Archive for December, 2022

Happy New Year – Favorites of 2022!

A list of random favorites from 2022!

Favorite Book: Confronting Silence by Toru Takemitsu (I read this almost every year)

Favorite Espresso: Sleeping Monk, Cannon Beach, Oregon & Kaha Coffee, Amesbury, Mass

Favorite Coffee Drink: Cortado

Favorite Cheese Shop: Formaggio Kitchen

Favorite Concert Halls: Tie: Little Bridges at Pomona College and Ruby G. Schulman Auditorium, Carlsbad

Favorite Croissants: Ma France, Lexington, MA • Lofty Coffee Company, Encinitas, CA

Favorite Tacos: Aria Korean Street Food, Larkin St, San Francisco, CA

Favorite Day: Tie: Birthday and Performing

Favorite Ornaments: Bach’s Little Prelude in C Minor, BWV 934, B sections SPOTIFY

Favorite Duos with Guitar: 3 Vintage Portraits by Antonio Celso Ribeiro for viola and guitar YOUTUBE

Favorite Guitar Strings: Hannabach, Trebles: Exclusive • Bass: 900 Silver 200

Favorite Headphones: Grado, Brooklyn, NY

Favorite Home Espresso Maker: La Pavoni, pictured 1984 Professional

Least Bad Airlines: Alaska, JetBlue, United: each allows guitars on board.

Favorite Fugue on Guitar: “Fiddle” Fugue in A Minor, BWV 539-1000 SPOTIFY

Favorite Day: Practice

Favorite Cut: Fermin Jamon Iberico Bellota

Favorite way to relax: Cathar Yoga

Favorite hand/fingers stretch: 90s

Favorite Coast: East to live, West to visit

Favorite Music Journal: Moleskine Art Music Notebook (out of print?)

Favorite Lesson: Each action and sound reverberates around the world, so let our actions be great and our sounds beautiful.

Favorite Music Discoveries (very limited): Ann Moss, Amanda Gookin, Miguel del Aguila, Andree-Ann Deschenes

Favorite Number: 3.3 million. Streams since November 2021

Favorite John Cage Discovery: Cheap Imitation arranged by Morton Feldman

Favorite video for viola and guitar by a Brazilian composer: Three Vintage Portraits of Exquisite Ladies Expressing Their Frame of Mind by Antonio Celso Ribeiro


Music I am #5 – Johnathan McCullough, baritone

1.    The moment when you knew you wanted to be a musician:
Los Angeles Opera and Opera Pacific Opera camps are what affirmed my decision to go into the arts in college. Performing Oppenheimer in Doctor Atomic is what confirmed it for me that this was the career I wanted to go after. 
2.     An important skill for a career in music that does not have anything to do with an instrument or making music:

I think organizational skills and good communication are essential. 

3.     Two ways you stay motivated:
Determination to outdo myself and conceiving new projects
4.     Latest album or recording project:
Soldier Songs by David T. Little

4a.     What inspired it:
Mental Health in the veteran community
4b.     Who’s on it:
Myself, Corrado Rovaris, Philadelphia Opera Orchestra members, Elizabeth Braden, and Grant Loehnig
5.     How do you discover new music?
Talking to people like you!
6.     One living and one dead musician that deserves more attention:
Brian Petuch! His opera Portrait and Dream is stunning! 
7.     Where can we find you online?

Doctor Atomic at Curtis (Photo by Karlie Cadel)

Soldier Songs (photo by Phil Bradshaw)


Music I Am #4 – Elena Ruehr, composer

1.    The moment when you knew you wanted to be a musician:
When I was a senior in high school and realized there was nothing else I wanted to do.
2.     An important skill for a career in music that does not have anything to do with an instrument or making music:
Being an efficient and savvy business person.
3.     Two ways you stay motivated:
I’m inspired by the musician/performers I work with and also by my students at MIT.
4.     Latest album or recording project:
4a.     What inspired it:
The performers and the stories I wanted to tell–it’s all program music. The first piece on the recording, A Thousand Cranes, is the story of children of war, inspired by the experiences the Delgani’s violist Kimberlee Uwate told me about her grandparents during WWII. The second piece was inspired by the story of Icarus, but told from the point of view of relationship of father and son working together. The Worlds Revolve, third on the CD, is inspired by poetry of T.S. Eliot. Lastly is Insect Dances which was written as a work for listeners of all ages, and is now an animated film for kids and adults.
4b.     Who’s on it:
Borromeo, Delgani and Arneis Quartets with Donald Berman and Jon Manassee
5.     How do you discover new music?
By listening to my friends and colleagues music.
6.     One living and one dead musician that deserves more attention:
Living is composer Reena Esmail: I think she is the next most cool up and coming young composer. Dead musician is my old teacher Vincent Persichetti, whose music is lovely and not performed as much as it should be.
7.     Where can we find you online?

