Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sunday Sunday Sunday

Good morning! Thanks to everyone who came out to Hummelstown for the Foodbank fundraiser, a good time was had by all and all were had by the good time. The weather was right and no rain - by the time the sun set, it even cooled down a bit - unfortunately not too much on stage!
Here's a bonus, Monahan's Jig with Hank and I from the middle of the set:
MP3 file

On air today on WITF, then off to a party in Manhattan...

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Grab bag

I've been going non-stop since last week, and it keeps up through next week. Always good to be busy - I have just never remembered the summer being quite this busy!

First off - join me Saturday night for a concert in Hummelstown - a benefit for the Foodbank. It's at 7pm and going to be a blast:
Paul and Hank’s Free Concert to Support Hummelstown Food-Bank
Description: Folk, country, rock favorites, and a few surprises with Paul Zavinsky, Hank Imhof and friends
Location: Schaffner Park, Hummelstown
Contact: (717) 566-2555

Also keep an eye out, I just completed my article on "New Music in Central PA" for the American Music Center's New Music Box. Here's a little preview - just some excerpts...check out the completed version here later in August.

The United States has the Department of Homeland Security, so why not a Department of Homeland Sonority? Instead of Air Marshals, the new Department of Homeland Sonority would employ Airwave Marshals to attend local concerts, and report on the modern music scene. Infractions could include sloppy program notes, and of course would include searching for new sounds.
Here in Central PA (no one around here really says Pennsylvania, the colloquial most often used is PA [not “pah”, but the letters, P, A]), the Airwave Marshal would be kept quite busy attending premieres, new music ensembles, chamber series and orchestra concerts. Let’s see what a typical season would be like if you were employed by the Department of Homeland Sonority.
At State College, you can find performances at the Performing Arts Center (, including Regina Carter, the Kirov Orchestra as well as Heidi Grant Murphy and Kevin Murphy join the St. Lawrence String Quartet in the world premiere of Songs from the Diaspora by Roberto Sierra. Yes, there is more than Nittany Lion Football and Joe Paterno at Penn State– and the drive is gorgeous along the Juniata River. Stop off at the Red Rabbit along Route 322 in Duncannon for a burger and milk shake, you’ll be glad you did!
Each summer pianist Awadagin Pratt visits Central PA and presents the Next Generation Festival (NGF) ( with his friends and students. Concerts take place across the region, from Annville to Selinsgrove, based at Millersville University. Last season audiences enjoyed music by Osvaldo Golijov and Dmitri Shostakovich; previously they’ve premiered works by Thomas Kraines and Theodore Shapiro. Artists at NGF vary from the Cypress String Quartet and Rachel Barton Pine to Juliette Kang and Zuill Bailey. Be sure to stick around after concerts for the “talkback” - where we have it on good authority that whoever is the current “chip leader” of their nightly poker games, has to ask or answer in some sort of dare/challenge. The NGF takes place over two weeks each June and future commissions are afoot for upcoming seasons.
If you’re in Annville hearing the Next Generation Festival, or a performance at Lebanon Valley College (another fine Liberal Arts school in the area) stop by MJ’s Coffee Shop and the Annville Theater ( They’ll have good java and often some new music – their jazz series runs October through June each year on the first Thursday of each month, and will often have all sorts of acts in between.
You can always slip away to Philadelphia for the likes of Orchestra 2001 or to Pittsburgh and their fabulous New Music Ensemble under Kevin Noe’s vision, but there are plenty of events to keep an Airwave Marshal active in Central PA. Good luck! Should you accept these venues and values as an Airwave Marshall, this message will self destruct in five, four, three, two, one…

Some helpful pronunciations in Central PA
Lancaster: LANK-kister (not Landcaster)
Lebanon: Leb-nin or Leb-eh-nin (not Leb-uh-non)

John Nasukaluk Clare is a radio broadcast professional, violinist and webmaster of Winner of ASCAP’s Deems Taylor Award in 2005, he is a member of Phi Beta, the American Music Center and an ordained minister of New Music of Universal Life Church. He moved from Las Vegas to Harrisburg, PA in June of 2005.
Remember, this is a preview and draft, it will be posted here in August.

Tomorrow I'm getting my hair cut and sending to it Locks of Love.

Saturday afternoon I thought there was a wonderful event - turns out the lovely picnic with the Blue Mountain Lotus Society is actually next Saturday the 5th of August, and I can't make it!

Sunday I'm filling in at WITF and then heading to NYC for a chamber music party/going away bash for a good friend - I'll be back in H'burg Monday morning late.

Tuesday I'll meet with some good folks about a chamber music organization about their board.

