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  • richardmitnick 1:19 pm on August 6, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Classical Music, , , , , streaming audio,   

    Q2 in the Next WQXR Pledge Drive 

    Q2 in the Next WQXR Pledge Drive

    The question being raised here is what will WQXR do in its next pledge drive, on its FM broadcast and the 105.9 web stream, to raise the visibility and bring to its listeners Q2, its web based New Music service? I am posting this here at “Whither…” because it is a large topic. But because this blog has been rather dormant, I will be posting it also at the more active MusicSprings. That’s a lot of work, folks, I hope someone reads it somewhere.

    Before that, a bit of a preamble about another PubRadio service in the New York Metropolitan area which has absolutely failed to do anything with its web assets.

    WBGO, Jazz 88, Newark, New Jersey, has tremendous web assets which are never pitched during pledge drives. I have called them incessantly during pledge drives and excoriated them for this failure. They have a 96k web stream for the broadcast. They produce wonderful concerts from the Village Vanguard and J&R Music which are then made available for listening and the occasional download by National Public Radio. Many of the concerts are available as videocasts. There is a huge treasure trove of video archives. WBGO originates broadcasts from jazz concerts around the country and Canada. None of this has been pitched in their pledge drives. WBGO seems to aim their pitches to downtown Newark.

    Public Radio, so much of it now available on the internet, needs to take advantage of its newly emerged global presence. Recently, the The Daily Trojan, from the University of Southern California, let us know that KUSC, Classical Public Radio in Los Angeles, has members in 38 states and 11 countires. That’s not exactly chopped liver.

    Now to the subject at hand.

    So, Q2 from WQXR has been with us now for what? Nine or ten months. Q2 is the on line 24/7/365 service devoted essentially to New Music, Classical and Avantgarde music of the late 20th century, and, as the mottos say, “500 years of new music”, and the “fearless music we crave”. It is the successor to wnyc2, a similar service of WNYC prior to the takeover of WQXR from the New York Times.

    It is safe to say that the people running Q2 have done an outstanding job of bringing us not only great music; but also a wonderful and ongoing series of special projects devoted to composers, musical styles, and the New York New Music scene. We have had “Eight Days of Steve”, devoted to the music of Steve Reich; the choral premier of David Lang’s Little Match Girl Passion for which there is an accompanying video ; Homophony, a celebration of the music of Gay and Lesbian Composers, with special guests Nico Muhly and Pauline Oliveros; the Look and Listen 2010 project from the Festival of the same name; Hammered, devoted to music for keyboards – of all kinds; Hope Springs Atonal a special segment “devoted to the high octane world of post-tonal music; Contact!, a series curated by Alan Gilbert and Composer- in Residence Magnus Lindberg with the New York Philharmonic “featuring world premiers from seven composers on the international contemporary music scene. Did I get them all? Whoops, no, I missed Cued Up on Q2, a Summer festival of New Music concerts recorded live in New york City, a whole series of audios of great performances. Boy, that’s like when George Harrison almost forgot to introduce Billy Preston at the Concert for Bangladesh.

    A super important component of all of this Q2 activity has been Nadia Sirota on Q2, a four hour segmented and quite modular production which has included a great deal of the above mentioned special programming. Nadia’s gig runs for four hours every weekday and night at noon and midnight.

    In fact, Nadia is, in my estimation, the Joe Namath/Derek Jeter/David Wright of Q2. She is Juilliard trained and a great teacher, along with being a rising force in her own right on the New Music scene as a violist. If I remember correctly, she was the rock of the John Cage project that ran some time ago on WNYC. Nadia is a founding member of ACME, the American Contemporary Music Ensemble. She has performed with The Meredith Monk Ensemble, Alarm Will Sound, Continuum., and the Icelandic based Bedroom Community. You can read the rest of her accomplishments at her MySpace page, see About Nadia.

    I am a Q2 addict and fanboy. Q2 is saved as a bookmark on all of my computers in my own player Winamp.

    So, WQXR, what are you going to do on the radio to raise the visibility of this incredible resource in your future pledge drives. Are you going to fail, like WBGO, to spread the word? Does anyone at WQXR think I am off base or out of bounds? I hope that some person or people at WQXR will respond with comments.

