Ocean Calling North Carolina Premiere Performance

These questions were posed by Robert Workmon, in advance of the concert Thursday, October 24, at UNCW, which featured the North Carolina premiere of Ocean Calling I: Waves and Currents and Ocean Calling II: From the Depths.  http://uncw.edu/arts/oceancalling.html

I am sharing the questions and my responses, here.

1. Where are you as you respond to this, and what are you working on?

I’m at Wrightsville Beach in the condo where my parents used to live, overlooking the ocean. Both of them (Miriam and Dr. Sam Warshauer) passed away in July, and I have been processing that loss, on both the emotional and physical level. They were such a profound influence on my life. I’ve been in Wilmington most of October, helping to prepare for an estate sale in their home, and attending functions where they were remembered such as the Medical Society, the Wilmington Symphony, and the Thursday Morning Music Club.

Also, my husband and I bought a house on Wrightsville Beach last fall, and have been renovating it, so I’ve spent some time with the finishing touches there. We’re about to move in, this week, I hope! We’ll maintain our residence in Columbia, SC, but plan to spend more time here on this beautiful coast. I have a piano in the beach house already, and hope to get back to composing soon. I’ve taken a break the past two months, after completing Ocean Calling III: The Giant Blue, which Norman Bemelmans and Elizabeth Loparits will premiere in February as part of the complete set. I still need to prepare the introductory notes and send it off to the printers to distribute to the other members of the performing consortium for the Ocean Calling series.

2. The natural world/environment has provided inspiration in other works by you. Is there a philosophical-theological source as well that ties it all together?

Yes. Like my Symphony No. 1 Living Breathing Earth, the Ocean Calling series
is inspired by my love of this amazing planet which nourishes us in every breath, in every cell of our being. I feel the holiness and unity of all life, and the sustaining force of a Creator. We can get so caught up in our technological lives (I’m writing this now on a computer, of course) that it’s easy to forget our organic connection to and dependence on the earth. My music, in these works, is both a love song to the earth and a call for us to wake up to the destruction we, as a species, are bringing to our own habitat. In Ocean Calling, I also attune to the creatures of the sea whose well-being is threatened by our careless practices. I imagine it as a call from them to us, as well as a call from our own depths, to awaken to what is true.

3. What specifically stirred your imagination in the new works, Ocean Calling I & II. Did the multimedia component happen simultaneously? How did your daughter become part of the creative process?

Ocean Calling I and II are both inspired by my great love of the ocean. In Ocean Calling I: Waves and Currents, I let my imagination take me back to my childhood, swimming in the surf at Wrightsville Beach, the currents, the breakers, jumping and riding the waves, diving under and bursting back out into the sunshine. The music is active and joyful, with changing meters, lots of interplay between the two performers, and contrasting sustained and dry sounds. A light chain rustles on the vibrating strings to mimic the white noise of the waves.
Program notes on my website for Ocean Calling I:

http://www.meirawarshauer.com/NEW/pages/Program_notes/Ocean_Calling_I_notes.html

Ocean Calling II: From the Depths is much quieter, inspired by the mysterious underwater realms where fantastical creatures float and swim among gently waving fronds. To prepare for this composition, I snorkeled off the coast of Puerto Rico and watched many hours of documentary videos from under the sea. I immersed myself in a world which seems far from ours, but which is intricately interwoven with the planetary ecosystem. The music focuses on subtle colors, with one piano exploring “inside the piano” techniques on the strings, including stopped notes, harmonic glissandi, plucking or strumming strings, and striking the strings with a glass. The other piano complements these colors with hints of fragility and lilting flow, contrasted with urgent dramatic movement and nostalgic reflections on what may be or already has been lost.
Program notes on my website for Ocean Calling II:

http://www.meirawarshauer.com/NEW/pages/Program_notes/Ocean_Calling_II_notes.html

You ask about the multi-media component. I made some videos of the ocean with my little camera which I watched while writing Ocean Calling I, to help me recall the specific rhythms of the waves, ebb and flow, changing currents, etc. My daughter, Chana Levine, is a professional photographer based in Brooklyn, NY. While visiting us this summer, she was able to take some amazing footage of the ocean which she has edited into three short clips for us to use, interspersed with the music. I’m excited about this collaboration with her!

