Category Archives: News

Play Harder Series: Help Me, I’m an Artist (Entry 5)

I have always made my living as an independent performing artist.  A 9-to-5 job is as foreign to me as waking up early, establishing a routine or even teaching a student regularly. We artists share one thing in common – we need help!  Funding, booking, housing, brainstorming, bartering, watching, listening, feedback, encouragement… our success depends upon asking and receiving.

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Play Harder Series: The Men of Normaway Inn (Entry 3)

“Yeah, that could work,” says Dave MacDonald, owner of The Normaway Inn in Margaree Valley, Nova Scotia. When I’d reached out to his wife on about the possibility of doing a two-week swap between New York City and Cape Breton, she said to give him a call. Maria and I have to be in Cape Breton for our project, Four Seasons Rising, and with many rooms sold out for Celtic Colours or unavailable to 2 musicians traveling with 2 cats, time is running out.

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Play Harder Series: On Violins and Virtuosity (Entry 2)

This past month, I’ve listened to more live violin playing than I have in the last two decades combined!  The spree began on a sunny September day in Toronto.  I arrived at 8:30 am for jury duty… but fun jury duty.  It involved listening to Canadians from around the world who flew in to compete for 21 violins and cellos – including instruments by Stradivari, Guarneri and Gagliano – in the Canada Council Musical Instrument Bank Competition.

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Play Harder Series: I Love This World (Entry 1)

I love this world.  And I have my tiny New York City apartment to thank.  Cooped up in our cramped abode – after several years in even tinier Juilliard dorm rooms – Shawn Wyckoff and I were ready to blaze a trail out of Manhattan.  So we bought a $500 minivan, found a Craigslist sublet in Salt Lake City, booked a “tour” (a couple library concerts bookending weeks of hiking & biking) and voilà – Sonic Escape, our flute and violin group, was born.

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Play Harder – A New Series by Maria

In an unprecedented partnership with Canada Council for the Arts, Maria has begun penning a 36-week series called Play Harder.  The blog will chronicle the adventures of Shawn and Maria as they travel to four corners of Canada and the US – Nova Scotia, Florida, Nunavut and California – to research, shoot footage and compose Four Seasons Rising.  Click here to read her first entry, I Love This World.  Et en français?  Comme j’aime ce monde.

Bach in Ireland!

With 3 cameras on hand, Terry Currie did a beautiful job of capturing our performance of Bach in Ireland. Thanks to a long flight from NYC to San Francisco and the availability of an electrical outlet (go Delta!)…

Maria Editing Small

…Maria had a moment to edit together the shots and produce this video that we’re very excited to share with you: