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Pianotes #495 -
June 2024
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Happy June, Everyone!

Here we go into summer already! It's been glorious and very colorful month here in Florence, The City of Rhododendrons. When we moved up here almost seventeen years ago (!!!), I don't think I'd ever seen a rhododendron that wasn't red, but it truly is amazing the range of colors they come in - from the purest white to many shades of purple, pink, yellow and orange, and just about any shade of red you can imagine. I took photos of some of them in our yards and have posted them at the bottom of this newsletter.

I had some very positive responses to the quotes I used instead of trivia between the articles in last month's issue, so I'm doing it again this month. I have a pretty extensive collection! Enjoy!
"My music is best understood by children and animals."
- Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)

"Anything that is too stupid to be spoken is sung."
- Voltaire (1694-1778)

“True artists fix all the harm that politicians do.”
- A retired private secretary in 1982
New Reviews: The new reviews that were posted in May cover a wide range of music styles! There is new music from some very well-known artists and some from artists who are less familiar. I really love the mixed bag of music that comes to me every month and the opportunity to introduce new artists to a wider audience as well as the news of new music from long-time favorites. I already have a list of some of the reviews that are coming up in June, so come back often and see what's new! I also reviewed two songbooks and two single sheet music pieces from Doug Hammer (2), Christine Brown and Tim Neumark - great stuff from some of my favorite artists! You can find links to all of the reviews here.
“The way to get the most out of yourself and out of other people is to be willing for people to throw rotten eggs at you. If you want to keep making music for people, you’ve got to spend the rest of your life allowing for the possibility that somebody will throw rotten eggs at your soul.” - Andre Watts (1946-2023)

“When I’m dead 25 years, people are going to begin to recognize me.”
- Scott Joplin (1868-1916)

“Usually I have to wait for other people to tell me when I have new ideas, because I never know this myself.”
- Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
New Interviews: I have two new interviews for you this month. The first one is with Michael Whalen, who just released what he and many others are calling his best album in a career that has spanned more than thirty years. Michael gives some fascinating insights into his music, so be sure to check out the interview here.

The second interview is with Doug Hammer, one of the most creative people I know. In that interview, we talk about his Swim To America series of three albums and sheet music as well as his recently-released cover single of Thomas Dolby's "Oceanea." You can find that interview here.

I have several interviews coming up, but I'm not sure yet what order I'm going to do them, so I'm keeping them a secret for now!
“The metronome has no value ... for I myself have never believed that my blood and a mechanical instrument go well together.”
- Johannes Brahms (1833-97)

“Stravinsky’s symphony for wind instruments was written in memory of Debussy; if my own memories of a friend were as painful as Stravinsky’s seem to be, I would try to forget him.”
- Ernest Newman (1868-1959)

“If I play Tchaikovsky I play his melodies and skip his spiritual struggles ... If there’s any time left over I fill in with a lot of runs up and down the keyboard.”
- Liberace (1919-87)
June Birthdays: Here is a partial list of musical June birthdays. Lots of pianists were born in June!!! A very Happy Birthday to everyone on the list (and those who aren't on the list, too!)!

6/2: Jose Luis Altamirano B
6/4: Suzanne Ciani
6/5: Julie Hanney
6/7: Lynn Tredeau & Carol Commune
6/10: Janine deLorenzo
6/13: Eamonn Karran
6/14: Joe Bongiorno & Dan Kennedy
6/17: Alan Storeygard
6/19: Wayne Gratz & Kerani
6/20: ME!!!
6/21: Spencer Brewer & Ed Blumenthal
6/22: Kirsten Liana
6/23: Donovan Johnson & Jennifer Thomas
6/24: Rocky Fretz & Tom Eaton
6/28: David Lanz
6/30: Matthew Mayer & Neil Tatar
“I believe art is born, not of ‘I can,’ but of ‘I must’!”
- Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951)

“I believe one shouldn’t be too comfortable when listening to really great music ... You can’t enjoy and understand it merely by sitting still and letting it soak into your ears.”
- Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)

“I am ... terrified at the thought that so much hideous and bad music will be put on records forever.” Arthur Sullivan, recorded on a “phonogram” for Thomas Edison in 1888
June Music Holidays and Observances: It's kind of a skimpy lot this month!

All month:
Audiobook Awareness Month
Black Music Month
International Surf Music Month
National Accordion Awareness Month
National DJ Month

6/21: World Day of Music, National Day of the Gong
6/25: Global Beatles Day
6/30: Blink-182 Day

I don't think I'll decorate the house this month!
“Music, I feel, must be emotional first and intellectual second.”
- Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)

“The life of man in every part has need of harmony and rhythm.”
- Plato (c. 427 – 348 BC)

“The painter turns a poem into a painting; the musician sets a picture to music.”
- Robert Schumann (1810-56)
Except for a few more quotes and the photos of my rhododendrons, I think that's it for this month. Happy Father's Day to the dads and Happy Graduation to any grads, and I'll meet you back here in about a month! Happy June!

“If it is art it is not for all, and if it is for all it is not art.”
- Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951)

“Music must be made popular, not by debasing the the art, but by elevating the people.” - Henry Cleveland (1840)

“I don’t think there was ever a piece of music that changed a man’s decision on how to vote.” - Artur Schnabel (1882-1951)

(of Elvis Presley) “A weapon of the American psychological war aimed at infecting a part of the population with a new philosophical outlook of inhumanity ... to destroy anything that is beautiful, in order to prepare for war.”
- East German newspaper c. 1958

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To the best of my knowledge, the "trivia" items are true, but I can't guarantee it.
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