From the category archives:

Cool people

Todd Buffa (1952-2012)

January 29, 2012

Todd Buffa and I grew up together in high school as young musicians in Green Bay from 1968-1971. Daily we would get together at his house and play music we knew and loved: the Beatles, the Doors, and Cream’s latest music, as well as Frank Zappa. We played in a few bands together in 1970-71. […]

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Teatime with Alan Rickman

January 13, 2012

Should you be so lucky as to have tea with Alan, realize that sometimes he gets a little capricious.

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Piano as Art

December 31, 2011

Check out a very new way of looking at pianos: Piano as Art. © 2011 Penny Putnam and Shauna Holiman

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Mitchell Morris and I were researching the history of the famous Spanish-Mexican song by a Cuban-influenced, Spanish-born composer Sebastián Iradier Salaverri (Salaberri) (20 January 1809 – 6 December 1865), “La Paloma”. In our opera, the song looms over us as it was a song Angela Peralta sang her entire career. Here is one of the […]

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1971 all over

December 13, 2011

Alan and Neika stopped over for dinner and a visit yesterday. Alan Tower is one of my long-time friends who I have known since 1971. I may have been instrumental in lighting his enthusiasm for playing the guitar, or some teaching here and there, but that was a long time ago. He has now blossomed […]

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I wrote the first movement, “Cl’Airea” in honor of Paul Reale and Claire Rydell’s wedding. Claire plays cello and Paul plays piano. They did not perform it at their wedding, but it was later premiered by Ron Leonard and Ann Perry. The title is a fusion of their names. The second movement is a memoir […]

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Who’d a thunk?

June 27, 2011

I’ve been in two masses over the last week. No, I haven’t converted to Catholicism. Paul’s funeral (see previous post) and a baptism of Lucia Esther, the 6 month old baby of some close friends. The service was held in San Francisco. A whole bunch of us rented a bus to go to Old St […]

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I attended Paul DesMarais’ funeral last week. It was good to see his family, whom I had never met, and old mutual friends: Paul and Claire, Elaine Barkin, Mark Carlson, David Long and others. Paul wanted to make sure that his final chapter as a gay man didn’t get swept under the rug. Rev John […]

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Christopher Nolan fan

May 8, 2011

This weekend I decided to have a Christopher Nolan film festival. The films he’s directed include: The Dark Knight Rises (filming) 2012 Inception 2008 The Dark Knight 2006 The Prestige 2005 Batman Begins 2003 Insomnia 2000 Memento 1998 Following 1997 Doodlebug (short) (as Chris Nolan) I watched five of them. I love his sense of plot, […]

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The Nijinsky of the Viola

April 22, 2011

Last night Richard O’Neill performed my Three Arias for Viola and Piano at a concert of string music by Los Angeles Composers–all performed beautifully by UCLA faculty and student ensembles. On the first half I was surrounded by Stravinsky’s gnarly Double Canon and Three Pcs for String Quartet (1914), and the Joyce-ian masterpiece Op. 45 […]

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