Thursday, July 29, 2010

Portland Viol Consort to present concert at Pacific University.

In conjunction with the Viola da Gamba Society of America's annual conclave, which is being held this year at Pacific University in Forest Grove, a free concert will take place tonight, July 29th, at the Taylor Meade Performance Arts Center in McCready Hall at 730 pm. In addition to the Portland Viol Consort, performing a set entitled "The Humors of Mr. Dowland" (featuring his Lachrimaes), Parthenia and Friends and Hallifax and Jeffery will also perform.

Information, including maps and driving directions, can be found at the VdGSA's website here.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Chamber Music Northwest Reviews: Many concerts, short time frame

I recently finished a project for Oregon Music News that consisted of me writing reviews of six concerts over a period of about three weeks at this year's Chamber Music Northwest Summer Festival. This was a great opportunity to hear some fantastic, world-class musicians, hear some world premieres of new works by important composers, and participate in a festival that is one of the brightest stars in Portland's arts firmament.

Here are the links to the individual reviews; I look forward to hearing any comments you might have, either here or at the individual reviews at Oregon Music News.

June 25: Chamber Music Northwest features music for Piano and Strings; World Premiere by Stucky

June 26: Kreisler, Mozart, and tangos by Victor Steinhardt grace the June 26th CMNW presentation

July 2: Chamber Music Northwest mixes it up with Debussy, Strauss and Dvorak

July 3: Chamber Music Northwest: The Emerson Quartet presents an evening of Mozart (mostly…)

July 8: CMNW’s ‘Early 20th Century Masters’ highlights many masterful techniques

July 13: Chamber Music Northwest delivers Baroque favorites with popular Bach, Vivaldi concertos

Friday, July 16, 2010

Galen Huckins and Filmusik Collaborators to present the animation classic 'Gulliver's Travels' at the Hollywood Theatre

Regular readers of this blog will know that I'm a huge fan of Huckins' work with his ingenious Filmusik project. I can't recommend it highly enough for music, film, and theater nuts, or anyone who just wants to have a great time seeing something really original. This should be a brilliant bit of fun, with or without the kids along. I will be reviewing this show on Friday July 23rd.

Following is a press release from Filmusik:

This summer Filmusik is turning a local movie theatre into a Hollywood Soundstage. A team of 30 Portland professionals from the field of movie soundtracks create the sound for a classic animation live in the pit. As the movie plays on the big screen, 4 cartoon actors give voice to the on-screen characters, sound effects artists create the noises from over a hundred foley props and the Filmusik Chamber ensemble performs the music from the film including many musical numbers and several sing-a-longs. For cartoon buffs, family, new music lovers and anyone who's ever wanted to know how they make that funny noise when Daffy Duck falls over. Filmusik: Gulliver's Travels is a new way to experience movies and sound. Incidentally, it's also the only place in town where you can sing along to a bouncing ball with a live orchestra and chorus backing you up!

Hollywood Theatre
July 16th, 21st, 23rd at 7pm
July 18th at 2pm
TICKETS $12/$10 Children, Students & Seniors

Tickets and more information available at
Also at the Hollywood Theatre box office at 4122 NE Sandy Boulevard
Or by calling (503) 281-4215

Oregon has always been particularly gifted when it comes to cartoon voice-over actors. Mel Blanc, graduate of Lincoln High School was the most widely recognized voice actor in the world, the voice of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig and hundreds of others. Filmusik: Gulliver's Travels features 4 contemporary Portland talents: James Dineen, Todd Tolces, Chris Porter and Bill Barry. They have their hands full dubbing this cartoon with a cast of colorful singing Lilliputians. The voice-overs are directed by Sam A. Mowry, long time radio actor and Filmusik collaborator

“For the voice actor, everyone of us, it started when we watched the Saturday morning cartoons. We copied the voices, learned what made an exciting vocal choice or dynamic characters. Even before we knew thats what we learned. I’ve been lucky enough to work on some original animation projects and we have Todd Tolces, one of Will Vinton’s stalwarts during their heyday. Using your voice to add that final sparkle to such an amazing film is really quite magical. Recreating these classic cartoon legends with fidelity to the original, but being your own man, or king or giant for that matter is a dream come true for all of us. This is going to be amazing.”
- Sam A. Mowry – Voice-over Director

David Ian and his team of film Foley artists create the sound effects live. Tapping shoes together for footsteps, rattling doorknobs and crinkling cellophane. The props are flying as they keep time with the movie, matching every rattle, whistle and explosion.

"As a long time fan of the Fleischer Bros. work, it's a thrill for me to be able to work with this wonderful animation.
It's also a delight to be able to gently update some of the SFX while preserving that "vintage sound" that is so much part of the experience."
- Marc Rose - Sound Designer

The originally composed score by Galen Huckins draws on elements from the musical-toon era of the film with a more contemporary sensibility. The ensemble features strings, piano, clarinets and an arsenal of percussion.

"Music from animation tends to be very fast paced, the characters move with a musical rhythm of their own that the score adapts and transforms to its own purposes. It sounds a little schizophrenic played by itself, but its a lot of fun to perform.
- Galen Huckins - Composer

Fleischer's animated feature from 1939 tells Jonathon Swift’s travel adventure in a Betty Boop meets Moby Dick sort of way. There’s songs and dance, live sound effects, live voices and live music. It’s like Fantasia if Mickey Mouse were Goliath and the orchestra was right in your lap! With an original score performed live by the Filmusik Chamber ensemble and a cast of 20 performers. GULLIVER'S TRAVELS is a movie experience not to miss. It's a rare chance to see professional soundtrack artists at work. Get yourself some popcorn and be prepared to sing along!!