4. Have you worked directly with the Bemelmans-Loparits Duo in preparing the music? Please talk about any and all aspects of the collaborative process you care to share.

Norman and Elizabeth have been wonderful to work with. They play together so well, and are in tune with each other’s musicianship. We have met several times. Elizabeth is doing the “inside piano” parts, so she and I have gotten together separately, as well. She is very sensitive to the sonorities I am trying to achieve, such as finding the “sweet spot” in harmonic resonance of the strings, or exactly where and how to slide the glass for a harmonic glissando. Norman brings his refined musicianship to the pianistic passages. Both of them also connect deeply with the message of the music—our shared love and concern for the earth and oceans. I am excited about their performance.

5. What do you want listeners to come away with after hearing Ocean Calling?

I hope it will help us re-connect with what we already love. I know people living in and around Wilmington already love the ocean–it goes without saying. What we may not realize is how urgent it is to change the way we as a species relate to the earth and to the ocean. For so long we have assumed the ocean will always be there for us. Now, that is no longer the case. As polar ice caps melt, as trash suffocates large swaths of the sea, as coral reefs are bleached out, we are losing not only what is beautiful, but also what sustains us. In the Judeo-Christian tradition we are give the responsibility to guard the earth. I hope we leave the concert with renewed strength and commitment to guard and restore what has been entrusted to us. We fail to do so at our own peril.

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Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra performs Tekeeyah Jan 10 and 12, 2013

Last night, Neal Gittleman and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra performed Tekeeyah (a call), my concerto for shofar, trombone and orchestra, which they co-commissioned along with 4 other orchstras. Haim Avitsur, the soloist for whom it was written, played shofar and trombone. While there aren’t any reviews yet, here are two articles published in advance of the concert by papers in Dayton.

http://www.jewishdayton.org/observer/shofar-with-dpo/

http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/entertainment/dpo-awakening-concert-emphasizes-the-shofar/nTkTK/

Sadly, I couldn’t attend because I have one of those upper respiratory viruses, and am stuck at home in SC! But Neal sent me a recording of the concert, and it sounded fantastic!!!

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Meira Warshauer

I was recently asked to respond to some personal questions about my career as a composer. Thought it might be nice to share them here.  The original questions were from Cross Island, a cello/piano duo in the New York area.

We’d love to have a brief statement about what has led you to make the career choices you have. What first led you to be composer?

Like most professional musicians, I was drawn to music from an early age.  One of my earliest memories is hearing our next-door neighbor practicing the piano (we kept the windows open in the summertime in the pre-air-conditioned South), and running over there to sit on the edge of her living room sofa and listen.  I must have been about 2 or 3 years old.

When I was 3, our family bought a piano for my older sister to start lessons.  I played by ear until I was 7, when I was finally “old enough” to have piano lessons, too.  I studied piano all through high school, memorizing and performing the classics.  I liked to improvise at the piano, but my mother would always tell me to stop “messing around” and practice! At one point, my teacher attended a clinic where she was encouraged to introduce composition to her students.  She suggested I write something, and I remember the piece I came up with.  It wasn’t so great, and neither of us knew how to make it any better.  We both decided I just didn’t have that gift.

After high school, I continued private lessons at the Longy School of Music while I was attending Harvard/Radcliffe College. I majored in Latin American History, but took music major classes and performed recitals on campus.  I regarded music as an avocation, but my piano teacher, Alice Wilkinson, always urged me to give music a chance before deciding on my career path.

After a year working as a Spanish-speaking social worker in Children’s Hospital Medical Center, I decided I’d better take time out for music before continuing on in clinical psychology or social work.  I enrolled at the New England Conservatory as a special student in piano performance to see how it felt to be in a totally musical environment.

My teacher, Irma Wolpe Rademacher, was quite inspiring.  I remember leaving NEC one afternoon after a lesson on Chopin, and almost floating down the steps.  I looked around at all the other students who had chosen music for their life work and decided if they could do it, maybe I could, too.

