Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Elvis (Costello),Mozart, Swolen ankles, Jewelry and Earthquakes

AIM 8/23/11 1:15 PM
N:where are you now?
A:Home and waiting...for the birth of my child.
A:It makes singing kind of sucky
N:Yeah. It must be hard to breathe or you know, see your feet!
A:that too. less important in the singing thing.
The last concert I did was a Mendelssohn Elijah in the Berkshires
I was a little more concerned about peeing in my pants than breathing (pick your battles)
N:amazing. right. I was at Falcon Ridge playing bass with Susan Werner! I love that those are so close and always the same weekend
A:I wish they weren't at the same time though!
N: So annoying that we can't go to each other's shows but we get to go to Manna Dew and Rouge!
A:OMG it was so hot that weekend. so...playing bass while sweating...not fun at all?
N:Yeah. Not so much. But playing with Susan is always a blast
A:Totally. She's amazing. Berkshire Choral Festival I was mostly dealing with my feet not fitting in my shoes and the pee pee issue. ;-)
N:Did you wear a diaper?
A:I did not. I did, however, consider it.
So besides sweating your ass off, how was it?
N:It was great. We played the next day at the XPoNential festival in Philly. That was a blast. And I get to play bass a bunch this fall- September 24th at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago and then in October in Nevada and then Pepperdine University in Malibu
A:Ok. Emergency. Gotta pee. Be right back.
N:Ah, pregnancy is so glamorous.
A:No kidding. Ok I'm back. Tell me about Mary Chapin Carpenter. Didn't you just open for her?
N:I did! At the Zeiterion Theatre in New Bedford. She was so incredibly nice. Her whole crew and the band, just the nicest people. And she was amazing. I've never seen her play before. Such a good show!
A:She's famous! Even I know who she is
N:Ha! Well, I somehow missed the MCC boat and didn't know any of her songs but I'm a big fan now, I'll tell ya that. And I do know that a LOT of people LOVE her so I really kept that in mind when opening for her. As in, keep it short and sweet and get outta the way
A:Very cool. I have been listening to Elvis Costello lately.
N: Really? Wow!
A:Yeah. As part of a return to my musical roots - Men at Work and Toto, our first records.
N:Followed closely by Thriller of course.
A:Of course.
N:Which Elvis Costello record are you listening to?
A:I got a greatest hits. And they are. Great.
N:Ha! God, that voice!
A:So good. And such interesting harmonic stuff too
N:Have you heard Raul Malo?
I opened for him last year at the Ram's Head in Annapolis.
A:Where I just saw you open for Shawn Colvin? Where the hell was I?
N:Yeah. That place. And who knows?
A:Um, no...don't know Raul Malo but now I'm curious.
N:I'll get you some of his music. And again- nicest guy ever.
N:So after the baby, will you take some time off?
A:I am planning to take the semester off from teaching at Catholic University
N:That'll be hard on your students, I bet. They'll miss you.
A:I'll miss them too, but it seems like the most prudent thing to do. And I've got two gigs in November which will be my first ones "back"
N:Yes! I'm coming for those!
A:You're coming for the Mozart in Spain
A:I've also got a gig at the Kennedy Center with the Washington Chorus
N:Jeez! That's amazing!
A:My friend, Julian Wachner is the music director
N:Cool. Can you hang on? Now I gotta go pee. I went to a spin class this morning. Thought it might be good since I pulled my back last week....not so much
A:I'm sorry!Maybe yoga?
N:Yeah. I did that yesterday. That was good. like super slow old people yoga.
A:Um...maybe lie down?
N:oh. right. lie down.
A:that's my speed of yoga
N:haha. pre natal = pre sleep yoga
A:I tried to touch my toes last night...not so much
A:I did touch my knees
N:that's a good start. half way
A:I'm told they're en route
N: Yea. Your knee bones are connected to your cankle bones
A:nice. oh, and my protruding (half anyway) belly button
N:that's how you know the Turkey's cooked
N: Ok. So Spain, Kennedy Center...then what?
A:Spain, Kennedy Center - my friend Julian Wachner wrote a piece that I premiered for him in Boston with the Back Bay Chorale a few years ago. We're doing the Washington premiere in November. It's beautiful - called Come My Dark Eyed One.
It's one of my favorite pieces of contemporary classical music.
N:Oh yeah. I came and hung out with you in Copley Square
A: Right. Did you come to the concert though?
N:I didn't. I came to the urban outfitters.
A:Better choice ;)
N: Wow, you're gonna be a super busy new mom!
A:I'm having panic attacks
N:Well, she's gonna be super portable for a couple years so that's good
N:And you'll have help! Any time you wanna take me to Spain, I'm in!
