Fieldwork

23 September 2021 in Heather, Music, Performance, Writing

I have hopes of finding a small group of artists who would enjoy meeting regularly to kick-start each other into developing or completing ideas that have maybe been in hibernation these past few years. This will be a place to bring works in progress, to show bits of them, and to work through iterations and verify what resonates. It’s meant to be an informal workshop, but one where we work with a sense of commitment and serious play. There is a method to providing feedback that is designed to help artists come to their own realizations. I’ll be the facilitator in that aspect. There’s more to say, more info to share, and more questions to be answered … today is
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Reflets dans l’eau

6 September 2020 in Music

When asked to reflect on my character strengths and virtues while also refraining from discussing “performance,” I crumple. Performance is something I believe in. To perform music—on the piano, accordion, toy piano, or with voice—is to stand up for being alive. To perform is to take the stance that “liveness” matters, more so than recordings, film, or videos; paintings, sculptures, or edited text. Simply put, performing—or rather, playing piano—is me at my best. I would not consider myself a great pianist, nor can I claim any achievements derived from playing. But, I may have demonstrated some … character strengths in my activities as a pianist. Playing piano, as I did for ballet classes or church services or, once, in a
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Love Stories

10 August 2019 in Heather, Music, Theater

Let me tell you a story. A love story. It’s about sharing. Making room. (Move over.) It’s general admission. You don’t get to claim your seat. There’s never enough room. Yes, it’s a love story. You. Me. Your ego. My id. There was never going to be enough room. (Give a girl a seat!) I told you: This is a love story. It’s about sharing. ~Text for performance; Premiere August 2019 at The MilkBar in Richmond, CA.

The Soul in Winter

23 February 2019 in Music, Writing

People ask when my next concert will be. “I’d love to hear you play.” Or, “I just love the piano.” Always said, it seems, with eyes rolling heavenward or a clasp of hand to the heart. These prostrations unnerve me. I bear up. “I’m hibernating,” I say. “No performances on the horizon.” I hear that hibernating bears emerge bony and skeletal from their dens. Weak and emaciated. I observe my fingers, which now sometimes have problems opening jars. I wriggle them and wonder how long they would last across the tundra. In my hibernation, I listen to music, sometimes, like last night, discovering a pianist from Iceland, Vikingur Olafsson, who recorded Philip Glass in 2017, and then J.S. Bach less
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The Magic of Song: Pamela Z’s SPAN

13 May 2015 in Music

Any classically trained singer worth their salt will have a copy of Twenty-Four Italian Songs and Arias on their bookshelf. The collection of songs by 17th- and 18th-century composers is a primer of bel canto style, with each song presenting a new technical challenge for the singer to master. The pieces rise above mere vocal technique; they’re also love songs. Each one requires the singer to deliver an emotional punch, and those punches are inevitably about love—first love, lost love, spiritual love, star-crossed love. The songs teach a singer to marry technique and emotion. They teach a singer to perform. Pamela Z’s new work for voice, electronics, and chamber ensemble is similar in that it uses a single topic to
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Ghosts at the Redcat

3 November 2014 in Music

The Redcat stage looked like a jungle: gongs hung from stands, electronic cables snaked between the legs of snare drums, and groups of instruments claimed distinct territories amidst the mess. Eight tablas waited on a makeshift altar at center stage, perhaps soon to be sacrificed. Percussionist William Winant entered the fray fearlessly, while David Rosenboom, composer and electronics virtuoso, presided over the performance from his computer downstage right. Zones of Influence is one of David Rosenboom’s most complex compositions, written for percussion instruments and electronics in 1984 and 1985. He had Winant in mind for the percussion part from the beginning. Rosenboom’s concept for the interactive nature of the electronics was so far ahead of its time that it took
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