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Oct 30, 2008

New York Harp Trio tours Australia

By Irving Waters

A five Concert tour of Australia's Arts Capital, Melbourne, has brought recognition to New York's resident Trio: The New York Harp Trio and gathered attention for young composer Rob Paterson .

The Trio (Flute Harp and Viola), visited Australia for three weeks, performing at the various Spring Music Festivals and giving master-classes at the University of Melbourne, the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA), and at the Australian National Academy of the Arts.

With the aid of a monetary award from the American Australian Association, the three musicians boarded a Qantas airbus for 23 hours, and played in sold out halls all over the State of Victoria.

"We were hopeful that Australian audiences would be receptive of a modern program" said Peter Bucknell, violist. "Rob Paterson's piece: "Embracing the Wind" was a huge hit, especially as it was inspired by the 2000 olympics in Sydney. The crowds were extremely attentive in Melbourne. We found a real depth there."

The two (rather gorgeous) girls were seeing Australia for the first time, and were impressed with its natural beauty:
"Our tour manager gave us 3 days off, and we all learned to surf!" said flutist, Anna Povich de Mayor. "We needed a break as we had several concerts and master classes throughout the tour, and the jet-lag hits you pretty hard at the beginning. The performances were pretty flawless as we were so well prepared; We knew there would be time to see the wineries and drive the Great Ocean road so we rehearsed thoroughly before leaving New York."

Harpist in the Trio: Bridget Kibbey, who recently released her acclaimed debut CD: ""Love is Come Again" sold all of the cds in her suitcase after just one concert. "The Trio played really well" said Kibbey, "the audiences were so involved in our performances in Australia, and there was lots of interest from presenters and other festivals. We've been invited back in 2010."

The New York Harp Trio performed at Bendigo's Soulfood Festival (link), the Port Fairy Festival, The Peninsula Arts Festival in Sorrento, the National Academy of Music (ANAM), and Melbourne University.

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Jun 30, 2008

Japanese fashion High Heels chase the Foot-Binding Tradition

Japanese women are enjoying new heights in footwear (sorry).

Despite warnings from her Chinese Great-Grandmother, a Japanese Shoe designer is encouraging Japanese Fashion Victims to embrace those childhood ballet classes on point shoes and gain a few inches.
Some Japanese Fashionistas are boycotting the new designs saying that they are too ridiculous to be taken seriously..

Sponsor:Capezio Dance Shoes
(Read About the New York Shop)

Eddie Izzard at Radio City Music Hall, last night in New York City in "Stripped"

The thing about a Live Eddie Izzard Show is: you have to concentrate....
If you drift off for a second, you lose his super-unpredictable train of thought and strain to catch up what the truck he's talking about. But when you are on the train, it's hilarious.

If you don't already know enough about this street-trained-English comic/actor, take a look at his

Radio City Music Hall is HUGE... and controlling a crowd that big looked easy for Izzard, because it IS easy for him. He's a natural. It's like having a cup of tea for him...
I remember watching him in Edinburgh in the late 80's on his 6 foot Unicycle, escaping from a locked straight-jacket, while chatting with the audience. His street shows would sometimes last a couple of hours, which didn't make sense financially, but Eddie wasn't in it for the money. He just loves entertaining people.

Having a chat with his Dad after the show at the Penthouse of the Dream Hotel, Mr Izzard Sr. said that "Eddie has always been an entertainer".

Eddie was recently given an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Sheffield, where he was given the boot before being able to complete his studies in the 80's.
Needless to say Eddie's Dad is very proud, even through a 15 year bout of cross-dressing: Hair by Devachan (Read the Toimes article).

Eddie, a really lovely bloke, friendly and polite, and a pretty decent juggler (given time to warm up), encourages America to vote for Obama, and hopes that Americans will soon be able to travel without sewing Canadian flags to their luggage.

