Cello Hero Update

In this post I linked to the Berlin Phil’s Cello Challenge. Now, video game blog Kotaku has picked up on the game. Much to my delight, their readers (I am also one myself) were generally impressed with this simple little game, one even saying it could work with a full sized plastic cello, a la Rock Band. Many also commented about how they liked Saint-Saëns’ The Swan.

I guess classical music isn’t as nerdy as I thought.

At least among other nerds.


On Pops, part 1.


I have been wanting to write this post for almost a week but it has required a lot of passive thinking-about, hence the lack of substantive posts in the meantime…
Two pops shows in two weeks has got me thinking about that particular series, part of virtually every not-big-5 orchestra’s season. Unlike the main series (often referred to as “Masterworks” or some other lofty catchword) a pops series can be harder to define. A cursive exploration of various orchestras’ pops series, however, reveals some common themes. Continue reading

Have you Heldenlebened lately?

The whole thing!

part 1:

youtube link to playlist of the entire performance.

Rattle, Berlin Philharmonic.

No one sets out…

…to be a smooth jazz musician.

That is all.

Cello Hero!


From the Berlin Philharmonic:

Cello Challenge

Sure there’s a limited number of ‘songs,’ (1,) but this certainly has a better chance of engaging the masses and getting them interested in classical music than its closest competitor, the ill-fated Sousaphone Hero.

Thanks to TM for the tip.

Please! Won’t somebody please think of the children?


Playing injuries are an all too common in this line of work. A cornucopia of tendinitis, blown chops, and back problems are the most likely, but I have mastered injuring myself in a way that is surely unique to bass players… and possibly just to myself. Continue reading

Conducting continued

“For [a] conductor this is a question of how to use his personality and his education… the strength of his character… so that the musicians will be very quickly involved of the atmosphere of the piece. It doesn’t really matter how well you move with your hands. It should be in your face, it should be in your expression. “

-Valery Gergiev

This quote (which was from my last post ) came to mind as we rehearsed the Enigma Variations today.

Continue reading