A:I wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat about how to get her through the airport.
N:Uh...in a stroller?
A:Right. I just mean, I know how to travel by myself. I'm even good at it, but now I've got this little creature to take care of - or I will in about a week - and I don't know how to do that yet let alone how to work while I'm doing it
N:you're gonna be great at it!
N:She's gonna have the coolest mom!
A:She'll definitely have the coolest aunt.
A:A lot of vocal exercises are great for babies. They love the weird sounds
N:Totally. And girls are really vocal. girl babies. lots of cooing
A:and drooling
N:yes. and other double o words...spooning?
A:are you going to make her jewelry?
N:Are you gonna pierce her ears?
A:She can have her ears pierced when she's old enough to take care of the earrings.
So, when she's 30
N:or what was the rule we had? not until you're 11 or when you get boobs. I think you got boobs. And I got whiney
N:and boobs
A:I thought it was 10...it was 11?
N:maybe you're right
A:You know, my right earring hole is too far back.
I've always wanted to get that fixed. I think I must've flinched.
N:What was that place we got our pierced?
N:Wow. I have no idea
A:Yeah. They now have moved to the East side of Broadway on 86th street
that was the Italian restaurant
N:Wow. I can't believe that place still exists.
A:We're all holding up. I was at least, until my ankles decided to become personal floatation devices
A:Ok. So you and Adrianne Gonzalez are quite the renaissance women! Maybe the baby and I can come sell merch for you two?!
ooh la la
N:OMG! That's a great idea. She'll be the best model! The necklaces might be a little long for a while but you know, maybe handpainted onesies are next
A:That's a great idea!
N:um. actually it kinda is.
A:Maybe also a hand painted bib - you could make the center from guitar wood so it could just be wiped down.
N:Whoa. You're blowing my mind. See? this is how it happened.
We started with the paintings- choosing a lyric and then "illustrating" the songs. made like 35 paintings. and then we started playing the shows. We printed out our lyrics and people posed with them. we call that part Art.is.You. Then we had all these amazing photos so we started printing them onto canvas and guitar wood
then we made all this jewelry on guitar wood from Guild guitars with our lyrics on em
A:So fun!
N:We just started our Etsy Store and we're making a whole new batch of stuff for a show in September in Key West.....
um. I think there's an earthquake
not kidding
A:I just ran out of the house
We just had an earthquake here too
N:are you ok?
It's now on the news
It knocked some shit over
N:I'm trying to call you. Not working
are your phone lines down?!
2:23 PM
N:you ok?
2:39 PM
A:Yeah. I'm ok.
You left the chat by logging out or being disconnected.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Big Hair, Berkeley and working with our heroes.

AIM IM with ariazuk 3/31/11 10:56 AM

N:Welcome back from Berkeley! How was it?
A:Soggy. It rained for two weeks straight
N:Ah yes. California "winter"
A:They said that even for them it was excessive. But the show was really good and we got a kind of kick-ass review in the San Francisco Chronicle.
N:That's amazing!
A:Thanks! How's Florida?
N:Also soggy. My hair is so big!
N: So wait. Tell me about what you did out in Berkeley. You had rehearsals the first week? Every day? And then how many performances? And how was working with Lorin Maazel?
A:So, we had rehearsals the first week every day 3 - 7 hours a day
and then a couple of days off the second week.
I had an audition for San Francisco Opera which I thought was good, so all-told, a good trip. Maestro Maazel is great to work with.
N: You auditioned for the SF Opera? That's amazing! Didn't you audition for them before?
A:SF Opera? No
N:Oh. I thought you did.So that would be to be a part of the company or for a specific role? Is it like Black Swan and you get to be the visiting badass but this time from New York?
N:Did you see that movie yet, by the way?
A:Um. No. I need to and it comes out this week on the on demand.
N:So freaking scary. And awesome.
A:I did see The Town, and a really bad Jennifer Aniston movie on the plane
LOVE Virgin America
N:Jennifer Aniston movies AND internet. WOOHOO! And that weird lighting. It's like being on an airplane rave.
A:Totally! What's with the spa music?
N:Spa music- they're trying to soothe the savage beast.
A:Let me tell you something, spa music works well - especially when the plane is full.
N:So wait. The audition. Do you know what you're gonna sing before you go in or is it like "name this tune"?
A:Um, so you go in with the aria you want to start with and then they ask for what they want to hear after
N:Wow. What if you don't know it?
A:Ha! Not like from the canon of operatic repertoire - you come in with a list, and they pick from the list
N:oh. oh ok. So they're not trying to stump the band
A:No. But that's funny.
