|Numinous The Music of Joseph C. Phillips Jr.|
The Numinosum Blog
Last week I got word that the Delirious Dance Company just received a 2010 Live Music for Dance grant for the new project To Begin the World Over Again that I'm collaborating on with their founder and choreographer Edisa Weeks. This highly competitive grant is sponsored by the American Music Center and helps dance companies to "meet the costs of hiring musicians for live accompaniment of dance performances and for commissioning composers to create new works for dance." Both Edisa and I are extremely excited and honored to have been awarded the grant and look forward to sharing a glimpse of the project in June when Delirious Dance and Numinous perform one section from the piece at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center. The entire evening-length project, based on the writings of Thomas Paine, is slanted for a Spring 2011 premiere.
POSTED BY NUMINOUS AT 8:40 PM
Yesterday, in anticipation of today's snowmageddon here in NYC possibly closing many facilities, I went to New York Public Library's main Schwarzman Building on 42nd Street and 5th Avenue to do some music research. And in my searching I unexpectedly came across a concert announcement/poster from 1794. I thought it was so interesting how different advertising was back in the day (and how much was the same), I wrote down the entire text from the poster. Here's what it said:
Mr. and Mrs. Solomon
Vocal performers from the Southward, having performed their CONCERTS in South-Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, Boston, Portsmouth, and Salem, with great applause, have now the honour of waiting on the Ladies and Gentlemen of Newburyport, for the purpose of performing them an amusement worthy the patronage of the Public.
This Evening (Tuesday) April 22.
OF VOCAL AND INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC
will be held at the UNION HALL, consisting of
RECENT and FASHIONABLE SONGS and DUETS,
Interspersed with the
RECITATION of Several PIECES, PROSAICS in VERSE
From the most celebrated AUTHORS and the SONGS connected with them.
The concert to be divided into three parts, at the end of the first Part of the
concert will be delivered a
in three parts called the
By Mr. Redfield, Miss Brown
Mr. Solomon and Mrs. Solomon,
The Favourite Song of the "[can't read the word] Headed Plough Boy" by Mrs. Solomon,
The much admired Air, "The [can't read the word] of Richmond-Hill" by Miss Brown
A favourite Scotch Song, called "Bonny ?em of Aberdeen" by Mrs. Solomon
The much admired Song of Heaving the Anchor, Short, called "Hoe Heo."By Mr. Solomom
At the end of the third part of the Concert will be delivered a
With original songs and Duets, called
THOMAS and SALLY.
By Mr. Redfield, Mr. Solomon,
and Mrs. Solomon.
The favouite [sic] Duet of "The Rose Tree" By Miss Brown.
Dibdin's Favourite Song of the "Greenwich Performer or the Disabled Tar."By Mr. Solomon.
TICKETS at 3 (some symbol I didn't recognize) each for Ladies and Gentlemen, and Children under 12 years of age 1/6, may be had at the place of performance, and at the Star Printing-Office. Doors to be opened at 6 o'clock, and the Curtain to rise at 7.
Greg Sandow and his readers are trying to work on solutions to classical music's "concert problem". Well, this poster points a way 'back to the future': more MORAL LECTRES with the original songs! That'll get all of the cool kids back into the hall. Seriously, just reading the poster made me wonder who Mr. and Mrs. Solomon were, how they were able to produce such events up and down the East Coast, and what it would have been like to be at one of their concerts. I would have loved to have been there to hear the PROVOK'D HUSBAND or REFORM'D WIFE. Actually scratch that, I probably would not have been allowed in the town, let alone the concert but I still wonder what it would have been like nonetheless.
POSTED BY NUMINOUS AT 3:49 PM
Although New York City was saved the brunt of Saturday's snowpocalyspe that our southern I-95 corridor neighbors Philadelphia and Washington D.C. received, we did get some. And braving the snowy and strangely peaceful roads of Brooklyn yesterday morning, I rode my trusty bicycle to Edward R. Murrow High School for an audition. American Idol? Nope. Some reality TV show about teaching? No way. This was an audition for the first annual New York City Department of Education sponsored Amateur Night at the Apollo! Yes, THE Apollo Theater in Harlem! Yes, THEShowtime at the Apollo Apollo that I used to watch on late-night TV back when I was a young lad...and still had and wanted a TV. Here's the announcement from the DOE's site:
The Office of Arts and Special Projects in partnership with the Apollo Theater is pleased to announce the first NYCDOE Amateur Night at the Apollo to be held on June 2, 2010 at the world famous Apollo Theater to highlight the extraordinary talents of our teachers. Auditions for individual or group acts in dance, vocal and instrumental music, spoken word and comedy are scheduled for three consecutive Saturdays at sites in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn.
And all you had to be was:
1. A current New York City Department of Education public school teacher
2. A legal resident of the United States
3. Available on the performance date, June 2, 2010.
Check, check, and check! So Saturday morning with some of my colleagues at PS 321 in Brooklyn (John Allgood, kindergarten teacher; Bill Fulbrecht, kindergarten teacher; Elizabeth Heiser, 2nd grade teacher; Adam Lane, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade music teacher; Frank McGarry, 1st and 2nd grade music teacher), we headed deep into Brooklyn to audition for a shot on the Apollo Theater stage; for our chance at immortality in the annals of New York City teacher lore. Now this was not some group we threw together at the last minute to do the audition. We've been playing and performing for a number of years now and actually have done a few gigs. Our repertoire usually consists of old folk, rock, and bluegrass tunes and my role is as clarinet and (sometimes) saxophone player and percussionist. It is great fun and a chance for me to be in the band performing the music instead of in my other musical life, of composing and conducting (although that is great fun as well, just a different experience). So for our audition we performed the song "Glendale Train", and things went pretty well. While there were a few judges and one did offer a suggestion after the performance, there was no Simon or Paula critique of our "NYC Teacher Idol" worthiness. Below is a version of "Glendale Train" performed by another ensemble. And while our arrangement is different, our group instrumentally looks much like the group in the video. But of course, I think we sound better! I mean, clarinet and shaker adds so much more to the song...
Seeing as we sometimes play some of his songs in the 321 Band, a nice serendipitous moment after the audition was later that evening my wife and I passed legend Pete Seeger (moving quite well for 90!) and his wife and grandson on the streets of upstate Beacon, New York. So that's a good sign...right? Anyway, don't know if we are onto Harlem, but I'll keep you posted...
POSTED BY NUMINOUS AT 4:55 PM
To all things that create a sense of wonder and beauty that inspires and enlightens.