We have to make Christmas happen. I remember when that staggering thought occurred to me. I was 25, and it was my first Christmas in Chicago. Cold wind and nothing but darkness outside my window save for the unfeeling light of streetlamps. Sidewalks full… Continue Reading “Father Christmas Bread”
This post was written in preparation for our May 2019 concert, Found Objects. “Music takes a long time to speak—much longer than words by themselves” —Ralph Vaughan Williams Poetry and song have been natural companions since time immemorial, but in Western Classical music, it… Continue Reading “Finding the Words”
Do inanimate objects have a narrative, a story to tell from their perspective? Can ordinary objects be viewed as works of art? Artists have explored this concept throughout history in one form or another, but composer Jenni Brandon (b. 1977) may be the first… Continue Reading “Found Objects”
As musicians, we translate written music—the composer’s instructions and all the technical demands—into an active, emotional experience for an audience. During our rehearsals, we often discuss where we think a piece is going—the story it’s telling, the images it brings to our minds, or… Continue Reading “Translating A Sunset”
Thank You to everyone who came out to experience “A Celtic Summertide” with us at the Oliver Art Center in Frankfort! It was a lovely evening of music and art made all the lovelier by the warmth of your company. The gallery became filled… Continue Reading “A Celtic Summertide: Thank You!”
“The Old Ash Tree” is dedicated to my grandfather, Bryant McKinney. In it, I hope to capture his strength, the beauty of the humble life he’s led, and his role as a central axis in my family, the main branch in our tree of life.
When I began studying lever harp in 2010, one of the volumes of harp music I purchased was a collection of tunes by O’Carolan*. Exploring the tunes while also teaching myself to play the harp, I eventually read more and more about the composer,… Continue Reading “O’Carolan Reimagined”
If you’ve attended a Manitou Winds concert, recently, you’ve no doubt experienced the wonderful voice of Emily Curtin Culler. Whether singing an aria from a Baroque cantata, a classic German lieder, or a traditional Irish lullaby, Emily’s voice has tremendous dynamic range and is… Continue Reading “A Celtic Summertide: The Art of Collaboration”
Traveling Mercies, written by Manitou Winds founder Jason McKinney, was completed in January 2018. Composing the work became both an adventure and a learning process. To tell you more, here’s Jason in his own words: The idea to write a chamber work for organ… Continue Reading “Traveling Mercies”
Beyond the notes and instructions on the page, beyond the audible details of musical form at the heart of a piece, most musicians want to find an even stronger connection to a piece that touches them. Sometimes in order to feel we’ve truly mastered a piece, we need to feel we understand why it was written.