I continued at NEC for a 2nd Bachelors degree (B.M.) and then M.M. in piano performance.  My life changed when I signed up for a newly offered elective, “Composition for non-majors,” taught by William Thomas McKinley, a new professor recruited by (NEC president) Gunther Schuller.

Tom’s assignments were like written improvisations, and I loved them.  Our final project was to write a woodwind quintet.  I remember working on my quintet in one of the big practice rooms at NEC, and loving the process of imagining how the horn would blend with the oboe.  I was also preparing for my master’s recital, and had to tear myself away from composing in order to practice the piano.  I told myself that as soon as I finished that degree, I would plunge into composing all the way.  And that’s what I did.

Has being a woman composer had any impact – positive or negative – on that aspect of your career, or influenced your choices?

Yes, definitely!  Part of my surprise at becoming a composer is that it was one of those careers women rarely pursued.  There was only one female composition major while I was an undergrad at NEC, and it seemed weird, almost presumptuous, for a woman to write music.  Of course, there were pedagogical piano pieces written by women, but as far as I knew, all the great music was written by men.

One night, I was out with a woman friend attending a concert at NEC, and she was adamant that she was tired of memorizing music by dead males.  That statement made an impression on me.  At the concert (by students in the Third Stream department which emphasized improvisation), my friend Marty Ehrlich was improvising on his soprano sax.  Marty’s music sounded like it was coming straight from his heart into the air, and I longed to do that, too.  When I had the choice of an elective the next semester, I was deciding between the Third Stream class and the composition class.  I decided on the composition class. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I had gone the other route, but I think composition was the right choice for me.  I love the craft of composing.

Also, during this period, the mid ‘70s, I was involved in the second wave feminist movement in Boston. There were consciousness-raising groups all over the city where we were re-examining our role in society.  We  encouraged each other to pursue dreams that might have seemed off-limits because of gender bias.  That environment gave me courage to continue in composition.

Another influence was spiritual.  During this same period, Eastern meditation was being introduced in the West. I decided to try Transcendental Meditation (TM), and learned to meditate twice a day.  In the introductory sessions, we were told that meditation could release pent-up creativity.  I know that was the case for me.  When I started composing more seriously, I would go into a slightly altered mind-state to get into a stream of consciousness, and follow the music as it was coming.  I still do that, to some extent, especially when a piece is in the formative stages.

What else do you do, outside of composition?

I am passionate about protecting our environment, and have been active in local environmental issues. Recently I was a citizen intervenor with the Public Service Commission when SC Electric and Gas applied for a permit to construct a new nuclear power plant nearby.  (The permit was granted, but at least they had to fight for it…)

I love spending time outside, especially on the beach or walking along the river or lake.  And reading in my hammock in the back yard, which we keep in a “natural” state. Also enjoy exercise and yoga.

I have become very interested in Jewish learning and practice, and am active in the Jewish community here in Columbia, South Carolina.  I enjoy leading services in my synagogue, and co-lead a Jewish meditation group.

I am a member of an interfaith group for women here in Columbia called Women of Faith.  I’m also on the board of the International Alliance for Women in Music.

We raised three children, so that took a lot of my time when they were growing up. Now they have moved to other cities (Washington, DC, Brooklyn, NY, and Boston), but we visit frequently. We especially enjoy seeing our three granddaughters, now ages 3, 2 and 6 months, who live in Brooklyn.

I also help keep track of my parents, now in their 90’s, to make sure they are doing ok.  They are very independent, but I like to visit frequently, driving back and forth to Wilmington, NC, where they live.

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Happy Season of Light

For those celebrating Chanukah, tonight is the last night. Here’s a kavannah, intention, I wanted to share. There is a section in the daily standing prayer that is said during Chanukah, and it ends by recalling the lighting of the lights in the Holy Courtyard of the ancient Temple. Today, isn’t that Holy Courtyard the innermost sanctum of our own hearts? May you be blessed with light shining from deep within, to illuminate the days and nights ahead, with blesing for all you encounter as well.

