An ancient Chinese proverb promises that an invisible thread connects people who are destined to meet, regardless of places lived, time apart or circumstances suffered. The thread may warp or snarl or snag, but it will never break. What better material for that thread than the strings of a musical instrument? Formed in 1992, the Arianna String Quartet — cellist Kurt Baldwin, violist Joanna Mendoza and violinists John McGrosso and Julia Sakharova — is one of the finest things to come out of St. Louis since jazz and barbecue. They’re playing in Ojai as part of the Chamber on...Read More
Author: David Cotner
PEACEFUL SOUNDSCAPES | Japanese guitarist Hiroya Tsukamoto to perform at the Universalist Unitarian Church of Santa Paula
What better place than a church to experience the transformation that music brings? There’s a soothing, meditative quality in the sincerity of Hiroya Tsukamoto’s playing. It’s a quality that fits perfectly with the surroundings in which he’ll be performing. Through the gentle communion with his guitar — sometimes it looks as if he isn’t even touching it at all — he imparts a sense of warmth and openness in his songs. Tsukamoto’s interpretations of Japanese folk songs, as well as his own original compositions, lend themselves exceptionally well to the outstanding acoustics inside a church. When asked recently if...Read More
Oct. 26, 1934. That’s the birthday of composer Hans-Joachim Roedelius. A founding father of both krautrock and ambient music since the 1960s — both solo and with everyone from Brian Eno to singer-songwriter Lloyd Cole to Kluster, his group with the late Dieter Moebius — Roedelius is making a rare stop in Ojai during a six-week, 18-date tour of North America that would be grueling for a musician half his age. That’s the thing about the avant garde. No one ever died young because of the lifestyle. Communicating with Roedelius recently by email (while he traveled across the country),...Read More
It’s helpful to remember that when you hear the phrase “singer-songwriter,” there’s really only one person attached to that particular concept. Take David Wilcox, for example. One of the rising stars of singer-songwriter consciousness in the ’80s, his insightful songs display a wryness and wit that’s easily underestimated when you bathe in the silky goodness of his warm and welcoming baritone while you listen. It’s a voice that lilts as much as it lulls. He’s great at bantering when he performs — seemingly rambling between the mundane and the profound and then back again, picking the beautiful open-tuned acoustic...Read More
JJ Frank, the Ventura duo of Jeff Jones and Frank Sunseri, offers up A Window in Time, a new collection of very mellow songs perfectly suited to walking along the beach or otherwise enjoying a lazy day just nosing through one favorite spot after another. Perennial professional musicians, their colleagues on the record will be immediately familiar to local music lovers. There are Steve Miles on guitar and keyboards, Blazing Haley’s Chris Story on drums, Creedence Clearwater Revisited’s Kurt Griffey guesting on guitar during “Hurricane,” Samantha Perkins stopping in to play synths on “How Will They Ever Know,” Karl...Read More
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