Design and Style

CAROS COMPOSITORES: 4º Concurso de Composição está em curso!

Queridos e estimados compositores—queria também anunciar, agora em português, a 4ª Edição do Concurso de Composição para Flautas Transversais da Academia de Flauta de Verão! Temos duas categorias diferentes que achamos que vão vos inspirar:

1) OBRA A SOLO para uma das "low flutes": flauta em sol, flauta baixo, ou flauta contrabaixo.

2) QUINTETO para 5 flautistas com instrumentação flexível.

O nosso concurso está aberto à compositores de todas as idades e nacionalidades, e temos abertura para qualquer estilo de escrita. Estamos ansiosos para ver, tocar e ouvir o que vocês podem imaginar!

Obras que obtém um 1º Prémio terão estreia durante a 5ª Academia de Flauta de Verão em Julho de 2017 no Porto. Serão gravados em audio e vídeo, e serão publicado pelo notável Scherzo Editions, e há ainda um prémio monetário.

Nota-se que a Scherzo Editions já foi premiado pela National Flute Association em 2016, com um 1º Prémio para Obras Recém-Publicadas (Newly Published Music Competition)—BRAVO, Scherzo Editions, uma empresa 100% portuguesa!!

O Concurso conta com o apoio precioso da Powell Flutes, EUA e da Kingma Flutes da Holanda, da Scherzo Editions e ainda com a ajuda da ESMAE no Porto—OBRIGADA A TODOS!

O regulamento pode está no site da Academia de Flauta de Verão. A data limite é dia 20 de Março de 2017—por favor, ajudam a partilhar estas informações, obrigada!

Ancient Multiculturalism

Lately the word "multiculturalism" or globalization gets a lot of exposure. But in fact, multicultural influences have been around for years, centuries, probably millennia.

While enjoying some tourism with my pianist friend Raj Bhimani after a good week of solid rehearsing, we went to the beautiful Monastery of Jeronimos in Belém, Lisbon. It dates from 1601 (after 100 years of construction!) and is in the Manueline Style. It is one of the few buildings in this late Gothic style that survived the catastrophic earthquake of 1755.

The nave is exquisite: lofty and elegant, moving in it's very form and materials. The ribbed vaults are particularly spectacular, and as I was photographing them, I saw how closely their pattern resembles Moorish tile-work, in form and repetition. Considering the dominance of the Moors in Portugal from about 711 to 1249, it shouldn't be too surprising, but somehow, at the very apex of a major cathedral, it IS a surprise … and a reminder that styles and people have always commingled… the melting-pot was not, after all, an American invention!


The Importance of Being (like) Bill Cunningham

You may notice in the sidebar a link to the New York Time's series on street fashion called "On the Street", and wonder what on Earth that has to do with music and flute-playing! The answer is: indirectly, A LOT!

"On the Street" is a regular feature of the NY Times, and for nearly 40 years it has been written and photographed by the inimitable Bill Cunningham. His narration of the videos can cheer up your worst day by the sheer enthusiasm he has for his subject (clothes, form, color, NY City) and his subjects (everyone from fashion-plates to ordinary New Yorkers to some truly outlandish dressers). In a way, his enthusiasm is for…enthusiasm! Meaning, if you're going to do something (like get dressed, or play the flute) then DO IT WITH PIZAZZ, do it 100%, and do it in your own way. I think it's easy to apply this to our performing or creative work, too! Otherwise, why bother? Ten Thousand Hours is a lotta time…

Alas, at age 87, Mr. Cunningham passed away in June and has been mourned by his many, many devotees—the photographed and the mere NY Times onlookers (moi). In 2009 he was actually named a Living Landmark, and in 2009 was named to the Legion of Honor by the French Government. However, you can still read about his life and see a slideshow about his work and subjects, or find his cheerful videos on the NY Times site. While we're enjoying the month of August, it's good to stock up on inspiration for the next season, no?

A Bill Cunningham moment backstage in Lisbon: shoes with attitude!

A Bill Cunningham moment backstage in Lisbon: shoes with attitude!

AUGUST! HOLIDAYS! / Sidewalks of Lisbon series

Dear readers, we have arrived at the blessed month of August—the almost sacrosanct holiday month here in Europe! To celebrate, and before I get back to musical and flute-y subjects, here's a photo in a series I have inadvertently produced, of sidewalks in Portugal. The photos often include the famous "Calçada Portuguesa" Portuguese paving—here in the polished, indoor version—and the shoes of pedestrians, another southern European mania. It gets under your skin! 

Pure style in Lisbon's Santa Apolónia train station— welcome to Lisbon!

Pure style in Lisbon's Santa Apolónia train station— welcome to Lisbon!