 6:
and another:

Please excuse the chatter at the beginning.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A case against Minneapolis.

I've been really disturbed lately over the gradual and escalating decline of the arts in the Twin Cities.  Having grown up there, I always made a case for the place, citing it's amazing theater and music scene, not to mention some really great museums, plus a bounty of organizations that bring arts to youth.  There really was so much culture and support for the arts in a population just over a half million.  And that, for me anyway, was what made the Twin Cities so great.

As a musician living in the evermore expensive NYC, Minneapolis has always beckoned to me as a place where quality of living and opportunities were high, and cost of living was relatively low.  A place where a musician could afford a house and groceries, maybe have a family, and not be doomed to eternal debt or a studio apartment.  A place where a person who has spent their entire life studying, refining, teaching, practicing, rehearsing, struggling, emailing, brooding, sweating, suffering, creatively accounting, working, sometimes sleeping, and definitely drinking, might even earn a little if not a lot of respect.  Having two top notch orchestras, a fairly strong jazz scene, and lots of hometown talent also made Minneapolis an easy sell to myself and others with a similar lifestyle.  But what's happened in the last couple of weeks (as a culmination of the last year) has been abominable.

So to put you up to date if you aren't already, the MN Orchestra has been on a lockout for over a year, as of October 1.  Because of this, the beloved conductor, Osmo Vanska, has resigned, as well as the Director of the Composers Institute, Aaron Jay Kernis.  The musicians have been treated as disposable, though they are at the highest caliber in their increasingly competitive field.  Days later, I read that St. Paul's greatest and most loved jazz venue, The Artists' Quarter, is closing at the end of the year.  The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra was nearly doomed itself, after a 191-day lockout of its own.  And these are just the high profile losses.  I can't imagine what's happening to the smaller organizations. 

I hate to say it, but it looks like Minneapolis is slipping.  Culturally, it's becoming a glorified suburb.  I don't think it's too late, but the way things are going makes my death grip on NYC even stronger.  And after reading this article ( and experiencing the truth of what the writer writes about, I'm not even sure I should be sticking around here anymore.

It all makes me very anxious, I tell you.

I hate to return to the blog with this little rant, but blogs, by definition, are for venting.  Look it up.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Pickled beets.

It's been many, many months since I've visited you.  I'm not very good at being in touch, but I'll never forget our friendship.  I miss you, little blog.

In these busy, many months, I almost don't know what I can write about... there's too much.  I'll narrow it down to just a few jots.

I got my Steinway.

I'm still improvising.

My trepidation is starting to melt away.

I asked myself the other day, what direction I thought the music world was headed in these days.  With the revival of bluegrass and all things homemade, I'm pretty sure there's going to be a shift from a lot of the electronic stuff we've been hearing in the past few decades.  It won't disappear, but I anticipate a big split between a school where technology rules music, and a school that completely rejects technology and heads back to acoustics.  A parallel extension of that could be what I think of as neo-impressionism.  Define that as you would imagine.  I don't see a frightened grab at classical form, but of something more rustic or perhaps primitive.  And/or music freed by expression in rebellion of highly controlled, mathematically based composition.  I guess time will tell.  And everyone's always floating their own boat.  Who am I to say any of them have leaks?

Where do you think music is headed these days?

I forgot how tedious this writing thing can be...

Here we go, Post grad 5:

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Old new.

So it's a new year, and with that, the fulfillment of goals.  That was the title of the last entry, after all.  It's not good to make goals, and then abandon them, so.... 

One of these goals, I had alluded to many months ago, and the impetus of fulfillment was, in fact, catalyzed by trying to fulfill Sebastien's goal.  I went with him to look at pianos, and got a little carried away in the grands room.  Sigh.  It ended up being good, though, because, a month later, I bought a Steinway, and I couldn't be happier.  Finally, after three and a half years of being "grandless," I'll have one back in my space.  And not just ANY piano, but the iconic piano of the music world.  I didn't think I could have found something so lovely in my budget, but after lots of footwork and anxious nights, I was proven wrong.  Sometimes you just have to DO.  Rejoicing all around!

The other goal was sort of open-ended, but was just to go somewhere further with this little project.  And so, I met with Angela today, and we improvised together.  And though this has been done before, neither of us had ventured into multi-media improv.  Angela, a visual artist.  We did four pieces.  The first three were with me improvising on the piano, and her creating a piece based on what she heard.  For the last piece, I watched her create, and had more of a conversation with her.  There was a lot of side-conversation, and analysis, which I won't bore you with.  I'll just share results here!  I think I got them all in order.... ;-)  Sorry for the terrible photography.  They are much nicer in person.

Here we go, Post grad 4, Part 1?:
Post grad 4, Part 2:
Post grad 4, Part 3:
Post grad 4, Part 4:

Saturday, December 1, 2012


I'll be honest... after the year was up on this project, I lost a lot of direction, and found myself aimless in what I have been trying to do with my music.  For many of us artists and musicians, it's hard to keep up momentum, because the yard stick by which we measure our accomplishments is so hazy.  And also, it's difficult to come up with a concrete goal.  And not just the immediate goals, but the ultimate life goal.  Then, usually, the goal is something that doesn't actually exist in the present, but needs us to create it.  And it follows that we have to determine the value of that goal, and decide how much time we will devote to it; and rest assured that dividing resources between that goal and our day-to-day existence creates much conflict, both personally and professionally.  It's REALLY HARD.  And that's the objective perspective.  Throw ego and confidence into the equation, and then you've REALLY got a conundrum.

Anyway, I sat down the other day to discuss a "five year plan," and though there was nothing permanently decided, it was very clarifying for my own direction.  Some things came out of my mouth that were like little light bulbs flickering on.  (Cue triangle sound.)  I know the feeling of stagnance is always looming, and ready to cloud us in a grey fog, but for the moment, I have my little torch back.

Here we go, Post-grad improv 3: