I’ve talked to a lot of composers about how they craft sound and experience, but my conversation with jazz trumpeter and composer Wadada Leo Smith about Ten Freedom Summers, his work reflecting on the Civil Rights Movement, was something else entirely. Read my preview at Houstonia Magazine.
Read my review of Friday night’s concert at Bachtrack.
Aperio, Music of the Americas, broke the spell downtown with the first concert since Harvey hit. And, notably, it was with a world premiere arrangement of a work that I never thought I’d hear live: Philip Glass’ Aguas da Amazonia. An ambitious undertaking and a heartfelt performance. Read my review at Houstonia Magazine.
Yesterday I saw blue sky for the first time in days, and it was a moment of relief, but Harvey will be lingering in Houston for years to come. Among the many traumatic images and stories of suffering, my thoughts are with the Houston Theater District–Houston Grand Opera, Houston Ballet, Houston Symphony, the Alley–that has experienced devastating flooding and loss. It’s a massive blow to our rich, artistic community.
Trombonist and bandleader Ryan Gabbart and pianist Andrew Lienhard talked to me about playing the volatile 1959 album Mingus Ah Um live. Read my preview of their Sunday concert at Houstonia Magazine.
At the MFAH this weekend, Sound of Redemption, a documentary about jazz legend Frank Morgan, is making its Houston premiere. His story is about great music as much as it is about overcoming great odds. I had the pleasure of speaking with his sister, Angela, in an interview you can read at Houstonia Magazine.
Two pieces at Houstonia Magazine this week: the first, a review of Houston Grand Opera’s Abduction from the Seraglio in which Ryan Speedo Green stole the show, and the second, an interview with Gabriela Lena Frank about the world premiere of her Conquest Requiem this weekend with the Houston Symphony.
From July 1966 to January 1967, John Cage and Morton Feldman recorded several conversations for radio at WBAI in New York City (happily published by MusikTexte in 1993). In a conversation in July, 1966, they ended up talking about looking names up in the phone book:
“I’m sure there’s only one John Cage in the telephone book, but there are quite a few Morton Feldmans in the New York book. Varèse once called me and said he’s just called another Morton Feldman. And he said to him, ‘Well, are you the composer?’ …and the man said, ‘No, I’m in lingerie.'”
It’s finally here, the end of Houston Grand Opera’s epic Ring Cycle. Looking back, I have to say I’ve loved every minute of it–the wild fantasy of the production, the singers (Christine Goerke!), the fire and ice that met every turn. Indeed, it is a bittersweet ending to a four-year journey. Read my review at Houstonia Magazine.
The Houston Symphony went to Italy with the Pines of Rome, a piece that is nothing without the timpani. Read my review at Bachtrack.