Here's a quick look at Covent Garden, where Eddie could be found about 20 years ago...
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'Where the Hell is Matt' world travel dance video heading for 4 million Youtube views

Matt thinks Americans need to travel abroad more.
Watch this film, it has something simple yet..... well, watch it.

This 30 something-year-old made so he could keep his family and friends updated about where he is.

One day in Hanoi, his friend said "Hey, why don't you stand over there and do that dance. I'll record it" - a particular dance Matt does. Someone found the video online and passed it to someone else, who passed it to someone else, and so on. Now Matt is quasi-famous.

Stride Gum asked Matt if he'd re-do the film while taking another trip around the world to make a new video. Matt asked if they'd be paying for it. They said yes.... that was the 2006 trip....

Eventually in 2007 Matt went back to Stride with another idea. He traveled the world one more time and invited the people who'd emailed him over the last year, to come out and dance too.

The Stride people thought that sounded like yet another very good idea, so they let him do it.

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Jun 24, 2008

'The Bar Room Menu' at the Museum of Modern Art's "The Modern"

New York Restaurant Review by Irving Waters
The Policy is: "The Customer comes first" at Danny Meyer's restaurants. It's not just a saying, they really believe it, and if you go there for a drink or a meal, you will feel the difference. (He is responsible also for the Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, the Shake Shack....)

The Modern is situated 3 doors East of MOMA. It gets busy at the usual hours, it's quite full by 5:30, so arrive early... or late.
Sit at the bar and try the Warm Veal and Goat Cheese Terrine with watercress, which is beautifully prepared and presented. If you like sushi, try their Arctic Char Tartare with basil and trout caviar. These are on the "Bar Room Menu". Prices are in the 'munching with a drink range': the Warm Veal and Goat Cheese Terrine with watercress which was delicious was $14.

At The Modern, specialty cocktails have been well thought out by master mixologist: Ehren Ashkenazi, so be adventurous.
Try the MoDERN MaRTINI: Cilantro-Infused Tanqueray & Fresh Lime Juice.
Location: 9 East 53rd street

Dining Room Reservations are accepted up to 28 days in advance and can be made by calling 212.333.1220 or by visiting

Bar Room Reservations are also accepted up to 28 days in advance by calling 212.333.1220 or visiting

Additionally, the Bar Room welcomes guests on a walk-in, first-come-first-served basis.


Jun 18, 2008

Kathleen Turner, helps "New York's Frailest": Meals on Wheels.

Kathleen Turner is pleading to New Yorkers for money to help She is on the board of Citymeals-on-Wheels , a fine organization which raises private funds to ensure no homebound elderly New Yorker will ever go a day without food or human company. Last year 3 million nutritious meals were delivered to 18,000 frail aged in every borough of New York City. In addition, 1,511 volunteers collectively spent 40,357 hours visiting and delivering meals to New York’s frailest.

One hundred percent of all public donations go to the preparation and delivery of meals.

70% of their recipients over 80, and with corporate cutbacks they are about to hit the nasty red line where they have to tell old people that "they may only get two meals this week...."

New York City doesn't have the resources to cover what Meals on Wheels covers, which is where we have to step in.

Please donate here, $36 buys 6 meals for a nice little old lady. Go on.


Jun 16, 2008

New York Chamber music ensemble: MAYA breaks through art barriers in Live Concert

"MAYA" a New York based ensemble made up of flute harp and percussion mashed together the skills of visual artist: Kevork Mourad with the live music processing of Eve Beglarian, to perform this fascinating live performance piece, during a concert of modern works, in a packed June concert.

This group is really worth seeing.

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Jun 6, 2008

Phillip Seymour Hoffman buys Manhattan apartment for well over $4 million

The Real Estalker reports that Phillip Seymour Hoffman has gone to contract to purchase a lofty apartment on Jane Street in the West Village which carried an asking price of $4,400,000.