Oh, I'm getting ready to move to an apartment - a little more managable than the huge house I'm in now.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Rehearsing 4' 33"

Here is Molly and I rehearsing a violin duo version of John Cage's 4 minutes and 33 seconds. (Senza violins completely!)

Self Portrait 2

Here I am near Lake Erie in Cleveland.

Self Portrait

In Cleveland this last weekend:
[in front of the Cleveland Public Library]

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Cleveland rocks!

Tomorrow I head out to Cleveland for the Phi Beta convention. I'm inducted as a member on Friday, play at a luncheon Saturday and then accompany a mezzo in Bach's Erbame dich from his St. Matthew Passion that evening. I've also arranged to spend a little more time afterwards so things aren't too rushed - and I can truly focus on practicing and performing, then take in some sights, yeay!
It's at the Hyatt Regency at Arcadia - which looks mondo cool.Here's my program for Saturday afternoon, all solo violin:
Grazyna Bacewicz - Polish Caprice
JS Bach - Partita #2, allemande
Dean K. Roush - Elegy
John Cage - 4'33"
John Clare - Carmen (Electra) Fantasy
John Clare - Seven Deadly Cindys (world premiere)

Monday, July 17, 2006

Pondering thought

A little word problem for all those music/math lovers:

A quixotic broadcaster/violinist leaves on an eastbound train at 7:20 am to NYC, and a beautiful and brilliant doctor/violinist leaves on a southbound train at 12:30pm to NYC...

Outta this world

Charming time in Manhattan...about a year ago I met with my friend Thomas and his wife - it was my first time back to Manhattan in several years (just go back to the archives on the right hand side of this page and look at July and August 2005), and we had gone to the meat packing district: had dinner, drinks and skulked about the village. Sehr spass!
Yesterday I spent the most wonderful time, with drink and appetizers at the Spice Market, a massage, and then the Bodies exhibit. We ended up joking it was all a very tactile day - and all about bodies! ;)
It was with someone special, and the day flew by. The only problem was time - and although it timed out well, I needed to leave at seven for my train. I was very tempted to stay over and get dinner, but there will be many more trips.
Wild what a difference a year makes, I've been blogging almost the the entire time since last July (and amazed I'm over 300 entires) and I can tell you, this was one of the great days in NYC (and oddly enough one of the hottest!) - I can't tell you how excited I am to return. No doubt my exquisite company was a large part of it.
BTW, no snafus this time on the return trip - it was the same pair of conductors for the Keystone and they told me they got back that night about 5:00am - about thirty minutes after the bus dropped us off at the train station, sheesh!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

On the banks

Played a great wedding with Paul in Wrightsville. It was right on the Susquehanna River and we had quite a view.
It was very nice, we played just a little before and during the ceremony - with the majority of the gig for the dinner and party afterwards...Songs ranged from Pachelbel's Canon in D to Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison Blues to Iko!Iko! and everything in between. Dinner was a pig roast and it was yummy.
Nice that several folks in between songs talked to us and inquired about us playing for their upcoming event/wedding as well.
We probably would have stayed afterwards a little longer (the bridemaids were dancin' alot!) if I wasn't going to Manhattan later today.

Friday, July 14, 2006


Lots as always happening...I'm playing a wedding tomorrow and I'm in NYC on Sunday. Seeing friends tonight and perhaps a movie. This next week is a killer as I put the final touches on The Seven Deadly Cindys, my new solo violin composition of classical music. It's being premiered in Cleveland on Saturday, July 22nd.
As I asked a coworker this morning, are you ready for the weekend - or is the weekend ready for you? ;)
The picture on the left in this entry is from my Gretna demonstration and preconcert conversation last weekend. I played themes of DSCH, BACH and the four note motif of Mozart's Jupiter Symphony. (the photo is by Michael Murray - thanks!)

Sunday, July 09, 2006

A beautiful, musical soul

This evening I gave a classical conversation at Gretna Music.

Anna Polonsky was the artist, in a piano recital of mostly Shostakovich and Mozart, with music also by Schumann and Mendlessohn. My talk centered around preludes & fugues - things that Mozart and Shostakovich admired of Bach - complete with musical examples that I played on violin, had the audience sing, and from a cd of examples I compiled.

When I first arrived they were just finishing tuning the piano. Anna was waiting patiently in the audience. I dropped off my violin and briefcase, said hi and made it over to the Jigger Shop for ice cream (it was dinner and energy!)

Anna was praciting when I got back, we did a sound check and we were off. The crowd for the preconcert talk was good, and seemed to enjoy learning a bit about musical form. (They even sang "Row, row, row your boat" as a round for me!)

There were a few questions and a chance to meet some eager WITF listeners - always a great thing to put faces with my audience. Especially nice was to hear positive feedback on Composing Thoughts!

