Re-visiting J.S. Bach’s Partita No. 2

Re-visiting J.S. Bach’s Partita No. 2

In the middle of Lent, I had the chance to re-visit J.S. Bach’s Partita No. 2 which I used as a prelude for our Palm Sunday service at St. Paul’s KCMO. It was a piece I had learned in my late teens, and I wanted to visit it again to see how much I had...
Iris Murdoch on Art

Iris Murdoch on Art

I’m still working my way through an Iris Murdoch reader. She has to be one of the clearest and most astute systematic thinkers of the 20th century. It’s just an amazing mind. This passage is lengthy, but worth the read. She has been sailing twixt the...
Playing Vox Balaenae

Playing Vox Balaenae

As an undergrad at the University of Tampa, I had the good fortune to have the Spectrum Contemporary Ensemble in residence and giving concerts each semester I was there. The ensemble was an ad hoc group led by percussionist Dave Coash and cellist Lowell Adams. Both...
How I became a jazz pianist

How I became a jazz pianist

When I was a young music major, no one ever really told me that I wasn’t allowed to listen to other kinds of music, but being a “classical” player, I thought my listening was now restricted to works within the canon. During my first year in college,...
Playing Finzi with Josh Lawlor, baritone

Playing Finzi with Josh Lawlor, baritone

English music has a strange history. During the time of the Tudors (and even sometime before that) England was the center of some of the most exciting musical experiments and compositional activity in the world. When taste changed, they sort of let Handel take over,...
Iris Murdoch on Art

Iris Murdoch and Bryan Magee

I’ve just read a transcript of an interview between Bryan Magee and Iris Murdoch. The interview is particularly interesting now that we are living in the midst of a culture where so many musicians are trying to use their art to advocate for social issues. Magee...
Let’s Talk About Music with Sergio Barer

Let’s Talk About Music with Sergio Barer

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of sitting down with composer/pianist Sergio Barer to talk about some of my more recent compositional output. I don’t always like to do this because composers talking about their own music tends to bore me to death. However,...
Carol Ragnarok 2020 Covid Edition Week 4 Recap

Carol Ragnarok 2020 | Week 2 recap

Carol Ragnarok Week 2 did not disappoint. Here’s the recap in case you missed anything. The week began with me testing John with a Ralph Vaughan Williams Rhosymedre where the main melody was replaced with O Tannenbaum. John, seeing the rocky terrain, chose...
Carol Ragnarok 2020 Covid Edition Week 4 Recap

Carol Ragnarok 2020 Week 1 recap

Each year in December an irresistable force meets and unmovable object to test their musical wits in a carol reinvention contest known as Carol Ragnarok. Basically, John Conahan and I fool around in our spare time. In case you missed any entries from week one,...