Concert Reviews

Flutronix and Meeranai Shim Concert Reviews

Posted by on Apr 1, 2014 in April 2014, Concert Reviews, Featured, Issues, Reviews | 0 comments

Flutronix and Meeranai Shim Concert Reviews

Flute and electronics are alive and well in New York City, as Flutronix and Meeranai Shim showed me this month!  Since I am spending more time in New York recently, I make sure to go out and support my fellow flutists whenever I can (this is something we all need to do more of as a flute community). Luckily, there have been some great flute concerts lately from both New York-based flutists and flutists here on tour. Brooklyn-based Flutronix, whose sophomore album 2.0 comes out this month, was playing a show at Lower East Side venue Pianos, traditionally a venue for bands and singers, but not usually for a flute concert.  However, with Flutronix’ “urban art-pop” feel, they fit right in at the venue, and everyone in the audience agreed as they grooved to Nathalie Joachim and Allison Loggins-Hull’s smooth flute lines over intricate electronics and thumping beats provided by Joe Blaxx on the drums. Their instrumentation is 2 flutes (sometimes with additional voices), live drum set, and electronic tracks.  Flutronix, founded in 2010 when the 2 flutists met on MySpace, writes all their own music, which has a distinct sound of both minimalist and hiphop elements combined with virtuosic and expressive flute playing.  Did I mention everything is always memorized?!  (seriously, I’ve seen them play multiple times and not one memory slip) There is a remarkable chemistry and camaraderie between Joachim and Loggins-Hull, something that is rare to see among classical musicians these days. Performing selections from their new album as well as covers (my favorite was their take on Rihanna’s “Diamonds,” with Joachim singing better than Rihanna herself), their set had something for everyone: a thought-provoking message in “Typewriter,” technical flutey flair in “Life Lines,” and even a love song.   The combination of electronics, flute, and most recently, Joachim’s and Loggins-Hull’s voices, was fresh, fun, and always entertaining, presented in a way that can cross any genre and appeal to listeners of everything from hiphop to electronic to classical music. Flutronix is bending the rules and paving the way for flutists of this generation and the future, and I’m excited to see everything they have in store!  Their new album, 2.0, is available on www.flutronix.com.   After the New York Flute Fair, I read Meeranai Shim’s tweet that she was playing at Spectrum, a popular new music venue also on NYC’s Lower East Side.  As much as I wanted to attend the New York Flute Club’s Gala concert, there are only so many times I can watch someone playing a PVC contrabass flute, so I chose to go to Meeranai’s show, and I was happy I did. Her flute and percussion duo, AB Duo, consisting of Shim and percussionist Christopher Jones are both based in San Francisco (Shim) and Rochester, NY (Jones).  They have been touring and commissioning works specifically written for their unique instrumentation since 2012. The first piece performed was entitled “Sol Moon Rocker” by composer Zack Browning, and it contained both interpolations of popular rock songs as well as some fun flute and piccolo playing.  Next was Carolyn O’Brien’s piece “Nocturne,” which was by far my favorite, as it was written for the strange combination of contrabass flute and djembe.  I was unsure of what contrabass flute and djembe would sound like, but Shim...

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NFA Overview

Posted by on Sep 3, 2013 in Blog, Concert Reviews, Featured, Reviews, September 2013 | 0 comments

NFA Overview

The National Flute Association Convention took place in New Orleans August 8-11, 2013 which boasted nearly 3,000 participants this year.  The program Chair was Tadeu Coelho and his assistant, Krisztina Dér.  This wonderful attendance outcome perhaps was due to the increase in number for regional flute choirs who performed.  For example, there were large Flute Choirs from China, Japan, Argentina, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Mexico. There were several on-site created Flute Choir rehearsals and performances with charming New Orleans based names, such as the Jambalaya Flute Choir, Swamp Jazz Flute Orchestra, Gumbo Flute Orchestra and the Orquesta de Flautas de las Americas featuring flutists from Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Europe and USA brought together by Angelita Floyd. A particular highlight included hearing Gary Schocker present a 10am concert of his own world premiere.... memorized!  What a delight he and pianist Fumi Kuwajima were on Friday morning.  Another delight was hearing Orlando “Maraca” Valle in concert as he presented his latin extravaganza.  Hubert Laws was another welcomed treat at this year’s NFA.  The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Barthold Kuijken, Auréle Nicolet and Angeleita Floyd.  The Saturday Gala Concert featured Karl-Heinz Schütz, Sarah Jackson, Nobutaka Shimizu, Janos Balint, Sophie Cherrier, Marianne Gedigian, Marco Granados, Gary Schocker and Carol Wincenc, conducted by Ransom Wilson. Jane Lenoir led a workshop on the Brazilian choro, and all of the participants got to play along and improvise with the excellent accompanying guitarist and percussionists.  Ms. Lenoir later played the choro arrangements in the Flute and Guitar concert, along with Viviana Guzman, whose Piazzola Histoire du Tango was crisp, lively, and fun.  Rogerio Wolf also played on the concert, with music by Brazilian composer Paulo Porto Alegre. This year at NFA in New Orleans The Green Golly Project were exhibitors!!!  We had our own Green Golly booth where we introduced three new offerings from The Green Golly Project and got to meet a cross section of flutists attending the convention.  From this new vantage point I got a chance to meet many flutists that I might never have met before from all over the country and I got to learn about their responses to the project.  Many flute teachers tried the Green Golly by Di Zhao flutes and also bought our new book "Green Golly and Her Golden Flute,  as well as the Green Golly sheet music collection (published by Theodore Presser) for their students.  It was gratifying to see that many flutists were interested in the project and enjoyed our products. Unfortunately since I was glued to my booth I wasn't able to hear many of the wonderful concerts being offered.   But I did get to see a bit of what my colleagues were showing and tried some flutes and head joints.  Right next to me were my friends and colleagues from Bernard Hammig Flutes with some amazing flutes made in Germany.  And right across from me were the beautiful Garner Headjoints, two of which I tried.  I visited the Presser booth, the Powell booth, Di Zhao, Flute Center of NY, Altus Flutes and Sankyo.   And saw many old friends who came by.  It is a strange perspective for someone who performs a lot and is also an entrepreneur, but this NFA I was definitely on the sales side...

