Archive for the ‘Artists’ Category

Music I Am #1 – Ruth Hertz Weber

1.    The moment when you knew you wanted to be a musician:

From the time I was 4 my mom would sit me on the piano bench with her and we would play and sing songs together. It made me so happy and I knew that I wanted to do that for the rest of my life.

2.     An important skill for a career in music that does not have anything to do with an instrument or making music:

I think the most important skill you can cultivate is maintaining positivity! People you meet, collaborate with, and perform for are going to feel this from you and it is contagious! Once you get in the habit of maintaining a positive attitude it starts becoming automatic.

3.     Two ways you stay motivated:

I like listening to all types of music, and many times I listen to a genre that I am not familiar with so I can get new ideas and try and use those musical ideas in my own style of music. Hearing all these new types of music gets me interested in creating!

4.     Latest album or recording project:

My daughter and I released a new single a few months ago called The Music to My Life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4a.     What inspired it?

I was inspired to write a song with a new collaborator, Mike Greenly, when he mentioned to me how devastated he was at the passing of his husband, a very famous D.J during the disco era. He called him, “The Music to his words.” I suggested we write a song about that and dedicate it to his memory. We ended up writing, “The Music to My Life,” and dedicating it to anyone who has lost a soulmate or someone they loved very deeply.

4b.     Who’s on it?

I did the arranging on this single and my daughter, Emilia Lopez-Yañez was the featured vocalist on the song.

5.     How do you discover new music?

I discover new music in many different ways. I find classical music that I enjoy by attending concerts and listening to recommendations of musician friends, and I find other types of music I like by searching streaming sites like Spotify or youtube.

6.     One living and one dead musician that deserves more attention:

I am very inspired by the singer/songwriter Jeff Blumenkrantz. He is an actor and singer/songwriter. His songs have such insight and depth in their lyrics and have amazing harmonies underneath them that illustrate the text really well. As far as a dead musician that I think deserves more attention I would have to say my late songwriting teacher Jack Segal. Jack wrote many songs which became hits back in the day, and also that appeared in movies like Star Trek, but they have kind of disappeared now. He had a group of young songwriters that he taught and mentored, and that I was fortunate to be a part of. Many of those writers are very successful now and carry on his legacy. His songs are still very relevant today and are very worth checking out!

 

7.     Where can we find you online?

Website

Kids music website

Spotify

Ruth Hertz Weber

 

Thank you California!

A wonder of gratitude to the people who helped make my 2-weeks in Southern California a great adventure!

There is not enough room for all the pictures and pages could be written about each of the Artists and amazing people I was able to meet and collaborate with. Please see below for links to many of them.

Until the next concert,
Aaron

Here are some worth checking out in the photos:

Robert and Katherine Bender – Karob Studios

Buzz Gravelle – Cal Poly Pomona faculty and Fretless guitars

Peter Yates – Multi-media Artist, Guitarist, UCLA faculty

Adrienne Albert – Composer

Cellista – Musician & Performance Artist

Tom Flaherty – Composer, Pomona Faculty

Gisel Vincent – Artist

 

Some picture locations:

Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, La Jolla

Schulman Auditorium, Carlsbad

Tacos on the side of the road, Santa Monica

Lofty Coffee, Encinitas

 

Strings Galore – Convergence Ensemble

Sunday Nov. 20 • The Convergence Ensemble presents ‘Strings Galore’ a chamber music concert.

Program
Prelude 1, BWV 846 – J.S. Bach
sweet nuance
– Aaron Larget-Caplan
from Six Melodies – John Cage, Arr. Larget-Caplan
Trio – Beethoven
Three Vintage Portraits of Exquisite Ladies Expressing Their Frame of Mind –
Antonio Celso Ribeiro
Concert Champêtre – Thomas L. Read,
Cajun Set
– Libby Larsen  – Gringalet • French Blues • Joe Ferail (Whoop and Stomp)
Tango en Skaï – Roland Dyens, trio arr. Dyens

Musicians: guitarist Aaron Larget-Caplan, violist Michelle LaCourse,
violinist Heidi Braun-Hill and cellist Hyun-Ji Kwon.

Time: 4pm
Location: 
St. Mary’s Church, at 14 Cushing Ave. Boston, MA, 02125
Admission: $15 suggested donation, Students Free
Information
https://www.convergenceensemble.org/

Book – Glenn Kurtz’s ‘Practicing – A Musicians Return To Music’

I think it was 2008 when I met the writer Glenn Kurtz. Like myself, he was an alumnus of the New England Conservatory and had studied with David Leisner. It was Leisner who recommended Glenn reach out to me.