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  • richardmitnick 8:09 am on March 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Classical Music, , , , , , ,   

    Freeze Frame – Start a New Music Library 

    Freeze Frame – Start a New Music Library

    Interesting title?

    I am sitting here this morning listening to Caleb Burhans and Alarm Will Sound on The Q. I first saw Caleb’s name in connection with an Innova disc, Fast Jump with performer Danny Holt.

    So, O.K., lots of ties here. And, the music to which I am listening is bright, inventive, I mean, I have no real academic basis for commenting. I just hear a lovely newness here.

    So, should I buy the work? If I do, will I even remember that I have it?

    What’s the problem? I have for a long time been fulfilling my stated modus of supporting living composers by purchasing their work, these days in .mp3. The problem is that anything I buy now disappears into 189 gigs of music files, 400 composers, 3056 albums, 34415 tracks.

    I look over at the wall of books in my Digiteria: Theology. Jewish and Christian Theology; Islamic, Jewish and Christian Mysticism, Dead Sea material; religious philosophy and Philosophy of Religion. The wall evinces a past activity, the material evidence of a 25 year study and search for meaning. It is not really stopped, I am into those books all of the time. But, that is what I did actively before Music. Hours and hours and thousands of dollars for my own library to be able to pick up any footnote and go to the shelf and get the book. Now it is a more passive interest. I found a theology that I could live with, the Grund theology of Meister Eckhart.

    So, what about the music library. Freeze it. Start a new one. There is a new computer coming, an i5-520M. Start a new library. What is the basis to be? How will it differ? It will be based on the offerings of Q2, where I am enamored of the brilliance of Nadia Sirota; and music put forward by Marvin Rosen in his Classical Discoveries and Classical Discoveries Goes Avantgarde programs on WPRB, Public Radio in Princeton, NJ. Also, John Schaefer is constantly bringing forward new people at WNYC on Soundcheck and New Sounds . I don’t want to leave out noting the great contributions for Jazz that I have received from Dan Buskirk and Will Constantine Jr at WPRB. Among so many artists they have presented, Dan gave me Rhoda Scott, and a greater appreciation of Keith Jarrett. Will knows Latin Jazz better than anyone in radio. But, Jazz will stay with the current library. The new library will be limited to New Music, Bang On a Can composers, groups like the Bang On a Can All-Stars, Ethel, itsnotyouitsme (did I get that right?), eighth blackbird, new music from Innova, and the like.

    So, what happens to the old library? Nothing changes. I still love Miles, ‘Trane, Part, Glass & Reich, Bruce, The Allmans, Beethoven, Dvorak, Robbie Robertson, Streisand, Bebo and Chucho Valdez, The Traveling Wilburys, Paquito D’Rivera, Jerry and Andy Gonzalez, Bela Fleck and Edgar Meyer, Ken Field from Boston, Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood, Bob Dylan, Brian Eno, the Adderleys, Charlie Mingus, Chick Corea, Al DiMeola, egad, stop already.

    But, especially Nadia and Marvin, I do not know if you read what I write; but you have a huge responsibility. You bring the Truth of the New. Not just to me, to everyone who hears your programs. Nadia, I hope that you stick around Q2. I can see the day when your career as a violist will mean the end at The Q. That will be sad for us, but terrific for you. Marvin, you never let us down, you are simply the best person in New Music anywhere.

    The new computer, really purchased to add to my capabilities to “crunch” for scientific projects running BOINC software including those from World Community Grid, will be equipped with a Western Digital 1 terrabyte Passport external hard drive on which to build the new library. So, let’s fill it up.

    And, hey, any of you out there who might be interested in helping yourselves, your family members, and the Family of Man, take a look at the above mentioned World Community Grid and visit some of the projects shown on the BOINC web site. We “crunchers” have saved laboratory scientists literally thousands of hours of lab time on incredibly worthwhile research projects at august institutions an universities around the globe. We could sure use your help.

