11/12 | ‘Seasons of Change’ Wellness Retreat @ Blue Mounds Dharma Center

Cultivate Equanimity During Seasons of Change

Sun, 11/12 @ Blue Mounds Dharma Center

2979 Main St, Blue Mounds, WI 53517

$80 10:30am-5:00pm

Email Shannel to register!  ymassageyoga@gmail.com

We had a fantastic response from both attendees and practitioners last time we held our Seasons of Change wellness retreat.  ~ Are you over due for a check-in with your mind and body?  ~ Looking for an opportunity to spend a day taking care of yourself?  Then this is a perfect day retreat for you!  Blue Mounds Dharma Center is an open, relaxed space set into the gorgeous forested crags of Blue Mounds, WI.  Join us to practice and learn something new about Zen mindfulness, Chinese guqin zither music, yoga, acupressure, and movement meditation.  Email Shannel (yoga instructor, ymassage) to reserve your spot!

download itinerary pdf


 

11/3 | InDIGenous Jazz Series: Nestle and Lovely Socialite @ Wisconsin Union Theater

Fri, 11/3 | Free! Doors Open 7:00p

@ Wisconsin Union Theater

800 Langdon St, Madison, WI 53706

Nestle (Album Release)

Lovely Socialite

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from GMJC: Concerts of fresh original music, in a great listening room, with no cover charge. That’s what music fans will find at the UW Memorial Union’s Frederic March Play Circle on four Friday evenings this Fall as the Greater Madison Jazz Consortium (GMJC), Madison Music Collective and Wisconsin Union Theater present the sixth season of “InDIGenous Jazz”, a series that showcases music composed and performed by our community’s finest jazz musicians.


Nestle: Leading off this double-header concert is the experimental trio Nestle, which includes local bassist Rob Lundberg, in the premiere performance of their new GMJC-commissioned suite, “Bird Song.” This unique new suite uses archived sounds from the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology as the music’s primary generative element. In addition to Mr. Lundberg, Nestle members include Twin Ports-based guitarist Cyrus Pireh and Chicago-based percussionist and electronics artist Ryan Packard. They’ve been together as a band for two years and have developed a flexible free-flowing turn-on-a-dime improvisational rapport.

Lovely Socialite: The second set features the quirky Madison-based sextet Lovely Socialite whose bold and intricate compositions combine the aesthetics of modern jazz with contemporary classical, driving rock, and hip hop. Often compared to Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention, its members include Corey Murphy (Trombone, Electronics), Abe Sorber (Vibraphone, Drums), Pat Reinholz (Electric Cello, Electronics), Brian Grimm (Pipa, Gaohu, Guzheng, Cello, Electronics), Ben Willis (Double Bass, Electronics), and Mike Koszewski (Drums, Percussion). For this concert, they will perform works composed by the band’s members over the past few years.



Nestle Bio:
The Nestle trio exists in performance.
The Nestle trio is listening.
The Nestle trio is a realization of visions.
The Nestle trio is an expression of being through doing.

The Nestle trio of Robert Lundberg, Ryan Packard, and Cyrus Pireh respectively assemble an instrumentation of double bass and electronics; percussion, accordion, and electronics; and 9-string electric future lute.

To live and thrive in the current situation invokes a certain music: not a music to put on as background or a music to wear as a shirt or badge and gain entry into social sets.

A music that is the result of doing.
A music that is the result of people.
A music that exists as proof of existence.

Lovely Socialite Bio:
Lovely Socialite, formerly Lovely Socialite Mrs. Thomas W. Phipps, is a Milwaukee/Madison-based six-piece that combines the aesthetics of modern jazz with contemporary classical, driving rock, and hip hop. Lauded for their bold and intricate compositions, the group often draws comparisons to Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. The band’s original music combines strict notation with moments of improvisation and maintains a healthy balance of dark and heavy rock grooves with quirky jazz obscurities.

While Lovely Socialite’s unusual mix of strings, traditional Chinese instruments, brass, and a jazz rhythm section suggest that the group might be a contemporary music ensemble, it is their use of stomp boxes, vocal processors, and other electronics that makes the group a suitable fit for any rock, hip-hop, or jazz bill. In fact, Lovely Socialite has been privileged to share the stage with such artists as Dessa, of Minneapolis hip-hop collective Doomtree, as well as performing live on the UW Madison Terrace with Brian Ritchie of the Violent Femmes.

In October of 2015, Lovely Socialite released their second full length album. Nearly two years in the making, “Toxic Consonance” was recorded at Blast House Studios in Madison with Landon Arkens. “Toxic Consonance” represents an edgier and more mature version of the band than their previous endeavor, “Registers Her Delight” (2012), and features extensive production efforts mixing found sounds, vocal samples, and electronic effects into their live-style recording.

Promotional Cosponsor: Terra Incognita

Cello Zone! Rosins I Use

“Which cello rosin do you use?”

…. is actually a question I am rarely asked!  This overlooked cake of hardened tree-goop not only allows us to bow the string*, but also plays a large part in our tone production.

I suggest that students apply a few coats of rosin (3 to 10 strokes, ΠV) before each practice session, rehearsal, & performance.  Partly for consistency, but also to avoid injury.  Without enough rosin on your bow, the hairs won’t properly grip the strings.  To compensate for the ensuing bow-slip, you will tense up and over-work your right arm; resulting in an injury similar to tennis elbow.  However, there is such a thing as over-rosining your bow.  If it’s too thickly coated, your hairs will get stuck in the string.  This results in a bow-tripping sensation much like stumbling from catching your toe on the sidewalk.  We’re looking for that Goldilocks principle: not too much, not too little – a few coats of rosin is just right.

