Classical Flex and More

Last week I played from my friend’s front porch for a crowd of about seven people, in honor of his and his partner’s ten-year wedding anniversary. It felt SO GOOD to play in real life in front of real people, unmediated by webcams or microphones, and to experience that spontaneous interaction of brains and hearts through strings and hands and vibrating air. Please, I thought, please don’t ever let this go away…

Still here? Still here!

I haven’t taken such a long break from communications in a while, but it’s because ALL OF MY GIGS WERE CANCELLED (or postponed), so I didn’t have much to report. Now, however, I have a few gigs coming up to tell you about, and so much more. In this email:
– Upcoming Shows
– YouTube Videos (Please Subscribe)
– Classical Flex
– Bandcamp Day, Friday, September 4 (Please Download and Share)
– Hire Me to Play for You
– Book Report
 
UPCOMING SHOWS

I do have a couple shows coming up, including one real life in person event in Remus, Michigan:

9/25 – Online Old Time Banjo Festival – FB event is here.
9/26-27 – Workshops and Concert at May’s Barn in Remus – Write to Kris at thestablefordagency@gmail.com for more info and to make reservations
10/2 – Acoustic Nights at The Meeting Place ONLINE – This is live at 8pm GMT (1am EST the following day) and will be viewable after it airs.
 
YOUTUBE VIDEOS (PLEASE SUBSCRIBE)
I’ve been posting more videos to my YouTube channel, and if I get a certain number of subscribers (I think it’s 500?) I become eligible to make fractions of a penny every time someone watches one, so PLEASE SUBSCRIBE, it’s only a single click.
 
Here’s my most recent banjo video, a practice session video with Keva Celestia on piano. We’re playing Scott Joplin’s Maple Leaf Rag!
 
CLASSICAL FLEX
My friend Angela and I were stand partners in youth orchestra back in 8th or 9th grade, and we are still friends to this day. I love playing duets with her, and occasionally she gets me on a classical gig here or there.
For these videos we joined talented organist and pianist Jason Branham. Here we are playing the first and second movements of the Bach Double Violin Concerto as well as a bonus duet by Shostakovich:
 

BANDCAMP DAY – SEPTEMBER 4

Bandcamp has decided once again to share with us peasant artists the entire amount people pay for our music and waive their usual fees for one day. Most of the time they take a significant chunk of whatever is donated for the music, so if you or anyone you know wants to support me (or any artist with music on Bandcamp), September 4 is the day!
Here it is, Ye Olde Grande Liste of Bandcamp Links:
 
HIRE ME TO PLAY FOR YOU (I’M CHEAP)
As I mentioned at the very start of this missive, I really want to play for you. Ideally in person, but I’ve also done personalized concerts over Skype or Zoom or FaceTime. I’m willing to travel a few hours, and you may be surprised how affordable my rates are. Do you or does someone you know have a birthday coming up? An anniversary? Or for no reason at all I can bring you some real nice music. Think it over and send me an email, I’m sure we can make it work!

I also looked at my finances recently and it’s not looking too good since all my gigs were cancelled and the unemployment assistance has ended. I am far from being destitute and I am highly aware of my own privilege. I volunteer in my neighborhood to help people who are less fortunate, and I am asking for your help to keep me in a position where I can keep making music full time.
For the price of a cup of coffee you can have access to lots more material than what I’m sharing here. Really the idea is to get a few hundred people to sign up for $3/month, rather than to ask a smaller group of people to pay more. I really like sharing via Patreon, and the 30 or so people who have signed up so far seem to be enjoying it too.
 
BOOK REPORT
I read a couple of graphic novels, including Jimmy Corrigan, Smartest Kid on Earth, by Chris Ware, which was just wonderful, and Ghost World, by Daniel Clowes, whcih was also great. I think they both cover a lot of ground. The graphic novel format is so rich with possibilities for expression.
More recently I read Zen in the Art of Archery, by Eugen Herrigel, since I’ve been participating in more activities at the Detroit Zen Center. This is a slim volume that tells a straightforward story that is almost unbelievable. I actually gasped out loud a couple of times. It’s hard to accept that there is something more real  beyond our minds and our five senses, and to see the evidence for that described so plainly can be somewhat shocking.
I also reread Sand Talk, by Tyson Yunkaporta, because that book is just incredible. I strongly encourage everyone to read that book. And if reading isn’t your thing so much you can find a lot of recent podcasts and interviews he’s done on YouTube, just search his name and filter by date added.

THANK YOU
Thanks for sticking with me. It means so much to me. Please stay safe and look after each other.

Aaron