     
  • richardmitnick 4:51 pm on March 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Classical Music, , , , , , ,   

    A New Look at Music From the Hearts of Space 

    A New Look at Music From the Hearts of Space

    I think that it is time for a new look at Hearts of Space. Hearts of Space, Music From the Hearts of Space, HOS, whatever one calls it, is the creation of Stephen Hill. HOS has been one of the singularities in performing what I see as the mission of Public Radio in music: to motivate the listener to spend money to support the artists and composers whose work we cherish. I thought about that last word, “cherish”, and I think it is the correct word to express how I feel about the music I love.

    Stephen started with Program 001, “First Flight” one January 1, 1983. There are now 903 programs in the Archive. I can listen to any program I want any time I am near one of my computers. I have subscriptions to HOS both at home and at work.

    But, it was not always so. I am going to quote directly from the web site. No one tells the story better than Stephen. I have done some editing to help readability. I hope that Stephen will not mind:

    “HEARTS of SPACE began as a San Francisco late night radio show in 1973, went national on Public Radio in 1983 and to our eternal amazement, grew to almost 300 stations. We started an independent record label in 1984, ultimately releasing almost 150 albums…

    “HEARTS of SPACE grew out of [Stephen’s] fascination with space-creating [Stephen is actually an architect], ambient and contemplative music. Beginning in the early 1970s, [he] hosted a weekly late-night radio program on KPFA-FM in the San Francisco Bay area. What began purely as a labor of love eventually became the most popular contemporary music program on Public Radio. Over the intervening quarter century, Hearts of Space evolved into a multifaceted music and broadcast producer encompassing radio syndication, a record company, and an Internet music service…

    “In January 1983, after ten years evolution as a local program, Hearts of Space began national syndication to 35 non-commercial public radio stations via the NPR satellite system. Hosted by Stephen and original co-producer Anna Turner, within three years the program signed its 200th station and became the most successful new music program in Public Radio history, as well as the most widely syndicated program of ‘spacemusic’ — a tastemaker for the genre…

    “Now in its 26th year of national syndication, a one hour program airs weekly on over 200 NPR affiliate stations, including three of the top five U.S. radio markets and a majority of the top fifty. The program is also heard nationally seven nights a week at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific on SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s ‘Spa’ Channel 72…

    “Internet streaming began in 1999 on pioneer webcasters NetRadio and WiredPlanet as well as Public Radio sites, and evolved in 2001 into a full blown subscription service offering on-demand access to the entire Archive, now over [900] programs created since 1983…

    “From the beginning, the program’s success has come from consistently high production quality and sensitive, knowledgeable music programming. The program has defined its own niche — a mix of ambient, electronic, world, new age, classical and experimental music. Artists and record companies around the world recognize Hearts of Space as the original, most widely heard, premiere showcase for ‘contemplative music, broadly defined’…

    “Quality crafting is the keystone of the HOS experience. After a brief intro, each one hour show is an uninterrupted musical journey, designed to create a relaxed but concentrated ambiance. Slow-paced, space-creating music from many cultures — ancient bell meditations, classical adagios, creative space jazz, and the latest electronic and acoustic ambient music are woven into a seamless sequence unified by sound, emotion, and spatial imagery…

    “Old as they are, contemplative sounds continue to evolve. [Stephen] says “What’s now being called Ambient music is the latest chapter in the contemplative music experience. Electronic instruments have created new expressive possibilities, but the coordinates of that expression remain the same. Space-creating sound is the medium. Moving, significant music is the goal…

    “The ancient resonances of drums, bells, and flutes, the exotic tones of gongs and gamelans, the digital sounds of the Ambient frontier; in its third decade, Hearts of Space continues to deliver the best of the contemplative sound experience, with spacemusic from near and far out….”

    O.K., that is the voice of Stephen.

    What has HOS meant for me? First, as indicated by this weblog, music is my passion. Classical music was my father’s gift to me. He thought that he gave me a business, and, yes the business made me more than comfortable. But, the business is now history and my passion for music has not only never ceased, but it has grown. I have ventured farther out than my father ever did or imagined was possible. My particular tastes include a great many late 20th century Classical composers and Jazz. And, what I heard on HOS.