Reading-Recital in NYC, 2013

Glenn’s book, his first, ‘Practicing – A Musicians Return To Music had just been published by Knopf and he was looking to include a some guitar music during his reading at the Harvard Book Store in Cambridge. I agreed on the condition I would receive a signed copy, which I still cherish. In 2013, Glenn and I performed a few reading-recitals together in Boston and New York. We paired excerpts from his books with the matching pieces. A truly unique and wonderful experience, which attendees still ask me about!

‘Practicing – A Musicians Return To Music’ is an exquisite exploration of guitar history and teaching, and gives a nice glimpse of conservatory life from the eyes of a young musician. The personal story is based on his journals from the time and his desire to explore the musical flame that was such an important part of his life for so many years, but which was no longer. The personal trials and feelings of self doubt regarding “the path” of being a young musician are at time heart-wrenching, but they are always real. Though Glenn did not become the next Segovia, and I have no doubt that is completely fine with him, he inspired my saying, “once a guitarist always a guitarist”. Glenn is a beautiful writer and I highly recommend this book to all, guitar lovers or not.

Book Link–> https://amzn.to/3ssYStn

Have you read the book or heard Glenn read or speak about it? Did it inspire or possibly scare you?

Practicing: A Musician's Return to Music: Kurtz, Glenn: 9780307278753: Amazon.com: Books

https://amzn.to/3ssYStn

 

Video – España Cañi – Gypsy Spain

One of my most popular videos, España Cañi by Pascual Marquina is a classical music standard, though not for guitar! Originally written for orchestra there are few transcriptions for guitar solo. I made this at the request of the phenomenal flamenco and bolero dancer Gabriela Granados.

This is the premiere performance in 2011 in Springfield, Massachusetts and filmed on point and shoot camera. Who knew it would take off!?

My arrangement has changed in a few places since 2011, but the energy and excitement of the music remains central to the realization. It combines classical and flamenco techniques into a serious solo. You can find scores (tab and standard notation) in my website STORE.

Book: The Music of John Cage

The Music of John Cage by James Pritchett

The first biography of John Cage!
I read this book in early 2012 as I was starting my journey of arranging Cage’s Six Melodies for violin and guitar. Though many of the ideas were quite new to me, I found the writing accessible and the ideas exhilarating. Many of the concerts I had experienced as a student at the New England Conservatory made much more sense!

Book: https://amzn.to/3B5tsL8 • ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

From Amazon: James Pritchett describes just what it was Cage did and why and how he did it. The book is centered around extensive descriptions of the most important works and compositional techniques, including in-depth explanations of the role of chance and indeterminacy in Cage’s music. Dr Pritchett also considers the relationship of Cage’s musical thought to his interests in such diverse subjects as Eastern philosophy and religion, Marshall McLuhan, and anarchism (among many others). This book thus makes the essential introduction to Cage’s musical world.

• Listen to the Podcast ALL THINGS CAGE: Conversation about John Cage. hosted by John Cage Trust director Laura Kuhn. In these episodes Kuhn interviews author James Pritchett.

March 6, 2021 https://wavefarm.org/radio/wgxc/schedule/rrv64j
March 8, 2021 https://wavefarm.org/radio/wgxc/schedule/4ptxqx

*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Books: Mysticism of Sound and Music

The Mysticism of Sound and Music: The Sufi Teaching of Hazrat Inayat Khan

Hazrat Inayat Khan (1882-1927) wrote one of the most influential books on music and sound that I have experienced. Recommended to me when I was an undergraduate by the late New England Conservatory educator/provost and sitar player Peter Row, the book delves into the power of sound as experienced through the Sufism and music of South India. It is not enough for me to say it has had an effect on my approach to music and life. I think of it daily with every tuning of my strings. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

https://amzn.to/3sFhODm

*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Stone Records Releases All Of Aaron’s Recordings

On August 6, 2021 the UK label Stone Records will issue Aaron’s sixth studio album ‘Drifting, Volume 3 of the New Lullaby Project’. At the same time they will re-issue Aaron’s earlier studio albums dating back to his debut album in 2006 and two the first two volumes of the New Lullaby Project. After the

Aaron and Mark Stone at Symphony Hall, 2018

successful collaboration of the 2015 and 2018 releases ‘The Legend of Hagoromo‘ and ‘John. Cage. Guitar.‘, Aaron and label founder/director Mark Stone came to an agreement that the music and the audiences would be best served by expanding their relationship to these albums. A fourth volume of new lullabies is in the works!

