The Kitten, Venti Dita and the Music!
September 8, 2012 1 Comment
It is hard to imagine that there will be no more occasional sitting in front of the TV or enjoying the sounds of the garden in the evening with Beata and a glass of wine. Yes, I am going back to teaching this Monday. I am sad about the passing of summer but am also exited about the new school year, especially that this year I will be teaching four classes of my favorite subject – music history. I am also looking forward to my upcoming recital and new CD of piano duos.
I did not do much of what I planned at all. I had no time for blogs, catching up with Facebook friends or extra trips to New York and the Amish County. My summer was devoted though to plenty of piano music and cats, two of my favorite subjects.
On my last day of school we become parents to a little, scroungy looking black kitten with white spots, who if would not be found by students in a Princeton University dumpster, would be crushed to death.
Now, after 3 months and dozens of sleepless nights, many broken flowerpots, chewed up hibiscus, 2 planters that became kitty litter boxes and dozens more emergency cleanups, our little kitten Pix, is taller and heavier than our biggest cat, Puszek. He provides us with joy and constant entertainment as well as a means for exercise for our other three other kitties that were sleeping over 20 hours a day.
Finally, after working for almost two years together with Jennifer, we came up with the name for our piano duo: Venti Dita. I think that this is a really cool, simple musical name – 20 fingers in Italian.
The biggest achievement and time-consuming activity this summer was the recording of our first duo CD devoted to contemporary music for piano 4 hands, at Purchase College, Purchase, NY.
When my wife commuted to work in Willow Grove in Pa. I always teased her that she picked the very early starting time of 5:30am to get good parking and to avoid traffic on the PA turnpike. The karma caught with me this summer when after my first trip to Purchase, I was almost late to our first recording session, despite the fact I left more than enough time.
Now it was her time for her to get back at me and remind me of the old times. After that first week I would leave home at 5am to pass the George Washington Bridge before it turned into a parking lot. My extra time would spent in a Diner having a hearty breakfast with Jennifer and yes, sipping good tea, especially since we would take only a short break for lunch that Beata packed for us in a small cooler so we would not waste time driving to another diner. Coming back home was also tied up to traffic patterns. Having dinner before leaving Westchester solved this problem and most times I had a smooth trip home.
I feel sorry for drivers that must put up with this kind of aggravation on the road every day. For last 15 years I take a train instead of drive to New York.
I am very lucky to live very close to my school as well as to WPRB, since the traffic around Princeton is not much better, especially now when NJDOT closed a few local roads, creating havoc for local drivers.
We had 3 recording sessions plus 3 sessions with our wonderful engineer, Andy Cardenas. One recording session was extremely exhausting since we could not use the air conditioner and the temperature outside soared to 98 degrees.
Yea!!!! We have a gold master and it sounds really great, but we still have many steps to take care before the CD can be released. Hopefully the recording will be out before the end of the year. Cannot wait!!!
Each year I devote much time in the summer to listen to music, but this summer I spent more time at the piano.
Besides hosting my both radio programs at WPRB, and yes, celebrating at the end of May the beginning of my 16th year on the air, I spent my summer preparing for the recording sessions as well as my upcoming piano recital devoted to contemporary music.
On the radio I presented a few special Early Music Editions, hosted a jazz program with music by classical composers inspired by jazz, and had a few guests such as the young Serbian composer-violinist Ana Milosavljević, Australian composer and conductor Sean O’Boye, Elliott Carter expert Joe Barron, and pianist Rosanne Vita Nahass who recently released a CD featuring the Concord, Piano Sonata No. 2, Concord, Mass. by Charles Ives. Finally, I celebrated John Cage’s 100th Birthday with an unexpected 6-hour edition of “Classical Discoveries Goes Avant-Garde”.
My piano recital titled “Contemporary Piano Miniatures”, will be Sunday afternoon, September 23 at 3:00pm in Bristol Chapel at of Rider University and will include music from many countries. I will be joined in several works by my piano duo partner Jennifer Castellano, and will perform selections included on our upcoming CD.
And yes, this concert is FREE!!!! So if you are around, please join me and if you are afraid of new music, here is your opportunity to try without risk. Princeton is a charming town in early autumn.
If you listen to “Classical Discoveries” you will recognize the names of many composers. In addition, you will hear a complete performance of the work by my duo partner Jennifer I use as my opening theme.
I feel very lucky that I am in position as an educator, performer and radio host to expose new and unknown music to many.
Before I conclude, I would just like to remind you all that we must support our living composers today as they were supported by their contemporaries in earlier centuries.
If you want directions or more information please email me at Marvinarosen@gmail.com
If you are on Facebook and attend please sign the guest list at: https://www.facebook.com/events/438945242823380/