Tag Archives: PJ Fadoul

Paul is performing with The City of Fairfax Band!

If you told me two months ago that I would learn how to install floor tiles and play a xylophone solo with a wonderful community band, I would have said you were lying about both! Well, I’m not going to ask you to check out the new floor tiles I just installed in the entryway of my house, but I am going to ask you to join me and the City of Fairfax Band in a performance at my high school alma mater, W.T. Woodson High School, this Saturday, May 11, at 8pm where I will be performing The Golden Age of the Xylophone arranged by Randy Eyles and Floyd Werle. It’s going to be a great time and I hope to see you there!


Celebrating Composer Katherine Hoover

Lawler & Fadoul premiere Katherine Hoover’s Preludes (photo by Ardith Bondi)

Lawler & Fadoul recently gave the world premiere of Katherine Hoover’s Two Preludes for flute and marimba/vibraphone at a concert celebrating the composer’s 75th birthday as part of the New York Flute Club’s annual Flute Fair.  We commissioned Two Preludes as part of our Gronica Project, expanding the repertoire for our instrument combination.

Katherine Hoover, who turned 75 in December 2012, occupies a special place in the hearts of flutists.  She is a ground-breaking composer and inspiring entrepreneur–she forged a path for herself as a composer at a time when it was very unusual for women to do so, and ensured the success of her career by starting her own publishing company long before personal computers made desktop publishing commonplace.   For the members of the New York Flute Club, she has the added attraction of being one of our own, a local girl made good, and we enjoy seeing her at concerts and other flute events around the city.  None of that would matter, however, if we didn’t love her music so much!  Her music engages our minds, moves our hearts, and excites our imaginations.

For all of those reasons, she was a natural choice to be one of the first composers commissioned by Lawler & Fadoul.  We asked her for a set of preludes for flute and marimba and/or vibraphone, and we were so pleased to be able to premiere them at her celebration concert.  How cool to honor a composer in her 75th year with not only some of her best loved pieces of the past, but with a hot-off-the-presses premiere.  Actually, Two Preludes has not yet been published, even, so maybe “still-on-the-press” is a better expression.

Hoover Prelude 1: Uptown (photo by Joe Melhado)

The first movement, Uptown, is for flute and marimba, and has a fun, jazz-inspired atmosphere, with the flute and marimba trading the lead voice back and forth.  Performing it for an audience (instead of in a practice room) really made it feel playful and exciting.  You never know how a first performance will go, so it was very exciting!

Prelude 2: Out of Town (photo by Joe Melhado)

The second movement, Out of Town, is with vibraphone and has a very different feeling…like a summer vacation upstate.  Katherine had never written for the vibraphone before, and she was entranced by it, and wrote a gorgeous (and challenging!) solo for Paul in the middle of the piece.

A good time was had by all!  Hoover’s Preludes will be featured on our upcoming CD, Prelude Cocktail.

Lawler & Fadoul with composer Katherine Hoover, post-concert (photo by Ardith Bondi)

PS.  Katherine is the composer of one of the best-loved American solo pieces for flute, Kokopeli (you can watch my story-telling version of Kokopeli here).

PPS.  Stay tuned for my profile of Katherine in the upcoming New York Flute Club newsletter.  I will post it here once it’s available.

But Seriously, Haiku

Ever notice how once you start thinking about haiku, they seem to be everywhere?  There’s been a real confluence of them for me this weekend.  First, Paul’s haiku t-shirt worked its way into our programming meeting (see previous post).  Then we remembered last year’s CMA haiku, especially since this weekend was the CMA conference.

Then this morning, I heard a fascinating and inspiring episode of On Being, the NPR show.  The guest was John Paul Lederach, who has spent 30 years as a peace mediator in countries all over the world.  He spoke very eloquently about the power of both music and poetry to facilitate the healing process for people who have suffered unspeakable violence and upheaval, by giving voice to feelings and experiences that can’t be expressed in regular words.