Newly released in the Stone Records catalogue:

  • Tracing a wheel on water (2006) – Music by Barrios, Brouwer, Dyens Pujol, Takemitsu, and premieres by Lior Navok, Daniel Pinkham, and Kevin Siegfried.
  • New Lullaby (2010) – Volume 1 of the New Lullaby Project. 14 contemporary solos in the genre of the lullaby.
  • Nights Transfigured (2020) – Volume 2 of the New Lullaby Project. 14 contemporary solos in the genre of the lullaby
  • Drifting (2021) – Volume 3 of the New Lullaby Project. 15 contemporary solos in the genre of the lullaby.

Already in the Stone Records catalogue:

  • The Legend of Hagoromo (2015) – Inspired by Japan, each piece has a connection to the country either through the composer or aesthetic. Compositions by Brouwer, Takemitsu, Gershwin, Keigo Fujii, and premieres by Kota Nakamura, Ken Ueno, and Martin Max Schreiner. Only the 2nd recording of the title track.
  • John. Cage. Guitar. (2018) – The first classical guitar album dedicated to the music of John Cage. Guitar solos, duos for violin and guitar, prepared guitar duo. All arrangements by Aaron Larget-Caplan.

LISTEN:

SpotifyApple MusicAmazonALL Streaming

ALL THINGS CAGE – RADIO

All Things Cage: Conversations about John Cage.

Hosted by Laura Kuhn, Executive Director of the John Cage Trust.
Saturdays from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Mondays from 4 a.m. to 5 a.m.
All Things Cage is a weekly program featuring conversations between Laura Kuhn, Director of the John Cage Trust, and Cage experts and enthusiasts from around the world. Aaron is featured in three episodes to date. If you’d like to propose a guest or a topic for a future program, write directly to Laura at lkuhn@johncage.org. She’d love to hear from you.
LISTEN FOR FREE!
Each episode includes music or lectures featuring John Cage.

SHOW 1
All Things Cage: Laura Kuhn and Aaron Larget-Caplan
 (Audio)

Jan 09, 2021
Hosted by Laura Kuhn, Executive Director of the John Cage Trust.

Aaron Larget-Caplan is an international recording, touring, and guitar virtuoso, one of those rare musicians who can seamlessly move between and among baroque, classical, and contemporary music in a single performance. He first came to my attention through his stunning 2018 CD entitled JOHN. CAGE. GUITAR, which contains arrangements of seven works by John Cage, composed between 1933 and 1950, all originally for piano or prepared piano: A Room, Three Easy Pieces, Chess Pieces, Dream, Six Melodies, In a Landscape, and Bacchanale.

This was the first-ever classical guitar recording dedicated to the work of John Cage and it includes not only arrangements for solo guitar, but also for violin and guitar and prepared guitar duo. Larget-Caplan is joined in this recording by violinist Sharan Leventhal (of the Kepler String Quartet) and guitarist Adam Levin. The music on this CD has been described as “…playful, meditative, meandering, introspective, large, quiet, rambunctious, haunting and regal.”

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN: https://wavefarm.org/wf/archive/8m5y5j

SHOW 2
All Things Cage: Aaron Larget-Caplan with Laura Kuhn
 (Audio)

Mar 13, 2021
Hosted by Laura Kuhn, Executive Director of the John Cage Trust.

The international recording, touring, and guitar virtuoso Aaron Larget-Caplan was Laura Kuhn’s second guest on All Things Cage on January 9, 2021, and soon after he was asking for an ex post facto quid pro quo: doing another program together, but with their roles reversed. With Larget-Caplan at the helm, their resulting conversation is almost entirely about Kuhn and her 30+ year journey with Cage, but Kuhn closes the program with a lengthy excerpt by Cage himself lifted from his first public performance of his Overpopulation and Art (1992) at Stanford University.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN: https://wavefarm.org/wf/archive/2whnef

SHOW 3
All Things Cage: Aaron Larget-Caplan with Laura Kuhn, II
 (Audio)

May 08, 2021
Hosted by Laura Kuhn, Executive Director of the John Cage Trust.

