May 25 2018

Dawn Simmons: Lifting Up a Community Through the Diaspora

Posted by Alexis Smith on May 25, 2018 5:02:09 PM | 0 comments | Interviews

Last week, I had the chance to talk with Betsi Graves, director of Urbanity Dance, and we spent a lot of time talking about the importance of collaborating with artists across various fields. Why would she be the one designing a costume, when Boston is so filled with incredibly talented costume designers? Why pay a high fee to use the rights to a pop song and choreograph a dance to it when you can find a fantastic Boston-based composer who is looking to work with a dance company? Why not collaborate and challenge each other stretch the ways of thinking? To create something greater than you previously imagined you could do?

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May 17 2018

Photos: Opus Affair May at Miracle of Science

Posted by Boston on May 17, 2018 11:47:18 AM | 0 comments | Photos

May 2018 marks ten years of monthly Opus Affair events! Thanks to Miracle of Science for hosting us on such an auspicious (if stormy!) evening, and to everyone who came out to celebrate! See you next month for our official 10th Anniversary Party!

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May 15 2018

Urbanity Dance: Creating Symbiosis and Community

Posted by Alexis Smith on May 15, 2018 3:04:58 PM | 0 comments | Interviews

One of the themes of this blog and the interviews that it runs, is the theme of having to do a little bit of everything. Whether it was Phoenix Artistic Director Matt Szymanski talking about how to juggle conducting with social media marketing, Ryan Lott talking about understanding classical music as a way to enrich his electronic samples, or soprano Julia Bullock bringing a program of both Schumann and Nina Simone to the concert stage, it seems that variety is the spice of art. Artists and non-artists alike are lucky to be in such a hub as Boston, where everywhere you look, people are curious and hungry for more. Coming from New York, I think of Boston as a town on steroids, we have all of the industry and niche pockets of a city, but somehow Boston has a smaller, more neighborhood feel. Boston has an ecosystem built out of neighborhoods and networks rather than an ecosystem built out of the individual. To me (and this is just my own personal speculation), this creates a more fertile ground for creativity.

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May 09 2018

Building a Bridge Instead of a Wall

Posted by Alexis Smith on May 9, 2018 4:18:44 PM | 0 comments | Interviews

What do musicians do if they’re extroverts? When your profession requires you to be alone roughly eight hours a day, how does an extrovert not go crazy? For Lina Gonzales-Granados, the solution came in the form of becoming a conductor. Originally a pianist, the Columbian-born conductor realized at a very young age that she needed to be around people so she looked for the musical profession that involved the most amount of people and she found conducting.

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May 07 2018

Leaving at Intermission: Don't Do It

Posted by Carolyn Macleod on May 7, 2018 3:38:54 PM | 0 comments | Miscellaneous

If I had a dollar for every time I heard a haughtily delivered, “I left at intermission,” I could afford some sort of treatment for the strain caused by all of the eye-rolling at that lame dig.

I get it—sometimes you realize early on that this is 100% not your thing. Not everything is for everyone and honestly, not everything is good. However, most things deserve a fair shake and bragging about leaving at intermission undermines the artist’s work and paints you as a destructive audience member. Leaving at intermission actually does more harm than good—not just for the artist, but also yourself.

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May 04 2018

Our favorite #DogOperas Tweets

Posted by Kyle Thomas Hemingway on May 4, 2018 12:57:36 PM | 0 comments | News

#DogOperas swept Twitter this week. Here's our roundup of our favorite canine compositions!

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May 04 2018

"Never look at the trombones; it only encourages them."

Posted by Alexis Smith on May 4, 2018 10:43:47 AM | 0 comments | Interviews

Trombone often gets a bad rap. Whether it’s thought of as the teacher’s voice in the old Charlie Brown cartoons or as the sad trombone sound effect, I think we can all agree that sometimes the trombone is seen as the instrumental buffoon. I, a trombonist, was once offered $200 to follow a fat guy around and mock him à la Family Guy. (Seriously, I went to Juilliard for this.) Unbeknownst to most people, composers revered the trombone, using it to depict solemnity, death, and the depths of Hell. Felix Mendelssohn is quoted with the saying, “The trombone is too sacred for frequent use.” and even Beethoven likened the trombone to the “Voice of God”. Maybe these guys were hacks, but history doesn’t seem to think so.

That’s where the Boston Trombone Project comes in. Established just last year, the Boston Trombone Project aims to act as an ambassador for the trombone and expand awareness of just how versatile the trombone can be. This week, I sat down with Dr. Mike Tybursky and Alex Knutrud to talk about the upcoming Boston Trombone Project concert being performed on May 7 at 7pm in Cambridge, oh—and yours truly will be performing a solo in it!

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