Well, here I am back home in Michigan, but I’m still basking in the glow of last week’s excitement. The three performances of the Theremin Concerto went very well, and the audience response was fantastic! So many people came up to me afterwards and told me how much they enjoyed it — a few even requested my autograph on their programs! Watch for them on ebay… 😉
Many of the musicians in the orchestra told me that they really liked the piece as well, and that makes me very happy, as I value the performers’ opinions quite highly. I even received a compliment on how good the instrumental parts looked from one of the horn players, who also works as an editor for a music publishing company, so he wasn’t just whistlin’ Dixie!!! 😀 (Regular readers will remember that I took great pains to make sure the score and parts were high-quality!) And I’m happy to report that the only notation errors discovered during rehearsal were a few missing accidentals in the brass parts. There’s an explanation for that, honest, but unless you’re a Finale aficionado, it’s too boring to go into here. At any rate, an explanation is not an excuse, and my proofreader has been sternly reprimanded! 😛
On to the important stuff: our media blitz! We had newspaper coverage, and I had my TV and radio not-quite-debuts!*
First, the short-attention-span-friendly linky list:
Click Mr. Readmore for the annotated version!
Two newspaper articles came out in advance of the concert — here are their respective money quotes (at least as far as I’m concerned! 😛 ):
From the San Diego Union-Tribune: ‘Surprise surprise!’ Package
Kernohan wasn’t daunted by the demands of the theremin. ‘The thing I love about being a composer is that it’s kind of like having the world’s biggest toy box,’ says the Detroit-based composer, pianist, teacher and blogger.
From the La Jolla Light, in an article which evidently appeared in the print edition only: 🙁
‘I knew that the theremin had a certain history associated with it,’ Kernohan said. ‘I wanted to pay homage to that tradition, but I also wanted to show that the theremin is a serious concert instrument that can sound beautiful.’
Scott (the theremin player) and I appeared on These Days, a program on the local public radio station, KPBS. This was a HUGE thrill for me as I am a hard core NPR nerd. Just ask McDoc — I can barely bring myself to turn it off during pledge drives, even — it’s really kind of sick. 😛
Anyway, go here for the audio of our segment (click on “LISTEN”). This link also takes you to a video of Scott’s theremin explanation/demonstration (which never fails to amuse), followed by Scott and me performing an excerpt from the Concerto that I arranged for theremin and piano. Good thing I followed my instinct to show up looking halfway decent, rather than the competing instinct to go with the t-shirt/jeans/no-makeup look since it was radio — I didn’t know in advance that a video camera would be involved! :O
We had a nice review at the online magazine SanDiego.com. Scott and I were very pleased — okay, I confess, we were relieved, since we’re acquainted with the reviewer and we knew he’d be brutally honest! (Said reviewer has appeared in a Scott Paulson production before: he played on the annual Toy Piano Festival a couple years back — so he is aware that playing a “novelty” instrument is harder than it looks!)
Here’s a nice quote:
Ms. Kernohan’s modest, single-movement work for solo Theremin and Orchestra would have been called a Concertino in the 1940s, a musical period which the piece invokes fondly and skillfully. It begins with the orchestra setting up a tango-like ostinato bathed in rich orchestral colors, an apt scenario for the ghostly wail of the Theremin to enter.
I’m assuming he means “modest” in a good way. In some of the musical circles I’ve run with, it’d be a stinging insult… but that’s a whole ‘nother story. 😉
The Theremin Concerto was a hoot.
Early in the week, Scott and Jung-Ho Pak (the conductor) did a couple of early morning segments on local TV news shows — but they didn’t ask me to appear on those, as they know I need my beauty rest. 😉 I did join them on Friday for Streetside San Diego on the local NBC affiliate, since it airs at the civilized and reasonable hour of 11 a.m.
The show is filmed live on the patio outside the TV station’s studio in downtown San Diego. After a week of beautiful, warm sunny days, the weather on Friday morning decided to turn cold and windy (cold being relative, I know, but in California, somehow you’re never dressed right for it!). I felt sorry for the other acts that were on that day — we were sandwiched between various St. Patrick’s Day-themed segments, and the Irish dancers had to keep going even when they were off camera, just to stay warm. Then there were the unfortunate young women promoting the San Diego opening of the Tilted Kilt, which is sort of a Scots-Irish equivalent of Hooters. It seems that there was a fabric shortage when it came time to make their costumes, the poor things! 😉
Anyway, the Chamber Orchestra staff has promised to obtain the TV footage and send me a copy, but that will take some time… stay tuned! 🙂
*I made my radio debut as a high school student, when my choir director took a few choir members down to the local radio station to record a spot advertising our upcoming Christmas concert. We sang a 4-part a capella version of “Silent Night.” I don’t have a recording of it, but I assure you, it was heart-breakingly beautiful. 😛
I’ve been on TV a few times before, most notably during my toy piano-playing days — I appeared on ABC’s World News Tonight during a segment about toy instruments, and also on an episode of California’s Gold with Huell Howser. And of course, who could forget my captivating performances as a page-turner on a few concerts back at UCSD? Actually, I forgot, but every so often people used to tell me that they had seen me on UCSD-TV. Page-turning is an art unto itself… hmm, sounds like fodder for a future post! 😉
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