And for those celebrating other light-themed holy days, may you also be blessed with the supernal light which beckons from deep within.

Love,
Meira

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Sierra Club presentation 12-19-11

Just presented my CD (Living Breathing Earth ) to the Sierra Club John Bachman Group here in Columbia. It was great to connect with the club, and they were really excited about the music. That gets me excited again, too.

I love connecting with this CD and people working for the environment. I’m working for it, too–so it feels good to give each other energy. Not only with the music, but also with specific actions–for example, there were folks at the meeting I met during our intervention with the Public Service Commission of SC to oppose permitting a new nuclear power plant just north of here. That issue is still pending. (was approved, but questions remain, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has yet to sign off on the building design)

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Southern Jewish Historical Society annual conference

"Sounds of the Jewish South:  The music of Meira Warshauer

I think I finally figured out how to post photos on this blog! Let’s see if it works….

I’m performing piano (had to brush up on technique to play in public again…) at the Southern Jewish Historical Society’s annual conference, held conveniently here in Columbia, SC, at the USC School of Music–at least for my program on Sunday morning, October 30, 2011.  I was billed as “Sounds of the Jewish South:  the Music of Composer Meira Warshauer.”  It was fun to put the program together, with Phyllis Leffler, who was the moderator and helped coordinate the format with me. We started with the video documentary Land of Promise: The Jews of South Carolina, since I wrote the soundtrack for it, and was a project of the Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina, which was co-hosting the conference.  I played the theme music, which I had actually performed myself on the soundtrack, and explained how I came up with it–trying to integrate Southern, Sephardic, and Ashkenazic influences. Then we presented some excerpts from Ahavah (Love), with Janet Hopkins, mezzo soprano, and Bob Jesselson, cello.  It was great to perform with Bob again, and a real treat to get to have Janet Hopkins sing my music.  She’s a 16-year veteran of the Metropolitan Opera, and recently took a position on the voice faculty of USC. Bob played In memoriam for solo cello (a work he premiered a few days after 9/11 and recorded for the Kalvos website “September 11 Musical Gallery” and later performed all over the world).   I presented some excerpts from Tekeeyah (a call), from my new CD LIVING BREATHING EARTH, and after some great questions from the audience, we ended with Caesaria (Hannah Senesh), in a new arrangement for mezzo, cello, and piano–with the three of us playing again.

I loved being able to share my Jewish roots and influences, and also my experience as an American, epseically as it relates to the 9/11 piece.  One of the questions got me to reveal my spiritual journey, and afterwards, I was happy to learn several others in the audience had some similar experiences, searching for spiritual connection, finding our way back to Judaism in round-about ways, and a few others influenced by Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach.

I’ll try to upload some more photos from that event, now that I think I can do that, sort of…

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In Memoriam September 11 performances in Germany

Mirel Iancovici and I Multicelli: Paul Stavridis, Stephane Giampellegrini, Ioanna Cieslak, Felicia Hamza, Renee Winjhoven, Yves Tordy, performing in Bottrop, Germany, September 10, 2011.

Blog from trip to Maastricht and Germany.

There are times when one follows one’s heart, not knowing all the ramifications of the step taken. Such was the case with my trip to Maastricht to meet Mirel Iancovici and his cello student ensemble, I Multicelli.

Mirel, a world-class virtuoso cellist who teaches at the conservatory in Maastricht, The Netherlands, was searching the internet for a composition for cello related to 9/11 and found my In Memoriam September 11. After listening to Bob Jesselson’s beautiful recording from the online “September 11 Musical Gallery,” Mirel contacted me about performing it for concerts in Germany and Holland commemorating the 10th anniversary of September 11. He also expressed interest in possibly making an arrangement for his cello ensemble from the version for cello and strings.

By way of introduction, Mirel sent me a CD of his performances of several works for solo cello and winds, including works by Ibert, Martinu, Hrisande, and Gulda. I was blown away by his virtuoso playing and expressivity. I was very excited to find such a marvelous performer.

