6SM & ML hit the road

Guitar lessons site and (bits & bites of an artistic life blog) will be setting up new digs in a new website being built to organize my work.

Posted in 6SM guitar lesson plus √ | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

Brian Ferneyhough

String Quartet

Of all the conventional chamber ensembles types (say, from the piano duo to double wind quintet) the string quartet, that is, 2 violins, viola, and cello, inhabits a unique position among composers; to some it is the summit from which to gauge a composer’s worth. To imagine a string quartet challenges the composer to consider the canon which exists, from the plethora of masterworks (Haydn wrote sixty-eight, Mozart twenty-six) including the daunting late quartets of Beethoven, the three of Brahms, and Bartok’s half-dozen, to the murky waters of quartets over the last three-quarters of a century, since Bartok’s sixth quartet in 1939.

And in this corner, Brian Ferneyhough

A notorious composer who maintains a position high on the mountain of potentially “great” contemporary composers using a muscular complexity beyond the early twenty-first century norm (just a cursory glance at his quartet score challenges you to question it’s very being, let alone how it sounds).

Climbing a Mountain

Within the Arditti quartet video Ferneyhough discusses his motives and reveals his passion for the expressive language he chooses. In listening to his sixth quartet Charles Ives filters through like a wish for his ghost to grace the dynamic, rhythmic, and textural extremities, to express the credence of that period’s vision.

“the birth of tragedy from the spirit of music”


Posted in 6SM guitar lesson plus √ | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

Additive Process in Philip Glass

Generating Musical Material

In this version you see the structure of additive process in double time.


Now at a playable tempo


One of my favorite pieces for solo piano, sounds pretty good on guitar.

Original Version

Posted in 6SM guitar lesson plus √ | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Philip Glass, mallet string quartet 5


Four strings and restaurant, movements 1-3

Strings movement 4

Movement 5

Now with wood and yarn.


Posted in 6SM guitar lesson plus √ | Comments Off

New Perspective

A Great Idea

Bullying has become a major concern for many young people who have become trapped in a seemingly impossible situation to change. This story offers a shift in perspective, and brings a bullied student out of the darkness of obscurity and into the limelight of popularity with intelligence and courage.



Posted in Health, Help | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Bike Advancements

New technology that takes biking into the digital age.

Posted in Bike √ | Comments Off

Evergreen Club’s Musical Mind

Artistic Director, Blair Mackay

describes our approach to making music with Sundanese gamelan.

Posted in bp•ca √ | Tagged , , | Comments Off


Esprit Orchestra with Evergreen Club

Sunday 17 November 2013

LOCATION: Koerner Hall, Toronto

8:00 pm Concert | 7:15 Pre-concert talk

Evergreen Club Contemporary Gamelan expands and develops gamelan repertoire by interspersing traditional Indonesian techniques with contemporary Western ones. In the works by Chan, Ristic and Harrison, their bronze and wooden Indonesian instruments blend with Western ones in an intermingling of global cultural sensibilities. Harrison’s piece for solo viola and gamelan, produces an atmosphere of simple, sensuous charm.
Pauk’s Echo Spirit Isle, originally composed for gamelan, takes on new form as a piece for large orchestra. Vivier’s Pulau Dewata lends itself to varied instrumentations with Good’s arrangement of the piece perhaps being the first for full orchestra. Evangelista, an expert in the music of Indonesia and other Asian cultures, combines his compositional expertise with this special knowledge in O Gamelan, the concert’s touchstone.

Evergreen Club Contemporary Gamelan
Douglas Perry — Viola


JOSÉ EVANGELISTA — O Gamelan — Esprit Commission — World Premiere
CHAN KA NIN — Éveil aux oiseaux for gamelan and ensemble
ANDRÉ RISTIC — Projet for gamelan and ensemble
LOU HARRISON — Threnody for Carloz Chavez for viola and gamelan
ALEX PAUK — Echo Spirit Isle for orchestra
CLAUDE VIVIER — Pulau Dewata (arr. Scott Good)

Posted in bp•ca √ | Comments Off

The Future of Evergreen Club

Transition Blog

As Evergreen Club Contemporary Gamelan enters its 30th anniversary the ensemble has decided to look ahead, beyond the immediate horizon of the 2013-14 season. Restructuring, reinventing, rethinking… to enable the group to continue to grow and prosper utilizing their diverse repertoire.

Building a better website, uploading audio, video, and text about the group is in the works. Until that time I will post some of what is in the works here.

 Big Travel Nut

Rick and Andrew created gamelan workshops at Array Space. A successful meetup for non-professionals with a taste for exotic music – that you can learn to play in a single sitting.

Esprit Orchestra features Evergreen Club

17 November 2013, Koerner Hall there will be an exciting concert. The Esprit Orchestra and Evergreen Club perform a great repertoire featuring great Canadian, American, and Indonesian composers. Read more.

Interesting Links

Lou Harrison opera

A Tribe Called Red – their facebook page


Posted in bp•ca √ | Comments Off

Cycling Toronto

Toronto Transit, part 1

As a cyclist who rides 45 weeks of the year (I don’t ride anymore through rain and snow), and doesn’t own a car I have a strong sense of how the city feels about cycling. With the massively expensive Metrolinx public transit upgrade looming I see that very little will be done to improve cycling conditions in this city.

This city needs a visionary who understands the benefits of a vibrant bike culture. Montreal has the right idea: partitioned bike lanes. Ultimately, we need partitioned bike lanes, especially in the city’s core. Street cars are currently problematic and inefficient. Tracks and cycling do not mix. Too dangerous, but all the major east-west streets have sluggishly treacherous street cars. Cyclists must venture along the congested Bloor/Danforth that has been reduced to one lane for everyone.

Given the transit inefficiencies and short-sightedness of city politicians, getting around Toronto on a bike works quite well if you know ravine geography and side streets. The lack of winter maintenance in the ravines makes it difficult to ride in the winter because you’re forced on to the major streets where swollen snowbanks restrict car and bike traffic to one lane.

The city’s way of dealing with snow removal needs an overhaul but the dearth of hardcore winter cyclists precludes change.

More people will be riding as gas prices and the current economic reality forces us to rethink our spending habits and how we live our lives. A slow process to effect positive change for city mobility and with Metrolinx hard on the move I am concerned that short-sightedness will leave the next generation in the lurch.

Posted in Bike √ | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off