Getting back after Summer

The calendar has lapsed. After a very busy start to the year which involved composing and mounting two operas-’ The Coronation’, ‘ Darling, please don’t be offended at what I wrote.’, and finishing a film, as well as some other interesting projects, we needed a mental break. A disconnection- vaguely, or at least some slippage.

Now the calendar will be back on and hopefully emails to those who sign on.

Look out for showings of Esplanade, a 16mm film by myself and photographer and artist David Gamble.

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'Esplanade', film by Gamble and Freilich, accepted into New Orleans film festival

The film we worked on together has been accepted. The date isn’t set. It is in the Louisiana shorts category. Our film runs 35mins. There is a taster in the post below if you haven’t checked it out.

It is a tight audio visual collaboration between David Gamble and I. The film is in 16mm. The sound is mixture of electro acoustic music and some pieces with a few great players in town- Nobu Ozaki, Martin Krusche, Cyrus Nabipoor, Stephanie Nilles, Phil DeGruy, Glenn Hartman, Annie Ellicott.

We are happy, it’s competitive. Stay tuned and we will give the date of that showing as well as one other coming up in November.

The New Orleans Film Festival runs October 16-22. It’s a great event. Here is their blurb on their website…

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James Joyce's Dirty Letters: subject of my new short Opera for Bloomsday,NOLA 6/14-6/16

“Darling, Please do not be offended (by what I wrote.)”

-is the full title. This will be performed for the Bloomsday celebration in New Orleans. Bloomsday is the annual celebration of James Joyce’s groundbreaking masterpiece, Ulysses. The festival is now being handled by the collaborator in two of my previous operas (‘Bang the Law’, ee me and pollock thee’) , Chris Lane.

I have had the idea for a long time and finally the opportunity came up to stage the piece. Libretto and music by yours truly. All the text however is by Mr. James Joyce. The lyric is totally unexpurgated. Immoral restoration theater type directness for our tightening times…except of course- of and for the common people.

The opera is also to remember the great victory over victorian censorship of the book.

The piece will be at the church at the Hotel Peter and Paul in the Marigny neighborhood of New Orleans. There will be two performance on the 14th and two on the 16th of June.

Great artists have been assembled to work on it.

Zara Zemmels- Mezzo-Soprano
Nelson Gonzalez- Joyce
Tim Robertson- Guitar
Janna Saslaw- Flutes
David Gamble- projections and design
Joan Long- Lighting/ stage design/ performance consultant


Jonathan Freilich- composer/librettist
Chris Lane- producer and set builder.

Extremely important here is our gofundme campaign to raise the money for the production. We hope that if you support arts in New Orleans, or are a theater fan, or a literature fan, or an independent/ experimental/contemporary opera buff, or prefer that your ribald times aren’t impinged upon, or support diversity in music, or the livelihood and development of the arts in general, that you will contribute. Any amount helps greatly.

The link is here…

Zara Zemmels

Zara Zemmels

Tim Robertson

Tim Robertson

David Gamble

David Gamble

janna saslaw

janna saslaw











Shows heading into the first weekend of Jazzfest.

It’s that time of year again. Here are some events to add to your entertainment schedules into the first weekend of the festival:

Mon 4/22- with King James and the Special Men- Saturn Bar 10pm
Tues 4/23- with Martin Krusche Band- Hi Ho Lounge 9pm
Thurs 4/25- Trio with James Singleton and Skerik- Zeitgeist Theater and Bar-9pm
Thurs 4/25- New Orleans Klezmer All Stars- Siberia Lounge 11pm
Saturday 4/27- with the midnight disturbers- Jazzfest 1:20pm
Saturday 4/27- with James Singleton Trio- Zeitgeist Theater and Lounge- 9pm
Sunday 4/28- with The New Orleans Klezmer All Stars- jazzfest lagniappe stage-6pm
Sunday 4/28- with the valparaiso men’s chorus- siberia lounge 10pm
Monday 4/29- solo guitar- Bywater Bakery 10am

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The Coronation goes up at Music Box- Operatic Collab. by Bernard Pearce and Jonathan Freilich

Shows are April 5 and 6. It’s an intriguing idea and I have been lucky to be a large contributor, compositionally, on the project.

