<![CDATA[erogerscello.com - Blog]]>Sat, 17 Feb 2018 18:51:00 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[´╗┐Long Distance Training for Musicians]]>Tue, 24 Jan 2017 20:37:59 GMThttp://erogerscello.com/blog/long-distance-training-for-musiciansI recently found this piece of paper on my desk... Picture
In April 2016 I was asked to participate in a chamber festival which I guessed would require me to play about the equivalent of four hours of practicing per day. By equivalent I mean that in say six - seven hours of rehearsing I guessed I might play about four actual hours, or something like that...
​The problem was that I wasn't in the physical or mental shape to do that. Winter had brought loss of work, loss of a friend, sickness, the usual winter blahs, and an emotionally devastating orchestra audition experience. I had barely been practicing. 
I figured if I could work up my daily practice from 5-25 minutes per day in April, to 30 minutes - 2 hours in May, Then 2 - 3 1/2 hours in June, and finally 3 1/2 - 4 hours in July I'd be ready! 

In May I finally got started.

I decided to use the long distance runner training method for beginning marathoners.

The basic  idea is that to increase distance endurance you need short, middle, and long distance runs that increase over several months. You also need rest days to recover from the long runs. For mental health I added very short distances.

Each had four practice time lengths. One very short, two short, two middle, one long = 6 days of practicing, 1 day off.  

Week One:

Very Short .10 minutes
Short .20 minutes
Middle .45 minutes
Long 1 hour and .25 minutes

For eleven weeks I gradually added time... 

I learned in running that after you've built up distance for awhile to slow down adding miles and focus on building the middle distances. That way you get stronger overall through-out the week and are less prone to injury or burn out. I also learned for myself that somewhere along the line you will need a week or two of lower mileage either because of fatigue, personal circumstances, or motivation. This was also true for practicing. I could have planned for it- I learned that lesson already! Instead I had to re-adjust my schedule for a break week.

There were some other adjustments along the way too; for example on week five I found that I couldn't move forward so I repeated week four. On week nine I skipped the middle distances and decided to continue on anyway with week ten. I also started physical therapy for my right shoulder. I have a lax tendon that has given me trouble since a volleyball injury. When it is very bad I will have a partial dislocation. One night after a gig I was carrying my things in from the car and twisted a little bit and the shoulder gave way and I dropped my cello and bags onto the driveway. It was scary and then painful. I sat on the car bumper and cried. As I went to therapy to strengthen the shoulder muscles that I wasn't activating on my own, I had to balance the practice regimen with the amount of fatigue/mild pain I experienced. Each week I would plan out where to place the various practice distances, adjusting where necessary based on work, therapy, etc. 

My final week before the festival started my schedule said:
Very Short .45 
Short 1  1/2 hours
Middle 2  1/2 hours
Long 3  1/2 hours

That week I did my one long, one middle, one short and then three very short. 

I didn't quite make it to my goal of four hours but I was ready for the festival! I was so proud of myself for all those practice sessions from .10 minutes a day to 3  1/2 hours! I was also grateful to have access to professional care to help me stay healthy along the way. 

If you'd like a copy of my entire plan plus tips send me an email!  erogerscello@gmail.com

<![CDATA[Update, Projects 2016]]>Fri, 08 Jul 2016 13:56:32 GMThttp://erogerscello.com/blog/update-projects-2016Quick update... I am still out here!
I live in the Adirondacks, where there is not a lot of work, but some good things are happening here. I'm most excited currently about playing for Loon Lake Live ! Check them out at Loonlakelive.org.
I am also excited about applying for grants for a lot of ideas that I have. Below are a few, with more details to come. I recently received my first grant ever! $500 towards Adirondack Sound Performance.
Its summer! Get outside!

