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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. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Swarthmore and Philly...

Just back from Philly today, having ridden on a Bolt Bus for the first time since the accident.  That was fun.  But so was Philadelphia and the concert last night at Swarthmore College.  Every spring and fall they do an alumni and student composers' concert at Swarthmore and Lacy, being an alumnus, was invited back to perform again.  We did her song Moon of Fire which we've been practicing and have performed a handful of times at various open mics lately.  I think she's going to post a youtube video of our performance, too.

The other performances at the concert were all great and there was such a diversity of styles and genres represented, from folk songs, to pop songs, to contemporary concert music to vocal music to duets to small ensemble pieces with percussion, even some electronic music.  I even got to meet some of the alumni composers, one of whom is a professor at NYU, another of whom organized the event and was a phenomenal pianist.  Some of the composers were not present at the concert, the more well-known of them, like James Matheson, a pretty big orchestral composer who has had works performed by the NY Philharmonic, and Peter Shickele better known as the fictional composer, P.D.Q. Bach.  Yes, I had no idea that the P.D.Q. Bach attended Swarthmore College until Lacy clued me in.  And I had forgotten that until Saturday night at the concert when they introduced some of his more serious work that he composed under his real name, Peter Shickele.

So, overall I had a good time.  Murat, my friend the oud player, who helped out on the score to Mohammad's film, showed up with his girlfriend, too.  They live in Philly and drove out for the event, despite the snow (I mean, I guess the snow wasn't all that bad…it only provided me with a slushy, hurried walk to the subway after work and wet socks on the way into the concert hall and was not enough to deter me…although it cause some cancellations on Amtrak).  Anyway, we all went out after the concert, deciding to meet in Center City.  Turns out they both live down there as does Lacy so it was convenient.  After we each found parking, we met back up in the lobby of Lacy's building and began wandering in the cold to find a watering hole and, after trying a few places, wound up at Fergie's Pub.  Chatting about everything from music to dance to Occupy Philly, we stayed out until almost 2am.

Hence my tiredness right now.  Sunday morning I got up around 930 and Lacy and I took off eventually for a walk around Center City checking out the architecture and a few random fun things, like the Sound of Philadelphia Souvenir Shop at the Gamble and Huff Studios on the Avenue of the Arts and the Magic Gardens on South Street.


The Magic Gardens were pretty damn cool, I thought.  Mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar created these mosaics covering every outer wall of this and other buildings in the South Street area.  Composed of his own tiles, mirrors, glass bottles, bike wheels, tiny statuettes and I even saw an old toilet bowl, the work was part of his and his wife's attempts to revitalize the area.

We didn't tour the inside due to time constraints since I had to catch the bus at 3pm and we still wanted to catch brunch.  We might have gone down to the City Hall area to check out the Occupy Philly demonstrations but only really had time to do a drive by on the way to the train station.

The Bolt Bus came pretty quickly and, though it was rickety and devoid of wifi, it got me to my destination just fine, with just one weird moment when the A/C started whining pretty loudly just outside of the Lincoln Tunnel.  Freaked us all out but thankfully nothing more eventful than that happened and I caught the first C train at 34th and 8th and was home in no time.

Went straight through to the overnight shift without a nap because I'm crazy like that and tomorrow I hope to start working on the piano and electronics piece again.  An update on my progress there soon and hopefully I'll even get some VO work done tomorrow afternoon!

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