Archive for December 2011

Don’t just stand there – go make music!   1 comment

In these days of massive global uncertainty, ponder this:

“When you do music – and I’m telling you this because [doing it as a child] changed my life – you become a better citizen. You think more about…others. Do you know what is the most beautiful expression of a community? A choir or an orchestra. I say all the time, ‘You have to listen to each other, even if you are not agreeing.'”

That’s Gustavo Dudamel, conductor of the LA Philharmonic, talking about classical music—but  it applies to all other musics, and indeed to life itself. (Found in the January-February 2012 issue of Westways, the AAA magazine for SoCal. Not on their website yet.)

So go out and sing or play—even if it’s a kazoo. It might change your life, too!

And Happy New Year!

Posted December 30, 2011 by Ray Urwin in Uncategorized

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Carols!   Leave a comment

Interesting article from the LA Times about some of the Christmas carols and their sources. Check it out! And, whatever you’re celebrating at this time of year, celebrate well — and think a bit of the composers, players and singers who bring you this joyful  music!

Posted December 22, 2011 by Ray Urwin in Uncategorized

Still basking in the glow!   1 comment

Musicians live for the performances where everything clicks, and everything—tempo, volume, balance, ensemble, intonation—hovers as close to perfection as a live performance can get.

Last Sunday afternoon with Cantori Domino was one of those times.

Why? Well, first, we all loved and were passionate about the choice of music, from traditional and new carols to the Bach and the Rutter. Second, the band was darn good—the Bach just danced, and I think we feel even more in love with the Rutter—if that’s possible!—after performing it with such an enthusiastic, sensitive and beautifully prepared orchestra.

Even one ultra-modern piece (ink still wet on the page!), which I have to admit was a challenge to perform—and probably to listen to—was a treat. We all need occasional challenges to our perceptions of tonality, beauty and intrinsic artistic worth. (My wife, an LA native, reminded me that in her youth, established LA Philharmonic audiences were not amused when Zubin Mehta programmed Mahler, for heaven’s sake, who was hardly avant-garde by that time.)

Something about the season, and perhaps feelings of hope we all want to nurture at this time of year—all of these brought out a large and appreciative audience. We could tell from their faces and applause that they knew they had heard a rare performance.

A warm thank you to my friends and colleagues who came—I hope you enjoyed hearing it as much as we enjoyed performing it.

Like Paul McCartney, it makes me feel optimistic about the human race. (see 11/23 post below)

Blessings of the season to you all,

—Ray

Posted December 6, 2011 by Ray Urwin in Uncategorized

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