“Setup Madness!” Episodes 03 & 04 are live on ‘Brian Grimm’s Cello Zone’ youtube page! feat. Jargar Superior A D (medium)

Episode 03: Jargar Superior A string (medium)

In Episode 03 and 04 of my new series “Setup Madness!” we’ll be changing from Pirastro Perpetual Soloist A & D (med) to the Jargar Superior A & D (med)! I was very excited to try this new Superior string set from Jargar because I grew up playing on Jargar’s Classic A & D strings (med). I have high hopes for their new developments in string making (and honestly think it’s a little overdue!). You’ll be listening to me make observations, noting crucial differences between the Pirastro and Jargar strings. For episode 03, I’ll still have the Pirastro Perpetual Soloist D (medium) and Cadenza G C strings (light) on my cello; and in episode 04, I’ll be switching over to Jargar’s Superior D (med) string.

Special Thanks again goes out to the Dane Arts Council for awarding me one of their 2021 ‘DANG! Arts Grants’ which funded the purchase of my new camera setup and all of its accessories! http://www.danearts.com


Episode 04: Jargar Superior D string (medium)

I’ll be taking a vacation for the next 2 weeks, so there’ll be no new ‘Setup Madness’ episodes until the end of January, next year… But! Here’s what you have to look forward to in the next few episodes!

Episode 05 will feature the Larsen original C string (heavy gauge)
Episode 06 will feature the Larsen original G string (heavy gauge)
Episode 07 will feature the Pirastro Passione gut G string (strong gauge)
Episode 08 will feature the Pirastro Passione gut C string (strong gauge)
Episode 09 will feature the Pirastro Oliv gut D string (light)
Episode 10 maaaayyyy possibly feature the Pirastro Eudoxa gut A string (medium) with the Passione GC and Oliv D… we’ll just have to see…. but it looks like I’m moving back to gut….

Annnd, starting with Episode 07 you’ll finally get to see some footage from my new camera!!

Lots already filmed, as you can see, so subscribe to the “Brian Grimm’s Cello Zone” youtube channel to keep up to date when each episode as it comes out (I post on Monday or Thursday).

Happy New Year,
Stay safe out there!
~ Brian

New “Setup Madness!” Series Launched on Cello Zone YouTube!

Hey There Cellists!
I just launched Episodes 01 and 02 of my new video series “Setup Madness!” on the Brian Grimm’s Cello Zone! youtube page! My goal is to eventually put out videos on Monday and Thursday – but I need to get faster at editing my videos before I can stick to that schedule for the long haul. So even if I can’t hit my mark of two videos a week, I’ll at least only upload on those two days, for consistency’s sake.

Episode 01: Series Introduction

Don’t worry, I won’t do this much talking in all of my future videos… But, I had to introduce this particular series in the first episode so y’all know what is going on and what to look for in the future!

In Episode 01 of my new series “Setup Madness!” we’ll be listening to the sounds of Pirastro Perpetual Soloist A D (medium) strings in combination with their lighter gauge Cadenza G C strings. These strings had been on my cello for about 10 months when I recorded this C minor warm up session back in late October, 2021. I’ll be switching the strings out one by one over the next few episodes with the Jargar Superior A D (medium) and Larsen Original G C (strong). The original music you are hearing in the background while I’m talking was composed and recorded a year ago, and I had just switched to the Perpetual Soloist string set while recording for that project. So you are also hearing the sounds of the strings when they were fresh too!

Original music in the background of this video is from the “17th Unniversary Suite” and is exclusively available on my GrimmusiK Records bandcamp page:


Episode 02: Pirastro Perpetual Soloist AD and Cadenza GC Deep Dive

In Episode 02 of my new series “Setup Madness!” we’ll be listening to the sounds of Pirastro Perpetual Soloist A D (medium) strings in combination with their lighter gauge Cadenza G C strings. These strings had been on my cello for about 10 months when I recorded this C minor warm up session back in late October, 2021. I’ll be switching the strings out one by one over the next few episodes with the Jargar Superior A D (medium) and Larsen Original G C (strong). Episode 02 is essentially a more in-depth continuation of Episode 1. It’s longer with more playing and you get to hear my observations and thoughts on the strings as I go. I still play through the open strings with each bow (incase you missed that in Episode 01); after which I continue to explore, warm up, and improvise in C minor. This is not meant to be a performance, but an open window into my warmup process and thoughts on the strings as I prepare for a recording session later that day.


More “Setup Madness!” episodes are on the way soon! Let me know what you think, this is a pretty loose, open format video style. I will definitely be putting out some official review videos where I lay out my thoughts in a concise manner. This is meant to be a little more free flowing, open-session style of video.

Let me know if you have tried the Perpetual sets and what you think about them in the comments down below!

Best Wishes,
~ Brian


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I’m Leaving My Teaching Posts…

Here’s a little Bach gigue to dance you away, in joyful spirit

Life Update

Monday, 8/23/2021 was my last day teaching cello lessons! I’ve kept this pretty quiet, but I’m stepping away from all of my teaching posts at Monroe Street Arts Center, Prairie Music & Arts, and Music con Brio. It was a hard decision to make, but ’twas something that had been on my mind for a few years (even before the pandemic hit). Though I’m sad to say goodbye to all of my cello students and supportive families, I’m glad for all of the time we got to spend together making music! That time means a lot to me and I hope that I was able to make a positive impact on your lives.