Adirondack Sound Performance ; Preserving the natural sound of the Adirondacks through recording, composition and performance. 
Collaboration with Composer/musician Will Northlich-Redmond and Gene Baker ; Gene and I have been asked to perform one Will's recent compositions about the brain and music.   
EZ; MRI+3 Cellos ;  Raising money to present more performances of the piece I wrote with artist STERZ
SCODE duo with Greg Whittemore ; school tour around Scodanibbio's Western Lands, and recording session
String Orchestra Project ; an in-the-works project to create a string orchestra in the Adirondacks with paid positions for professional musicians, and open to string players of all ages from absolute beginner on up. 
FIGURES; a composition project in the works incorporating skate sounds with cello and electronic manipulation.
​Dance Project TBA 

<![CDATA[Delaney┬á]]>Tue, 04 Nov 2014 21:33:33 GMThttp://erogerscello.com/blog/delaneyI went looking for Boismortier cello duets to buy online... typed everythingcello . com, found danieldelaneymusic.com and now, as an excuse to stop my blah practicing and as a diversion from the reality of my current cello chop weaknesses, I'm listening to Skye and Folk Suite. So many cellists are finding their own personal bands now. They record and layer their own sound; the cello, their voice, their own rhythmic accompaniment of chopping... A perhaps easier and more satisfying band experience for the contemporary cellist trying to fit into a band; a way to avoid the stereotypes... token cellist as a sex icon in a traditional band filling out harmonies, cello as the new electric guitar, cello as the new double bass, cello as the bridge between classical, folk and rock. Perhaps this last the most authentic in its recent roles even if it still fills a stereotype. Delaney sings well in tune with rich chords and choppy rhythms, intimate personal words. His piece September is interesting because it has more jazz than rock influence and isn't so stuck where cellos have landed even with the chop and hand slaps reminiscent of Julie-O. I could do without the full-out arco chords. What I like is the jazzy 'bach-ness' of September and this makes me listen to it again, and again. It is thick and dexterous with a swing. Edit, Delaney and we'd be cool! 

7/8/16 Just watched Maya Beiser on Tiny Desk Concerts NPR. She also creates her own ensemble through her own sound. I enjoyed her piece but have to say I reacted to the girl cellist stereotype image despite huge respect for her career. 
<![CDATA[Science + Art]]>Thu, 21 Nov 2013 16:07:18 GMThttp://erogerscello.com/blog/science-artI just wrote a blog for Spectrum Creative Arts about science and art as equals. You can read it here:
<![CDATA[Aldo and Leonardo]]>Thu, 13 Jun 2013 12:48:40 GMThttp://erogerscello.com/blog/aldo-and-leonardoPicture
Just found out last week that I was accepted into the Aldo and Leonardo Wilderness Science and Art Collaboration. I will be working with a team of scientists and artists during the month of September in the Canyon of the Ancients, Colorado. Together we will be exploring and responding to the things we learn... I will be blogging about the project here:

<![CDATA[Hank Roberts]]>Thu, 25 Apr 2013 21:11:48 GMThttp://erogerscello.com/blog/hank-robertsToday I found a blue sticky note sideways posted in between Yampolsky scale studies, Haydn, Britten, Melinda Wagner parts and other random papers on the sofa chair next to where I practice. The little reminder note said: HANK ROBERTS  

I don't recall who told me about Hank Roberts, or why I wrote down both his name and the 1970 band Gentle Giant. I wonder if they are connected in some way, but my initial look at Wickepedia didn't give any clues. Gentle Giant was formed from the music of three Scottish-Jewish brothers who lived in Portsmouth, England. Hank Roberts is an American electric cellist about ten years younger than the brothers and said to have 'emerged with the New York Downtown jazz scene in the 1980's.'

'Ultimate Music Store' labels Roberts as part of the jazz genre and has his album  With Marc Ducret & Jim Black-Green posted and available for a pre-listen. I'm listening to it now. Mr.Roberts covers quite a range of musical ground I'm not quite sure how to label... blues, funk, experimental, folk, pretty, ugly, bracing, soothing, out-there, intricate classical string voicing, wailing guitar chops, contemporary extended technique, quirky, jarring... clearly a cellist with ears for a wide expanse of stylings and meaning.

