try to remember the days of September….

So it is. It is the end of the full moon. I was going to finish the next chapter of the first big gig of the Full Moon Jazz Collective. I was also going to go trout/camping in the heart of Wisconsin, clean up my yard, mulch all the garden, fix things, work on my jazz opera, and about 15 other pressing items.
My summer has withered and died on the vine, like so many tomatoes in the first hard frost.( my own tomatoes are just fine, thank you). But now, I am back at my main job, teaching 6th grade at an Arts Immersion school.

It’s a new school for me, and while I will be working hard, I really like the school! More on that later. The implications is that I will be devoting my life to this. My posts on “troutsongs” come after my Buddhist practice, my music making, my family. The rhythm will be one of mostly weekend posts. I still like to sit next to my garden, with a 0.9 lead pencil, writing in my writer’s notebook. I do like technology: but there is nothing more satisfying as the scratch of pencil on paper!

One person who encourages the use of pencil and paper ( in composing) is my technologically advanced friend, composer and pianist Paul Cantrell. We go back for a dozen years, and most of my major musical collaborations involve Paul at some level. He’s one of my closest musical friends, and he has a project that I would like you to investigate.

“ The Broken Mirror of Memory” began for Paul as a piano/cello composition. He had several parts done, and showed possibility- but it did not really take off. When Paul, me and Carei Thomas invited bass clarinetist Pat O’Keefe as our guest one year for the “ Keys Please” concert, Paul found someone he could work with closely.

And he did! Paul has an intense , meticulous process- involving trying ideas, reflecting, re-writing, reflecting and more rewriting. He has in incredible lyrical sense, fostered in part from his mentor Donald Betts.

It was a pleasure to hear over the years as Paul put this work together: he learned peculiar , strange and beautiful aspects of the bass clarinet, and then learned how to play the piano parts! And now, you have an incredible piece!

I have learned so much from Paul: how to use the “ ends” of the piano, and about phrasing & touch. We have also learned together how to build a musical community. In another post, I will talk about “ The Patrick Sculley” principal. But now, right now, I want you to go to this web address.
You will be invigorated.

Thank you.

Todd Harper

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1 Comment

  1. Reblogged this on Trout Songs and commented:

    I am still getting used to how to do a blog.
    While I have been working on something allegedly humorous, I am feeling the need to expand on what is current RIGHT NOW. SO I will go outside for a few minutes, sit under the maple tree by the garden, and get it down.


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