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I live in Brooklyn, NY and I love it here.  I came here for my career in 2009 and haven't once looked back. 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Tania Stavreva...

The concert at Fez Art Cafe was a hit. It was sort of unique in that it was in such a small venue. I said "small"...I meant tiny. I walked in and my first thought was, "I bet there's a room in the back with a piano in it." As soon as I had thought the word "piano" though, I saw the actual piano and it was in that same tiny room right next to the bar. Not what I was expecting at all but hey, cool, right? Tania was playing a lot of music that was originally meant to be performed in salons (Debussy, Chopin, Satie...me.), so it fit the venue.

In addition to those and my piece, she performed a few pieces by another living composer named Scott Wollschleger, who was also in the audience and whom I got to meet. One of his pieces, my favorite of the two had one of those interesting graphic scores and entailed a whole lot of smashing the piano and leaning elbows on the keys. Pretty fun to watch. There was also at least one piece by Mason Bates, which had some electronics (a track that was played back on CD along with the piece). She planned to play the whole set twice so that all of her friends could get a chance to hear it, although, most of the people who were there when I arrived at 7pm were there all night. One of my friends showed up with his wife but they couldn't find a seat so they had to leave unfortunately. So it was at least a good turnout.

After Tania's two sets, another singer/songwriter named Natti Vogel performed a set. Natti and Tania are good friends and Natti is such a strong personality that the whole room was pretty much taken over by a different, more comfortable vibe at this point. Natti is like a male Tori Amos but a lot more theatrical and histrionic even, with a little bit of a cabaret singer feel. Somewhat goofy and eccentric and quite the show stealer. Since the show was so intimate anyway, and most of the people in the audience were friends, at one point, the show boiled down to Natti playing covers of Mariah Carey songs and rehashing a Bulgarian Idol contestant's version of "Without You." Even before I could make that comment about Natti being a male Tori Amos, we got talking about Tori during a break and before I knew it, we were all singing along to this and that Tori Amos song. Of course, he's a fan. Later, because it was Tania's birthday, the owners of Fez Art Cafe brought Tania a cake of which we all had some and finally left at around midnight.

A fun night all around and I was proud to be surrounded by such fantastic musicians. This evening I'm taking some of that creative energy and putting it towards my own music. I spent the evening finishing up a piano sketch that was started in the spring of 2008 and never finished. I'm glad that this is moving along now because it's the last of a series of piano pieces from that era that never got finished. Now, I have a handful of other chamber pieces floating around that I'm going to dive into and then, the untitled electronic piece I initially wrote for Jahna Bobolia's Collapsing Elbows but which didn't end up fitting with the project. I've been meaning to polish that one off and submit it to a few places. Needs a title too. Maybe I'll put it to some of my friends?

At noon today, I sang with the jazz choir (tentatively named the Uni-Tones) at the Brooklyn Unitarian Church's yearly fundraiser, Unifair. That was a lot of fun. We sang two jazz arrangements of popular Christmas songs (one of them, "White Christmas," arranged by our director Bob Bero, and the other a jazzy arrangement of "Let it Snow") and then invited people shopping at the fundraiser to sing carols along with us. By the end of the day, though, I think I'd had my fill of Christmas music.

Right now, I'm debating staying in for the night and getting more done or just taking it easy. Might be time to do the latter.

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