Sunday, June 29, 2008

Jennifer Curtis at Gate Wood

Jennifer Curtis appears regularly as featured soloist and as collaborative chamber musician across the United States and abroad. Also an accomplished composer, her compositions have been performed in New York City, at The Spoleto Festival among others. She received her Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School, where she was a student of Robert Mann. Jennifer was also recently presented by Artists International in her New York City Carnegie Hall recital debut. The New York Times has recognized Ms. Curtis' talent in print as well.

So a lucky few gathered at Gate Wood in Chapel Hill this Sunday to hear a performance by this fine artist in a house concert setting. Gate Wood has a beautiful large space perfect acoustically for hosting an event like this. The program was varied and each performance quite spirited. Ms. Curtis introduced each piece with some explaination of her connection to it. The program was three pieces: Bach Partita No. 2, Caprice #10 by Paganini, and a composition of her own titled "Cave Paintings."

The Bach Partita was exuberantly played start to finish. The piece is of six movements: Allegro, Allemande, Courant, Saraband, Gigue, and the lovely Ciaccone. The violin itself was a joy to hear. It is an 18th century Panormo from Cremona, Italy (cradle of great violin making). The match of the instrument and the player is evident here as the emotion and tone of Ms. Curtis matched the sound the violin was making perfectly. A lengthy piece it moved along effortlessly from the bow of Ms. Curtis. The Saraband and the Chiaconne were particularly memorable. The performance started beautifully but became more focused as this piece moved along.

The Paganini Caprice was introduced as something all violinists play at every competition and audition. Ms. Curtis reminded us they not only reinforced technique but were good music as well. Good music indeed. Short and sweet but raucusly rowdy this frothy confection was played with brio.

The last piece was the most interesting in some ways. She played her own composition which she called "Cave Paintings." She said it was a result of her not going to conservatory immediately and persuing her love of playing Appalachain Bluegrass, Latin Music and the Blues among others. The piece began with an introduction that was an homage to the great Fritz Kreisler, but diverged from there to pizzicato sections sounding like spanish guitar and smooth beautiful, slow double stops reminiscent of Appalachia. A wonderful program by a talented artist.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Weaver Street comes to Hillsborough

Coming May 17th
Coming at the end of May
Coming June 10th
Coming June 17th
Coming June 19th! - 10AM

After many delays and much anticipation (and alot of changes to the printed banner) the Weaver Street market is finally open here in Hillsborough. Having been chairman of the Historic District commission at the time this project was proposed I must admit I was all for approval of almost ANY building that would include a downtown grocery store. Access to a food store within walking distance of downtown makes Hillsborough a truly livable, walkable community. The first day of shopping was a complete success with the lawn jammed with diners and the store crowded with shoppers.

Friday, June 13, 2008


The images above are photos I shot and can be found on my Flickr stream at Flickr has become my latest web 2.0 addiction. Its like facebook for photographers. People see your photographs, comment on the ones they like (often what they like about it) at the same time you get a world's worth of different views from behind the viewfinder. One of my photographs (the one of the parking lot light) was picked for a Flickr group "All But One" where every photo in the stream had one thing askew from the rest. The Admin for the group lives and photographs in Russia and he found my picture posted in another group and claimed it for his as well. Watching Flickr is as interesting as participating yourself so check it out if you haven't and get clicking that shutter if you have.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Whats on the Shuffle?

The iPod shuffle being smaller is an exercise in choice. I use my shuffle all the time when I exercise and work around the house so the collection on it tends to be really cohesive or extremely diverse here's whats on it at the moment.

REM - Accelerate
The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America
Radiohead - Pablo Honey
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Greatest Hits
The Daysleepers - Drowned in the Sea of Sound
U2 - Unforgettable Fire
Frightened Rabbit - Midnight Organ Fight
The Rolling Stones - Some Girls
Coldplay - Viva la Vida single

What does this collection say - who knows. Most of the uptempo stuff is a reaction to loads of folk-core, slow, quiet, acoustic records that have been filling up the record store and my cabinet. The Dodos, Owen, Bon Iver, Iron and Wine, Kings of Convenience, Junetile and endless amounts of beautiful acoustic quietude thats beginning to all blend and be the same record. I love all the aforementioned acoustic stuff but its summertime, even on my iPod.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Fictional Fun

My daughter Cara and I sat around one cold winter day last year and dreamed up a character that was a cranky, cantankerous, crusty old uncle. The scenario was that he had to watch a very, very bored 8 year old nephew and we dreamt up things he would say to the poor kid to keep him busy and away from his uncle.

Hey Look Kid Here's...

An umbrella, you're a Japanese lady
A book, your're smart
Scissors, you're a barber, go talk to your mother
Soap, you're clean
an apron, you're a cook tonight
A cardboard box
A stick and a blanket, you're an Indian
your thumb, you're a hitchiker
The grass, you're in Hawaii
A basket, you're the Easter Bunny
A quarter, you're the tooth fairy
Go climb the chimney, you're Santa
A candle, you're a jack-o-lantern
An ice cube, you're an Eskimo
A knife, you're a samurai, go talk to your Uncle Tony about that bet we made last night
A pillow, you're a pregnant lady
A bucket of soap, you're Cinderella
You can walk, you're a model
A dot, you're from India
A tub of water, you're a deep sea diver
A paper airplane, you're an astronaut
I'll poke your eye out, you're a pirate
At your clothes, you're a hobo
A hose, you're a firefighter
A cross, go fight the vampires
A leaf, you're greek
A leaf, you're adam
A washcloth, you're your mother
A flashlight, turn out the lights you're a train.
A bottle of wine, you're your Uncle Tony
Some dirt and your finger, you're a painter
Some twigs, you're a beaver
My ring, you're a king
Your mothers shoes, you're an elf
A triangle, you're in the symphony
A cowbell, you're a rock star
A nail, you're a carpenter
Use your eyeballs, laser tag, talk to your mother
Your mothers earrings, its a basketball hoop
Don't talk, you're a mime
A match, you're Satan
Some cheese, you're French
At your smile, you're from West Va
Some duct tape
Take off your clothes, you're Lady Godiva
A mask, you're spiderman
A doughnut, you're a cop
A tree, you're a hippie
An egg, you're a hen
An apple, you're William Tell
A carrot and two pieces of coal, you're a snowman
Some tinfoil, you're an antenna
You're a vampire, go bite your sister
A hat, you're a magician
A screwdriver, you're a burglar
A virus, go play with your little friends
Stand by the side of the road, you're a stop sign
Some flour, you're old
A chair, you're your grandpa
The classifieds, find a job
A suitcase, you're a tourist
A needle, you're a seemstress
Some breadcrumbs, you're Hansel and Gretel
A glove, you're Michael Jackson
A rock, it's your pet
A barbie, you've got a date
A lottery ticket, you're a loser

Monday, June 2, 2008

It's a New (to me) Car...

No its not whats behind curtain number three Monty... Its what I bought today to carrry me enjoyably through a few middle years of my life. A nice snappy Swedish designed, American made Saab 9.3 convertible. I have always wanted a convertible since I was sixteen so the wait is over for me at last. I was able to get a considerably good trade and great service from Chapel Hill Auto on Franklin Street (ask for Luis he's a good guy trying to make a living like the rest of us.)OK so its not a "new" car but its a "new to me" car and thats good enough. I really enjoyed driving it today and can't wait to see it perform on the highway. The Toyota is a great car but with grown kids its time for a car I can enjoy a bit eh?