The Voice From The Kelp

If you tune in this week to Classical Discoveries you might hear coming through the airwaves from the WPRB studio “a voice from the Kelp.”



If you are a music blog fanatic you will be familiar with this blog, and if you are not, I urge you to explore it at: Notes From The Kelp

This wonderful blog has a mixture of music and nature, two my favorite subjects, and is the creation of composer and nature lover Alex Shapiro, who is visiting the East Coast.


She will be my guest  for two and half hours this Wednesday morning, in the WPRB studio from 9:30 until 12:00 eastern time.

There is no question that Alex’s music has very strong connections to nature and her home surroundings.

Just listen to her music and enjoy at the same time the wonderful pictures posted on her blog.

I feel almost envious, and as much I love civilization, I would love to live closer to nature and watch closely wonderful creatures like Alex’s little foxes, elks, whales and other critters.

I get excited when I see a pellegrino hawk, blue jays, chickadees and little bunny rabbits, and in the summer, wonderful little hummingbirds in our garden.

 Alex's fox

I hope that you will be able to listen to my conversation with Alex. We will talk about all those things close to her, and listen to her wonderful music this Wednesday morning between 9:30 and 12:00 eastern time on WPRB 103.3FM Princeton NJ. and all over the world on line at:


If you have different plans for that day you will be able now to listen to archive files for 2 weeks after their posting at: MP3 ARCHIVES PAGE

Alex Shapiro – Vista

Alex Shapiro – Deep

Two Theremins and a Laptop

I only have occasional guests on my programs since I am only on the air once a week, however the beginning of this year already looks very exciting.

In March, during the 9th annual series “In Praise of Woman”, Tania León and Roxana Panufnik will join me live in the WPRB studio.

Also, next Wednesday, January 11, at 10:00am till 12:30pm I will host the young Polish composer, living now in USA, Jakub Ciupiński, aka Żak, whom I discovered some months ago on Google while searching materials on the first electronic instrument, the Theremin.

It just happens that Jakub actually built a modern version – a system out of two Theremins and a laptop with his own software to perform live electronic music.

I hope you can check this really cool video:

I know that I do not need any excuse to present any specials on my program. I do love to prepare these, especially when I have occasional foreign guests.

Musical Voyage to Australia and Ēriks Ešenvalds was a guest of  FROM RIGA WITH LOVE – Musical Voyage to LATVIA

I have regrets that I could not do a whole Serbian program with Aleksandra Vrebalov this past summer, unfortunately, my Serbian music collection on CD is a bit on the small side.

Since Jakub Ciupiński is Polish, my program for next week will be titled “POLISH MUSIC BEYOND CHOPIN AND GORECKI”.

Anyone who listens to Classical Discoveries knows that I have a weakness for music from Eastern Europe and the Baltic region.  The music of Poland however has a special place for me since my wife was born there and introduced me to this wonderful country and it’s arts, music and of course, it’s food.

I am not going dwell much on the subject of Polish music since I devoted time to it last summer.

So, get ready for more Polish music on Classical Discoveries from 5:30am till 10:00am and some Avant-Garde at 12:30pm till 1:00pm.

From 10:00am till 12:30pm there will be talk and much music by my guest. Since Ciupiński is a very diversified composer who writes in all styles from traditional classical to pop/world, and electronic, his music will be perfect for both programs, “Classical Discoveries” and “Classical Discoveries Goes Avant-Garde.”

As I mentioned before, Polish music is very common on my weekly programs and below are some links to various playlists that focused partially or were totally devoted  to works of Polish composers.

Some other programs devoted to Polish music:

01-11-2012 – Polish Music Beyond Chopin and Górecki – 2012 Edition

10-26-2011 – Spotlight on Andrzej Panufnik

06-15-2011– From The Baltic Sea To The Tatra Mountain – Part 2

06-13-2011 – From The Baltic Sea To The Tatra Mountain- Part 1

05-08-2011 – Marta Ptaszyńska – Opera, Pan Marimba


05-26-2010 – Musical Portrait Of Stanisław Sylwester Szarzyński

11-08-2009 – Polish Moods – Classical Discoveries Goes Jazz

06-05-2009 – Paweł Łukaszewski – A Musical Portrait

08-06-2008 – From The Baltic Sea To The Tatra Mountain – Millennium of Polish Music

09-07-2007  and 08-31-2007 – Warsaw Autum – The 50th Anniversary

05-24-2006 – The Glorous Sounds Of Polish Baroque

09-01-2004 – Polish Music Beyond Chopin and Górecki – 3

08-22-2004 – Krzysztof Penderecki – Opera, Ubu Rex

03-26-2003 – Polish Music Beyond Chopin and Górecki – 2

12-16-2001 – Moniuszko, Stanisław – Opera, Haunted Manor

09-02-2001 – Moniuszko, Stanisław – Opera, Halka

05-01-2001 – Polish Music Beyond Chopin and Górecki – 1

Viva 21st Century Music

In late November of 2003, when I piled up CD’s for my WPRB winter break specials, the idea of a new program with music from the 21st century started to take shape. I did not have many new music recordings for my first program, but managed to mix the ones I had with some of my favorite earlier selections.

