Can Music Reverse Global Warming? Here’s Hoping

May 16th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

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It seems universally acknowledged that music has a positive effect on people. From Mozart CDs for babies to the music played for the senior residents through the Musicians Care Project at Hebrew Healthcare, society embraces music, and particularly classical music, as a means for improving intelligence, social interaction, and personal development. Although the “Mozart Effect” fad of the early 90’s has been somewhat debunked, there is still overwhelming evidencethat focused participation in musical ensembles and active listening to music has positive effects on the brain.

But can music positively change the physical world? Next month, the HSO will perform a piece that might suggest it can. The work is Alternative Energy by composer and West Coast DJ Mason Bates.

Bates says about this piece:

“Alternative Energy is an ‘energy symphony’ spanning four movements and hundreds of years.  Beginning in a rustic Midwestern junkyard in the late 19thCentury, the piece travels through ever greater and more powerful forces of energy — a present-day particle collider, a futuristic Chinese nuclear plant — until it reaches a future Icelandic rainforest, where humanity’s last inhabitants seek a return to a simpler way of life.”

Bates’ takes his inspiration from the things that physically fuel our world today. He walked around a particle collider, recording “huge power surges, epic hydraulic releases, [and] alien-sounding high frequencies,” which are interspersed into the hall in a surround sound like experience for the audience, as if they are inside the particle collider.

 

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Bates also asks the performers to create and play on a drum set made out of foraged car parts. Last week, HSO Principal Percussionist Robert McEwan traveled with the HSO Tech crew to a local junk yard to seek out the pieces he would need to make the drum set.

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HSO Percussionist Robert McEwan looking for drum set pieces

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They left with a muffler, a tailgate from a truck, a gas tank, a fender and a few other miscellaneous pieces. In a few weeks this junk  will be transformed into an orchestral instrument. Not only do we think these pieces will look fantastic on The Belding stage, but with one perfectly timed mallet strike our musicians will turn this garbage into music.

Will our performance of Alternative Energy reverse global warming?  Alternative Energy will do what music does best- make us take a step back and think about ourselves and our environment. It suggests a path for the future where we rely on our existing resources, like musical instruments made from recycled junk. Will the audience be inspired to decrease their own carbon footprint, advocate for cleaner fuel sources, and teach the value of environmental conservation to future generations? Here’s hoping.

Drink a Beer and Support the Symphony

September 4th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

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Back East Brewery and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra have releasedBachtoberfest, an Oktoberfest-style seasonal beer produced by Back East Brewery. Beginning the week of August 26th, Bachtoberfest will be available on tap at many great restaurants throughout the Greater Hartford and New Haven markets, including several restaurants in downtown Hartford. Bachtoberfest also will be available for purchase at the Hartford Symphony’s 70th Anniversary Opening Night performances at The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts October 11 and 12.  Beginning August 28th, Bachtoberfest will be available for purchase in half-gallon growlers in the tasting room at Back East Brewery in Bloomfield, CT.  Back East will be donating a portion of the proceeds from each growler sold to the Hartford Symphony Orchestra in support of their artistic, educational, and community programs.

5 days until LIFE: The Nature Conservancy

April 22nd, 2013 § 1 comment § permalink

As we count down to this Saturday’s performance of LIFE: A Journey Through Time, we will highlight our final LIFE community sponsors, The Nature Conservancy. On Saturday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m., the Hartford Symphony will perform LIFE: A Journey Through Time, beginning with a panel discussion featuring Dr. Frogard Ryan, Executive Director of The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut. She, along with National Geographic Photographer Frans Lanting and Daniel C. Esty, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, will discuss the impact that the public and the arts can have on Nature Conservation efforts around the state.

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The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. For more than 50 years, the Connecticut Chapter has worked with its partners to protect and conserve Connecticut’s wondrous forests, rivers and shoreline. In 2012 alone, The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut planted American Elm trees resistant to Dutch elm disease in three communities to help restore elm populations, as well as the species they support;maintained the 14,000-acre preserve network while adding 212 more acres; opened 63 miles of river through dam removal; secured $50,000 in grant funding to help protect Brazil’s Atlantic Forest; focused our work in Long Island Sound to protect habitats and restore water quality; secured $200,000 in federal grant funding for coastal resilience to advance nature-friendly solutions, such as tidal marsh migration; assisted nine Connecticut communities with a climate preparedness planning process; and taken a lead in climate disaster-risk preparedness. This work and more continue every day, through our supporters’ generosity, so that we and future generations can enjoy our one-of-a-kind Connecticut life.