Wickepedia states:
"In the early '80s he made a number of recordings for the defunct JMT label, was a featured member of the Bill
Quartet, and was an important voice in many groups of saxophonist Tim Berne. He also recorded three discs with the Arcado String Trio, an improvisational chamber group featuring Mark Feldman, violin, and Mark Dresser, double bass. In the early '90s he left Frisell's group and stopped touring widely. Roberts continued to release recordings, if sporadically, including with the progressive folk group, Ti Ti Chickapea. In 2008 Roberts' was again touring and performing regularly, releasing Green (with Jim Black and Marc Ducret) on Winter & Winter, Stefan F. Winters subsequent label to JMT. In December 2011, Winter and Winter released Roberts'
Everything Is Alive, as well as re-releasing Roberts' entire JMT catalogue."

The photos on Mr.Roberts website are oddly familiar and I wonder if I've seen him perform somewhere. In London? No... where? Maybe I just looked him up once... but I never listened, and I think, that here is something any cellist can appreciate and learn from. Just listen to these reviews from his site! It was a good sticky note...

 Nürnberger Zeitung: 
the American cellist [Hank Roberts] dares to present
magical musical field tests, which sound as delicate as a moribund musical box
or intoxicating emotional like a pop song. Grumpy, but yes, ingenious.“      
January 10, 2012

 Südkurier: “From the beginning this music opens the horizon. […] Since
the 80s Hank Roberts has achieved for his instrument […] a completely new
position that he keeps on strengthening. Genre limits are too narrow for him,
important is his own fusion of elements, which are brought together in an
improvisational way…

 Music full of air, lightness and delight in playing, characterized by
listening and reacting to each other, sustained by a natural sound and elevating
the listener to comforting spheres.”            January 13, 2012

<![CDATA[Robert deMaine]]>Mon, 15 Oct 2012 16:12:24 GMThttp://erogerscello.com/blog/robert-demaineLive from Hochstein on October 31 will feature Chroma Piano Trio including cellist Robert deMaine who recently was offered the principal chair position in the LA Philharmonic. Robert was a child prodigy cellist and since 1993  has played principal with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and also plays a lot of chamber music, solos with the DSO, records, and teaches. His website is  http://www.robertdemaine.com/index.php. Beautiful soundbites... and an interesting interview with Hilary Hahn. I'm looking forward to hearing him play and maybe even sneaking into a masterclass with him at the Eastman School. I'll report back then! ]]><![CDATA[Inspirational Cellists: Zosia Jagodzinska]]>Sat, 26 May 2012 03:37:25 GMThttp://erogerscello.com/blog/inspirational-cellists-zosia-jagodzinskahttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f75DDfxD3gM

I met singer songwriter / classical cellist at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, UK when I just had to stop by and say hi to the fantastic cellist I could hear practicing. Now, she ventures into new ground with her original work. 
<![CDATA[Inspirational Cellists: Break of Reality]]>Sun, 04 Mar 2012 23:24:04 GMThttp://erogerscello.com/blog/break-of-realityI was sitting at Rochester Contemporary School of Music last Saturday waiting for a meeting about summer camps when I  struck up a conversation with a parent waiting for his son who was having a drum lesson. The father mentioned Break of Reality Quartet and what great work they were doing as performers and teachers.

I recalled an article in the Democrat and Chronicle about this Eastman grads band. Three cellists and a drummer... Their website has this amazing quote: "Break of Reality’s sound is cinematic, subdued and heavy all at once. Their live audiences are equally diverse; fans of Led Zeppelin, Radiohead, and Yo-Yo Ma are finally getting acquainted." Wow!

I finally went to hear Break of Reality live out at Victor Schools and I was impressed with the integrity of the cellist's technique and honest playing. Amazing what amplification can do to the cello sound! Some interesting original pieces and so great to see an auditorium full of teenage fans!

Check them out here: www.breakofreality.com
<![CDATA[Inspirational Cellists: Cello Street Quartet]]>Sun, 04 Mar 2012 23:17:42 GMThttp://erogerscello.com/blog/cello-street-quartetJust sitting here listening to the live recordings of my friends in San Francisco- Cello Street Quartet. They sound great and I love the live footage outdoors. Have I played in that store front in the Castro too?!! haha.

Check them out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ahjke9bKI3k.