BUYER: Phillip Seymour Hoffman
LOCATION: Jane Street, NY
PRICE: $4,400,000
SIZE: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: One of a kind three bedroom, 2.5 bath apartment in the best location in the West Village. High ceiling, beautiful wood floor, authentic doors from Provence, and a wood burning fireplace. The living room is one of the largest single spaces in the West Village.
The bathrooms are finished to perfection, and the entire apartment is a quintessential West Village oasis

We think he's earned it, don't you?

More Celebrity News>


May 27, 2008

New York Harp Trio awarded $$ by Dame Joan Sutherland Fund

Article by Irving Waters

Manhattan based Chamber Music Ensemble: The New York Harp Trio, has just been awarded a grant from the Dame Joan Sutherland Fund to visit Melbourne, Australia later this year.

"The Ensemble, made up of Flute, Viola and Harp plays modern repertoire by composers around the world." says flutist, Anna Povich de Mayor. "We are excited to take Compositions we have discovered to Australia, as these pieces are so well received here in the United States. Robert Paterson's work: Embracing the Wind is a real masterpiece."

The Trio's Harp Player, Bridget Kibbey, has recently released a new CD called Love is Come Again, which has been moving off the shelves at a great pace, according to cd baby.

When the Trio arrives in Melbourne, Kibbey will be working with Stuart Greenbaum's composition students from Melbourne University on pieces they are writing especially for her.
"I'm so happy that Stuart's students will be writing for the Harp, mostly for the first time,"
says Kibbey,
"We'll be creating a new base of composers who will have learnt the ins and outs of composing for this beautiful instrument."

Peter Bucknell, Melbourne born Violist, fears that the Trio will have too much fun in his home town of Melbourne.
"It's possible that they may never come back, it happens all the time to Harp Players and Flute players. It's like the Bermuda Triangle for beer drinking musicians"
says Bucknell, between gulps of Fosters.
It seems that the Trio is looking forward to their three week trip to Australia, during which they will be performing at the Australian National Academy of Music, Bendigo's Soul Food Festival, The Port Fairy Festival, and concerts at Melbourne University, in Sorrento, and working with students at the Victorian College of the Arts and St Catherine's Girls School.

We wish them luck for their October Expedition Down Under, and urge them to come back to New York when their 'work is done'.... Cheers.
More in the Arts>


Apr 27, 2008

Video Games Live: Review of New York City Show

As Gamers lined up outside the Beacon Theatre on Broadway, scalpers were asking up to $150 a ticket (Well... I was; maybe he saw me coming). The smoke machine had been trickling its haze onto the stage for a few hours, and the 2 hour rehearsal had almost covered all the music, with a few numbers left to be read at sight in the performance. The free coke being passed out by the line on the street had taken its effect as the orchestra made it's way on stage, and a costume contest was taking place: loudest applause wins...

The audience were given its money's worth. Most raucous were the volunteer moments when some vintage games were played live on stage to live orchestral backing: the conductor giving signals of which section to jump to if the player moved on, died, won, lost exploded or was run over by a car hit by a log. Frogger and space invaders, live... Who would have imagined 30 years later....

For the audience, it was a truly unique experience to hear some of their favorite game music played live with the energy of 40 musicians behind it. Halo, Final Fantasy... all really good music, and worth hearing in concert if you are familiar with it already.

Read the earlier post

In Other Technology News>

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Apr 25, 2008

Free Broadway Tickets in New York: if you volunteer to usher

You can get in to Some shows for free: In exchange for an hour or so of your time (usually before the show, sometimes half an hour afterwards), handing out programs or checking for forgotten handbags after the show.
Full Report in "THE AGE" by Sue White.

Volunteer Ushering is a little-known way to see shows for free. Forget lining up with the masses for cheap tickets, numerous New York theatres have volunteer usher programs, using up to a dozen volunteers per show.
Call the theatre's box office or house manager and ask if they use volunteer ushers, and how to register.

Each theatre will have its own system, so there's a bit of running around involved to set things up but, as some have pointed out, this is no more time and energy than you might expend lining up for last-minute tickets or at the half-price ticket box.

