Old stuff New stuff

Back in the early 70’s I would listen to Ga Tech radio when I was home from UGA. It played an eclectic mix of music in which in one moment you would be listening to Hendrix the next Beethoven, then Miles Davis, then Blind Lemon Jefferson, real eye opening in a way. There I learned of Charles Ives, Bartok, George Rochberg, John Cage, Schoenberg and the world of classical music in general.

When we moved up here I found that my sculptor friend Chris Cairns was close to George Rochberg and subsequently became somewhat acquainted with him. When George and his wife Gene moved to a retirement complex I helped move some of the art work. Gene gave me several of the potted plants she was not able to take including Tiger Lily which are now planted in the back yard.

In ’98 Chris held an 80th birthday party for George at the studio building. Marcantonio Barone played a piece by George for about 100 people. It was a very nice event and a privilege to be there.

Through George, Chris met a young composer Michael Hersch. Michael lives just a few blocks from the studio and teaches at the Peabody Institute Conservatory in Baltimore. I’ve gradually gotten to know Michael a little and heard a number of his works performed here and in New York. Back in October one of Michael’s new pieces (“Last Autumn”) was practiced at the studio a day before it’s world premier. A 155 minute piece for cello and horn it is the second part of a trilogy that he has been working on for the past ten years. The first part is “Vanishing Pavilions” a two hour piece for solo piano.

Last Saturday Chris and his son Nicolas, a painter, had an open house at the studio. Nick is developing into a really fine painter with a terrific visual imagination. For the opening the cellist Daniel Gaisford performed Michael’s sonatas for cello No1 and No2. Oddly coincidentally the very same day The NY Times released a review of the recent Vanguard Classics release of Gaisford’s performance of the same pieces.


I’ve heard these performed before but it was a rare privilege to be a just few feet from the cellist in a small group of people. I won’t try to describe the music, that is well beyond my capacity.


Daniel Gaisford and Jamie Hersch practicing 'Last Autumn' 09

Gene R. listening

Studio building 5-1-10

Chris and Gene R.








Michael and Daniel




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