It’s been pretty surreal to say ‘good-bye’ virtually to all of my students and employers, as opposed to in-person… I’ve taught at Monroe Street Arts Center and Prairie Music & Arts for 7 years and Music con Brio for 3 years, time just flies! I became close with many of my bosses and fellow teachers, and was really lucky to teach along side some very good friends and even some bandmates (how cool is that)! Though I’ll no longer be teaching for Music con Brio, I’ll still be on board as the Music Engraver for their Black Composer Project!! Can’t wait to see how this program blossoms!

An enormous Thank You to all of the administrative staff who helped schedule lessons, handle payments, and recruit students who fit my teaching style. Big Love and Respect to my bosses for believing in me as a teacher, and for giving me critical feedback alongside educational training to better my interactions with students. I learned A LOT.

I’ll be posting up more video lessons on my Brian Grimm’s Cello Zone YouTube & Instagram pages once the dust settles on the next few projects. So folks can continue to learn from me in that capacity, if you find my videos helpful.

I’m stepping away from teaching to focus my energies on Composition and Recording. Now that lessons are finished, I’ll be diving straight into doing sound design and theater score for 2 different Plays under the direction of my dear friend Mikael Burke!! Super excited to jump into the deep end on these productions, including a return to my alma mater Butler University!

PS. If you or your ensemble would like to commission a piece from me, or your band is going on tour and could use my mult-instrumental services… hit me up!!!


4/11 | Thollem’s Hot Pursuit Of Happiness w/ Glassmen, Space Tugboat and Stray Passage @ The Frequency

Wed, 4/11 | @ The Frequency

121 W Main St, Madison, WI 53703

Doors 7pm // Show 7:30pm

18+ ID Required
$8 (+$3 minor surcharge @ door)

Thollem
Glassmen
Space Tugboat
Brennan Connors & Stray Passage

//////////////////////////////thollem-at-luggage-store-cropped_3THOLLEM (On Tour)
With a synthesizer and a microphone, Thollem’s Hot Pursuit Of Happiness forges elements of Punk Rock, Blue and Psychedelia, among many other influences. Including new songs and solo arrangements of Tsigoti songs, with “fluid keys pulverization” (Brad Cohan, Spin Magazine), Thollem’s work is ”political debauchery and a forward vocal delivery … that comes a-swingin’ right out of the gate” (Chocolate Grinder, Tiny Mix Tapes)

Over the last decade, Thollem’s toured non-stop internationally, recording with over a hundred different musicians from a wide variety of genres resulting in more than 60 albums on 22 different vanguard labels. As a vocalist, Thollem’s been releasing albums the last 10 years with his Italian agit-punk band Tsigoti (5th album soon), Hand To Man Band (Mike Watt, John Dieterich, Tim Barnes) and Andy Kaufman plus his initial solo album ‘Machine in The Ghost’. He’s planning on releasing the first HPOH album later this year.

Thollem has performed and recorded with members of Deerhoof, The Minutemen, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Half Japanese, Wilco, Unwound, Old Time Relijun, Cibo Matto, Jealousy Party, Stars Like Fleas, Tenderizor and more. 

www.thollem.com/hot-pursuit-of-happiness

Personal Note: Thollem McDonas is one of my favorite perma-tour Experimental artists.  He has been very influential to my free improvisation explorations in the last decade.  I’m thrilled to share a bill with him once again!  Also, I can’t wait to see Angela, I always learn so much from her.  It’s been a couple of years, they are beautiful people and there’s much to catch up on.  Thollem has collaborated with GrimmusiK Records in the past on both the Colias experimental/ambient compilation, live free-improv collaborations at Dobra Tea, and with a marvelous performance at our Audio For the Arts series (can’t seem to hunt down the live recording for that, unfortunately).  Thollem has an overwhelming discography, check out his extensive releases here.  < So much wonderful music to explore in his collaboration filled catalog.

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Brennan Connors & Stray Passage (Madison, WI) is a jazz trio that embraces free and structured improvisation, original compositions, groove based material, and sound exploration. The breadth of a performance ranges from fiery high energy music to focused minimalism, all while maintaining a sense of narrative organization and compelling ensemble interplay.  “Emergence” CD (setola di miale) available at the show!

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Glassmen (Madison, WI) is experimental indie rock with guitar, organ pedals, drums, and vibrato. The sound, sometimes jarring, is fragile, sharp, and reflective — like glass.

Sarah Jennings Evans started Glassmen in 2012 after being diagnosed with a rare joint condition that left her unable to use her arms.  She created music with voice, organ pedals, and loops of old recordings.  Guitar came back as her arms recovered.  Meanwhile, multi-instrumentalist Vivian Lin (TUO TUO) kept busy playing in other people’s side projects (The Party Drug, The Divine Hammers), but was looking for a musical home.  She joined Glassmen in 2015 to add drums and vocals.

Personal Note:  I’ve been meaning to get on a bill with Glassmen for a couple of years now and it’s finally going down!  ^ Check out this live version of Needle, love the sound.  Excited to hear their live set!

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Space Tugboat (Madison, WI) is dark catchy punk rock, with a twist of demented humor of reality. 

Personal Note:  Big thanks to Dan from Space Tugboat for hooking up the show and taking care of booking.  Dan has supported Stray Passage for years and given us opportunities to play.  Now we finally get to share a bill together!!