I didn’t realize at the time that Mirel specializes in making his own arrangements for multiple celli, and has an ensemble called I Multicelli which performs these arrangements. From a composition for solo cello and 5 violins, 2 violas, cello and double bass, all on independent parts (originally composed for Ina Esther Joost and King David Strings, and subsequently performed by Chistopher Johns and the Tallis Chamber Orchestra with multiple strings per part), Mirel created an arrangement for solo cello and 6 celli! Using cello harmonics and double stops, he was able to cover all the pitches, with minor adjustments in register. When I examined his score—as the composer I felt an obligation to proof the arrangement to make sure it could represent the piece—I was amazed at the intricacy of the arrangement, and the skillful way it used the capabilities of the cello.

Knowing how much time and care this must have taken, I felt drawn to travel to Maastricht to meet this cello virtuoso and arranger who had devoted so much effort to my music. I love the version for cello and strings, and was curious to see if Mirel’s cello choir arrangement could capture that same ambience, and enable more performances of the piece. Sharon Robinson, the amazing cellist who is now teaching at Indiana University, had already expressed excitement about the possibility of a cello choir arrangement of this composition for her students at Indiana University.

I spoke with Mirel by phone, in preparation for the trip, and it seemed like we were already old friends. I bought my plane ticket, and off I went!

Once in Holland, Mirel and his wife Anca took me under their wings, providing my every need. The first day, I met with the students at the Conservatory for a rehearsal. I was quite tired from the trip, so they did my piece first.

After hearing it, I felt I wanted to explain some of the context of the piece, especially why I wrote the slow downward glissandi, and how I felt watching the fall of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. In recounting that day, I was taken back to that moment and to my surprise, re-lived it with the students in an emotional re-telling.

The following is an excerpt from my letter to Mirel and the students:

“From my first day in Maastricht, and our encounter at our first rehearsal, it was evident that this would be a special relationship. It was clear from the emotions that poured from me in recounting the experience of 9/11 that our process would be about more than the music, and at the same time, that the music would be our vessel for containing and communicating these deeply felt emotions.”

The next day we all traveled to Germany, in several vehicles, each carrying two people and one or two celli. (I went with Mirel, the only car with one cello.) After the two-hour car trip, we checked into our hotel (provided by our sponsors in Gladbeck) and went to the Martin Luther Forum Ruhr where we could rehearse and prepare for the three concerts in Bottrop, Gelsenkirchen, and Gladbeck.

Berta Hamza, who organized all the concerts, greeted us with enthusiasm. Berta’s daughter is Felicia Hamza, Mirel’s youngest student at age 16, who was the soloist for Mirel’s arrangement of the Bruch Kol Nidre during the concerts. Felicia’s father, the renowned cellist Jan Hamza, was her teacher since the age of 4, and she recently began studying with Mirel. (I had met Felicia at Mirel’s home where she was staying in order to be at all the rehearsals in Maastricht. Her name perfectly—happy!)

I first heard Felicia play during the Friday afternoon rehearsal. Her tone is full and not at all forced, very free. Her cello is lovely, and she plays with the natural ease of someone who lives and breathes with the instrument. Mirel was still coaching her on some details and expressive nuances, but it was clear from the first phrase that she is a major talent!

Berta and Jan invited me to their home Friday night so I could observe Shabbat with them. They live close enough to the hotel that I could walk back, with Berta accompanying me. Jan is Jewish, born in Tunisia and lived in Israel before coming to Holland—I spoke in Hebrew to Jan and in English to Berta. We had a delightful evening together, with challah and kosher wine provided by the Jewish community of Gelsenkirchen, through Judith Neuwald-Tabasch, president of that community.

The next morning, I walked over to the rehearsal after davening the Shabbat prayers privately. (There is no synagogue in Gladbeck.) The musicians went to perform in Bottrop later in the afternoon, and I remained at the hotel until the end of Shabbat. We were together again after the concert, which they reported went very well. They loved the acoustics in the small Martinskirche (church) in Bottrop (see photo attached).

On Sunday, I finally got to hear the performance in two concerts, one at the Neue (New) Synagogue in Gelsenkirchen, and the second and final one at the Martin Luther Forum in Gladbeck.