(Everyone agreed I could take their picture for the blog - here's what it looked like from my point of view in front of the stage)

Anna came on stage and took the audience by storm (luckily the storms were musical and not in the form of showers and lightening that had been forecast and which thunder threatened earlier in the evening!)

Her Shostakovich was varied and exciting. Her Mozart was sublime and vivacious. The second half brought more Mozart, with charm and panache, Schumann with intense passion and incredible phrasing, and she ended with maybe my favorite Mendelssohn for the piano, the Rondo capriccioso - setting land speed records for tempo and flair! I'm usually pretty skepitcal of solo piano recitals and of pianists' interpretations - for a "non-keyboard" player myself, I'm very hard on artists - especially to be impressed.

Anna Polonsky's performance blew me away last fall when I first heard her, and she certainly held up my expectations of her musicality with tonight's performance. She is definitely one to watch and to hear - she'll be in Seattle soon and plays Carnegie Hall this fall - I'll be there in NYC and recommend that you hear her whenever she's in your area. She is a soul that is amazingly beautiful as she is musical.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Violinist Interview

Talking with a gentleman
I really enjoyed spending a few minutes with Arnold Steinhardt, longtime first violinist with the Guarneri String Quartet.
Here is our conversation at the PA Academy of Music in Lancaster from mid-June 2006 via three audio files. Enjoy!

Part 1
Arnold talks about teaching [mp3 file]
(about 3 minutes long)

Part 2
Arnold discusses Mozart and Shostakovich [mp3 file]
(about 6 minutes long)
Part 3
Arnold lets us in on his upcoming projects including 2 new cds and a new book! [mp3 file]
(about 2 minutes long)

Friday, July 07, 2006

Something out of a tv show?

So for almost a month, there has been a "Verizon" truck in my neighborhood, parked with orange cones around it and odd looking metal canisters.
It looks like something out of Alias. It wouldn't bother me if say, agent Sydney Bristow was around - but so far - just a wierd looking truck...and never any workers when I pass by to and from the station.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Come on down!

July is just plain busy. I'll post some pictures here soon from the Fourth of July, and even a video of some fireworks too! Tonight I'm at Hershey Park with friends and their family - which we also did a year ago, right after I moved here - looking forward!
I hope you'll join me this Sunday for a concert at Gretna Music - and maybe some ice cream too! I first heard pianist Anna Polonsky last fall (I wrote about it here and here) and was really impressed, so when it was time to choose a concert to give the preconcert discussion, I crossed my fingers and wahlah, I'm on for her concert. There are some preview to notes and musical examples here and here.

I'm also finishing up my new solo violin piece, The Seven Deadly Cindys - the world premiere is July 22nd in Cleveland.
So lots more ahead, and I'll post when I can!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Ban the Schoenberg Code!

The end is near! Please, help in banning the Schoenberg Code, perhaps the greatest travesty of musicillogical parody writing thus far! We want to see Dr. Dick in other adventures and in recital!
Ban the Schoenberg Code!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Fourth and Fifth and other intervals!

So I thought I'd list some of my favorite American composers on this Fourth of July. These folks are very independent and brilliant...

Joan Tower (link)

Alvin Singleton (link)

Walter Mays (link)

George Crumb (link)

Edgar Meyer (link)

Take some time and give a listen to them, you'll be glad you did!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Ebb and flow

A lovely weekend in NYC - and the wonderful waves of sound from Bargemusic. The actual motion of the East River is quite odd to experience with classical music. The effects (and really it wasn't from the martinis and wine!) were felt even afterwards at dinner! I had joked all week about pirates, the barge and the need for motion sickness pills - none needed thank goodness.
The weather was gorgeous, if not a little warm, muggy even. I met tons of Wendy's friends, they were all really sweet and talented. Of course, the music world is quite small and so many connections were made. It was sort of fun, between a "How do YOU know Wendy?" - six degrees of separation and "Wendy, this is your life" or Wendy Anonymous, "Hi, I'm John and I know Wendy." Quite humorous were the seating arrangements, that held 8 chairs for "Werner." Also, the restaurant, named Pete's, was so close - maybe a block away, that we ended up there before the concert, after the concert, and also the next afternoon. A fun task was trying to name complicated, simple or any dish really, after "Pete" (as the menu already had several Pete selections.)
It were many wedding parties present on the dock, and quite interesting to see various poses for pictures (often not poses you would expect) - but the backdrop of the city was stunning nonetheless. As the evening grew later, seeing Manhattan "light up just for you" was most excellent.
The trip back was not so wonderful. A five hour delay (no joking!) from Amtrak with a major problem with the tracks outside of Philadelphia led to a bus ride back to Harrisburg, arriving at 4:30 this morning. Yikes! But I have to say, despite that, it was worth it.