Friday, March 25, 2011

Definitely a small world

Running an errand this morning and heard about a lunchtime concert downtown. A cellist would be performing at St. Paul’s UMC.

I’m not a huge classical fan but can enjoy it in small doses so decided maybe this would be a nice way to spend a Friday lunch-hour.

I dropped in and while finding a seat noticed a familiar face from church. (St. Paul’s is not mine.) I went up to greet him and we chatted for a minute when I asked him what his connection was to the concert. He responded; “I sired him.” My first reaction was to assume he meant he had something to do with pulling the concert together. Then he expanded to indicate the cellist was his son.

Steaurt Pincombe is his name and he plays a cello made in 1720. It is on loan from Jumpstart Jr. – a Dutch foundation that is the custodian of a unique collection of string instruments crafted by old masters and they loan them to promising young musicians.

I only recognized one piece – Bach of course, but figure I’ve grown my brain a little bit today.

Without being an aficionado or artiste, I did notice one thing (maybe I noticed) but he seems to move his left hand a lot. Some of the pieces he played were very fast and his hand jumped all over the place. In his attempt to be historically accurate in the way he plays, he holds the cello between his legs – no endpin (as it is called) – like they did in the Baroque era. He also plays with three different bows depending on the period of the piece he is playing. He joked frequently about the amount of time spent tuning. Seems cello strings are tempermental!

Steaurt has a website (http://www.steuartpincombe.com) where you can learn more about him.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Troubadours

Heard about this PBS doc and finally watched it last night. Somewhat repetitious since I watched the PBS version of the Carole King/James Taylor re-union performance at the famed Hollywood club.

Still a nice trip down nostalgia lane. I still enjoy the parts with King/Taylor but wished they'd delved more into some of the other groups who maybe got their break or U.S. exposure at the Troubadour. Like Eagles (note not "THE" Eagles) - according to Glenn Frey, Eagles is their real name) Lots of history passed through that room. Wish there was video/film of more of it. More of Jackson Browne would have been nice.

I guess I came of age musically during the late 60s/early70s so much of my taste, what I can play personally comes from a steady diet of that sort of singer/songwriter stuff.

It is hard to accept that we will never pass that way again but those songs and memories are made fresh again when I see something like this program. I still have some James Taylor on my iPod and Tapestry in my car CD player so maybe I'm just frozen in that time.

But not an entirely bad time to get stuck in. And my daughter enjoys singing along with me so that's a nice fringe benefit too!