The Farce Awakens

January 20, 2017 at 10:20 am

Since ‘Murica has turned into a reality TV spin-off, we better pick some appropriate theme music.

It’s tempting to use Art Music to make some clever jokes, but it just doesn’t feel funny because it’s real. Well, let the farce begin. Thankfully, a composer (from ‘Murica, no less) has already composed music which we could use for the run of this TV series: Music for a Farce, by Paul Bowles. And it’s a good thing, since clearly this administration isn’t interested in the arts.

Nah, I take it back. This music is too enjoyable. Let’s Fucik instead.


Another car-trip life-saver

August 29, 2016 at 12:51 pm

I mentioned yesterday that I’ve managed to survive many hours in the car this summer with my children. If you have kids and a car, you know how painful long trips can be. Movies and music help pass the time, but often the content of children’s media is so  stupid that you find yourself preferring the bickering and whining.

No so with this CD of the music of Daniel Dorff. Today’s piece tells the Aesop fable of the Tortoise and the Hare. The story is narrated, but the playful music practically tells the story on its own, like a tone poem. The slow tortoise has its own theme (0:12) played by a contrabassoon (an often ignored sub-bass instrument for which Dorff composed another fabulously funky piece.) The hare’s theme is played (0:19) on an alto clarinet (I think …), silly and spirited (and calling to mind Till Eulenspiegel, whose theme was on the same instrument.) Our favorite, though, is when the hare falls asleep, and the music paints its snoring (3:24).

Besides this story, the CD has two other fables plus a few other stories which will hold everyone’s attention and keep the car ride sane.


Will Compose for Food

July 19, 2016 at 11:00 am

Q: What’s the difference between a musician and a pizza?
A: A pizza can feed a family of four!

Felix Mendelssohn was a wunderkind and successful musician all around – performing, conducting, composing. Unlike many musicians, he never really had to “sing for his supper.” He did, however, take an interesting commission to write a piece for a friend – he composed this mini-concerto for clarinet and basset-horn in exchange for a generous portion of dumplings and cheese Danish.


Q: What’s the quickest way to get a musician off your porch?
A: Pay for the pizza.