Well, it’s happened. You’ve squandered another perfectly good practice session by reading this blog. The good news is that it’s the last time you’re going to be able to blame me for missing that F sharp 9 diminished arpeggio, because we’re shutting down Sticks&Drones. The bad news is that the music in front of you has still got to be learned, and now you have one fewer excuse to get it done. Despite our best efforts I’m really wondering if S&D had any kind of impact on the profession that we love. Looking across … Continue Reading

Death of an institution

To quote Jim Morrison – “This is the end.” Sticks&Drones is shutting down, its authors moving on to greener pastures (I’m writing a book and Ron’s running for congress), and the readership gets to focus on the new Star Wars movies without any distraction.  I had meant for this post to be something of a retrospective on the gritty life and times of S&D, but true to form the business has dialed up one more travesty that cannot be ignored. So, one more rant before S&D goes out in a blaze of glory. Let’s talk about legacy, history, and pigheadedness.

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William Tell’s All

Scandal. Surprisingly enough it involves an opera production in Europe. I’m SHOCKED! The Royal Opera has seen fit to go the way of Game of Thrones. Anyone who knows me will not be surprised at the low esteem in which I hold the later, so this is certainly not a compliment. Gratuitous rape scenes (which, come to think of it, are pretty much all of them) are… well, gratuitous. My personal reaction is that whoever thought this one was a good idea should be run out of town. Period. Fortunately there are folks … Continue Reading

An open letter to Ronald Perelman

Dear Mr. Pereleman,

A couple of months ago I had the great fortune of scoring 2nd row tickets to see one of my favorite performers, one Ian Anderson, lead singer and driving force behind the great band Jethro Tull. This was perhaps the fifteenth time I have seen him in concert, and in the past I’ve taken advantage of backstage passes to have a long and hilarious conversation with him. 

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Spilling Good INK – Final Installment

Here is the last of three guest posts on INK from our birthday boy, Viswa Subbaraman. Enjoy the read, then wish him a happy 29th birthday! Here’s my final INK Talks blog. I could probably keep writing about INK, but Bill Eddins wants his blog back. One of the performances I neglected to mention was Dharavi Rocks. Dharavi is one of the largest slums in the world. Dharavi Rocks is a music and dance program for kids in the Dharavi slum. As you will see when the video is posted, those … Continue Reading

Spilling Good INK – Guest Post

Sticks&Drones’ guest poster Viswa Subbaraman returns in Part The Second of his epic Indian adventure: I left off in my last post about the INKTalks 2014 <> with session 2. I’m going to try to cover some of the big highlights in this post, and in the next one, I’ll focus on my fellow Ink Fellows, which is probably one of the more inspiring parts of the INK Talks for me.Because I had to be in make-up for my INK talk, I missed part of Session 3 of the conference, but I did … Continue Reading

ürtext – The Singular Lens

What are the tools that can be used to make a great performance? Imagination, technique, consistency… depending on your definition of ‘great’ it can be many different ones. Why Ürtext, then? An article by Stuart Isacoff in the WSJ today wants to make the case against the ürtext editions many of us use and love. What is strange about his argument is that it starts with a rather spot-on critique of the state of piano performance today. I quite agree with him that recordings have made much pianism rather, well, bland. Micro-editing has been a detriment … Continue Reading

For Sale: Bridge in Brooklyn, Cheap!

Scholarship. Research. Facts. Since we live in the era of “Fox News” we all know that these things are in short supply. Goodness, haven’t you heard about the massive Ebola outbreak in the United States? No? Then how about Anna Magdalena Bach? Yes, ladies and gentlemen, based on nothing more than than a forensic analysis of handwriting a “professor” in North Australia has concluded that not only did Anna Magdalena compose the Cello Suites heretofore attributed to one Sebastian Bach, but also that the aforementioned Sebastian was a wife beater and all-around scumbag. Despite … Continue Reading