    HOS took me to the cutting edge. I learned about not only “space music”, but also a great many composers in genres with which I was not familiar. Celtic, Asian, Middle Eastern, just to name a few. There are programs designed to fit the seasons of the year. I must interject to be totally accurate that I have also learned a great deal from John Schaefer at WNYC . But John, equally deserving of efforts here, is not the subject of this post.

    If you would like to see the material presented, visit the HOS web site. Along with the archive of programs, there is also a library of complete albums which Stephen has arranged to be available for your listening enjoyment. Check out the play lists for the programs and take a look at the albums.

    So, what is it like to listen to HOS from the web site these days? Well, it is a far cry from days gone by, when on the FM broadcast one might also hear the interference of a jet plane flying overhead. The olden days of the streaming audio were not too shabby. The music was streamed in a Windows Media format, 64kbit for broadband and 32kbit for dial up. I was fortunate that by the time WNYC forced me to the greater pleasures of HOS streaming audio I had broadband. The 64kbit stream was pretty darned good. I always measured the quality of the broadcast on FM by the incredible presence of the short silences between pieces. There was nothing like it anywhere in broadcast radio. The broadband stream was just as clean and bright.

    But, there was no resting on laurels. There is now an incredible flash player. The new web site is beautiful, a work of art filled with works of art. Newly added is an image gallery where one finds images that are appropriate to some of the programs.

    The weekly program is available for free on Sundays. So, if you are interested, give HOS your ear on a Sunday, actually, several Sundays, to try and measure for yourself if this programming and music can be of value to you. If you like what you hear and you want to subscribe, there are several plans at varying prices.

    One warning: if you are ever hooked, you will never go back.

    I hope that you will listen, and then subscribe, and, finally, complete the mission of Hearts of Space – as I define it – by buying the work of the artists and composers you like in whatever format you choose from what ever vendor you choose.

     
    • Eric 3:18 pm on March 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Glad to hear you really enjoy Hearts of Space! Have you ever enjoyed any of the music from Hearts of Space Records? We released some of the great programs from the show as well in the “Best of Hearts of Space” Series (http://www.valley-entertainment.com/artists/best-of-hearts-of-space-series.html).

    • richardmitnick 3:50 pm on March 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Nice to make your acquaintance. I have listened to albums from the HOS web site. I have been a “fan” of HOS so long, I go back to probably PGM 15. If you know the folks at HOS, you can ask about me.

    • Leena Rogres 10:53 am on February 8, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I have every program from #1 to #936. It is pure joy to cycle to the top of the bluff and with my Bose unit (fully charged) watch the mad world below.

    • Septer McNamaste 3:36 pm on June 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I have every program braodcast.

  • richardmitnick 8:26 pm on February 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Classical Music, , , ,   

    A Bone to Pick with The New York Times 

    A Bone to Pick with The New York Times

    So, yes, a bone to pick.

    In many news organs, newspapers, magazines, certainly ezines and the like, readers find that they can make comments on the stories and articles they read. The writer may come back to comment. Or, the writer may leave the readers to their own squabbles.

    But, apparently not so in the NYT. At least, not always.

    The case in point is an article by Anthony Tommasini in the February 12, 2010 issue. This article had as its theme the breaking down of stereotypical genres in the serious music of the day.

    Now, this is important stuff. There is definitely, at least in Mr Tommasini’s back yard, a lot of genre bending going on. There is the Wordless Music Project. There is at (Le) Poisson Rouge in the old Village Gate a new destination for the New York New Music scene. Even the New York Philharmonic is getting into the act with Maestro Gilbert’s announcements concerning his second season, another NYT article we might like to address or attack. We have groups like Ethel and eighth blackbird. We have composers like Nico Muhly and David Lang one of the founders of Bang On A Can. David just won the Pulitzer for his Little Matchgirl Passion.

    And, on radio, we have it all being broadcast and streamed by Q2, the 24/7 eclectic music stream of WQXR. Putting it all in focus is young phenom violist Nadia Sirota on Q2, 12:00-4:00, noon and midnight, with many and varied slants on what is happening.

    Ann Midgette in The Washington Post was able to immediately respond. To her article one could make a comment. She also pointed the reader to a response by Kyle Gann. At The moment, Maestro Gann seems to be not taking comments; but he has in the past, and probably will again.

