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From July 27, 2006...
There's nothing like a 100-piece symphony orchestra to deliver musical "shock and awe" ...but the intimate dialogue of chamber music can be just as powerful. Music gets real personal when you're a kid... transfixed before a computer screen, composing your first digital tune. Plus - indy folk rock with a Christian edge, from Birmingham band "The Great Book of John."
In the world of classical music, the majority of attention is focused on larger performing groups like symphony orchestras and opera companies. But there are many, many smaller chamber groups that offer a lot more variation in what and how they perform. Next week at the Alys Stephens Center, UAB hosts the first ever Magic City Chamber Music Festival... a mix of music, discussion and southern food. UAB's pianist Yakov Kasman and clarinetist Denise Gainey will perform. They tell Tanya Ott they're huge fans of chamber music.
Denise Gainey teaches clarinet at UAB and performs with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. Yakov Kasman has wowed audiences since his American debut as silver medalist at the Tenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 1997. He has 15 recordings to his credit, including this acclaimed recording of Shostakovich's Quintet for Piano and Strings with the Talich String Quartet.
The Magic City Chamber Music Festival runs Friday, August 4th through Sunday the 6th.
You know summer camp: pitching tents, building bonfires, communing with nature. Well, throw that image right out of your head! Instead of roughing it in the wild, a group of Birmingham-area middle and high schoolers is learning the basics of the media business, and discovering the subtleties of music composition by creating their own songs. Katie Barzler has the story.
This time of year, when the world is green and growing, it's easy to believe that summer might go on forever. But nature has its way of reminding us that the wheel of the seasons never stops turning...as in this poem, by Birmingham's James Mersmann.
James Mersmann is a retired UAB English professor. The poem "Fenceposts" appears in his newest collection, Straying Toward Home, from Court Street Press.
To hear the audio portion of the Community Calendar from Tapestry, click here.
Want to know more? Activeculture.info is a one-stop source for finding out what's going on in the Birmingham metro area.
Anyone who knows the Birmingham music scene knows it's a pretty incestuous little crowd. The drummer for Band A may play guitar in Band B with a singer who also performs with Band C. Two of the members of perennial favorite Wild Sweet Orange also play in the band The Great Book of John...but that's where the similarities end. Orange is gritty. Great Book is more reflective -- even spiritual -- as the name implies. This is "A Traveler Dreams of Home" from the EP The Pope of Uruk.
Singer and guitarist Taylor Shaw dropped by the studio...
There's more of The Great Book of John's music available for download deeper inside wbhm.org.
Tapestry is produced by Tanya Ott and Michael Krall, with music producer Hunter Bell. Francesca Rosko tracks community events. Additional reporting this week from Katie Barzler and production assistance from Dale Short, Steve Chiotakis, Rosemary Pennington and Jasmine Talbott.