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Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival. by Barbara Siesel

Posted by on Aug 17, 2013 in August 2013, Concert Reviews, Featured, Issues, Reviews | 2 comments

Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival.  by Barbara Siesel

The Green Golly Project was honored to be invited to participate in the Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival Summer Symposium this past August 3rd. http://www.imaniwindsfestival.com/IWCMF/SYMPOSIUM.html The symposium, which took place at Mannes College of Music, featured master classes, concerts, reading sessions and exhibits by some of the top woodwind artists in the country.  Unique for this flutist was the joy of hearing woodwinds other than flute!! I attended two very different but equally inspiring events – Greg Patillo's Beat Boxing Workshop and Paula Robeson's master class.  Greg challenged us all to improvise and create beatboxing sounds, which sure was a stretch for many of us. Paula's class took the performers to new places too, helping us think about our interpretations of French repertoire in fresh ways.  She inspired me to take out some long buried music and play them again!! Here are other master classes and events of the symposium, (unfortunately – since we were performing and working at the Green Golly Booth we missed many of these). Master Classes with Masters: Mariam Adam, Clarinet (“The Eastern Role of the Clarinet”) Michelle Baker, Horn Stanley Drucker, Clarinet Monica Ellis, Bassoon Greg Patillo, Flute (“Beatbox Flute”) Paula Robison, Flute (“French Impressions”) Gary Schocker, Flute Toyin Spellman-Diaz. Oboe Some Wonderful Concerts: Afternoon Showcase: An American Landscape Featuring Aaron Copland’s “Quiet City”, Leanna Primiani’s “The Black Swan”, and selections of Wind Quintet and Brass Quintet Music by American Composers. Education Showcase: (Hey that's us) The Green Golly Project: Barbara Siesel and Keith Torgan will give an interactive and entertaining sampling of “The Green Golly Project”: story-telling performances and products (Books/CDs) for children. Whether you are a parent looking for a Saturday activity, or a teacher/student who want s better insight on giving children’s performances, Green Golly is for you. Evening Concert: TRIFECTA: An Evening of Provocative and Hip Trio Works Exciting and energetic performances featuring The Zodiac Trio, Project Trio, Transatlantic Ensemble, Monica Ellis - Bassoon and Toyin Spellman - Diaz - Oboe, and Sato Moughalian - flute. Program includes  Stravinksy’s L’Histoire du Soldat, Bartok’s Contrasts, and two works from the pen of Valerie Coleman: Dumesnil Trios for oboe, clarinet and bassoon, and Portraits of Langston for flute, clarinet and piano. There was a terrific emphasis on new compositions and composers too. Attendees had the opportunity to bid on commissioning a short solo or chamber work written just for them or their ensemble.   The silent auction’s roster of  composers include Eric Ewazen, Mohammed Fairouz, Valerie Coleman and Jeff Scott! Proceeds of the silent auction will go towards the IWCMF Scholarship Fund. I'm looking forward to hearing about all the new works that come out of the auction. And for those attending the one day event there were reading sessions of duo's, trios and more so everyone was playing music all day long! The Symposium Day was a part of the two week long Imani Winds Woodwind Chamber Music Festival.  We met students from all over the world. They were inspired, working and practicing very hard and I'm sure the festival was a great experience for them. This event happens every summer and I recommend it to all of...

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Hadar Noiberg Concert Review. by Barbara Siesel

Posted by on May 1, 2013 in Concert Reviews, Issues, May 2013, Reviews | 0 comments

Hadar Noiberg Concert Review.  by Barbara Siesel

On Saturday, April 6, I attended a concert at 92Y/Tribeca where I had the joy of hearing the Hadar Noiberg Trio perform (Flute, Double Bass and Drums). It was an astonishing performance - Hadar Noiberg is an Israeli jazz flutist living in NYC.[private] Her musical language, which transcends her Middle Eastern roots, fuses styles seamlessly, weaving jazz improvisation, western harmonies with Middle Eastern and North African rhythms and sounds. Hadar is a beautiful original player; I was riveted to each piece, always surprised by her choices which took my ear on unexpected journeys. In addition she and the other members of the trio were in perfect rhythmic, emotional and harmonic synchronicity. Rarely have I heard a jazz performance with this level of both freedom and tightness of ensemble. Her sound is beautiful - she plays a wooden Haynes flute from 1907, which matches perfectly the Middle Eastern and North African style melodies she writes with a technique that is virtuosic and relaxed. If you have a chance to hear her live, go, I’m sure you will enjoy the show!!  www.hadarnoiberg.com by Barbara...

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