    In actual fact, Greg Sandow has been thinking about this for a long time, at least as far back as a 2003 article in New Music Box, the blog of the American Music Center, New York City. Looking at that article, there was no chance for comments on what Greg called Alternative Classical, shortened to alt-classical. But, rest assured, if you visit Greg’s current blog at Arts Journal, you will see that Greg is totally with the new environment that the Times is currently spurning. Greg is the Comment King. Sometimes, the comments exceed the total word count of Greg’s incredibly long pieces. And, Greg feeds off of the comments. He responds to some and writes new articles based on others. I wonder if Mr Tommasini reads Mr. Sandow?

    The point is, we the readers of Mr Tommasini’s article are not free to start up with either Mr Tommasini or each other. I view this as a failure of the NYT to keep up with the currency of today’s journalism. What I have described above are the leitmotifs (Pacem, Wagner fans) of the day. They are the bleeding edge. The Riley, Glass, & Reich company is beginning to look so establishment.

    It was the Times’ financial predicament which had it finally ship out WQXR in a triangular sale involving WNYC and a Spanish language station.

    The Times is going through all sorts of agonies to try and figure out its future. One place that it might look, admittedly one small place, is how to keep relevant to the people who read it in print, on line, in RSS, egad, maybe on their iPhones.

    Wake up Sulzbergers.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:53 pm on January 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Classical Music, , , ,   

    Nadia Sirota on Q2 every weekday 12:00-4:00 AM and PM 

    Nadia Sirota on Q2 every weekday 12:00-4:00 AM and PM

    I am supposed to be working, but this would just not wait. Nadia Sirota, the wonderful new violist on the New York City New Music scene, and a member of the group Acme will be hosting on the New WQXR’s 24/7 eclectic web stream Q2, every week day from 12:00-4:00 AM and PM.

    Nadia is the best thing to happen to serious music radio in New York City in a long long time. She was very involved in WNYC’s John Cage project, and also the recent Q2 project “Maximum Reich: A Celebration of Steve Reich

    Nadia is capable of mixing the new with the old. We will hear plenty of both.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:57 pm on January 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Classical Music, , , WCRB,   

    Classical Boston’s Little Secret 

    Classical Boston’s Little Secret

    On December 19, 2009, I posted about the differences and similarities of the WQXR takeover by WNYC and the WGBH takeover of WCRB.

    The subject of the events in Boston has been covered in a variety of places: Scanning the Dial, boston.com, and Doc Searle to mention the most salient.

    The debate about the events in Boston have been characterized by some of the negativity which we have experienced in New York. But one place where there has been no discussion is on the web site of WGBH. At WQXR’s web site, we have the advantage of “blogs” in which we can vent our spleens and insult each other. Instead, the Boston thing is being thrashed out at the sites listed above, and on some forums like The Good Sound Club and Hub Arts.

    In both Boston and New York, there have been many complaints about the diminished range of the transmitters. This is a serious problem. Listeners, and probably members, are being lost. Suggestions about listening on the computer have been dismissed by many.

    But, here is the topic that is most important to me and no one seems to be even aware of it.

    Of the ten on air hosts that one finds on the weekly schedule, fully seven of the hosts are actually Minnesota Public Radio people. You can find them listed at Classical24’s web site, just click on Host biographies.

    So, what this means is that the Classical music listenership and membership in Boston, one of the great cultural meccas of the world, is being fed the pabulum of Classical 24, a subscription service (read “rental”) offered by Minnesota Public Radio. One noted Classical music critic described services such as Classical 24 as “musical wallpaper” designed not to intrude.

    At Scanning the Dial, Marty Ronish posted about a meeting to discuss the whole situation. Checkout Marty’s post. I really like the line about “a Minneapolis syndicate”. Sounds sort of like The Mob.

    I am very thankful that things have not come to this in New York at WQXR. I hope that we can stay afloat without recourse to such happenings. I think that the listeners and members in Boston deserve better.

     
    • Larry Genola 10:01 pm on January 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I just found out about these changes! So WCRB is mostly just playing canned music? Taped music disguised as a live deejay? Did any Boston deejays loose their job when they started playing taped music from Minnesota?