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How Can I Help?

Donations to The Nature Conservancy can be mailed to 55 Church Street, Fl 3, New Haven, CT 06510. Phone donations can be made to Laura Brownstein at 203-568-6278 and Laura Weinberg at 203-568-6281. Online donations can be made to nature.org/connecticut (choose Connecticut in the designation field). General volunteers inquiries can be made to Laura Brownstein  at 203-568-6278 or Martha Rice at 203-568-6294; At Devil’s Den Preserve: Cynthia Fowx at  203-226-4991, ext. 116; and At Sunny Valley Preserve: Laura Shail at 860-355-3716.

You can contact The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut at:
55 Church Street, Fl 3
New Haven, CT 06510
203.568.6270 phone
203.568.6271 fax
nature.org/connecticut
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18 days until LIFE: Rivers Alliance of Connecticut

April 9th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

As we count down to the April 27th performance of LIFE: A Journey Through Time, we will highlight our LIFE community sponsors, continuing today with Rivers Alliance of Connecticut:

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Rivers Alliance of Connecticut is the only statewide 501(c) (3) non-profit dedicated to protecting and enhancing Connecticut’s rivers, streams, and aquifers.  Our members are individuals, organizations, and corporations concerned with the health and conservation of the state’s waters.  Rivers Alliance was founded in 1992 to promote and support environmentally sound state policies; to assist the state’s many watershed and river groups; and to educate the public about the value of water and aquatic habitats. Our talented twelve-member Board of Directors includes representatives from the state’s major river and watershed organizations.

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Looking ahead to 2013 and beyond, we will be working on the following issues:

  • Protecting state-conserved watershed lands that are at risk of takeover for private development.
  • Reversing the proliferation of harmful pesticides.
  • Preserving and enhancing streamflow.
  • Cleaning up and protecting groundwater.
  • Rolling back the state’s draconian water secrecy laws.
  • Promoting a rational, fair statewide water management plan.                                                                                               river-alliance_quinnipiac-river                                                                                                                                            How can you help?                                                                                                                                                        river-alliance_margaret-invertebrate-sampling                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Funding for Rivers Alliance is received from our members, grants, and special events.  Membership categories are:  Individuals and Families: $35.00; Nonprofit Organizations: $50.00; Patrons: $50.00; Sponsors: $100.00; Businesses: $250.00; Sustainers: $250.00; Benefactors: $500; Guardians: $1,000.00.  Membership donations can be mailed to: Rivers Alliance, P.O. Box 1797, Litchfield CT  06759, or made securely online at http://www.riversalliance.org. If you would like to volunteer, please e-mail rivers@riversalliance.org or call us at (860) 361-9349.
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32 Days Until LIFE: Riverfront Recapture

March 26th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

As we count down to the April 27 performance of LIFE: A Journey Through Time, we will highlight our LIFE community sponsors, continuing today with Riverfront Recapture:

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Riverfront Recapture is a unique private, non-profit organization dedicated to improving central Connecticut’s quality of life and urban vitality through cultural events, entertainment, group sports and recreation in a welcoming environment along the banks of the Connecticut River, as well as ongoing efforts to protect and maintain the riverfront and make more of it accessible to the public.  It is the first and only organization in the region to offer this combination of programming, all designed to connect people to the river, get them back in touch with nature within an urban environment and provide them with experiences they might not otherwise have. Riverfront Recapture began in 1981 with the goal of transforming the banks of the Connecticut River from an area walled off by flood dikes and cut off by Interstate 91 into a vibrant, active riverfront of four parks connected by riverwalks and bridges.  The Riverfront parks currently attract nearly one million visitors a year.  The organization is dedicated to preserving the hard work and investment it began 31 years ago while it looks to expand and enhance the park system.riverfront-r_g5

Thanks to the annual support of hundreds of individuals and many family foundations, our festivals, youth enrichment programs, concerts and athletic competitions are offered to the public free of charge. Riverfront Recapture could not accomplish its wide range of activities without public support.  Donations can be made online at www.riverfront.org, or by calling 860-713-3131 x 326.

How can you help?