N:Like, "You don't know this obscure Mahler piece? You're OUT!"
A:No, they're not trying to stump the band, but I like that idea.
N:OOOH! New reality show!
A:I think we've got a reality tv show in the works! Great minds.
N:Ha! So it's not for a specific role?
A:No. It was just a general audition so that they know my voice and hopefully will think of me for future productions.
N:When do you find out?
A:I think I don't find out
N:Oh ok. They just know you now
A: I asked my manager and we don't get feedback. They'll just keep reminding SF Opera that they know me
N:Even though you were just an entire CHORUS across the Bay.
A:Even though I was an entire chorus....
N:Do companies like that make known what they're going to be presenting in advance?
N:Like they'll say we're doing La Boheme this year and then your manager sends you in?
A:Well, often you audition for a specific role (or several) in a season.
This time though, there were three of us from the same management and so we all three auditioned just to be heard.
N:Wow. Do you feel competitive with them or is it more supportive?
A:All three of us are different voice types, so there's no competition
and at this point, I feel like it's useless not to support my colleagues
N:Right on. Me too.
A:Why be in this business if it's going to suck?
N: Totally. We get to create our realities why be around people who suck? Or be a person that sucks? Never got that one.
A:haha! I really love the people I was working with in Berkeley. Speaking of...
A:My people? Not so much.
N:hahaha. But did you make it to Berkeley Bowl? Tell me you did.
A:I made it to Top Dog a lot
A:It was raining. Don't be mad.
N:Did you go to O Chame?
A:O...no. We went to Olivietto and then at a lot of college-asian-food. Delish!
N: I love that. College Asian Food. What's that? Pad-See-Yew...in second period?
A: HA! And Pho for the hangover/binge eating. Not that there was that going on with us. We were just happy to have cheap food near the hotel
N:College towns are good for that. Wish I was there. There's really nothing near this hotel.
A:Where are you again?
A:Ouch. I mean not that there's anything wrong with Gainesville.
N:I bet it's awesome here but it's pouring rain and I don't have a car.
So Hilton it is. Poor me.
A:I swear, it's a theme - the rain, I mean
N:It's the end of the world so there's that.
N:Yes, Eloise.
A:There's another reality show: Stuck in the Hotel. Maybe that's already on?
N:I bet. Sounds right up A&E's alley....
N:Ha! Well the gym here is awesome. Went yesterday already and there's power bars in the snack bar. For $14.
A:A slight mark-up
N:Just slight. And today is Martini Thursday starting at 5. But I'll be at the venue already. SAD.
A:SO sad. So, how's Janis Ian?
N:She's great! She's such an amazing performer. And she has so much energy. She's been teaching every day too and she's out on the road through April. Pretty tireless.
A:Is it like working with Maazel for me - someone you've looked up to forever and suddenly you're colleagues?
N:To be honest, I didn't really know much of Janis's music but I knew OF her and I was a fan of her story.
A:But she's iconic to you hippy people, right?
N:I think she's on the front cover of Hippies For Dummies.
A:ha! She's the hippy Mozart
N: Well, kinda actually. I mean she wrote her first song when she was 13. Hit song that is. Society's Child was not only a huge success, it was a really important song. About a white girl in love with a black boy. This was the 60's. That shit was NOT ok. And then she wrote At 17 which is so important to so many people the world over.
A:That's amazing. Pardon the ignorance...
N:You should read her book. It's actually awesome. She hung with Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Odetta, Nina Simone.
A:That's amazing.
N:Her stories aren't boring, let's put it that way.
A:No kidding!
N:And she's still such a badass player. Better, even.
A:Maazel's similar. Talks about Pavarotti and people like that. He worked with all of them!
N:He's the Janis Ian of the Classical World.
A:He's not that tall either, come to think of it
N:haha! A lot to be learned from these people for sure. And she's been so generous to me.
A:Makes me want to pay more attention to Dad's rambling, sometimes!
N:No kidding. We probably should.
A:Pay attention to your parents. It's a good lesson we've learned via Janis Ian and Lorin Maazel. Maybe they're actually our parents?
N:Uh, let's stick to mentor.
A:Oh ok.
N:I love that story about when dad met....uh...shit! What's his favorite violinist's name?
A:Nathan Milstein?
A:Jascha Heifetz
N:And he sat at his feet.
A:I don't think I know this story. Tell.
N:Well he sat at his feel while Heifetz smoked a cigar. Guess that's why dad smoked cigars. EW!
A:well, it's sort of a good reason...
N:True. Well there's not so much of a story but I've just never heard him talk about anyone with such a star struck kinda thing. He was late to this party dad was at, I guess and I think dad had just played the Beethoven for the first time- 17, 18 years old. So Heifetz comes in and just holds court. Not by DOING anything. Just with his presence.