Other performers include Helen Gillet, Janna Saslaw, Anais St. John, Jennie Lavine, Julie Odell, and Trendafilka.

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Taster of 'Esplanade'- a collaborative film nearing completion

For about 18 months I have been involved in a fascinating film/music collaboration with artist, David Gamble. It is neither a soundtrack to a film, nor a music video…finally!

Anyway it is an exciting work. Here is a taster. I composed all the music.

David Gamble is a great artist and portrait photographer. For more info on him go here…


'I think you should go home' - for Alex Mcmurray's 50th Birthday

As some may know, my old friend, Alex Mcmurray, is turning 50. He is some impressive songwriter and musician and occasionally some of us in different ways are included in some of his bardic expositions. Recently, for my birthday he published this piece which can be found on his band camp page here…

That features a very touching piece of writing about the odd circumstances through which we met and the mighty days in the 90s, all put in better writing than I could redo here.

However, this time it is his birthday, and I put together this piece of music for him. I don’t have the store systems for selling it to you all, or setting it up for download but I put it here so you can check it out for your pleasure and edification.

It’s recorded and mixed by me, in the old home studio, and I have included the voices of a couple of his old friends, Michael Mehiel  and Glenn Hartman.

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Alex Mcmurray

Composing for Collaborative Opera at Music Box Village

Back to Opera composing. It’s been a few years since the last one.

I will be collaborating with Bernard Pearce and many others on his original idea. The Music box Village is a fascinating outdoor performance venue with a very special set of large installation instruments.

The piece will go up in Spring 2019.

To follow the information-

https://musicboxvillage.com

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bernard pearce

bernard pearce

Show schedule across Jazzfest.

Here is what to look forward to.  Mark down the dates and improve your scramble for a spiraling higher and higher musical ecstasy.

Thursday 26th May 9:30pm- Siberia Lounge- The New Orleans Klezmer All Stars feat. Ben Ellman
Friday 27th May 11pm-Starlight Lounge- Derrick Freeman Trio
Saturday 28th May 4:20pm- New Orleans Jazzfest-Klezmer All Stars feat. Steven Bernstein
Tuesday May 1st 9pm- 3 Keys at The Ace Hotel- Naked On The Floor feat. Steven Bernstein
Tuesday May 1st 11:30pm- Blue Nile balcony Room- Steven Bernstein's Fest Mob
Wednesday May 2nd 11am-1pm- The Bywater Bakery- New Orleans klezmer All Stars
Thursday May 3rd 9pm- Hi Ho Lounge- Saucefest
Friday May 4 8:30pm- Zeitgeist Multi Disciplinary Art Center- James Singleton Band
Friday May 4th midnight- Sidebar - New Orleans Klezmer All Stars Trio feat. Aurora Nealand
Saturday May 5th 10pm-Vaughan's Lounge-Klezmer All Stars double bill w/ Morning 40 Federation
Saturday May 5th-midnight- Chickie Wah Wah-James Singleton Quartet
Sunday May 6th 11:30pm- Chickie Wah Wah- Mike Dillon Quartet

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The New Orleans Klezmer All Stars website launched

A new All Stars site is up.  Read all about it...or click here, we mean...

Photo by Doug Mason

Photo by Doug Mason

Our upcoming shows during jazzfest:

Thursday April 26 at 9:30pm Siberia Lounge fro the Eastern European Bloc Party
Saturday April 28 at 4:20pm The Lagniappe stage  Fairgrounds for the Jazzfest.
Wednesday May 2 at 11am Bywater Bakery
Friday May 4th at midnight at Sidebar -Klezmer All Stars Duo/Trio w/ Aurora Nealand
Saturday May 5th 10pm Vaughan's Lounge- double bill with The Morning 40 Federation

For more information and lineups check the new website I am on about here.
 

The Naked Orchestra at Saturn Bar. 3/21/2018- Equinox Baby!

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The Naked Orchestra

The complete outfit live at Saturn Bar.  Outrageous lineup of new orleans music scene luminaries.

