Happy Fall Season! CutTime and I have more great stories, pictures and links of our
adventures to share with you.
We just returned home to Detroit to close out a 4-month
roll for CutTime®, of concerts, new arrangements, premieres, orchestras, networking and club classical events across the country. My poor Chevy minivan saw
over 10,000 miles in that time. We told you about the
Art As A Weapon premiere in July, and the recurring upstate New York trip in the previous newsletter. Here's what we did next.
Two days before Labor Day, we drove 20 hours south to Texas for a
New Music USA
partnership we won with the
River Oaks Chamber Orchestra (ROCO)
. We began rehearsals on the holiday for events as ROCO-CutTime Simfonica® (string quartet + percussion) the next two days. The level of musicianship was quite high and we were able to polish a program of arrangements and compositions to fantastic power! We performed in a classy restaurant, a senior community and a dive bar (pictured above) and made a huge impression! People were astonished symphonic music could be presented so down-to-Earth, intimate and informative. This video by ROCO tells part of the story.
|River Oaks Chamber Orchestra hits the bar for classical music fun with CutTime.
Two weeks later ROCO premiered our new orchestration of
Gitcha Groove On!
as part of their season opener, and then at a free outdoor concert for a mixed crowd. A preview in the
, and New Music USA
posted our report
as a blog last week. We received an archival recording of the premiere.
Between the ROCO services in Houston, CutTime drove to
and finally met our kindred entrepreneurial spirit, violinist
, who founded
. He grew this series in four years from a monthly classical
to add two professional series and four branches across Texas! Mark is also a composer/arranger, who believes as we do that people deserve classical music ALSO as an
format. We compared notes late into the night and Mark bought a whole program of CutTime
for their Halloween concert.
While in Dallas we had a lengthy interview with
San Francisco Classical Voice
that also posted last week (with a few mistakes). We also met up with some old friends in the Dallas Symphony and made new ones, (with a possible project in March) before heading out to
Santa Fe, Albuquerque
and some welcome dry air. My old roommates, violist Bill Houston and cellist Joel Becktell, helped us understand the rather complicated and limited classical music scenes in those New Mexico communities, and how CutTime might be able to help.
Taking the scenic southern-most route back towards Houston (driving Interstate-10) let me see some church friends who retired to
Las Cruces, some beautiful mountains east of El Paso and stop in
Austin for an afternoon. Here we met with Austin Symphony violist Martha Carapetyan and freelance violist Jason Elinoff, the only local musician involved with the only Classical Revolution event so far in Austin. We talked on this sweltering hot day about other startup
New Classical efforts in this famous indie music city before we made our way to
Beaumont to share ideas and music with old friends Douglas Fair and Chelsea Tipton, who together lead the Southeast Texas Symphony.
We deeply enjoyed our Southern experience, and wanted to stay longer. But some great gigs were waiting in Michigan. The first was subbing into my old position in the
Detroit Symphony Orchestra for the opening week! It's been almost three years hearing and seeing the orchestra from the other side, which is the best place for us to understand what changes might draw a massive new audience. But I was delighted to sit in again and contribute to a great orchestra with Leonard Slatkin directing.
The next week wouldn't have been possible if I were still a member of DSO. The small town of Hart, Michigan wanted our mixed octet
CutTime Players to play an educational service and an evening concert. So we wrestled up some fine Michigan Opera Theater Orchestra musicians for two rehearsals and a run-through at a
Classical Revolution Detroit (CRD) in little St. Cece's Pub in Corktown. (pictured below) Everyone played musically and had a blast too. Our casual concert in Hart will not soon be forgotten!
Then CutTime featured touring classical guitarist Adam Levin of Boston in two CRD events at Always Brewing coffeehouse and at Liberal Arts Gallery, a new location for us on Gratiot and Mack Ave. Adam is a tremendous performer and teacher. Since I lived in Boston for a while, we had lots to talk about. He had never been in Detroit, and staying at our beautiful Eastside house, he was instantly taken in by the featherbowling at the Cadieux Café. We also took him around to Corktown and Lafayette Coney Island. He was deeply flattering about Detroit, the chili dogs, CutTime's music and the CRD series. I'm happy to have shared several ideas for Adam.
Next we drove to Atlanta, GA to visit with my mother and family before cutting over to
Charleston, SC for the annual
Colour of Music Festival. This is one of three African-American orchestras I play in (as principal bass) that is intended to showcase black leaders in classical music, as well as show the wider black-American community that classical music can be a universal and powerful tool. We performed four challenging orchestra programs with mediocre results and for little money, but we will probably return because CutTime and I are dedicated to this cause.
On the way back, we dropped off an order of CutTime publications to the
Winston-Salem Symphony and stopped in
Greensboro, NC to play annually for minority 2
nd and 3
rd graders, some of whom were beginning violin with teacher Marta Richardson. We are planting seeds for the future and must water them regularly.
The immediate future
for CutTime Productions is to wrap up the
year expanding the Classical Revolution Detroit series. Our next evening dates (7pm) are
St. Cece's Pub Nov. 18
featuring the students of
Detroit Youth Volume
(pictured above). We've recently published online three short and surprising videos of our Knight project:
Palladio, Rondo alla Turca
. Please share (copy and paste) these links on social media!
CutTime also begins its
campaign through Fractured Altas. Contact me now with a pledge at
. This will save you from an ill-timed phone call or yet another email. Consider an
online tax-deductible donation by credit card
. Here you might even consider a recurring donation to our programs. To extend the
, else we will fall back to a monthly volunteer series as it was before. Suggestions, fundraisers and referrals are always welcome too.
CutTime Productions is marching forward, as relentless as a Mahler symphony, building a slick and shiny new vehicle for bringing classical music to new audiences. Now is the time to recommend CutTime to your local concert presenters. Help us fight apathy and negativity, and to promote adventurous classical music across America!
- Rick Robinson and CutTime
|CutTime Players prepare to play in Hart, MI