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August 2017

The Alaska Edition...


I travelled to Alasak early in August and did some backpacking in bear county. The first night out we saw a huge grizzly across the tundra but it left us alone. I'll admit I didn't sleep so well that night but the view of Denali at sunrise made it all worthwhile. There was plenty more spectacular wildlife on display - mountain goats, bald eagles, marmots and yes, even field mice. It wasn't till the end of the trips that I realized I should be wearing bear bells not carrying dumbbells.


This Monday is the solar eclipse we've been hearing so much about. It's traveling from the NW to the SE, right across our fabulous 48 contiguous states - the first time since 1918. It turns out that the path of totality (woah) passes just south of Portland and I'll be playing during the stellar event the morning of Aug 21st at Irish Bend Park in Corvallis on the bank of the mighty Willamette River. You should swing by. It's a public park and only about a million people are expected to be on the roads in Oregon.

When I was studying cello in college I would often practice during sunset, gazing out the big south facing window and improvising a soundtrack to accompany the changing light. I hope that preparation will serve me well for this shindig.


Alaska in September

Early next month I play in Alaska. I'd never been there before last March but this will be my 3rd visit this year. I return to Fairbanks for the Far North Fiddle Fest. It'll be a great opportunity to collaborate again with the wondeful cellists I played with last spring (spring.. ha! it was 20ºbelow zero) and to work with some outstanding other musicians.


"Unraveling" CD Release Show

I have a CD Release Show at the Alberta Rose Theatre in Portland on Nov 4th. Unraveling is a duo album with the very talented Annalisa Tornfelt who sings, plays fiddle, guitar and a few other instruments. It was a a joy working together on this album and we are excited to share the music with you.

*** Presale tickets are available for $15 until Aug 31. Use the promo code: ALASKA ***



I have an ongoing discussion with my father-in-law about music, specifically his feeling that the the cello and oboe are closely related. While I like the oboe, I don't see it as the counterpart to the cello and I think this is a visceral response on his part. This lead to other pressing questions about why some composers favor certain instruments or particular keys. Me, I like D. I just do. Don't judge me (as my defensive teen likes to say).

What I find most interesting is the unique reaction each individual has to music - that intangible response to the timbre of an instrument or the emotional response to a piece of music. Different listeners have distinctly different reactions to the same piece of music - the same performance or recording. And taking that a step further, it is somewhat mind-boggling that these invisible sound waves travel through the air vibrating tiny bones in our ears which send neural transmissions to the brain and in turn create a feeling. Plus, in these modern times, the information containing these sound waves is preserved and transmitted in a digital format. It's magic. Fortunately people still enjoy attending concerts in which actual human beings play real instruments and a collective live experience can be enjoyed by all. Mind blown!



That's all the news that printers fit. Have a nice day. Don't tangle with a grizzly bear.

Concerts are listed on the Gigs page.


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