I rode with Mirel to Gelsenkirchen in a light rain—it’s about 20 minutes from Gladbeck. I was impressed to see the Neue Synagogue, a lovely and, true to its name, new building. The majority of the congregation is of Russian origin. Judith told me there had been a bar mitzvah on Shabbat. I was quite impressed by the beautiful sanctuary upstairs and the concert hall/function room downstairs. I took some photos, which I’ll try to post here.

Judith herself is from Germany, and her mother was one of a few survivors from a kerosene plant fire during the War. She was attending the annual memorial service near that site later on the same day as the concert, since the event occurred around September 11 as well. It was a full and emotional day for Judith.

The concert went quite well, with a lovely introduction by Judith and eloquent closing remarks from the mayor of Gelsenkirchen. Young students from the congregation read brief texts between the compositions.

I had two special guests at the concert in the synagogue—Christiane Meininger and Gesa Biffio. Christiane, a flutist from near Cologne, had corresponded with me via email about some possible collaborations, and I was happy to finally have a chance to meet her. We had arranged to spend some time together in Cologne on Monday, rightly anticipating that there would not be much time after the concert on Sunday. Gesa, a cellist and composer who also lives near Cologne, had contacted me via internet about In Memoriam for solo cello (the original version) which she included in her doctoral thesis about new works for solo cello.

Gesa, it turns out, was also a cello student of Mirel in Maastricht! Mirel had invited her to the concert, too, and she came with her husband and two of their daughters. She and her family came back to Gladbeck after the concert to join us for lunch at the hotel, and we had a lovely visit. I had connected Gesa with Ina Esther Joost, and they have since developed a close friendship, so I was happy to hear of that as well. It turns out Ina Esther was traveling in Germany during this same week, but her performances were in a rather remote area of Germany, so we were not able to see each other.

We then rested in preparation for the 6 p.m. final concert at the Martin Luther Forum Ruhr in Gladbeck. Sound check at 5 p.m. was good. I just asked for minor adjustments to accommodate the acoustics of the room—quieter murmuring after first glissando, and a long legato line overlapping celli for last glissando.

At the last minute, I got up the courage to ask if I could address the audience briefly. Dr. Baldzione, who directs the music program at the Forum, offered to introduce me after his welcoming remarks. Luckily, Judith Neuwald-Tabasch offered to translate my comments into German for the audience. I was so grateful to have the opportunity to be part of the presentation on a personal level, in addition to the music itself.

I thanked our hosts for the warm welcome we had received, and recounted my vivid memory from 9/11 of the slow fall of the World Trade Center towers, and how the slow glissando in the strings accompaniment mirrors that fall. It seemed to represent the loss of an external anchor, leaving us with the sense that we only have each other and the love of an open heart. We hoped the music would help convey that love.

The mayor of Gladbeck spoke about the significance of 9/11, but I’m sorry I can’t relate them to you because of my lack of German comprehension.

The performance which followed, punctuated with longer readings by high school age students, was one of the most moving concerts I can recall experiencing. Here is what I wrote to Mirela nd I Multicelli afterwards:

“…the performance Sunday night, the culmination of all our rehearsals, and the final performance of the tour. This is an evening etched in my heart. A performance of such depth is truly rare, and I’m not just speaking of my composition, but the entire performance. I was in tears from the sheer beauty of the music for most of the concert. When it came to my own composition, I could hardly remain within the confines of my chair–the intensity was so great, the expression so heart-felt. It seemed that you were truly creating the tsunami of goodness that I spoke of Friday night, which this world needs so desperately. What a privilege to create this together.”

Later, Mirel added this observation in a letter to me:

“The miracle, I think, was that through your music born as a reflection on a heartbreaking and unspeakable tragedy we were able to create an profoundly spiritual and unforgettable event which marked our memory and will stay with us forever. We transcended the horror and ”in memoriam” became ”to life”, L’ chaim.”

(I can only say Baruch HaShem, thank G-d.)

