Sound Theology by Colleen Butcher

D Major

Week two of our tour through the CBC’s Signature Series of musical personalities takes us to the jovial key of D major. Pietropaolo has dubbed this key “Miss Congeniality.” His selection of D major pieces features a number of well-known works, including Pachabel’s Canon, Handel’s Messiah, and Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony. I love the creativity and imagination of this series, and enjoy the humor that Pietropaolo uses in describing the personalities that he creates. But, I don’t agree with all of his ideas; in D major, I think he’s just skimmed the surface of its possibilities. For example, Haydn found many sides of D major, and explored them by writing 22 of his 104 symphonies in this key. Brahms wrote two of his most complex works in D major: the Violin Concerto and the Second Symphony. Mozart was also a fan, writing String Quartets, Symphonies, Piano Sonatas and Concertos, Serenades, and Violin Concertos in the key. D major is definitely worth exploring! read more…

Musical Personalities

Radio broadcasts have always facilitated imagination; among producers and hosts to be sure, but also, significantly, the listeners. From baseball games to symphony concerts and dramatic plays to breaking news, radio has an illustrious history as a catalyst for creativity.

In 2012-2013, the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) radio host Paolo Pietropaolo launched The Signature Series, featuring a different, short, provocative story each week. Pietropaolo told the story of a musical key signature by imaging what the music represented in a personality: Who is G minor? What does D major like to do in her spare time? Which is the friendliest key? read more…

Summer Festivals VI

This is our final week of summer festival music! We started with a Canadian jazz festival and we will end with a chamber music festival held in Canada: the Banff String Quartet Festival.

The Festival is an outcome of the wildly successful Banff String Quartet Competition, which started in 1983 to honor the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Banff Center. The competition takes place every three years (this week’s playlist includes music from the last competition, in 2016), and the Festival grew up in the years between the competition, in order continue the teaching and collaboration among the quartets. read more…

Summer Festivals V

The Moab Music Festival was founded in 1992 by New York based musicians, pianist/conductor Michael Barrett and violist Leslie Tomkins. On a rare vacation, the husband and wife team fell in love with the red rocks of Moab and were inspired to combine the magical landscape with the joys of music-making. “Starting a music festival seemed like the perfect way to make sure we would return again and again,” says Tomkins. Now in its 25th year of “music in concert with the landscape,” the award- winning Moab Music Festival is noted for its distinctive programming and unique concert experiences of chamber music, traditional, jazz, Latin, and the music of living composers. The 20 concerts of the 2017 season are held in a variety of indoor and outdoor venues around Moab, with the Festival’s signature events, the Grotto Concerts, taking place in a pristine wilderness grotto, which is 30 miles down the Colorado River. The stunning grotto is reached by jet boat, and the concert presenters bring in (and remove) everything needed, including a grand piano! The concert hikes include stunning views through the Moab desert. The combination of the music and the amazing location(s), creates a festival experience that is impossible to replicate. This week’s playlist includes selections from the opening weekend of the festival which starts this coming Friday. If you live in the area – go! I would love to join you. read more…

Day and Night

This week’s solar eclipse is causing a stir in many states, as people flock to the best viewing locations. The anticipated mayhem has been widely communicated, often overshadowing the wonderful mystery of the event! The tangible effects that will occur because of the lining up of the sun and the moon on the same side of the earth, at the same time, are amazing. Did you know that: ·      

The gravitational pull causes the earth’s crust to bulge outward by about 40 millimeters, along the line of the center of the earth, moon, and sun ·      

Coastal areas will see tides up to one foot higher than during regular Spring Tides ·      

The temperature could drop by as much as 20-30 degrees F ·      

Looking at the horizon, it is possible to see a 360 degree sunset ·      

And, of course, you know that your eyes can be permanently damaged by the sun if you look directly at it during the eclipse! Get the instructions for making a boy-scout-approved light box HERE. read more…