A Long Overdue Recap

John Gustav-Wrathall: Oh, wow. What a perfect way to start the evening. Gustav-Wrathall’s animations captured beautifully the confused and magical logic of dreams. I especially loved the tesselation-like clusters of white-winged and black-winged angels. (Plus any dream with David Duchovny is a good dream. Although I confess that I wish Gillian Anderson had been there too. Mmm, Gillian Anderson.)

Tara Innman: I really, really wish I’d known earlier that she was performing; I completely missed the opportunity to interview her for you guys. This woman is a fantastic writer. She was spell-binding, drawing us into an utterly believable world of a small girl sent away from home for a year.

Witherspoon Trio: I think I can sum up their performance in three words: ridiculously, ridiculously talented. Not only did they completely blow us all away with their first few performances of classical works, but then they played this absolutely amazing piece of their own composition. It was stunning. I’m going to stop typing now before my head explodes with jealousy.

Laura Littleford: Oh my. Hi-freaking-larious. But more–it was just so funny and true and real and beautiful all at the same time, and she tells it so well–one little change of inflection on a word and a seemingly innocuous sentence could have the audience cracking up, or sighing in remembrance of how sweet love can be.

Wendy Brown-Baez:  Cuba and Jerusalem, bursting with life and history and humanity, seemed to erupt into the room. Others, about pain and grief and loss, sunk their hooks into us, touched something deep inside. The energy and empathy of her poems was infectious, and it got us all.

Joan Calof: Watching her recite with zest her hilarious poems and songs, eyes glinting and heels tapping, at one point challenging us to “put up our dukes” and at another leading us in a sing-along, you want to say that she’s the kind of person for whom the word ‘feisty’ was invented–but you hold your tongue, because you have a sneaking suspicion that she might find it offensive, and you might find yourself being eviscerated in scathing verse. 🙂 She had chapbooks for sale, too, so you didn’t have to just rely on memory of her awesomeness.

So, basically, if you didn’t come: Na na na na! You missed an exciting cultural and spiritual experience!

Plus you missed some new snacks. We had biscotti. They were yummiferous. Oh, and those really good granola bars with the nuts and cranberries. And Fiber One, which may not sound appealing to you, but I seriously got addicted to those over the summer. There were others, but those were the best, in my opinion.

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The Witherspoon Trio

Okay, I gotta say this: these kids have the coolest names ever. Seriously: Alastair. Imala. Nygel. WITHERSPOON. Really, try saying one of them out loud: “Alastair Witherspoon.” Don’t you feel all awesome? And for some reason, vaguely British? Good times.

In addition to having fantastic names, these three siblings are also very musically talented, as those who saw them at “Patrick’s Cabaret Live” four years ago can attest. Coming from a family where we consider it an epic accomplishment to get through ‘Happy Birthday’ more or less on key, I’m pretty much in awe of these guys’ prowess. Alastair, who is eleven, has been studying the viola since he was seven, and in the last two years has started playing the violin as well. Imala (she’s nine) has been playing the violin since just before turning five. And Nygel (age seven) started out on the violin when he turned three but has since moved on to the cello.

And now, why don’t you get further acquainted with these delightful and ridiculously talented young people?

Alastair puts hot sauce on almost everything. Now there’s a kid with sense! (I personally find that drinking salsa is a great stress reliever, Alastair. Have you ever tried that? It’s fantabulous.) He also enjoys Harry Potter, bike riding, and playing with dogs. His favorite composers are Bela Bartok and J.S. Bach, and his favorite performers are Robert Mann and William Primrose. His favorite pieces to play are Preludium and Allegro and Viotti Concerto ( for violin) and J.C. Bach Concerto in C Minor ( for viola). His favorite piece to listen to is the Bartok Viola Concerto; he also enjoys listening to Ben Folds. In the future he wants to play the viola in an orchestra and teach music. 

Imala loves learning new pieces and playing music with her brothers (though in the future she’d like to be a soloist!). She says “I love my violin because it’s part of my life and I love playing it.” She would someday like to learn to play the piano as well. Her favorite song to play is the Accolay Concerto (Accolay is one of her favorite composers), but she wishes she could play the Sibelius Concerto. She loves to listen to ABBA. Her musical hero is the violinist Midori, whom she actually got to meet! Amala also loves cats (they have two, Maurice and Riley) and likes to design clothes. Her favorite books are The Diary of Anne Frank and theHarry Potter series.

Nygel attends Augsburg Suzuki Program and loves composing pieces on cello. He says that what he likes about the cello is its deep tone, and that he would like to someday learn to play the guitar and the piano. His musical hero is his music teacher David Holmes. Nygel’s favorite piece to play is ‘Hunter’s Chorus’; his favorite to listen to is ‘Lully Gavotte.’ He enjoys playing with his siblings, working in the garden, eating apples and all kinds of sweet things, and reading his favorite book, the school science textbook.