Bill Cahn was a long-time member of the Rochester Philharmonic, and a founding member of NEXUS, a Toronto-based percussion ensemble. Bill has written for Polyphonic in the past, about the use of improvisation in performances and educational programs, and about the impact of social and economic issues on music and the arts. He is the author of ”Creative Music Making,” and teaches a course of the same name at music schools and conservatories. Bill shares with us some of his insights from his most recent course, particularly around the issue of listening and the lack of any formal training for most music majors on HOW to listen.
Bill proposes three levels of listening, describes each in detail, and suggests that the “ideal scenario” is to have all three listening levels at work during an ensemble’s performance.
More and more orchestras, particularly in Europe, are availing themselves of the services of an animateur. What is an animateur? The English version of Wikipedia doesn’t even have an entry for it, and the French version states that an animateur is one who animates a group of people. Not a very helpful definition, is it?
So I’ll let Thomas Cabaniss, composer and animateur with the Philadelphia Orchestra, tell you exactly what it means and what he does in that capacity for the orchestra.Read More →
Most musicians develop a knot in the pit of their stomachs when contemplating bringing their instrument onto an airline. We all know that violins and violas fit in the overhead compartments; that reed knives are not weapons; that the AFM and the TSA have reached a policy agreement about allowing instruments on board; that there shouldn’t be any problems! Yet all of us continue to hear horror stories about airline personnel at the gate insisting that the instrument be checked as baggage.
Eric Beers, a member of the AFM’s SSD staff, has extensively researched the dilemma musicians must confront when traveling by air with their instruments. He offers some very practical guidelines for you to consider before you purchase your ticket.Read More →