A:Kind of like dad does now?
N:Having just had my cd release party, I can tell ya dad does the same thing. Minus the cigars. Amanda won't let it.
A:Hilarious! Right. That "star quality" thing. I think you have it
N: Awww. Nah. I just have big hair. And getting bigger. Thanks, Florida.
A:I have a big tuchus. Thanks, DNA.
N:HAHA! So you're home now for a little bit? What's next?
A:Well, the semester ends up at Catholic University and I've got FIVE students with recitals. I have to help them with their stress
and then next month, I'm doing a benefit at Bard for the Center for Spectrum Services that (our) aunt Laurie runs
And I'm doing a Verdi Requiem with the National Philharmonic here in DC. And post-Florida? Where goes the hair from there?
N:Me and my fro are going back to Brooklyn and I get to go to the Guild Guitar Factory and pick out a new guitar! They're endorsing me now, did I tell you that?!
N:Thanks! I'm so excited. So the factory is in CT and I'll go on my way to meeting Janis in Fall River. We play Fall River, Brooklyn and then Infinity Hall in CT.
A:I wish I could come...
N:Me too! Then I get to play with my buddy Erin McKeown who i haven't seen in forever, and fly out to the west coast to play with Susan Werner. Then back to the midwest to play with Janis and Tom Paxton and then I meet up with Garrison and the band again in Ann Arbor and we play there, Buffalo and then a few shows in Canada.
A:Damn. You're busy. But you're coming to Granma's birthday, right?
N: Of course! I'm playing in Northampton on the 15th with Erin so I have the day off before and I'll come for granma's bday.
A:Where are you on the 13th?
N:Home! Wanna come up and we can drive together?
A:That would be so fun.
N:We might just have to hit foxwoods on the way to Boston.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Blog two: Colvin and Mozart, but not in that order.

AIM IM with ariazuk
9:52 AM
A:more blog!
N:more blog! So I can't keep it straight- when do you leave for Berkeley?
A:Well, I have to come to New York first to sing the Mozart Requiem with the New Choral Society in Scarsdale.Will you be home?
N:Zow! When's that?!
A:The Scarsdale Mozart is March 12th
N:No. Boo. Are you gonna be around on Monday? I'm opening for Shawn Colvin at the Ram's Head in Annapolis and I put you and Pete (Arianna's husband) on the list just in case.
A:WAIT! THIS Monday?
N: Yes!
A: WOW! Wait this Monday as in March 7th?
N:That's the very one
A:Monday, March 7th, you're opening for Shawn Colvin at Ram's Head in Annapolis?
(can't be said enough)
N:Yup! Kinda pooping my pants. Even though I've done it before. Doesn't really take away from the fact that SHE'S MY ALLTIME FAVORITE OF EVER.
A:Even I know who she is!
But you have nice pants. Don't poop them.
N: Ha! Actually, what should I wear?!
A: Call Amanda (our stepmom)
N: Good idea....So...you're not around?
A:NO, I AM around!
Well, I put you two on the list but I know it's not exactly "local" so if you can't make it, no worries. But if you CAN, they have amazing salmon and they'll feed you.
A:Catholic University (where I teach) is on spring break, so I don't even have to deal with being tired the next day. I'll tell Pete and I'm sure he'll want to come too. I love Ram's Head!
N:Me too!
A: What's after that?
N:Then I go to Pittsburgh the next day and meet up with Garrison to continue CD release shows!
A:NICE! Pittsburgh has good Italian food!
N:And a great bookstore near the venue that I love.
So...are you going to send out a facebook post about Berkeley or an email?
How do you stay in touch with your fans?
A:My minions?
N:Your flock?
A:My sheep?- Now this sounds like an aria from the Messiah.
A:Generally I send out an email, but lately Facebook has been so much easier
I'll probably do both.
N:Do you have Twitter?
A:I don't tweet. I don't understand how. Teach me how, please.
N:Well, I never used to twat but now I do ;)
N:Well, I imagine the classical audience still isn't much for social media, am I right?
A:You know, it's actually a big discussion in the classical world about how to remain relevant. There are the HD opera broadcasts from the Met at movie theatres, but...I have a ringtone that I downloaded from the LA Philharmonic's website.
N:Uh...yeah. That's the same thing!
N:Have you seen that LA Phil App where you can conduct? Dad loves it!
A:I heard about that app, but I haven't seen it. I'll have to get dad to play with it on Skype for me!
N:The faster you shake the thing, the faster the orchestra plays. It's awesome.
A:nice! That's cool.