Sue White says: "Volunteer ushering gave me the opportunity to see five shows in the space of a week. Ironically, the work is not usually "ushering" itself. You'll be stuffing programs with updates to the cast list and then checking for lost property after the show. My roles included pointing confused patrons to the bathrooms; handing out programs; and (my favourite), asking patrons to stand and wait while the "real" usher returned to show them to their seat. Only at the high-energy Blue Man Group show was I entrusted with the actual task of ushering - because the seating plan was so foolproof they figured a volunteer could hardly muck things up."

Once the lights go down, ushers are pointed to the best seats available and simply sit and enjoy the show.

More in the Arts>


Apr 22, 2008

Is Berlin the New New York? Have renters been raped too many times?

We have noticed that recently there is an "Art Drain" to Berlin... Our artists, musicians and free spirits are being priced out of Manhattan by greedy landlords, whose rents are so exorbitant now that there's really not much point anymore....

Quite common amongst artists living in the US is credit card debt and tax debt. So moving to Europe makes sense to them as they don't have any $US to their name anyway. May as well live in relative poverty in Berlin where the rent is half as much and you don't have to sell out to survive.

The attitude is different there. You can find bars that will ask for 'whatever you believe is fair'. Pretty unusual eh?

More in the Arts>


Feb 3, 2008

James Coviello Fashion Show review and runway video, New York Fashion Week

James Coviello's gorgeous 2008 Fall Collection impressed a celebrity crowd on Saturday Evening, in an East 27th street ballroom.

A wearable collection, classy, elegant and very fresh.

Classic vintage style hats and fabrics set off by wintery makeup from Nars Cosmetics by Julio Sandino.

For more videos from NYvideo.US go here

Jan 23, 2008

Opera DVD release "FIGARO" is a first from London's Covent Garden

London's Royal Opera House's first Opera DVD release will be David McVicar's highly-acclaimed production of Mozart's "Marriage of Figaro" on 1 March 2008: to become available on the Opus Arte label - bought by Covent Garden back in May 2007.

One of the company's greatest hits in recent years, McVicar's Figaro is set in a palladian villa. The cast includes Erwin Schrott as Figaro, Miah Persson as Susanna, Gerald Finley as Count Almaviva, Dorothea Röschmann as Countess Almaviva and Rinat Shaham as Cherubino.

Recorded live at the Royal Opera House during the production's original run, Tony Pappano (pictured left) conducted the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House also playing continuo.

One of the greatest productions of Figaro that many of us had seen in decades, well let's face it, ever: "The audience loved it, from Schrott's macho antics all the way down to Cherubino's sewn in genitalia".

The 2-DVD set features interviews with Pappano, McVicar and the principal members of the cast, as well as a 'cast gallery' and synopsis. It has a running time of 184 minutes and has both DTS surround sound and LPCM stereo.


More Arts News>

Jan 22, 2008

Heath Ledger's Death: Trouble sleeping may have led to accidental overdose.

Heath Ledger, was found dead in Apartment 5A, at 421 Broome Street in SoHo by the housekeeper and the masseuse this afternoon. A police spokesman initially told media that the apartment Ledger was found in was owned by the actress Mary-Kate Olsen, but later retracted his statement and said that was not the case.

The housekeeper and Masseuse who had arrived for his 3:30 house call, tried to wake Ledger up but found him unresponsive at 3:20 p.m. They eventually called paramedics (after first calling one of the Olsen Twins for advice, who sent two of her heavies over) and he was pronounced dead at 3:35. Police confirmed that sleeping pills were found near Ledger's bed (which is not surprising as the poor guy had trouble getting to sleep at night).

The Ledger family, including father Kim and mother Sally and sister Kate spoke to reporters in Perth:
"We, Heath's family can confirm the very tragic, untimely and accidental passing of our dearly loved son, brother and doting father of Matilda," his father said.

