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Video montage

 

Liz sitting at a desk with Emma Suzik holding my hand from behind

Liz with stage daughter Emma Suzik, Kristin Seeger peeking out in the photo behind

There are video and photo montages of the show I sang in North Carolina this past July on this site An Extra Penny.

Scroll down for the video; I appear at about 6:15 and at the end, and on the way you can hear the beautiful music by Mary Lee Taylor Kinosian and view so many of my colleagues.

Starting fresh…

2017 f flyer jP Jubilee6 sm

It’s time to start again–classes, lessons, and the “Birthday of the World”.  Come sing, learn, and have fun in Boston and Cambridge.  Or travel to Cape Cod for the High Holidays where no one needs a ticket to take a seat…Am HaYam meets in Orleans and I’m cantor, conductor and pianist…

“So flexible…

you can pick up a dime”, went the old TV ad for rubber gloves.  Well, this project in North Carolina, An Extra Penny, is showing me that I can be every more flexible every day.  Turns out, it’s not simply a show, it’s a workshop, and one with LOTS of changes every day.  And they are all good!  Not always easy, but the show keeps getting better.

 

The Hansen Family

“The Hansen Family”  with Emma Suzik and Eli Cole in  An Extra Penny

I was invited here to sing an opera.  Then someone said, “no, it’s a musical”.  Fine, I can speak in English.  And then the changes started coming fast and furious.  My favorite line from a colleague: “I thought I had the most recent obsolete script!” Each change brings a better and tighter show.  The producers from NY (Broadway folks) who came to the opening are interested in the project and have given it a green light to go to the next level.  Which means more workshops in the future. But first, our creative dynamo Cindy Lu Mancini will have another week to work it and we will have 4 more performances next weekend.

I’ve never been in a show like this–neither have anyone else in the cast or crew, but we are all into it completely.  The music is gorgeous and the locals could not be more welcoming.

Delete, re-stage, take out dialogue and replace with body language.  I’m having a ball and I’ve found out I’m a quicker study than I thought.  So flexible…

 

Creating a role

ticket_orig

I’m singing a wonderful character* in a brand new musical, An Extra Penny.  I love the music, the story and the chance to work with a whole new group of people.  I’m in North Carolina for the month, rehearsing every day, marking the changes to my script and counting in wild meters.  I will write more as rehearsals go on, but I am thrilled to have completed a week here, near Raleigh, where it is steamy as all get-out and the iced tea is sweet unless you ask for another kind.  And…I have never before been in a musical, always operas or concerts.  It’s really fun to get to SPEAK lines…in English!

*a mother, of course, because altos always play moms.

 

 

Happily singing alto at JP Porch Fest

Porchfest 

 

Porchfest JP Choral Singers                Led by Pam Kristan

Sat July 9,    1:30 – 3 pm

7 John Andrew Street, Jamaica Plainoff Newbern/Elm/Carolina/Sedgwick

Brahms ¯ Mozart ¯ Lauridsen ¯Goin’ to Boston, arr. Alice Parker ¯ Haydn ¯ Wm. Byrd ¯ Orlando di Lasso ¯Sacred Harp style piece

Join in on a hymn or madrigal

More info at http://jpporchfest.org/

What could be more fun than getting together with neighbors and making music?  I did this years ago in Berkeley on Saturday afternoons, and the easy camaraderie and sharing of duties (conducting, bringing snacks) is perfect.  What’s more, we’ll do Alice Parker’s arrangement of “Goin’ to Boston,” which I’ve been wanting to put together for quite a while now.  Since it’s Ms. Parker’s 90th birthday year, folks are posting videos of their performances of her many compositions and arrangements. Alice Parker is 90 We look forward to adding ours…I’m multitasking: conducting and singing some alto on this one, but also being a percussion section.  The other pieces I just get to sing…

Make Music on the Longest Day

Leonard Bernstein quote on violence

I was happy to find this quote, because I’ve been thinking about it.  Come on Tuesday evening to the Boston Common and do a Circle Sing with us–it’s Make Music Day–Fete de la Musique since it started in France…

Lots of places to hear music, but here is the link to MAKING music with others.  participatory events  Website for the whole shebang Make Music Boston 2016

If you don’t know what a Circle Sing is, just come and try–nothing required, just listen and let us play together while making beautiful, new sounds.  We learned it from Bobby McFerrin, and we take turns leading.  How about that?  Parkman Bandstand, Boston Common, 6-7:30pm on Tuesday June 21, 2016.  All free. Come any old time, drop by after work…

 

Counting on it

 

Inuksuit at ArboretumSingers are notorious for not being great at counting.  I will admit I spend more time correcting rhythms than notes in lessons and rehearsals with my groups.  I pride myself on being pretty good at rhythm.

Well, counting as a percussionist is really busting my chops.  John Luther Adams’ piece that I’ll be participating in next weekend is S-L-O-W and meditative.  Really a cool piece, and my little part (I’m one of 90+ folks) is interesting and challenging.  And I have to memorize it and count slowly.

I never thought of myself as a hummingbird type, but this is a challenge.  I practice by taking walks around my neighborhood, counting measures until I come in, breathing in and out instead of playing the siren or conch shell or clanging a small bell.  Just trying to count long phrases.  A kind of spiritual practice, if you will.

I’ve also been listening to his music.  After all, this guy recently won the Pulitzer Prize for composition, and we get to play his piece in our own tree park, aka the Arnold Arboretum.  His music is gorgeous and spacious as the land.  In addition,  I met my percussion teacher, Maria Finkelmeier, after a performance she did in said Arboretum a few years ago.  So I am doubly excited to be invited to be part of a great community of folks, each counting to their own inner rhythm.  Not quite improvised, but not scripted in the way each of us comes in at the same time.

When I was a pup, in the late 1970’s in the Bay Area, I sang with a cool new-music group called the Port Costa Players.  One concert we did in the University Art Museum included a piece that called for ceremonial walking and whistling by the singers, while two percussionists played large hand drums to give a beat.  We repeated the concert in the same museum two nights in a row.  After the first concert, the composer who had just come up from LA to hear the piece (was it Doug Leedy? not sure) told our conductor that we had done it WAY TOO FAST.  So the next night, when we arrived at our short pre-concert warm-up, we were told to just follow the beat of the drummers, which was now something like three times as slow.  That was one weird performance.  We could not adjust without a real rehearsal, and it was hard to follow the cues of the whistling and waiting for something like a minute in between each drum beat.

I know the Adams piece will be a different kind of space-time-continuum, and we get to rehearse at the proper speed.  But it brought up (nice) memories.

Anyway, come hear this cool piece next weekend.  You can sit and listen from one vantage point or walk around as we performers walk on our our paths and integrate with the sounds of the land.