‘TIS THE SEASON

by Robin MunsonRed Christmas Tree Ornament in Snow

It’s Crunch Time. We are only three weeks from Christmas and Chanukah. Once again, we must gather whatever remaining strength we have at the tail end of a challenging year and summon up the holiday spirit. We have shopping, cleaning, cooking, family gatherings. Some of us might have holiday gigs, musical or non. You might be tempted to drown your sorrows in Haagen-Dazs. (I might be!) So how do we take care of ourselves at a time like this? Continue reading

EMBERTONE INTIMATE STRINGS – REVIEW

Embertone Stringsby PJG

In the last few years, Embertone has specialized in detailed, affordable virtual instruments: from the classic sound of the clarinet to the exoticism of the erhu and the insanity of the mouth trumpet – their products are always deeply sampled and beautiful scripted. And during all this time their solo strings have been Embertone’s flagship, starting with Friedlander Violin in 2013 and finishing with Leonid Bass early this year. Completing the series, Blakus Cello and Fischer Viola: it is always nice when libraries give their performers proper due. Continue reading

The 80% Rule

Music Composerby Robin Munson

Years ago, when I was taking the yoga teacher training, I remember something my mentor, Christy, said that has stayed with me ever since. We were talking about how hard it is to be consistent in your practice – whether we’re talking about meditation, or asana (the physical poses of yoga), or for some of us, composing music. We start out with the best of intentions (New Year’s resolutions, anyone?). And then life happens. We had planned to live on vegetables and whole grains from now on, but a friend presented us with a homemade chocolate cake. We were going to study all weekend every weekend, but the sun came out and lured us to the beach. Continue reading

Sharing Our Gift

by Robin Munson
Sharing
Last Sunday (12/13/2015) Art and I had a gig! We played at the annual holiday brunch at the community clubhouse.  It was the first time we had played out in a very long time. (Like, decades!) I played piano and Art played acoustic guitar.  We were joined by our neighbor, Gary, who plays violin in a local symphony and string quartet, and later (quite spontaneously) by our neighbor, Vib, on his harmonica.

There were around 50 people there of all ages, milling around the clubhouse, eating a potluck brunch, laughing, joking, and wishing each other the joy of the season. As people were streaming in we played quietly in the background, just to help create the holiday mood.  Continue reading