Flute - Courtesy: Azerbaijani Artist Namig Mammadov at:

The end of the 20th century was very disappointing to me for various reasons. At that time I stopped listening to classical radio and going to live concerts with a few exceptions. Heavily advertised musical tributes to 20th century music presented mainly 80-90 year old warhorses. There is so much more to music of that period.

How I dreamed to hear  performances of symphonies by Henry Cowell, Harrison, Hovhaness and other American composers, live in the Academy of Music with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Not even one of them was represented in those tributes, nor as I recall any woman composer. It was like the clock stopped  after the 1st half of the 20th century.

My second program was 100 percent devoted to new music, but I had never imagined that 9 years later I would be able to present a continuous 24-hour program of 21st century music. I actually could do at least 4-5 more marathons, judging from the piles I am looking at right now.  I will take a rain check on those however!

Marathons?  It is all Jon’s fault. I am referring to Jon Solomon – WPRB legend, and veteran of the Christmas Marathons, of which this year will be his 24th.

When in 2007 I realized that my 5 plus hours would not let me present all of what I wanted, I looked  to Jon for inspiration and decided to give it a try. Here I am 4 years later getting ready for my 5th Winter Marathon joining the ranks of radio broadcaster junkies.

I must admit, that all suggestions on how to survive 24 hours on the air I received from Jon.  One more thing I do is that I treat myself to acupuncture a few hours before the Marathon. The hardest thing for me is to keep off bread for 24 hours!!  I love a good loaf of sour dough!!!

If you are curious, I never nap during the time I am on the air so, if anyone wants to call me when the music is playing please do so at 609-258-1033. I will need the support of my audience and friends, especially during late at night and the early morning hours when I will be totally alone. Also, if you are in the neighborhood, please visit me. The more action in the studio I have, the easier it will be for me to survive the 24 hours of madness.

This 9th Annual program is the 5th, 24-Hour Marathon totally devoted to new music composed in the 21st century. It will start on:

Monday, December 26, 2011 at 1:00pm and will end: Tuesday, December 27, 2011 at 1:00pm


In a few days you will find some featured composers listed on the home page of the Classical Discoveries website at:  and on the Facebook Event Page at:


The program will air on WPRB 103.3 FM Princeton and on the Internet around the world at:

For Internet listeners link to excellent Time Zone Converter:

Other 24-hour new music Marathons

12-27/28-2009 – 24-hour Marathon – WOMEN COMPOSERS EDITION
09-08/09-2009 – 24-hour Marathon – AMERICAN EDITION
12-26/27-2008 – 24-hour Marathon – INTERNATIONAL EDITION
12-27/28-2007 – 24-hour Marathon – INTERNATIONAL EDITION

I hope that you can catch at least part of the WPRB Marathon madness.

Viva 21st Century, Viva New Music, and Viva Living Composers!!!



Finally, I am here

April 09, 2011

Finally, after many months of stalling and many trips to the Princeton Record Exchange, I have managed to finish my first official blog.

Unfortunately, I have been involved recently with to many projects. Some of these have been related to the Hovhaness centenary. My other main project was to simply get rid of a cold that I had for weeks.

I hope that in this blog I will be able to express myself and talk about issues that are important to me, many of which have to do about my beloved subject, the music of our time.

You must be asking, why MarvinTheCat?

Yes, I do love cats, even though I never had any animals as a child. When I married my wife Beata, I married not only her but also 2 cats and a dog.  After many more cats and another dog, I discovered the meaning of animal love.  But the reason for MarvinTheCat is totally different.

In 1993 I recorded a CD of the piano music of Alan Hovhaness – Fred the Cat. The CD cover is graced with my wife’s painting of one of our cats, properly named Fred (of course after Hovhaness’s Sonata).   This is how my story begins.

The last time I saw AH alive in Boston, I had people walk to me saying, “you are familiar to me, O yes, you are Fred the Cat”  This happened many times later also and from that time I am remembered as such.  Also Fred the Cat became my website logo.

Unfortunately again, when I wanted Fred for this Blog, the name was already taken, so I decided to replace Fred with Marvin. I just hope that who ever adopted that name, was inspired by my CD, but if not, that is OK also as long as he/she loves cats.

So now here is a bit about me.

I am a pianist, music educator and passionate recorded music collector (my motto: more rare CDs the better), or rather as my wife calls me a “sick collector” and “CDcoholic.”

I am an easygoing guy who has tried for most of my life to stay away from any controversial issues, as instructed in my early life.  I have expressed different views only via music on my radio program  (to the joy of many happy listeners), so maybe it is time for me speak out just a bit.

Yes, my other passion is a radio.

As a volunteer on WPRB, I have presented at least once a week “Classical Discoveries” for 14 years and in addition for almost 3 years now “Classical Discoveries Goes Avant-Garde”.

Yes, this newer program airs, not in wee hours of night, hidden away from listeners, when everyone is sleeping and only few Internet junkies are exploring the airwaves, but in the daytime.

There will be more about this is my next blog.

Since I have full-time job and a time-consuming hobby, I might not have the time to write as often I would like, but we will see what happens.


%d bloggers like this: