One of my short stories, "Earth is for Earthers," is appearing in the most recent issue of Red Sun Magazine! I'm super excited to be a part of it, and I especially loved the haunting and beautiful cover illustration. The magazine is full of great content, including very thoughtful articles by Judith Field and Karen Smith, as well as an in-depth interview with the creators of Cromcast, a podcast about Science Fiction and Fantasy author Robert E. Howard. If you're interested in all things Science Fiction and Fantasy, check it out!
Thursday, October 27, 2016
For example, in their CD Ice and Longboats the musical group Ensemble Mare Balticum tries to recreate Viking music, using musical archeology, old Scandinavian folk songs, and early Medieval Christian music as a starting point. They improvise on Viking era instruments to capture the sounds of the age, and perhaps improvisatory melodies once accompanied recitations of epic poems like the great Norse sagas, or even the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf. The musicians of Ensemble Mare Balticum conducted extensive research in partnership with the European Music Archeology Project to produce Ice and Longboats. With pure melodies sparsely accompanied with period instruments, this CD feels authentic.
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Luckily, listening to classical music is as easy as ever. I have CDs (I'm old fashioned that way--you can pry them out of my cold dead hands), the classical radio station (still going strong in Dallas!). Listening to a Beethoven Symphony on the way home from work gives a bad day a touch of beauty and transcendence like nothing else I can imagine. In a way, not working in music everyday helps me appreciate how beautiful it is. As a working musician I loved music, but I also felt a lot of pressure around it (much of it admittedly self-inflicted). I couldn't just listen to music, I had to listen The Right Way and hear The Right Things. Now, I can enjoy music with a sense of ease I haven't had for a while.
Teaching my daughter violin also keeps me connected to my instrument. Even when she struggles or one of us gets frustrated, I still feel connected to her and connected to the music I'm teaching her. I'm sharing my love of music with someone I love. Seeing her learn music for the first time somehow makes pieces I've listened to or played a million times feel fresh again.
It's tough to be a working musician. I don't miss the uncertainties of a freelance career, or the burdensome process of collecting payments from parents as an independent music teacher. I don't miss the high pressure auditions or anything like that. But I do miss the music. If everyone had the time and energy to play an hour of Beethoven a day, the world would be a better place. No matter what the haters say, classical music isn't dying.