Elena Ruehr, Composer


2022 Year in Review


slight return

moments of normalcy

new artistic directions

Catching up

Dreams realized

musical Adventures

2022 By the Numbers (see below for expansion):

  • Premieres: 12
  • Concerts: 26 
  • Espresso: 730-750 (~2 per day)
  • Albums: 2 
  • Cassettes: 1 
  • Publications:
  • Collaborations: 8
  • Music with electronics: 2
  • Interviews & Podcasts: 8 
  • Grants: 2 
  • Grants Applied for:
  • Interviews conducted: 5
  • Residencies: 2
  • Classes: 12
  • Streams: 2.5 million
  • Amazing Street Tacos:
  • Pieces performed: 79

I know it’s arbitrary, but I would prefer our calendars marked the New Year in the spring, at least in to the Northern Hemisphere. That said, when I awoke on January 1, 2022 I did not know what to expect. 

My album ‘A Guitar Holiday’ was reaching people via streaming in ways I had never experienced (1-million streams to date!)

I was deep into composing what would become ‘honey cadence.’

A few concerts were on the calendar, but it did not feel like Covid had released us from its terrible grasp.

Coupled with the terror of Jan. 6, I knew I needed to focus on Art and appreciate each moment of living and creating.

I began the process of getting back to performing with classes and a concert at Framingham State University before embarking on my first tour since Covid: California!

APRIL TOUR: San Francisco State University –>Museum of Northern California Art, Chico–> Center For New Music, SF –> CSU Bakersfield –> Cal Poly Pomona –> Guitar Solo International (VIDEOS). SEE California Tour Pictures

While on the tour in California, I received news that I had been awarded a grant from the Boston Mayor’s Office for Arts & Culture to produce a series of 5 contemporary music concerts being held in my neighborhood between August and November under my series Now Musique.

Each concert brought composers to Dorchester for performances of their new lullabies and works for guitar + electronics. Read and see pictures HERE.

Upon returning to Boston, honey cadence, the first album dedicated to my own music was released. Mixed and mastered by the great Steve Hunt, I was not expecting much, as who knew if my music would touch people. Needless to say, I was happily surprised to go quickly through the first printing of CDs, and then see it was picked up on a few streaming playlists and it now has 1 million streams since its release in April!
It is my most popular album, which is a bit surreal. And no, my Mom does not do streaming.

My June concerts in Oregon began with an interview and performance on Thursdays @ Three with Christa Wessel for All Classical Portland before performing two solo programs in Portland for CDZ Musica and another at the wonderful Coaster Theatre Playhouse.

Seeing friends and walking on the beach felt like returning home. 

In June I recorded God’s Time: Music of J.S. Bach on Guitar, which was released in September. Featuring 16 of my own arrangements, it was recorded over 3 days and mixed and mastered by the wonderful Paul Averginos. The reviews have been stellar and I’m extremely proud of the album.

I set out to create a Bach album that was not like every other Bach Guitar album.

Mine would explore pieces not often played on the guitar, create new repertoire (a bit of a habit of mine), and bring a fresh voice to a couple of well known works, and I think I did that.

The responses to God’s Time have been overwhelmingly positive.

With over 300K streams since its release, I can’t wait to do another! Read and watch HERE.

One of the great difficulties of Covid was not being able to collaborate with wonderful musicians. Thankfully I had three performances with harpsichordist Frederick Jodry in Boston, Cape Cod, and Newport. Pianist John Thomas improvised over my own compositions in Provincetown – a first, and I joined Convergence Ensemble in November for three duos, two solos, and two quartets in an exhilarating concert titled Strings Galore. Libby Larsen’s Cajun Set was extra special!

I returned to Southern California in November for a series of classes and concerts. Being amongst friends and musicians for more than a day or two was inspiring extremely inspiring. I worked with students of guitarist-artist Peter Yates at UCLA, collaborated with Tom Flaherty and Buzz Gravelle at Pomona College, performed in La Jolla and Carlsbad, and ate amazing tacos!

Even while touring, I kept up with my students. In August we held our first student recital since Covid with players ranging in age of 14-62, and were gifted a wonderful Fernando Sor song with soprano Jessica Cooper.

At the end of November I kicked off my new blog series Music I Am, featuring brief interviews with inspiring and smart musicians and artists about their latest projects, inspirations, and habits. Check it out HERE.