Lederach says that over his years in conflict resolution he has become particularly interested in the art of haiku, for its ability to capture “the simplicity on the other side of complexity.”  He has noticed that people will often, unconsciously, speak in haiku when in the heat of meetings designed to transform conflict situations.  Similar to how the Fibonacci sequence seems to appear in nature, the structure of haiku seem to arise naturally in speech when people are trying to come up with simple solutions to complex problems.  (I mean, really, is that cool or what?)

He has transcribed many of these haiku, and written his own based on those experiences.  You can see and hear the haiku, or the whole episode, here.  This one was my favorite from the episode:

Don’t ask the mountain
To move, just take a pebble
Each time you visit.

—Yangon, March 2003

Marimba Haiku

First rehearsal of the season, and we are planning our program at Lynchburg…and we got derailed writing haiku. So, to whet your appetite for the concert, here’s one:

“Marimba Music”
A solo by Dan Asia
Is five minutes long

As you can see, our programming discussion has informed the poem. We also came up with the alternate:

Marimba music
Is often pentatonic

Why haiku you ask? Well, Zara will be playing a solo in Lynchburg, based on haiku (This Floating World, by Edie Hill), and Paul is wearing his awesome haiku t-shirt today (see photo). It has this haiku on it:

Haikus are easy
But sometimes they don’t make sense

NOTE: if you would like to hear Paul play Marimba Music by Dan Asia, and can’t come to the concert, check it out on iTunes.

A Stage among the Trees

I have a marimba partner and a life partner. With my marimba partner (Paul), I do projects like putting on concerts. With my life partner (Aine), I do projects like building a treehouse. So it seems only natural to put on a concert in a treehouse.

Yes! A treehouse! It’s in western Massachusetts (near North, in my sister’s back yard. We started work last summer. First we put up the beams.

In November, Aine and I spent Thanksgiving weekend building the platform. We framed the floor:

And covered it all with plywood.

When it was finished, it looked just like a stage among the trees, and the idea for a Treehouse Concert was born.

The concert will be May 21 at 4pm. If you live in the Northampton, MA area and would like to come, the concert is free, but you must RSVP. Please email me at lawler@lawlerandfadoul.com for all the details.

(In case of rain, we will be inside, but you’ll still get a chance to see the treehouse!)

Spring is almost here!

Have you missed us?  We know you have!   We’re gearing up for a Spring of shows.  Until then, you can watch our recent performance from the Kennedy Center Concert Hall online.  Check us out at this link. We go on around minute 140.

Tell your friends about us and like us on facebook.  Thank you SO MUCH for your continued support of Lawler & Fadoul.

Live Webcast from the Kennedy Center: 2/13/11

We’ll be playing a 15-minute set tomorrow night, including two of our new Bach and Shostakovich transcriptions. The program is part of the National Symphony Orchestra’s Young Soloists’ Competition, which Paul won back in the day.
You can watch a live webcast at this link. We’re on around 7:45–hope you can be there.

Flat Tires, Marimbas, Pancakes

Ever notice how changing a tire…

…is like setting up a marimba?

It was made quite obvious to us yesterday, when Paul’s car had a flat.  It caused quite the delay in our day, but at least allowed us the excuse of lunch at the Original Pancake House, which was right next door to the tire place.

Interestingly, this is the second flat tire I’ve experienced recently with a current collaborator who was once a member of Tales & Scales.  Here’s Neil Parsons changing his tire on the last day of the Arts Midwest Conference:

Where's the Flat Tire Fairy when you need her?

My niece, aka the Flat Tire Fairy, earlier this year.

Shostakovich D minor fugue, LIVE

Paul and I recently received the official CD of our Yellow Barn concert.  We were listening to it yesterday, while driving around in the first snow of the year, and it seemed that Shostakovich’s D Minor Fugue was particularly well matched to the wintry surroundings.

Click here to listen to an excerpt from the fugue, featuring alto flute.   And here are a couple of snowy pictures to give you the full effect:

(Note that Paul is holding the CD!)