James P. Walsh- conductor
Janna Saslaw-flute
Chris Kohl- clarinet
Persis Randolph-oboe/bassoon
Steve Bertram- bassoon
Martin Krusche-Sop. Sax
Aurora Nealand-Alto sax
Ray Moore-Tenor Sax
Brent Rose- Tenor sax
Joe Cabral- Bari sax
Mike Fulton-tpt
Cyrus Nabipoor-tpt
Jeff Albert-tbone
Rick Trolsen-tbone
John Gros-tuba
jonathan Freilich-guitar
Helen Gillet-cello
Stephanie Nilles-piano
Nobu Ozaki-bass
Doug Garrison- drums

Conversations Ep.6- Griffin & Freilich on Faces Places by Agnes Varda

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This time we review a current film.  Our podcast producer over at Nolascape.org says:

Agnes Varda’s delicious Faces Places (Visages Villages) had a brief run in Zeitgeist, then two showings in the French Film Festival at the Prytania last month. It is available on Amazon download now, for purchase or rental. It is rewarding to see, a few times.

Henry and Jonathan discuss the chemistry between Agnes Varda, with Godard the last of the Nouvelle Vague, and JR – a small woman of 89 years and an active, wiry guy of about 35. JR has a short, high, square van decorated as a giant lens equipped with a photo booth and a printer – I think they are called giclée – that makes poster prints about three feet by five feet that roll out through a  long slot in the side of the van. There is a lot more to this film than the photo van, of course, but making the process immediate and participatory, it catalyzes the interaction. The people are photographed in the booth or in outside scenes, the posters printed and the pasting up done almost immediately with the participation of the subjects and the village. Not just images, the photos are part of an event.

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Several of the Agnes Varda films mentioned in the Conversation are on Filmstruck: Murs Murs, Vagabond, Cleo from 5 to 7, La Pointe Courte and Le Bonheur. Filmstruck has 14 Varda films – so far.

I learn a lot from Henry and Jonathan’s discussions, but to get the blend of simplicity and complexity in Faces Places – the visual and emotional charm and challenge of the places, the rapport of JR, who is about 35, and Agnes who is 89, their travels, projects and creative cooperation, somehow mixing successfully with visual and verbal reference to their own works and styles – try to see it.

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The podcast is available on iTunes.  Here...

Also directly from Nolascape- here...

Conversations- Griffin & Freilich discus Morvern Callar (2002)

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Another episode of our podcast on film.  This week we are discussing the Scottish film, Morvern Callar.  A fascinating film that you may not have come across.

The podcast feed is available on iTunes, but best through Nolascape.org

They host and produce the show.  There is a growing collection which you can find links to by scrolling down this page.

Happy March to you.

 

Great music happening this month:

So far:

Thursday Oct. 5- The new Orleans Klezmer All Stars, 9PM, Siberia-
 

Last month we played at Siberia, and it was a fitting return for Glenn Hartman, our keyboardist and blood pumper.  The food is excellent and Eastern Euro.  Everyone loved it. Folks can't help but dance and imbibe. Come out for this one.

Thursday Oct 12th- The Naked Orchestra, 10PM, Allways Lounge-

The full 20 odd piece Naked Orchestra performs again, at a new venue for us.  Come see some of the greatest and most exciting improvisors and composers from across the scene.  It's always an instant party. 

Friday Oct. 13th- The New Orleans Klezmer All Stars, 9pm Chickie Wah Wah

This will be a party and some really driving music a) because it's the klez and b) because it's my birthday, and you are all invited c) it's friday the 13th again..  Let's really go crazy, it's been a tough year.  This one is going to rock!

Saturday Oct. 14th- Wadada Leo Smith performs 10 Freedom Summers at Loyola.

I'm happy to have contributed to the effort to help get Wadada here to perform and work with the New Orleans music community.  He is a great artist with great vision and this is a seminal work about civil rights.  This group is not to be missed and is augmented by string quartet and strong multimedia presentation..  The information on the show is here... please attend you will be edified.

Sunday Oct. 15th- w/ James Singleton quintet, 8 and 10PM- Snug Harbor-

What a band James assembles! Check it out.