Wishing all of you a happy and healthy year ahead. May 2023 be a year of wonderful music, exciting adventures, and Dreams Realized.



2022 Numbers Expanded

  • Premieres: 12 – Dennis Bathory-Kitsz, Antonio Celso Ribeiro, Dean Rosenthal, Thomas L. Read, Laurie Spiegel, Ian Wiese, Aaron Larget-Caplan
  • Concerts: 26 – California, Oregon, Massachusetts, which is still well below pre-covid concert numbers.
  • Espresso: 730-50 (~2 per day on average) – mainly cappuccino and Cortado
  • Albums: 2 – honey cadence and God’s Time: Music of J.S. Bach on Guitar
  • Cassettes: 1 – Etudes Volume 1 by Petridisch 
  • Publications: 3 – Bacchanale w/ Edition Peters and two Meet The Composer articles for the American Composers Alliance 
  • Collaborations: Frederick Jodry – harpsichord, John Thomas – piano; Convergence Ensemble: Heidi Braun-Hill – violin, Michelle LaCourse – viola, Hyun-Ji Kwon – cello
  • Music with electronics: 2 – Lainie Fefferman & Tom Flaherty
  • Interviews & PodcastsAll Classical Portland, Conducting Conversations Rhode IslandAll things Six Strings (2x), Just One Question, Guitaromanie, Fret Not
  • Grants: 3 – Mayor’s Office of Arts & Culture, multiple Local Cultural Council
  • Grants Applied for:
  • Interviews conducted: 5 – Music I Am blog series
  • Residencies: 2 Kirkland Community Artist Residency, Clinton, New York • Now Musique – Dorchester, Mass.
  • Classes: 12 – California, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island
  • Streams: 2.5 million – Amazon and Spotify
  • Teaching: In person and online with students from California, China, Georgia, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Texas.
  • Amazing Street Tacos: 2 – San Francisco Korean Tacos and Los Angeles street tacos
  • Pieces performed: 79 compositions by 34 living composers, including 7 chamber works, 12 world premieres, and 29 solos from the New Lullaby Project

* Now Musique Composers TL: John McDonald, Stanley Hoffman, Charles Turner, Aaron Larget-Caplan TR: Larget-Caplan, Ronald Pearl, Brian Schober, Scott Wheeler BL: Tom Flaherty, Larget-Caplan, Stefanie Lubkowski, Ian Wiese, Dennis Bathory-Kitsz BR: Anthony Green, Francine Trester, Jim Dalton, Michael Veloso, Larget-Caplan, Curtis Hughes

Music I Am #3 – Tom Nazziola, composer

1.    The moment when you knew you wanted to be a musician:
9 years old or so
2.     An important skill for a career in music that does not have anything to do with an instrument or making music:
Communicate with others
3.     Two ways you stay motivated:
Exercise regularly and imagine new projects
4.     Latest album or recording project:
Immovable Do
4a.     What inspired it:
Bach preludes and the minimalist aesthetic
4b.     Who’s on it:
Wade Culbreath and myself
5.     How do you discover new music?
I listen to recommendations by my peers.
6.     One living and one dead musician that deserves more attention:
Living: I really don’t have an answer for this one.
Dead: Lennie Tristano
7.     Where can we find you online?

Tom Nazziola, Composer

* Tom wrote ‘Lull-a-by-the-sea’ for Aaron’s New Lullaby Project.

Chamber Music with Convergence Ensemble

On Sunday November 20th at Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church in Dorchester, I had the pleasure of collaborating on an exciting program of chamber music for Convergence Ensemble with three wonderful musicians: violinist Heidi Braun-Hill, violist Michelle LaCourse, cellist Hyun-Ji Kwon, and myself. 

Strings Galore featured music duos with guitar for violin, viola, and cello by John Cage, Antonio Celso Ribeiro, and Thomas L. Read, as well two quartets for strings and guitar by Roland Dyens and Libby Larsen. A trio by Beethoven, and two guitar solos by Bach and yours truly rounded out the program.

Directed by Rachel Goodwin, Convergence Ensemble seeks to stimulate, support, and inspire stronger connections within and between New England communities through chamber music concerts and community enrichment programs. 

This was my first collaboration with Convergence Ensemble and the musician, and it was awesome!

Rarely do I have the pleasure of sharing 40min of chamber music, and relatively new chamber music, in a single concert. 

Huge thanks to Rachel Goodwin, Rose Hegel, and the Convergence Ensemble board for organizing the concert.

To the composers and friends Antonio Celso Ribeiro and Thomas L. Read, and to the lovely musicians who were gems to create music with.

We will be performing more, so stay tuned!