      A quality community radio station would play music handpicked by local experts from that community. Someone familiar with the tastes of local listeners should be playing the music. How can a taped program from Minnesota understand what works in the Boston arts groups and venues? Force feeding the public generic music from Minnesota is below the standards Boston deserves. Why would this radio station, with it’s access to all the cultural resources of Boston, start acting like a podunk small station that doesn’t know how to program it’s own music and needs help from Minnesota doing it?

      We don’t need WCRB to hear that taped Minnesota show, that is already syndicated on other stations and can be streamed over the internet via computer at home or iPhone in your car. Why donate to WCRB for taped music that is already easily available to us elsewhere? WCRB needs to be providing the community something unique. Cut the canned music!

    • richardmitnick 10:27 pm on January 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Well, Larry, I don’t know who you are or where you live. I don’t recognize your name from any of the forums where this has been discussed. But, you seem to be sincere. And, frankly, with the little reaction I have seen from ‘proper” Bostonians, I have no reason to doubt your sincerity.

      I suspect that WGBH is not oriented toward music. They seem to be oriented to squabbling over bragging rights with WBUR. So, not only does WGBH want all of its air time for talk, it also wants all of its money for talk. Taking Classical 24 from Minnesota Public Radio, described in Boston as ” a Minneapolis syndicate…” is saving them a lot of money.

      The only hint of Classical 24 on the 99.5 web page is that the shows in yellow on the weekly schedule are all MPR people. Local hosts are in blue.

      I looked around http://www.publicradiofan.com at other stations using Classical 24. Mostly what I found the stations using the service were not hiding it. So that is why I called this post “Boston’s Little Secret”.

      If you live in the Boston area, get angry and do something about it. Search on WCRB, find the forums, blogs, whatever, participate in the debate, try to get some sort of movement going to financially punish this offensive behavior.

    • richardmitnick 5:22 pm on January 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Larry Genola

      I just saw your post on the Boston Musical Intelligencer!! Great!!

    • Richard Buell 1:57 am on January 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      RM — “The Air This Week” (http://theairthisweek.blogspot.com/) deserves to be on your Blogroll. I say this shamelessly, as an interested party.

      • richardmitnick 7:47 am on January 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Nothing like shameless self-promotion. I did it in about three minutes. You provide a really valuable service.

  • richardmitnick 12:52 am on December 26, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Classical Music, ,   

    Christmas Eve at Farley’s Bookshop 

    Christmas Eve at Farley’s Bookshop

    Last night, we made our annual Christmas Eve pilgrimage to Farley’s Bookshop in Hew Hope, PA. We have been doing this now for about fifteen years. On Christmas Eve, I need to say hello to Jim Farley, the proprietor.

    Farley’s is the best book store I have ever visited.

    On Christmas Eve, Farley’s is open late and is festive. There are always quite a few of Jim’s regulars there. We might be classed as the irregulars.

    Years ago, I started buying the works of John McPhee there, because Jim had his books on the shelf. Any other book store I visited looking for this author would tell me they could order up what I wanted.

    When I began studying Western Theology and Mysticism, Farley’s was the shop with the widest variety of the most important books in print.

    These days, I am buying books on Classical music and Jazz. Again, Farley’s is the right place to go.

    Jazz Loft Project

    Jim Farley has an engaging personality. He dreams of far away places and the finer aspects of a well lived life. But he knows that his heart is and always will be in New Hope.

    I hope that Jim has an alert set and might see this post.

     
    • Edward Sonner 2:23 pm on January 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Yes… I have visited Farley’s Bookshop many times over the last three (plus) decades; including the times he was on Ferry Street. I believe it was called The New Delaware Bookstore or something like that Creeping Senility keeps me from being sure) It is the kind of shop that you can roam and discover books you never thought you wanted, but find out that you NEED them. It is amazing how many books he has managed to CRAM into such a small store. It is a New Hope institution that should not be missed.