With so many brands and prices, which one do you choose?  Thankfully, Johnson String Instrument Shop has made it easier for me to share the rosins I use via student wish lists!  Here are some recommended cello rosins for: (I) Students (II) Professionals and (III) …surprise! Percussionists.

*Without rosin the bow hairs can’t grip the string, no matter how hard you bow… it makes no sound.


Book a Cello Zone Lesson with Brian!

Live in Sun Prairie?

email Prairie Music & Arts:  info@prairiemusic.org,

cc: bgrimm@prairiemusic.org

Live on the west side of Madison?

email Monroe Street Arts Center:  info@monroestreetarts.org

cc: brian@monroestreetarts.org


Cello Rosins I Use –  For Students

Pirastro Cello Rosin

Pros:  Generally used in Spring/Summer (humid seasons); for light, fast playing.  Cuts well, can add an edge to your bow tone.  There are a lot of Pirastro rosins to choose from (almost too many…), surely one among their variety should be ample to cover the tone and grip needed for your particular strings: see here.

Cons: Heavy powdering, can irritate sinuses.  Sometimes tone is too bright and thin for classic cello repertoire.  Doesn’t grip as deeply as I need for power playing.

Still not sticky enough for you?  Buy the Pirastro Bass Rosin, it works great for cello!

Pirastro rosins have been developed and produced in Offenbach, Germany for over 200 years. Pirastro Cello Rosin is an amber color medium grade rosin specially formulated for use with cellos.


Hill Dark Rosin for Violin, Viola and Cello

Pros:  *Rosin of choice for two of my go-to luthiers!  Use as a final polishing layer in combination with other rosins; fine smooth feel with medium tone; not over-grippy.

Cons:  For a professional cellist, this rosin doesn’t grip strongly enough to stand on it’s own.  However, for students on smaller sized cellos (1/4, 1/2, 3/4, etc) it should do splendidly.

Hill Dark Rosin (green), the ultimate rosins, used by professionals worldwide. The Hill Brand rosins are wrapped in their own padded velveteen shell. This is the rosin that others strive to emulate. Used for violin, viola and cello, the amber (light) is slightly hard and has moderate powder. The dark (green) is slightly softer and grips better than the amber.


Professional Cello Rosin

Kolstein Cello Rosin

Pros: For the last decade this has been my favorite rosin!  Generally used in Fall/Winter (drier seasons); for heavy, rich playing.  More and more, I’ve been using it all year round.  The tone is complex, gorgeous.  Very grippy, results in a powerful deep sound.

Cons:  This rosin may be too sticky and coarse for some sets of lighter gauge strings.

Kolstein & Sons, Ltd. produces an outstanding rosin using their Ultra Formulation Supreme recipe. Very minimal powdering and excellent grip equate to quick response and consistent sustain for both the veteran and beginning cellist. A good rosin for players with respiratory difficulties.


Melos Baroque Cello & Bass Viol Rosin

Pros: Wow, I love this Baroque cello/viol rosin.  Though it’s made for traditional sheep gut strings, it still plays wonderfully on modern metal-core/wound strings.  Incredible glide, with even grip from fingerboard to bridge on all strings. Lighter tone than Kolstein; plays smooth; a finer grade.  It feels as if the bow hairs are melting into your string, like a hot knife through butter.  No harsh squeaking sounds on the A string.

Cons:  Have yet to find any, this stuff is near perfect in my book.

Melos Baroque Cello Bass Viol Rosin is superb for use with period instruments using gut strings. This Baroque version rosin is stickier than rosin for their modern counterparts. Melos founder Christos Sykiotis, himself a cellist, explains it this way: “The gut string sounds not easy as a metallic string. We shouldn’t press the bow in order to play so we need a stickier rosin to play easy.” Melos rosins are made in small batches from Greek pine resin and other natural ingredients.

Try a combination of their two modern cello rosins:  Melos Dark (fall/winter) & Light (spring/summer) Cello Rosin


Rosin for Percussionists

Kolstein All Weather Bass Rosin – I originally heard about Kolstein rosin a decade ago from a professional double bassist (and have loved it ever since).  This past weekend, I premiered a composition by percussionist Garrett Mendelow.  This duo piece included three sections: (i) guqin zither + pedal board, tape, singing bowls and crotales (ii) tabla and Indian cello (iii) bowed vibraphone.  We tried my Kolstein rosin on the bass bows + my Tatsuya Nakatani beach wood cello bow on the vibes.  The tone was delicious.  The vibraphone bars played smooth and spoke well.  OK percussionists, the secret is out! Get that Kolstein bass rosin, it’s even stickier than the cello version – you won’t need much.

Speaking of percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani… I had the immense pleasure of performing in his Nakatani Gong Orchestra this September.  It was hands down, one of the most unforgettable performances of my life. What a tremendous honor to learn directly from the bowed gong master himself (thanks Scott Gordon of Tone Madison for curating)!  I’ve been using one of Tatsuya’s hand made Nakatani-Kobo bows for about 3 years.  I love it.  The tone, the bite, the feel, the articulation…. his bows are incredible.  They are designed for gongs and cymbals, so I tried it on the vibraphone.  The Nakatani-Kobo bow spoke much quicker and with less pressure than a (often over tightened) double bass bow.  Percussionists, these bows are made for bowing metal, check them out.  I asked Tatsuya which rosin he prefers to use, his answer was: Pops Bass Rosin.


Alright Cello Zone studio, that’s all for today’s post.  I hope you find this helpful when selecting your next cake of rosin!  Follow the blog, like us on facebook and share with other cello friends.  Leave your comments below, what’s your favorite brand of rosin and why?

Happy Practicing!

Brian Grimm