Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 Year End

2014, here and gone.  There was one overriding event that took most of my energy this year, and happily it feels (at the moment, anyway) that it was well worth it.  Let’s take a look back.

Got to enjoy the last 2 concerts from my 50th birthday present – Shostakovich’s 5th with Bartok’s 3rd Piano Concerto, and Mahler’s 3rd.  Sadly, driving into Manhattan has turned into a nightmare, so the thought of going to more concerts is almost repulsive. 

Got to go to the USA Curling finals in PA.  I loved this.  Loved, loved, LOVED it.  Had the best time, but had no idea it would be so cold in the arena.  Great New Paltz vacation.  

“Exit 12” and our alter-ego “Equinox – the Styx Tribute” had a pretty good year.  The “Legends of Rock” concert in Delaware a big highlight, along with some good local gigs, a couple of acoustic turns at “Back to the Beach”, and more Styx at “Bikers for Bini”.  

The Monks had a couple of nice gigs, and did a nice mandolin gig, too.  A couple of gigs with Lance, including his birthday party and the wedding ceremony/cocktail hour.   Did “paid reherasal” gig at Alor to prepare for next 2 records.  Kept reasonably sharp with my jazz playing, improved my piano playing, got a great mandolin (after having a bad experience with the first one I bought), but still haven’t made any progress on violin.  This year…

Of course, the big event for the year was “Shorts and Suites” with Keith Gurland at Symphony Space.  He premiered my “Trees, Falling in Forests (Making Sounds)”.  The effort that went into that was more than pretty much anything I’ve ever done before, but it feels like a success. 

Listening – more Mahler, Sibelius, Shostakovich and Berg (particularly his Violin Concerto).  Added more Samuel Barber of late, which is striking a chord with me.  

Watching - Guardians of the Galaxy, oh YEAH!

Reading – digging my Kindle, I have to admit.  Tons of comic books - including "Leaves on the Wind" and "Clockwork Angels".  Of course, the most important reading from this year is “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” series.  Read all 5 books twice.  Absolutely my favorite books of all time. 42.

The coming year?  Who knows.  I want to record those tunes, sooner than later, finances permitting.  Have to get “Trees…” out to the world, see if it opens any doors.  Do another record at home, more on the electronic side of jazz.  Lots of writing that needs to get finished – piano sonatina, orchestral pieces, orchestrate the guitar ‘concerto’. 

It would be good to take better care of myself physically – lose some weight, get the back feeling better.  Hopefully it will be another happy, healthy, productive year.  Who could ask for more?