N:And you pretend to be Dudamel. It's pretty hilarious
A:I pretend to be Dudamel anyway. I covet his hair
N:ps. I got a haircut and I look more like Dudamel than ever!
It's short again. don't get mad.
A:Too late
A:I wish classical music felt more relevant in the world...
N:I think change has to come. And I think it is. For example, I read actual newspapers, my entire family is in music and I found out about James Levine finally announcing his farewell from Boston from a blog.
A:Yeah. I saw that blog too.
N:Well, there ya go. That's progress...
And also I think you should send out facebook posts about your upcoming performances.
A:I will. Now?
N:Well, one blog at a time.
A:You're all connected all the time
N:Well, it's been really great to connect with fans. It's harder and harder to get information out there
A:even though it's supposed to be easier and easier
N:Totally. We're talking about going back to actual physical postcards sent to people on my mailing list that I have addresses for.
A:The USPS thanks you
N:HA! Like twice a year with my tourdates
A:That's a great idea
N:and if people get that card, they bring it to a show and get in for 1/2 price or free or...I dunno yet but sumpthin good.
A:super smart
N:I can't tell you how many times I play a show in a town- let's say Charlotte. I send out a newsletter, a reminder, three facebook posts, a clever twitter and play the show.
The NEXT DAY there will be at least two messages on my facebook or an email saying, "When are you coming to Charlotte?"
I want to write back "I'm coming...YESTERDAY!"
A: Oh. You should. It's a great way to seem friendly. ;)
N:HAHA! Well, until there's billboards on the highway announcing our Casino shows, I don't know how pepole are gonna know.
A:oooh...casino shows?!
N:oooh. The Zukermans play Foxwoods
A:I like it
N:Maybe not a bad idea?
A:Actually, maybe not Although, I'd prefer the Belaggio, but whatever.
(Is that a casino, or just a hotel?)
Uh...speaking of all this - why isn't the Shawn Colvin date on your website?
N:OMG. It isn't?! yikes
A:It isn't.
OK, so go fix it, and I'm going to make breakfast
N:Ok. What are you having?
Cuz we didn't even talk about all the places you need to go in Berkeley to eat
(besides of course to see my mural)
A:That's next blog
And yes, I'll be sleeping next to your mural
N:I hear it's comfy!
A:Ok. So next blog: Food on Tour. What's more important?
N:Actually, nothing.
A: OK, I just put the Scarsdale Mozart on Facebook. Come one, come all.
A:YAY! I love you too!
N:you rule
A:no you

Monday, February 14, 2011

Ok. We're writing our first blog.

From an IM conversation 9:32 p.m. 2/14/2011

A: Wanna make a blog?
N: yeah. ok
A: ok
N: uh......you start
A: ok, we're serious musicians.  Say something serious.  Blog-worthy.
N: So tell me what's coming up for you. You know, operatically speaking.....
A: well (she said, audibly clearing her throat) I'm singing a super-awesome recital with Navah Perlman (THAT musical family) and then I'm going to Berkeley to sing the role of the Female Chorus in the Rape of Lucretia with Lorin Maazel conducting.
Serious enough?
N: you sing a whole chorus? how can you do that?
A: She is me.  I am she.
N: Lorin Maazel.  He's like a big deal, right?  Does he know he's got an extra A in his name?
A: He's super famous. I'm not telling him how to spell his name.  You know we've got a "c" missing in our name
N: this I am aware of.  And apparently my name is Natalie.
A: and Arianne
N: ha
A: nice!
N: So you get to be in Berkeley for 2-ish weeks?
A: ish
N: do you rehearse every day?
A: Yes . We rehearse every day.
OK, and what's going on with you - musically speaking, of course?  Been at any gas stations? Bought any roses?
N: Only gas station coffee these days.
A: Is that a song on your new album?
N: Yup. Title track off my new record- Gas Station Roses.
You're clever.
And it's coming out March 8th but the cd release shows have started. I missed you in California by just a few days. That's dumb
A: Tots dumb
N: Uh, I think there's an e in totes.
A: Yeah, when it's a bag
N: hahahaha
A: So, how does it work for you to have an album that's not out yet, but you're on a tour promoting it?
N: Well, it's a little sneaky to be honest
But that's the beauty of being an independent artist.
N: The record will be distributed nationally through a company called eOne Entertainment starting March 8th but because a big label doesn't own the record, I can sell it at my live shows and I don't have to give a label the money. We (me and Willy) are the label.
A: Porter, right?  And can I have some of the money?
N: Yes Willy Porter. And....I'll make you dinner.
A: Done.
N: Should we go get dessert?
A: Tot(e)s