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WHAT STRING THROUGH YONDER LUTE BREAKS / Report of our April 15th, 2018 Event

The dialogues continue (with some theatre now in the mix!). After a piano-forte-forte March Open Mic Classical took a more minstrely, thespian, and Shakespearean turn into Spring as mine ears were treated to the delicate mandolin strumming of featured guests Mark and Beverly Davis while soft light broke through yonder window, preceded and followed by wonderful Shakespeare-peppered banter by OMC co-MC Ellen Adamson.


caption << Beauty provoketh thieves sooner than gold. - Shakespeare >> OMC co-founder Monika Woods (far right) put aside her private music instruction for the day and did double-duty as both recorderist and maiden beauty while playing delightful renaissance music with OMC outreach-co-ordinator and Swedish Nyckelharpa player Ellen Adamson. (You can reach out by responding to this email!) Far left, OMC's growing thespian element with some real costumed intricacy.

A piano is generally comprised of no less than 12,000 separate poured, carved, sculpted parts while I've seen folks make passable plucked string instruments from cardboard boxes. One thing we love about OMC is no matter how long ago the melodic squiggles were jotted down, all remains topical. The fierce engineered technological prowess of March's virtuosic piano cadenzas versus the sublime delicacy of the petite plucked mandolin. Loved them both.


caption << Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven. - Shakespeare >> Lovely Ellen Adamson (OMC outreach co-ordinator, far left) flew us to heaven with tidbits of history and luscious Shakespearian introductions to amazing players, in particular featured guest performers husband-wife heavyweight Connecticut duo Mark and Beverly Davis. Grammy-nominated international performer Mark Davis is a protégé of the German conductor Siegfried Behrend, and developed the classical guitar ensemble program at The Wheeler School in Providence.

OMC co-founder Bob Marcus delights us with his ever-witty auctioneering skills, seen here with the sculpture he made for the UU church. (Email us if you are curious for an update on his in-progress sculptural masterpieces.)

Even though the whole harpsichord/piano-forte thing got going with composers and concert halls in the 1700s, it wasn't until the late 1800s that the price-point on a piano got to where a significant percentage of families could afford one. Until then, fretted plucked instruments ruled the day for most folks wanting music in their home, as wealthy publishers of lute music could attest for radios and LPs had yet to exist. When husband-wife team Mark and Beverly played Lully, Barrios, and more, I pictured a mellow Saturday afternoon while a rug-rat churned butter and his sister threaded a spindle.


caption << Age, I do abhor thee, youth, I do adore thee. - Shakespeare >> Youth in full effect this recent Sunday as youngster Fiona Hilley (far left), Zsoka Woods, and Ava Hilley bowed and plucked short sonic delights. But Shakespeare also said "there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so" and "we have some salt of our youth in us"; and so it so that husband-wife team Betty and Noel Tipton like spring chickens on a wet but promising April day played with salty youthful exuberance some flowing Americana and spicy Cuban pieces, both by Richard Busch. We also heartily thank Betty for being the house accompanist. Hats off to her wonderful sight-reading and off-the-cuff help.

OMC continues to be about performance AND dialogue. To date, we've had many great 5-minute lectures on a wide range of topics. What 5-minute lecture topic (whether directly or tangentially connected to music) might YOU want to see addressed? Would you like to give it yourself? Reach out (by responding to this email)! Connect! Dialogue!


caption << Frailty, thy name is woman. - Shakespeare >> Shakespeare proved wrong (again) as a rich concoction of 16 strings bowed by 4 allegedly frail women (center) sounded not frail at all but glorious and reverberant in the glorious and reverberant halls of the UU Church.

OMC was the impetus for Barb Lambdin and her arco cohorts forming this lovely quartet, as it has been for many other ensembles that have rocked these OMC halls! They are crowdsourcing for quartet names, so respond to this email if you have ideas or want more info on this.

Bob Marcus and Jim Skinger played a dark Sicilianan Bach duet and singer Dan Powers brought in the light with a lovely Vaughn Williams olden sojourn tale, accompanied with the instant and reliable support of ever-wonderful house pianist Betty Tipton.


caption << Let witchcraft join with beauty, lust with both! - Shakespeare >>

Eloquent sonic witchcraft on the 88s by newcomer Erik Lindgren (right), Carol Davis' tender Chopin, and returning virtuoso Jared McMurray (left) bespoke young maidens swooning onto the mahogany floors of 19th century salons as Romantic composers mixed dangerous harmonic alchemy with cascading arpeggio sleight-of-hand. Erik played Debussy and Jared Liszt.

All in all, our recent Sunday was quite a turnout, one of the biggest crowds to date. So to all: thanks again / please come again / please spread the word from valley to hilltop so our wonderful cape classical community can continue to evolve and intertwine on our roads less traveled.

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