A large crowd of paparazzi and onlookers began gathering outside the building, where several police officers guarded the door. Ledger had a turbulent relationship with stalkerazzi who as usual... hounded him. In 2004 he assaulted a photographer in Sydney. (We like this.) Go get 'em Heath. But in retaliation a photograper at the Sydney premiere of Brokeback Mountain squirted Ledger in the face with a water pistol. Nice behavior.

Early this year Heath was reported to be seeing Gemma Ward after media articles linked the two together at end of 2007 holiday celebrations.

Friends say Heath was extremely health conscious, and ate well, bought the healthiest food he could find locally.
It's all a bit of a mystery still..

Heath Ledger was the son of Sally Ledger Bell (née Ramshaw), a French teacher, and Kim Ledger, a race car driver and mining engineer; fiance of actress Michelle Williams, father of one daughter, Matilda, who was born in 2005. His daughter's godparents are Ledger's Brokeback costar Jake Gyllenhaal and Williams' Dawson's Creek castmate Busy Phillips.

Heath's 29th birthday is on April 4th. Too young to die. He will be missed.

More Celebrity News>

Jan 13, 2008

Wall Street's Trinity Church "loses" Music Director of 17 years: Doctor Owen Burdick

Note: This article was written before new facts were released: Burdick did not resign his position. The 'resignation' was a cover up. He was ruthlessly fired by Trinity in an ugly plot hatched by Trinity Church's administration. Called in to a meeting by Trinity, Burdick's computer was disconnected, and his tenure terminated. Told to go quietly (if you want to keep your pension, don't talk to the papers... kind of thing) Burdick did what was asked of him by the Trinity Administrators, for a while at least.... New York Times reported later here
Read on:

In a brave move, Dr. Owen Burdick ended his 17 year tenure at the secure and illustrious post of Music Director of Trinity Church. His decision to use his considerable talent to teach and compose has come as a shock to all around him.

Burdick, a man not easily rattled by pressure, politics or fame, has affected the lives of many during his tenure at Trinity; not to mention his self defining interactions with President George W. Bush both in Downtown New York and at the Whitehouse which have been noted by many, if not in the press, for their self-endangering nature. On their second meeting, President Bush was quoted as saying:
"I remember you, I've been thinking about you."
...having been asked directly, during a hand shake protocol, by Burdick to
"Bring the troops home sir."
This is typical of Burdick's egoless yet bloody minded approach to all things. These personal attributes may be the key to both his success at Trinity and his recent decision to set out again, lunch packed, on his own.

As a musician, Burdick's lightest touch has brought enormous change to Trinity Church. His interpretations have brought tired and over played works new vitality, doubling audiences at Christmas time to necessitate repeat performances. Trinity has been kept on the cutting edge with it's state-of-the-art digital organ, which no musician can tell apart from the pipe organ that it replaced (filled with 911 debris). His courageous move to engage an orchestra (the REBEL Baroque Orchestra) that uses only authentic period instruments has been well received by audiences and critics alike, and is the only baroque band in the city that keeps a consistent ensemble of loyal players, without changing personnel willy-nilly as other groups all seem to do.

His choir's almost miraculous tonal purity has been cultivated by Burdick over years of meticulous recruitment and disciplined training (listen). With a budget that he could have blown on expensive soloists, he instead spent money on rehearsal, drawing the soloists from the choir, offering unique opportunities to young singers to be heard around the world from Trinity's Webcasts.

So why then is Burdick leaving Trinity? Reporters have been interrogating everybody who will pick up a phone at the famous church, to no avail.

As one of his musicians of ten years, I can offer this:
The question of 'why so sudden?' lacks the dignity deserved by such a pre-eminent tenure. It's a natural curiosity that should be overshadowed by a healthy respect for his achievements.

Burdick is a builder, and perhaps this vessel is finally all varnished up. The next question is: "Who gets to sail this beautiful craft next?"

Read previous articles about Trinity>