The international recording, touring, and guitar virtuoso Aaron Larget-Caplan is back for the third time, having more questions for our host. Larget-Caplan was Laura Kuhn’s second guest on All Things Cage on January 9, 2021, and soon after he was asking for an ex post facto quid pro quo: doing another program together with their roles reversed. With Larget-Caplan at the helm, their resulting conversation was almost entirely about Kuhn and her 30+ year journey with Cage, but Kuhn closed the program with a lengthy excerpt by Cage from his first public performance of his Overpopulation and Art in 1992. For tonight’s program, Aaron again had his list of questions in hand, but we made it through only the first two. Mostly we talked about why we listen to music, what we’re really asking for from the choices we make, and how musicians tend more often to be active listeners.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN (MAY 8 OR LATER): https://wavefarm.org/wf/archive/jrh0aw

Financial Hits – Credit Cards

Sometimes the universe throws a curve ball that upends our well organized short and longterm plans. In the case of Covid 19, I have a total of 18 events (concerts, classes, radio) on the chopping block for a 3-week period and seven of them have already been canceled/postponed. This has serious immediate financial repercussions for me and my family of over $5K lost, and substantially more if it goes into April.
Since Artists rarely speak about finances amongst each other, I thought I would give a few words of advice regarding credit cards and how one can navigate a precarious situation. Remember: In the US we are judged on our teeth and credit rating.

via GIPHY

I should state I am a touring classical musician (solo and chamber) who teaches at a university (adjunct) and privately, have multiple recordings and arrangements available, lecture on Creating Commissioning Projects and Being an Artist Entrepreneur, AND lost a house and studio due to a major fire. This is not my first rodeo fugue.

CREDIT CARDS

1 – Call your credit card company(s) and ask if they are offering any kind of relief for those out of work due to Covid 19. If they are unsure then speak with someone who knows; they work for you. Depending on the company and card level, they may offer:
– No interest or late payments
– Wave late fees and interest at a later time
– Small business loans
– Horrible hold music (promise!)

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• American Express is actually a wonderful card (no spending limit) and is flexible in making things works during hardship, especially if you are a long time card member. I don’t like large corporations, but if you have to have one, I would go with AMEX. The call took 8min.
• Chase did not have Massachusetts listed as State of Emergency as of today even though our governor stated such yesterday!! I spent 30min on the phone with an advisor and they did agree to wave late fees and interest, but I would have to follow up after the fact. Also I should check in again to see if things have changed.
• I have not yet called BOA…

2 – Make your minimum payments when possible.
Unless they have marked your account specifically, it is always a good idea. Get the name of the customer service person at ALL times.

Balance Transfers
American Express Everyday Card is a no yearly fee card that offers free balance transfers from non-AMEX cards. Chase Slate card as well, and Bank of America also has one. As most credit cards charge a 3-4% fee automatically on all transfers I highly recommend finding a card(s) that works. You WILL still need to pay the balance amounts, but hopefully this shit-show will have passed, we’ll have a new set of leaders, and our lottery numbers will come in. Link for Best No-Fee Cards:

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SAVINGS ACCOUNT – OR CASH
YOU STILL OWE THE MONEY!

If you are able to get some relief from immediate payments and if you are able to move the money out of your checking account. Put it into a savings account and try not to touch it. If you are of a certain type it may be best to withdraw the money to have cash on-hand.
In either case, DON’T use it the money unless it is a major emergency.
YOU STILL OWE THE MONEY!
Remember: Nothing is free in the US unless you are famous or rich.

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Read the small print. If you have been or are about to be hit with a large jump in interest transfer the balance ASAP. It usually takes 2 weeks, so act even if you have to pay a 3-4% fee. Compounding interest and late fees can destroy a career, home and family. Eating Chocolate and laying in a fetal position may be nice, but the balances won’t go away.
Do not have guilt in any of this. It is just a game and learning how to juggle is one more skill freelance musicians should learn.
After my fire I went from 3 credit cards to 13 in just over 3-months. It cost money and I made mistakes, but I learned and survived. So can you!

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Other Debt Options

Home Equity Line – Citizens Bank offers a $50K equity line for $50 a year with pretty much a no questions application. Other banks too!
Musicians Foundation – Apply for $500-$3000 to assist with medical, utilities, and vendor bills. Will NOT cover credit card bills.
Patreon – Create art and ask supports to subscribe for a fee. (See my SITE: https://www.patreon.com/alcmusic!!)
Local assistanceThe Record Co. is offering small grants for those who lost gigs. The City of Boston is offering grants of up to $1000 for artists of all types who lost income.
Support Local Artists – Be a part of the solution! If you are able donate to a Patreon, buy an album (physical with autograph is best), promote another. (Check out my store: https://alcguitar.com/store.php)

photo: Catherine Larget-Caplan