Hard to believe that January was only four months ago. At the end of that month, I played a solo show — my first in decades — in Germantown, Maryland. I was nervous about it, but it went well enough that I quickly booked a few more shows and went into the studio to record the music while I had it under my fingers. Of course, all the subsequent shows were cancelled, but bassist Greg Watkins and I were able to wrap up the recording sessions in the first week of March, and I finished the mix and the mastering remotely. It is a collection of folk songs, spirituals, and singer-songwriter style originals that will be going out to radio stations as a folk album in a few weeks. If you absolutely can’t wait to hear it on your local folk music radio program, you can listen to samples or purchase it here.
I am proud to live in the forward thinking state of Maryland. A state that listens to scientists, and a state that supports the arts. I was just awarded one of the Maryland State Arts Council’s Independent Artist awards. Here is the full list:https://www.msac.org/press-release/maryland-state-arts-council-announces-2020-independent-arts-award-recipients
My stage play about George Gershwin’s friendship with Arnold Schoenberg — Twelveness — has been produced as an audio performance by the Crowded Kitchen Players of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The show is available at https://crowdedkitchen.podbean.com/
I am extra-ordinarily proud of this. And especially now in our time of quarantine, this can be a nice way to spend 90 minutes.
Here are the deets:
Legendary American pianist and songwriter George Gershwin and Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg volley tennis balls, music theory, and musings on the meaning of art on a Beverly Hills tennis court and over dinner and drinks in a series of entertaining and provocative conversations that may never have taken place. But, they should have.
This play takes place largely in the last months of 1936 and early 1937. George Gershwin would die on July 11, 1937 from an undiagnosed brain tumor. He was 38 years old.
Arnold Schoenberg was famous for his serial compositional technique, the twelve tone row. He would live, teaching and composing, until 1951.
Written by Charlie Barnett
Produced and Directed by Ara Barlieb and Pamela Wallace 2020
Featuring Dan Ferry as George Gershwin, David Oswald as Arnold Schoenberg, Trish Cipoletti as Ginger Rogers, Syd Stauffer as Gertrud Schoenberg
Music by Charlie Barnett
(Running Time: 1 hour 30 minutes)