Tuesday, March 21, 2006

My Recent Adventures

First things, first: sometimes, arranging for moving a harpsichord can be a royal pain. It was a bit touch-and-go Sunday night and Monday in trying to arrange for transporting my instrument for my performance last night, but thankfully my car service guy Tony was avaliable for both the move there and back. It seems I am successfully building a client relationship with him and his minivan, as last night instead of a quiet drive, he talked to me non-stop about various things, the most prominent subject being food in Astoria/LIC/Sunnyside/Jackson Heights. Tierras Colombianas on Broadway got high marks for tastiness and huge portion size, as did a small arepa restaurant -- the famed Arepa Lady, I belive -- on 79th and Roosevelt, and then there was Pio Pio. He also spoke with pride about the food in Ecuador, where he is from ("The fruits taste strong because they are full of so many vitamins!"). He also recommended that if I ever visit the Galapagos Islands, I take a boat, not a plane. So, I'm grateful to Tony for being available to help me move the harpsichord, and I'm also thankful that my friend Jim was able to help me get the instrument out of my apartment at the beginning of the whole process.

Last night I needed to move my instrument to Manhattan to play for the Elan Awards, produced by the Women's Studio Center in LIC. It was a lovely event at the National Arts Club in the Gramercy Park neighborhood, which is a lovely neighborhood; the building that houses the National Arts Club, the Tilden Mansion, is gorgeous, too. They were honoring feminist/"femmagist" artist Miriam Schapiro (who I got to meet last night). She was a real pioneer in bringing attention to women artists, and was the founder of two art movements, the Feminist Art Movement and Pattern and Decoration. Her work with textiles merging with high art was really important. I learned that she did some collage work, too, and it reminds me of my friend Jean Sirius, an artist in Oakland, CA who also has done extensive work in collage. Schapiro's work will be on exhibit at the Flomenhaft Gallery in Chelsea from March 30 to May 30; I'm going to go check it out. There's also an interview with her in the book that I was given last night, Lives and Works: Talks with Women Artists. It looks fascinating and I look forward to reading it.

In the end, I felt really honored to have been asked to be a part of this event, and be able to share the music of Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre and the harpsichord with everyone. People loved the music and one woman was really excited to hear the music of an 18th century woman, as she has been immersed in the writings of 18th century women. People wanted to hear more, and that's alwasy a nice thing to hear. I look forward to playing a more extended concert of music by women for the harpsichord at the Women's Studio Center in the near future.

Saturday night I attended a concert of the Lost Dog New Music Ensemble, here in Astoria. New music in Astoria! It was a good concert, and I was particularly impressed with the playing of the clarinetist, Thomas Piercy. He had a wonderful sound, and was really musical. I think the first piece he played, a clarinet solo called Three Entities for Clarinet by Silas Huff, was my favorite, followed the Seven Epigrams by David Fetherolf, for violin, clarinet, and percussion. The piece Echo N Jag by B. Allen Schulz, for viola, cello, and prepared piano, was also good, but throughout the piece I kept thinking that the piano part could easily work on harpsichord, what with the kinds of sounds the prepared piano was making, and the sharp rhythms throughout. Perhaps I will contact him and make this suggestion. I wish I had been able to meet Silas, but it just wasn't meant to be, as I was exhausted from a pretty stressful week. Another time, though.

On a blog-related subject, this week I discovered the our Google Overlords have a beta blog search, where you can "find blogs on your favorite topic." It works like the news feature, where you can sort results by both relevence and date. If you type in "harpsichord" into the blogsearch, this blog shows up at the top as most relevant to the term. Hot dog!

1 comment:

b. allen schulz said...

allen schulz here... thanks for the vote of confidence about my Echo n Jag. I'd enjoy hearing your thoughts about a harpsichord version. email me at allen@astoriamusic.org.