    • richardmitnick 5:48 pm on January 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Edward-
      I am extra glad for your reply. I too believe that it was the New Delaware Bookstore. No one else in 20 years has been able to confirm this to me. I have always called it “Farley’s New Delaware Bookstore”. So, senility be damned, both yours and mine. Do you remember the oldish codger who used to be at the counter? Nice enough fellow, if a bit crusty. Once when I said I did not need help, he replied, “…Yes, that’s right, we depend on our customers to be able to find their own stuff….” But, it was in a nice jokey way.

      I have loved the place for as long as I can remember.

      Thanks so much for sharing your history and your thoughts with me.

    • Sondra Flesch 6:25 pm on January 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Farley’s is truly one of my favorite places to be….. I hope I can try it on Christmas Eve someday as you have. Each Farley, Jim, Nancy, Jennifer, and Rebekah have added their hearts to the atmosphere throw in the intelligence they all have and it makes a bookstore that’s a pleasure to walk in to.

    • Edward 6:29 pm on January 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      That “oldish codger’ … I think his name was Christopher.. again… my mind is not as sharp as it was back then. He was a real card and I am sure it sounds like something he might say. I am not sure but i think I heard he is now joking with customers in that Great Bookstore in the Sky.

    • richardmitnick 7:35 pm on January 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I sent Jim Farley an email, asking him to look at us. I hope he sees us and that it warms a bit his January.

    • Michael 5:19 pm on January 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I’m not sure if Jim will respond or not, but I wanted to let you all know that Jim has indeed been uplifted by all your comments, I’ve worked at the store since I was in 8th grade all through college and now while I work on my Master’s degree. It’s always nice to hear that people appreciate our store, we do seem to have a “charm” all our own. Thank you all for your kind comments, we hope to be here for many more years to come.

    • richardmitnick 5:48 pm on January 14, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Michael-

      Thanks so much for your comment. I guess we accomplished our goal, we let you guys know how much we appreciate what is much more than just a store with books.

      >>RSM

  • richardmitnick 11:10 am on December 19, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Classical Music, , , ,   

    Paul Winter Consort – Winter Solstice 2009 Concert 

    Paul Winter Consort – Winter Solstice 2009 Concert is now available for listening.

    This concert is given annually in New York City at The Cathedral of St John the Divine. This is the 29th year of this festival of international sound, a reunion for many of Paul Winter’s musical associates.

    The host, as usual, is none other than John Schaefer of WNYC New York Public Radio, where he hosts New Sounds and Soundcheck

    Give yourself a treat and listen to the two parts of this concert.

     
    • richardmitnick 2:56 pm on December 28, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Your reply was caught by our spam blocker. I saw no trace of anything bad, so I let your comment through. But, I would like to know just what it is that brings you to my weblog post.

      I need your reply to be in English.

      Thanks.

  • richardmitnick 1:36 am on December 19, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Classical Music, , ,   

    Boston and New York 

    Boston and New York

    Recently in Boston, WGBH took over the operations of WCRB, a commercial Classical Music station and shipped off to this outlet all of its musical programming.

    At first blush, this looks like a repeat of what has recently happened in New York City. WNYC purchased the operations of WQXR. To recap events in New York City, while certain music related programming like Soundcheck and New Sounds have remained at WNYC 93.9 FM and the 93.9 web stream, music qua music is aired at WQXR FM 105.9 and the 105.9 128kbit web stream. WNYC2, the 24/7 music web stream, has become Q2, streaming at 128kbit stereo, and has remained as eclectic as was WNYC2.

    Back to Boston. First, I cannot even find a link for WCRB, everything I try, including a search, brings me back to WGBH. Maybe someone can correct me on this, and give me a link to WCRB.

    Second, while we at WNYC/WQXR are able to express our opinions in comment pages provided by parent WNYC, I found no such facilitiy at the WBGH web site. Searching for comments on the changes in Boston, I wound up at boston.com, a service of the Boston Globe newspaper. I found nothing at WGBH. Maybe someone can point out the error in my search.

    At another weblog, someone wrote that the citizenry in Boston appeared to be less irritated than the citizenry of New York City. But that is not how the comments at the Boston.com article seemed to me. They were in the main negative, but, I must admit, without the vitriol of the comments I have read at WQXR.

