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Showing posts from August, 2013

Why I will never play at the Luthier's Co-op (or other free music venues in the Pioneer Valley)

I am a professional musician.  I started studying violin in 1966.  I went to the conservatory and studied very hard.  I practiced several hours a day.  I went to college and majored in Music.  I have three music degrees and several certifications.  I have published several of my own compositions and have recorded on over 50 others over the years.

I am a professional.  Professional means I get paid.  Passing the hat is not getting paid.

If you frequent these free places where you can hear music for free, please offer to give the band a tip.  I suggest $50, but then that's just me.

It's a shame that these venues make money off the backs of musicians.  I won't give them my business.  Not now, and not ever.  I won't tell my students to shop at their locations and I won't recommend their services ever to friends, colleagues or family.  Not now and not ever.

You shouldn't either.

Going Back To My Roots, To Discover My Musical Heritage

The Sweets were Tories during the Revolutionary War.  They fled to Newfoundland and Nova Scotia during the conflict.  They became ship captains, ship builders, carpenters and later bone setters and doctors.  Their music would have been the Maritime music of Cape Breton and Newfoundland.
Here's an example of what that music might have sounded like
The Merry Family was strictly Protestant.  The only music they enjoyed was devotional and that was strictly controlled.  They basically had no music other than what was allowed in church.

The Kieltys were Scotts-Irish, originally from western Scotland, the land settled by the Gaels in pre-colonial times.  Their music would have been the music of the Celts using bagpipes, fiddles, fifes and drums for war and good times.
Here's an example of what that music might have sounded like

The Rhythmic Eight - It Looks Like Love (1931)

Published on Aug 4, 2013
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0Kyo5NvK

Bert Firman used the name "The Rhythmic Eight" for his small group recording sessions between the years of 1927 and 1932. These sessions featured both American and British musicians. The group under the direction of first Bert Firman and then his brother John.

Bert Firman (Feb.3,1906 - April 9,1999) was born as Herbert Feuerman in London. He wanted to become a doctor but was expected to study music because everyone in his family, as well as cousins and uncles, were musicians. After training on violin, he was granted a scholarship to the Guildhall School of Music. At the age of 13 he played in a quintet providing incidental music at the Playhouse Theatre, and at 14 was a member of the orchestra at the Victoria Hotel.

A couple of years leter Bert hired in as violinist with the Midnight Follies Orchestra at the Metropole Hotel. After the leader of this ensemble, an American saxophonist, tumbled off the stage one nig…