The Next Generation (of Orchestra Goers)

A while back, I was commissioned to write a piece that would introduce kids to the sections of the orchestra, and in December, I had the pleasure of seeing it premiered by Maestra Victoria Gau and the National Philharmonic Orchestra. Over the course of a week, Give Me the Orchestra was played for nearly 10,000 second-graders from Montgomery County, Maryland. The piece involves some call-and-response between the students and the orchestra, and what a response it was! I don’t think I have ever had a piece of music get such an enthusiastic reception. I’d love to see this one played more broadly.

The Future Is Now

A few days ago, I started my work day on a long Skype call with a friend in Paris who is working on bringing my jazz band, Chaise Lounge, to France for a tour. As soon as that call ended, I was added to a Zoom.us video conference with a filmmaker and a corporate client. From our three different cities, we shared film edit files and made comments and adjustments as we listened. In real time! Just a few years ago, that would have taken days of travel and a mind-numbing amount of back-and-forth revisions. After the conference call was over, I made my final adjustments to the score in ProTools and sent the stereo .wav files to the filmmaker via a large file transfer site called Hightail. I marveled at the technology that keeps collapsing the time it takes to do this work, and the distance among those of us who do it. I then took out my pen and wrote several thank-you notes, put them in envelopes, and left them for the postman. For some things, slower is better. I hope your new year is starting off well, at whatever speed you are starting it.

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