19 February 2011

Accordion and Orchestra

I count myself most fortunate to have played a number of times with both the Minnesota Orchestra and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. This picture rather rounds out my experiences with accordion, it is the serious side of my music. The picture was taken February 2010 during a performance with the SPCO at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in St. Paul, Minnesota.  It was a gift from someone in the audience.  A very nice gift.

18 February 2011

Aerobic Balkan Band OBI

Sometimes you just gotta be there......
Photo by Shelly Campbell
Last night Orkestar Bez Ime played their every third Thursday of the month gig at Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar in Lowertown of downtown St. Paul, Minnesota.

This picture was taken by our photographer, Shelly Campbell, during an accordion intensive Bulgarian tune called 'Daichovo' which is in 9/16. For those of you counting Bulgarian rhythms with the aid of Mexican food, 9/16  is taco - taco - taco - burrito.

In this pic you can witness my adoring band mates adding their own personal comment on this complex meter during my accordion solo...oh my....!

(l to r) Natalie Nowytski with leg in the air, Colleen Bertsch with sideways violin and Scott Keever with upside down and backwards mandolin.  Behind me is Katrina Mundinger only visible by the clarinet bell growing out of the top of my bellows.

17 February 2011

View from a Pit

Today I was sitting dazed at the computer thinking of everything that is needing to be done from now until the end of May this year.  There are stacks of music and show books at my feet which need to be put into order for easy use during performances. Music needs to be written, learned, rehearsed; it can be a bit overwhelming.

There's quite a bit of difference from what I see as a musician and what the audience sees.  The image above is what I see, the image to the right is a pit-eye view of what the audience is seeing. These are cell phone pictures taken during technical rehearsals of a show by Ethnic Dance Theatre.

15 February 2011

Zest for Life

This is a wonderful animation that features the accordion as the catalyst for renewed zest for life!

from nfb.ca......

"A mixture of puppet and hand-drawn animation, The Necktie is the story of Valentin and his quest to find meaning in his life. Stuck in a dead-end job, he has forgotten all about the things that used to bring him joy. Years pass, and boredom replaces all his aspirations and hope for the future. It is only on his 40th birthday, when he rediscovers an old accordion hidden in the depths of his closet, that he regains his lust for life."


14 February 2011

Festival of Nations surprise.....

Imagine my surprise when I got an email from one of my Orkestar Bez Ime band-mates that she recognized my fingers and accordion as a header on the Festival of Nations web site. Of course I couldn't resist checking it out, the headers revolve so it took me a lot of reloads before I got my picture...but here it is! This year OBI will again be the 'house band' in the Roy Wilkins Auditorium on festival Saturday and then representing Bulgaria all day on Sunday. The dates are May 6-8, St. Paul RiverCentre, St. Paul, Minnesota. Fun!