    What needs to be understood is that these two situations are but the tip of the iceberg, examples in cities big enough to draw a crowd. This shipping off of Classical music programming to HD radio (for cars?) and the internet (generally the same stream as HD radio) is going on all over the country because of reduced listenership at commercial stations, reduced membership at PubRadio outlets, just an overall diminution of availability for a variety of reasons. A great place to read about this is in the archives at a great weblog, Scanning the Dial. There is nothing new in the Boston or New York situations.

    I am a Public Radio zealot, WNYC fanatic, and now a WQXR cheerleader. I think that we in New York City, and I have to say also, the Classical music listeners in Boston, are fortunate that our local institutions, WNYC and WBGH, have found ways to keep Classical music on FM. This is the hard choice, the choice which may or may not pay for itself. The easy choice, taken by so many of the outlets discussed over the passed year at Scanning the Dial, is the internet, with its obvious limitations of tethering to the house or office.

    I think that WQXR will be okay, and I certainly hope the same is true for WCRB.

     
    • Clarence 4:55 pm on December 29, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Richard: Jeremy Eichler, the Boston Globe’s classical critic, wrote about WCRB on Dec. 18 and there are 73 comments, many of them echoing the signal complaints and music-playlist issues that greeted the WQXR changeover.

    • richardmitnick 5:11 pm on December 29, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Hey Clarence-

      Yes, this is the article to which I referred above. But go to http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/doc/2009/07/26/why-wqxr-is-better-off-as-a-public-radio-station/comment-page-2/#comment-230863, and you will see a guy named Tom defending the whoole Boston thing as if it is far better than what has happened in New York wirh WQXR.

      I am a staunch WNYC fanatic, and I am a Q2 listener at WQXR. Q2 is the eclectic music web stream which was wnyc2. But I am a WQXR cheerleader because ZI want to see this adventure succeed. I canot accept the criticisms of WNYC leveled by Tom as being unjaundiced.

      Thanks for your comment.

  • richardmitnick 9:08 pm on December 8, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Classical Music, , ,   

    Some really cool connections 

    Some really cool connections

    First, in the Jazz Loft Radio Project, at WNYC which is a partner of The Jazz Loft Project being managed by the Center for Documentary Studies, in Epsisode 2, Sara Fishko talks about the work of the photographer W Eugene Smith, who was responsible for the Jazz loft. One of the photos is of Smith’s son and daughter walking into what looks like a halo of summer light. The photo was used in Carl Sandburg’s book “The Family of Man”. It was the last photo in the book. I have the book. The photo was used by E.R. Squibb & Sons, my dad’s employer at the time, in a advertisement. I think the ad was titled “security”. My parents found and purchased an oil painting of the picture. I have the oil painting.

    [The Jazz Loft was organized and managed by Life photographer W.Eugene Smith in 1954. It lasted until about 1965. It was a loft in the Flower District in Manhattan. After about 1:00PM until about 3:00-4:00AM, this district is empty of people. So, Jazz musicians could congregate there after their club gigs and jam all night. Which they did.

    Smith set up sound equipment and reel-to-reel tape recorders and recorded thousands of hours and miles and miles of tape. The center piece of the radio series involves Thelonious Monk getting ready and rehearsing for his famous 1959 Town Hall project. But, for a Jazz fan, there is much much more,including a book, “The Jazz Loft Project: Photographs and Tapes of W. Eugene Smith from 821 Sixth Avenue, 1957-1965 [DECKLE EDGE] (Hardcover) .]

    jazz loft book

    Second, one of the major figures of the Jazz Loft was Hall Overton, by day a Classical Music faculty member at Julliard, but by night a Jazz pianist and teacher at the Jazz Loft. So, in one interview segment of Maximum Reich
    at WQXR’s Q2, a 1999 New Sounds program, Steve Reich describes Hall Overton as his “first teacher”.

    Third, on that same program is Mark Stewart, of the Bang On A Can All-Stars plays the single live part for the piece “Electric Counterpoint”, a piece for thirteen electric guitars written for Pat Metheny. Pat Metheny is on the twelve recorded tracks. Well, it is the same Mark Stewart who plays some lead guitar on Paul Simon’s 2000 Paris “You’re the One” concert

    You're the one

     
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