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Do you have free time?  Want to learn more about your community and its history and help make a difference to the people who love our parks?
Why not join the Riverfront family as a volunteer.  Riverfront volunteers are a vital part of the Riverfront Recapture family. They are depended on to help organize and assist at events, enhance visitors’ experience, lend a hand with landscaping and gardening and offer youth programming options to area kids.  When you volunteer, you’re applying your time and talents in ways that positively impact the individuals, organizations and corporations using the riverfront park system. You’ll meet and work with great people, and enhance the staff’s knowledge by sharing your own skills and experiences.  Individuals, families and groups are all welcome. Please help provide our Metro Hartford residents and visitors an inviting, well-kept park system and free, quality events.  Volunteer today, and fill your tomorrows with excitement, learning and fun!  Please call Samantha at 860-713-3131 x 305 or email scappelletti@riverfront.org.

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46 days until LIFE: The Connecticut River Watershed Council

March 12th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

As we count down to the April 27 performance of LIFE: A Journey Through Time, we will highlight our LIFE community sponsors, continuing today with The Connecticut River Watershed Council:

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The Connecticut River Watershed Council (CRWC) is the primary citizen’s advocate for the entire Connecticut River and its four-state watershed. Since 1952, our members have helped to protect water—the river, its tributaries, lakes, fish – and the land, plants, and creatures connected to that water.  CRWC’s day-to-day work stretches from the Quebec border to the tides of Long Island Sound and helps preserve an amazing natural heritage for future generations. Our efforts include habitat restoration, river cleanups, outreach and education, and advocacy. Join us today to make a difference in the health of the river and your community.

Aerial of Oxbow and Oxbow Marina on Connecticut Rivernear Holyoke Ridge and Mount Tom, Northampton, MA

Aerial of Oxbow and Oxbow Marina on Connecticut Rivernear Holyoke Ridge and Mount Tom, Northampton, MA

How to show your support:

Join the Connecticut River WateCT Watershed_S2S 2010 boy with 2 bags - John Stack aka SpiritDog Photography - originalrshed Council for the 17th annual Source to Sea Cleanup. On October 4thand 5th, volunteers will help remove debris from the Connecticut River, local tributaries and their shores.  Sign up by yourself or organize a group – congregations, schools, scouting chapters and businesses enjoy working together on this annual event. Last year more than 2,000 volunteers helped to remove 99+ tons of trash from the river. For more information on this event contact Jacqueline Talbot at (860) 704-0057.

To become a member of CRWC, pledge your support or learn about corporate sponsorship opportunities, please contact Dana Gillette at (413) 772-2020, ext. 202 or dgillette@ctriver.org. You can also join or donate online at www.ctriver.org.

Sunset over Connecticut River from Charter Oak Bridge, Hartford, CT

Sunset over Connecticut River from Charter Oak Bridge, Hartford, CT

“My thoughts turn towards you, my Immortal Beloved…”-Ludwig Van Beethoven

February 14th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today marks the final day in our month-long ode to love in words and music. To celebrate, we bring you the mother of all love letters, Beethoven’s letter to his “Immortal Beloved:”

While still in bed my thoughts turn towards you, my Immortal Beloved, now and then happy, then sad again, waiting whether fate might answer us – I can only live either wholly with you or not at all, Yes, I have resolved to stray about in the distance, until I can fly into your arms, and send my soul embraced by you into the realm of the Spirits – Yes, unfortunately it must be – you will compose yourself all the more since you know my faithfulness to you, never can another own my heart, never – never – O God why do I have to separate from someone whom I love so much, and yet my life in Vienna as it is now is a miserable life – Your love makes me at once most happy and most unhappy – At my age I would now need some conformity, regularity of my life – Can this exist in our relationship? – Angel, I have just heard that the mail coach goes every day – and thus I must finish so that you may receive the letter immediately. – Be patient – Only through quiet contemplation of our existence can we achieve our purpose to live together – Be calm; for only by calmly considering our lives can we achieve our purpose of living together.- Be calm – Love me – Today – Yesterday – What yearning with tears for you – You – You my life – My everything – Farewell – Oh continue to love me – Never misjudge the most faithful heart of your Beloved

Ludwig Van Beethoven

Ever Thine

Ever Mine

Ever Ours

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Join us at the HSO tonight through Sunday at Love is in the Air for live love letter readings as well as music by Rachmaninoff, Mahler, Bizet and Falla.

“I love you very much and want to hear from you and you are very pretty.” -Syd Barrett

February 13th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

We continue with the final week of our month-long look at love in words in music today with a love letter, complete with illustrations, from an 18-year-old Roger “Syd” Barrett, a founding member of the band Pink Floyd, to his girlfriend, Jenny Spires:

Dear Jen, you are a little dish.

