Safe distance sounds

Brett Campbell gets down with the beat at home with a stack of recent Oregon jazz recordings.

MusicWatch Weekly: Second summer chills out

Happy Indonesian Independence Day! Seventy-four years ago today, Indonesia declared its independence from the Netherlands after three centuries of Dutch colonialism (I’ll bet you thought they were always just about tulips and weed). To celebrate, here’s a little video (if you can’t read Indonesian, skip on down): So in a minute I’m going to tell […]

MusicWatch Weekly: clarinets cut loose!

Singers Zachary Lenox, Hannah Penn, and Vanessa Isiguen, and basset horn players Todd Kuhn, James Shields, and Richard Hawkins perform Mozart at CMNW. Photo by Tom Emerson.

“Good afternoon! I’m David Shifrin, and I play the clarinet!” A big roomful of laughing clarinetists goes “woooo!” and welcomes the Chamber Music Northwest Artistic Director to Portland State University’s Lincoln Performance Hall for the first of the festival’s five New@Noon concerts. It’s the last Friday in June, it’s breezy and just uncomfortably warm enough, […]

MusicWatch Monthly: Radioactive glowing disk returns to Oregon!

Caution: Radioactive glowing disk has returned to Oregon’s skies! Remember your sunscreen! Remember your sunscreen! Message repeats. Five weeks and one day There’s an old zen saying: you should meditate 20 minutes every day unless you’re too busy, in which case you should meditate for an hour every day. Two festivals of contemporary classical music […]

‘From Maxville to Vanport’: redressing erasure through music

The story of African Americans in Oregon has too often been a tale of erasure. From the frequently unacknowledged racist origins of the state’s long legal exclusion of black immigration, to obliteration of neighborhoods and displacement of communities of color, to stifling of voices of protest, stories of African American Oregonians that don’t fit the […]

MusicWatch Weekly: for the children

The Christmas season celebrates a child’s birth and delights kids all over the world. But there’s little comfort and joy for many children today. Even before little Alan Kurdi’s body washed up on that Turkish beach three years ago, children were bearing the brunt of the Syrian refugee crisis and so many other catastrophes. Fear […]

MusicWatch Weekly: from Maxville to Vanport to here and now

“The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting” ― Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting So much of what ails America and Oregon has roots in our history. So much could be prevented or at least healed if we knew and listened to the lessons history teaches. But too […]

MusicWatch Weekly: out of the past

We sometimes imagine the past as a frozen portrait, but the early music movement that began accelerating a couple generations ago has revealed that our understanding of how music was performed and perceived in centuries past is ever evolving, thanks to the hard work of scholars around the world, including at the University of Oregon. […]