Saturday, January 31, 2009

last night

I heard an amazing show at Joe's Pub. Or, I should say, I heard half of an amazing show. Janus Trio opened with a set of works written for them. In particular, a *fantastic* piece by Anna Klein. Then they joined Andrew McKenna Lee, a guitarist who plays like he has eight arms, and eight brains for that matter. He continued on his own, a set of his own music that got me thinking about a character in Thomas Mann's "Magic Mountain." It's an Italian inmate at the sanatorium who tells the main character that he fears and dislikes music for its power of propaganda- in other words, its power to make people forget that time is passing them by. As Andrew played, the entire space, bar, tables, waiters, was nearly silent the entire time. My mom said he reminded her of a spider, with his incredibly crafty and articulate fingers. To continue the metaphor, he wove a web with his music, on de-tuned, or, rather, altered-tuned guitars, and I was trapped. I think we all were there. Both Janus and Andrew McKenna Lee record for New Amsterdam Records, a label my friend Judd started, which produces great, adventuresome music. Judd and I met when we both studied at Third Street Music School, where I now teach. Third Street, at its best, can be a beautiful, safe, nurturing home for selfless music-making. It was definitely some selfless, generous music-making I heard last night. Joe's Pub had that nurturing feeling that reminded me of when I was a student and we'd all go to hear each other play and support each other all the time. A nice feeling to remember.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

free chamber music in Manhattan

Next Friday, February 6 7:30 PM Free!!
Third Street Music School Settlement
235 E. 11th Street, between 2nd & 3rd Avenues
Faculty Chamber Music Recital
featuring Con Vivo musicians José Pietri-Coimbre & Amelia Hollander Ames, who will play the Mozart String Quintet in C major along with *Jersey City native* Shanda Wooley, cello as well as Sarah Pratt, violin, and Claire Chan, viola
This concert also features pianists Mary Jo Pagano and Rosemary Caviglia.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Call for Quartet Scores

Con Vivo announces its first ever Composition Competition! We are looking for new string quartets, less than 25 minutes in length. The winning work will be performed on our 1st Annual "Spring Quartet" festival in May, as well as on an upcoming performance in New York City. Application fee is $25, $15 for each additional work entered. Go to and click on "Competition" to download an application. Deadline is March 30, 2009. Spread the word!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Grand Opening

Hello! I started this blog so everyone involved with Con Vivo could share ideas and news. Con Vivo Musicians, please feel free to post concerts you'll be playing in, shows you're excited about, or just stuff you think the CV community would dig. Pictures, too. Everyone else is invited to comment in and tell us what music you would like to hear in the public spaces of Jersey City. Remember to put these dates on your calendar:
1st Annual SPRING QUARTET (ahem, and quintet) Festival:
May 3 at St. Pauls Church: quartets by living composers from around the world
May 8 at Grace Church Van Vorst: Toomai Quintet rocks out on music by Lecuona & more
May 17 at Temple Beth El: Israeli quartets in honor of Yom Yerushalaim

June 11, 12, 13 at Grace Church Van Vorst: Collaboration with Nimbus Dance Works

Keep warm, and keep in touch!