Microphone by Your Heaven Audio. Guitar strings by Hannabach

REVIEW: honey cadence, Fanfare

LARGET-CAPLAN Honey Cadence.     Aaron Larget-Caplan (gtr)    (Streaming audio: 22:44)  also available on Amazon, Amazon Music, Apple Music, Bandcamp and Deezer

FANLINK – Streaming

This well-recorded and superbly performed album is something of a meditation on tone and variations of timbre by guitarist/composer Aaron Larget-Caplan. The composer aims at “meditative intimacy,” something we hear in similar ways in the first two tracks, Sweet Nuance and Honey Cadence. Couple this with the sense of improvization that can lead to unexpected timbral areas (the chordal passage in Honey Cadence, for example), and you get a nicely variegated soundscape.

The experience is significantly heightened by the actual quality of the recording, which exudes a sense of space that supports the meditative basis; in some ways the sound has points of contact with Apple’s “Spatial Audio” in being clear yet somehow floaty (ironicaly on Apple Music, it is only available in lossless format). Grammy-winning Kabir Sehgal is Larget-Caplan’s co-producer in this project with Larget-Caplan himself overseeing the engineering aspect. It is impressive, as it has an effect on how one experiences the music and perhaps particularly the third track, Moving Still, which is cast in a language surely influenced by Philip Glass. Too much reverb, and the effect would be too ambient, and tend too much towards “mood music”. Instead, the clarity and definition enables the music to transcend above that to a higher state, particularly with the (pardon the pun) “glassy” punctuating high treble effects later on in the piece. There is some nicely judged two-part counterpoint later on, too.

I remain unsure as to the meaning of the title of Minding Play, but musically this strikes me as one of the weaker tracks in terms of inspiration. In contrast, Hidden Anticipation offers a veritable panorama of textures and timbres while its incessant flow seems to carry the melodies ever forwards.

Rather nice, after the first track’s Sweet Nuance, to have a final track entitled Slight Nuance. It is actually one of the longer tracks, and loses its way a little while remaining true to the eminently pleasant nature of this music. The most transfixing aspect of this EP release remains Larget-Caplan’s clear guitar artistry, though. Colin Clarke

four stars: The most transfixing aspect of this EP release is Larget-Caplan’s clear guitar artistry.

*This article originally appeared in Issue 46:1 (Sept/Oct 2022) of Fanfare Magazine.

For a signed CD go to Bandcamp or contact Aaron directly

* ~1 million streams since its release in April 2022!

Music I Am #2 – Gene Caprioglio, musician

Aaron:    The moment when you knew you wanted to be a musician:
Gene: I was playing a duet with my guitar teacher, and suddenly, it all fit perfectly together. This triggered a great feeling of exhilaration. Ah, so this is what it’s all about.
Aaron:    An important skill for a career in music that does not have anything to do with an instrument or making music:
Gene: What are commonly defined as people skills. You can be a great musician, but you also need to be able to relate to and feel comfortable with all kinds of people. This applies to relating to the audience from the stage, but also in the offices of bookers with others musician and just about everybody.
Aaron:   Two ways you stay motivated:
Gene: I like to continually have new ideas brewing and projects in the works. Do not get into the rut of doing the same material the same way all the time. Always think about growing and the next idea. It also helps to remember that you only have so much time on this planet, so don’t waste any time. It becomes more urgent as you age, but hey, you never know when you are going to go, so get all that stuff done that you want to do.
Aaron: Latest album or recording project:
Gene: My most recent project was a song/video I did called Space Dust.
Aaron:    What inspired it:
Gene: I had been reading about how microscopic particles are continually finding their way to earth. They are called cosmic dust or space dust. I had some thoughts about it, and a song was born. You can see it here:
Aaron:    Who’s on it:
Gene: My wife, Paule Diamond and I, did all the music. I did the video.
Aaron:    How do you discover new music?
Gene: I still listen to the radio. I go out to hear music as often as possible. Streaming has made it so easy to hear new music too. I even listen to the Spotify Weekly Discovery playlist.
Aaron:   One living and one dead musician that deserves more attention:
Gene: I’d have to go with Sister Rosetta Tharpe for my dead musician. She has been getting a bit more recognition, but not nearly as much as she deserves. There are so many living musicians that could use more attention, but I’ll stick with the gals and go with Mary Halvorson. Not a complete unknown, but not a household name either.
Aaron:    Where can we find you online?
Facebook: Gene Caprioglio
Facebook: The Bumper Crop Boys – Gene’s main Band
Spotify: The Bumper Crop Boys

Gene Caprioglio

The Bumper Crop Boys