I’ll tell you everything that happened at the recording. We took all the gear into the studio which was lit by horrid white lights, and covered with wires and microphones. Rog had his amp behind a screen and Nicki was also screened off, and after a little bit of chat we tested everything for balance, and then recorded five numbers more or less straight off; but only the guitars and drums. We’re going to add all the singing and piano etc. next Wednesday. The tracks sound terrific so far, especially King Bee.

When I sing I have to stand in the middle of the studio with ear phones on, and everyone else watches from the other room, and I can’t see them at all but they can all see me. Also I can only just hear what I’m singing.

I hope you got home alright Jen, and that you had a good time. You wouldn’t have been able to come in to the recording and anyway it went on till after midnight, and would have been a whopping drag for you.

It was a nice thing to be which was tra tra la. (do not bother to interupt)

Do what you want Jen. I love you very much and want to hear from you and you are very pretty.

I am a bit fed up with everything today and I want to be in Cambridge or Greece but not in London where all I do is spend money and travel. The sun is shining though.

Love, Roger.

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We invite you to submit your favorite and personal love letters to love@hartfordsymphony.org. Our month-long homage to love will culminate this weekend at Love is in the Air on February 14-17. Led by Music Director Carolyn Kuan, this program will feature music by Rachmaninoff, Mahler, Bizet and Falla, as well as live love letter readings.

“I think you must have been giving too many kisses…”- Lewis Carroll

January 24th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

We continue our month-long look at love in words and music with a love letter from English Author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll,  to his close friend, Gertrude Chataway:

Christ Church, Oxford, October 28, 1876

My Dearest Gertrude:

You will be sorry, and surprised, and puzzled, to hear what a queer illness I have had ever since you went. I sent for the doctor, and said, “Give me some medicine. for I’m tired.” He said, “Nonsense and stuff! You don’t want medicine: go to bed!”

I said, “No; it isn’t the sort of tiredness that wants bed. I’m tired in the face.” He looked a little grave, and said, “Oh, it’s your nose that’s tired: a person often talks too much when he thinks he knows a great deal.” I said, “No, it isn’t the nose. Perhaps it’s the hair.” Then he looked rather grave, and said, “Now I understand: you’ve been playing too many hairs on the pianoforte.”

“No, indeed I haven’t!” I said, “and it isn’t exactly the hair: it’s more about the nose and chin.” Then he looked a good deal graver, and said, “Have you been walking much on your chin lately?” I said, “No.” “Well!” he said, “it puzzles me very much.

Do you think it’s in the lips?” “Of course!” I said. “That’s exactly what it is!”

Then he looked very grave indeed, and said, “I think you must have been giving too many kisses.” “Well,” I said, “I did give one kiss to a baby child, a little friend of mine.”

“Think again,” he said; “are you sure it was only one?” I thought again, and said, “Perhaps it was eleven times.” Then the doctor said, “You must not give her any more till your lips are quite rested again.” “But what am I to do?” I said, “because you see, I owe her a hundred and eighty-two more.” Then he looked so grave that tears ran down his cheeks, and he said, “You may send them to her in a box.”

Then I remembered a little box that I once bought at Dover, and thought I would someday give it to some little girl or other. So I have packed them all in it very carefully. Tell me if they come safe or if any are lost on the way.”

Lewis Carroll 

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We invite you to submit your favorite and personal love letters to love@hartfordsymphony.org. Our month-long ode to love will culminate at Love is in the Air on February 14-17. Led by Music Director Carolyn Kuan, this program will feature music by Rachmaninoff, Mahler, Bizet and Falla, as well as live love letter readings.

“The ring of fire still burns around you…”-Johnny Cash

January 23rd, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

We continue our month-long look at love in words and music with a suggested letter from Suzanne of West Hartford, CT. Suzanne sent us a link tolettersofnote.com, which brought us to this love letter from Johnny Cash to his wife, June:

Hey June,

That’s really nice June. You’ve got a way with words and a way with me as well.

The fire and excitement may be gone now that we don’t go out there and sing them anymore, but the ring of fire still burns around you and I, keeping our love hotter than a pepper sprout.

Love John

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We invite you to submit your favorite and personal love letters to love@hartfordsymphony.org. Our month-long ode to love will culminate at Love is in the Air on February 14-17. Led by Music Director Carolyn Kuan, this program will feature music by Rachmaninoff, Mahler, Bizet and Falla, as well as live love letter readings.

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