Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Marya Katz to offer her annual MLK Day hammered dulcimer workshop in Winston Salem

Now here's something to look forward to in the bleak mid-winter ...

Marya Katz will be teaching her annual hd workshop in Winston Salem on the Martin Luther King birthday holiday.

Monday, January 18, 2016
Registration and setup: 8:30am
Workshop: 9:00am - 3:30pm
Location:  College Park Baptist Ch, 1701 Polo Rd, Winston Salem
Fee: $60, includes lunch and all materials

The Plan ... a kind of "Master Class" focusing on:
- Dynamics, specifically volume and tempo control
- and Chords, including the use of chord substitutions
- resulting in the Creation of interesting, expressive arrangements

Tunes used will be a couple of Moravian hymns and a simple German round.

Marya hopes to include a flute or recorder in the arrangements. If you play flute or recorder and would be willing to play that part please contact Marya so she can send music to practice.

No need to pre-pay for the workshop, but please do RSVP to Marya Katz and Terry Lefler so that the proper amount of lunch and materials may be prepared.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Monday's Muse

I wanted an electric train for Christmas but I got the saxophone instead. ~ Clarence Clemons

You can't always get what you want;
You can't always get what you want;
You can't always get what you want;
But if you try sometimes, you just might find,
You get what you need.  ~ The Rolling Stones

Monday, December 21, 2015

Monday's Muse

Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.  ~ Albert Einstein

Monday, December 14, 2015

Monday's Muse

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.  ~ C.S. Lewis

Monday, December 7, 2015

Monday's Muse

If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.'  ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

In search of ...

I have been way long gone touring India, with a side trip to Kathmandu, Nepal. We spent three incredible weeks in the land of kings, and temples, and 330 million deities. (Yes, indeed, as claimed by the Hindu scriptures!)

I had two musically related items on my list of things to see while in India. The first, of course, was a santoor, ancient relative to our modern day hammered dulcimer. Second, just for fun, I decided to seek out one of those many deities ... Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of music. Now there's a goddess that speaks my language!

It turns out that Saraswati was easy to find. She is actually the goddess of knowledge, wisdom, learning, and arts, as well as music. Her likeness is found wherever teachers and those seeking wisdom and knowledge gather, e.g. in schools and universities.

The santoor, on the other hand, proved to be a bit more elusive. Like our hammered dulcimer, the santoor is a trapezoid-shaped musical instrument. It is native to Jammu and Kashmir, and commonly used in the playing of classical Indian music. Perhaps commonly is an overly confident phrase.

Asking the average person in India where one might find a santoor elicited a similar response to to asking the average American where one might find a hammered dulcimer. “A what?” We had the opportunity to hear some traditional music, but the most common musical ensemble we witnessed was harmonium with tabla and the occasional set of finger cymbals.

We heard temple bells, and various drums. We even saw an impromptu jam session at the Pushkar Camel Fair. These guys were having fun! But, alas, no santoor.

I had high hopes of finding a santoor player in the holy city of Varanasi, a place known for its classical music schools and performers. I have no doubt I would have been successful if I had had more time. As it was, I never did actually see a santoor. But above the din of Dev Dewali, Festival of Lights, we detected the unmistakable sound of the santoor coming through the sound system of one of the many stages set up along the banks of the Ganges River. We searched, but in the mass of humanity and festival d├ęcor we never could find the musician. That's India!