I just heard from Berta Hamza that a video was made of the performance. She doesn’t have it yet, but will send it to me. When I receive it, I’ll post the video to share with you. You have to see/hear this performance! Meanwhile, to hear Bob Jesselson’s solo cello recording and that of Chris Johns and the Tallis Chamber Orchestra, click here. Felicia sent me a photo of the group performing in Bottrop which I’m posting here.

September 21, 2011

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CD tour

I loved our CD tour, starting here in Columbia May 17 at the JCC, presented by their Jewish Cultural Arts Committee.  A highlight was a special art exhibit created by Richland Northeast High School students in response to the music on the CD.  Jonathan Leader, ba’al tekiah for Tree of Life Congregation, who assisted me in the formative stages of the concerto, demonstrated the shofar at the JCC.

The tour continued May 23 in my hometown of Wilmington (NC) in the Gallery at WHQR Radio. In keeping with the CD’s theme of healing the earth, the Wilmington event was a collaboration with Stop Titan Action Network (STAN),  a coalition of organizations and citizens working to protect the Cape Fear region from hazardous pollution which Titan Cement would bring if it is allowed to build there.   Shofar demonstrations by my father, Dr. Sam Warshauer, and by Ron Cohen, were especially meaningful.

On June 20, shofar and trombone soloist Haim Avitsur joined me as  we took our show to the big city–Manhattan’s Ann Goodman Recital Hall!  We presented excerpts from the concerto and discussed our collaborative process.  And special surprise guest, violinist Greg Harrington, helped illustrate portions of the Symphony.

I was honored that The Forward, a nationally distributed Jewish weekly newspaper, sent Eileen Reynolds to cover the Manhattan event for their Arty Semite blog. Here’s her description/review, including sound and video clips of the music:
http://blogs.forward.com/the-arty-semite/139125/

Finally, the tour wrapped up  in my educational home of Boston on June 23 at the Pucker Gallery.  The intimate gallery setting was a perfect venue for sharing my inspiration and creative process with old friends from Harvard and Radcliffe, the New England Conservatory, more recent connections, and family.  Dean Bandes joined me in Boston with a shofar demonstration and discussion of its history.

A screening of Aileen LeBlanc’s new slideshow with paintings by Charlotte Riley-Webb illlustrated her profile of the symphony, produced for PRI’s Living on Earth.  The slideshow was a highlight at the Pucker Gallery, as well as in the shows in Wilmington and Columbia. It’s also posted on my web page about the CD.

Each venue had its own special charms and delights. I loved re-connecting with friends and family, and also meeting new people. I’m finding it very moving to tell the story of how this music evolved, and its inspiration, and seeing people connect so deeply with both the music and its message.  I find great strength in receiving such encouragement for this endeavor.

Speaking of old friends, Jim Fogle, whom I knew from my residency at Meredith College, came to the NYC show and described it here.

Also, SCETV Radio’s “Your Day,” produced by Clemson University, aired an interview with me about the new CD on July 11. It was broadcast statewide in SC and is still available for streaming at their website July archive.

The Western Piedmont Symphony, which performed Tekeeyah last February, has posted a video of the entire performance on their youtube site. Here’s the link.

And for the Italian speakers among you, a recent review of the CD from Kathodik.

We try to keep the webpage about the CD relatively current.

Thanks for being part of this!

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RELEASE DATE APRIL 26!!

April 26 is the street date for this CD! Right now, it’s up at a lot of internet sites, and the download version is already available, as of April 8. But the disc itself is coming out April 26–you can pre-order NOW for shipment then. Break out the champagne!!!!
Read all about it at this new page on my website http://www.meirawarshauer.com/NEW/pages/breathing_earth.html

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preparing new web page for CD LIVING BREATHING EARTH

Today I worked on an introductory paragraph for a new page at my website about the CD LIVING BREATHING EARTH. It’s “street date” is April 26, so we want to be ready when it’s ready!!

Here’s what I have so far:

With Symphony No. 1 LIVING BREATHING EARTH, I invite you to imagine our precious earth breathing fully, in perfect health and harmony, with joyous energy. In Tekeeyah (a call), I ask you to open your heart to its inner truth and to trust its deepest longings. I hope this music will help us hear the call from the earth and the Creator that we are one.–Meira Warshauer

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