Wednesday Oct. 18th- Naked On The Floor- 9PM Three Keys, Ace Hotel

My flagship chamber group, in a great room. Rex Gregory- saxes etc; Cyrus Nabipoor-trumpet; Rick Trolsen-trombone; James Singleton-bass; Stanton Moore-drums; Jonathan Freilich- guitar.  Yep, you read right.  Our original drummer, Stanton is back for a great evening of music.

Thursday Oct. 19th- w/ singer, Annie Ellicott- 8:43PM- The Sidebar

Annie is a great writer and fascinatingly flexible vocalist.  If you haven't checked out the sidebar you are living in a dream where you can't figure out what's up. 

And that's just to start, get you salivating at the diversity, and give you some strength to take on the adversity.

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Film Conversations Ep4: 40 Guns w/ Henry Griffin and Jonathan Freilich

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40 Guns is a very strange and interesting western by Sam Fuller.  Nolascape, who produces and hosts our show says this:

       What a film.

        I had never seen or even heard of it until Henry and Jonathan put it in the frame for a Conversation.
         

From one point of view, it can look like a collection of horse opera clichés. A pace or two to the side to let the light hit it from another angle, and it is Sophocles set against the unfinished clapboard fronts of a prairie pioneer town instead of the columns of a Mycenaean palace. Are the two bath scenes just non-sequitur comedy skits with cowboy song musical accompaniment, or are they choral interludes in a play of destiny?

Henry and Jonathan will figure it out.

Indeed we will...and do.  And, you should too.  Improve your film buffery...get into the new film buffet- CONVERSATIONS.

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CONVERSATIONS 3: PODCAST- POPEYE W/ HENRY GRIFFIN AND JONATHAN FREILICH

In this installment of the cool new podcast on film hosted by Nolascape, Henry Griffin and Jonathan Freilich discuss Popeye, the incredibly unusual 1980 film, starring Robin Williams and Shelley Duvall.  It's art, music, and classic iconography all around.

 

Nolascape says-

Popeye – an inspired selection for our movies series. It’s hard to think of an aspect of the art of film that is not superb in Popeye: a great director on top form directing superb actors, the sets, colors, sound, songs . . . but I should quiet down and let Henry and Jonathan tell you about it.
If you have seen Popeye, I am sure you will enjoy our NOLAscape movie duo drilling down into it. And if you haven’t, I hope they inspire you to get access to a copy and see what you have been missing.
 
The podcast and further links are here...
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Conversations 2: Podcast- In The Mood For Love w/ Henry Griffin and Jonathan Freilich

Nolascape is hosting and producing  film heavy conversations by Professor Henry Griffin and the author of this site.  This one on a great movie by the singular director- Wong Kar Wai.  The film is just beautiful to look at, and there is far more beneath the surface...

Nolascape says-

In this episode Henry and Jonathan discuss In the Mood for Love. If you don’t know this film or the work of Chinese director Wong Kar-Wei, I would suggest diving in. In the Mood for Love is a visual and auditory feast that you can watch over and over, like you look at a great painting or statue again and again. Color, sound, image, movement, quiet passion, powerful emotion powerfully restrained – it’s special.
Suggestion from the amateur (me): think about the title again after you watch the film.
Some intro facts:
Wong Kar Wai

Wong Kar Wai

Conversations: New podcast on 'Tetro', with Henry Griffin and Jonathan Freilich

Last week the great blog, Nolascape, starting putting up the first in a series of conversations on films with Professor Henry Griffin and the author of this site.  The first is about Francis Ford Coppola's film, Tetro, starring Vincent Gallo.  A great movie filmed in, and featuring Buenos Aires. The photography is striking as is the subject.

The relationship between film and sound is right in line with the fascinations that drive this website.  Loving film, we hope you will take a listen.  The conversations cover a lot of territory and contain much reflection on sound.  The podcasts are in a more focused than the meandering and exploratory conversations with musicians that are hosted here at Jonathan Freilich Presents, and suits the nature of the silver screened subject.  We have already recorded a few for nolascape, and there are many more to come.  We will let you know as they go up.

 

As usual ours are also on iTunes.  The conversations on film are as well.