Blog: Open Intervals

When People Ask You to Work for "Exposure," Show Them This

Six or seven years ago somebody asked me to sing a St. John Passion. It was two rehearsals (for the solos only), three performances, and I believe two sound recording sessions.

The offer was something like $250.

Plus exposure.

At first I wasn't sure if he meant $250 per call or $250 total. $250 total would have been less than minimum wage.

I tried to clarify, and he proceeded to berate me to take the gig because "All of my colleagues had accepted the same amount of pay."

So he first offered…

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When Life is Like a Tritone

The tritone is a fantastic interval and it signals something significant: a change, a resolution, an ending, or it signals more mysterious things are ahead.

Tritones need to be resolved. Music theory says so.

So does your ear.

Nobody would like West Side Story if Maria's name were only sung as Maaa-reeeee... Did you sing it in your head?

It has to be resolved.

The tritone is dissonant to our ears, and we want the consonance of the resolution.

This interval used to be referred to as "the de…

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January 6th, 2021

After crying through the news last night and this morning this popped into my head.

Bach BWV 170, Movement 3

In German:

Wie jammern mich doch die verkehrten Herzen

die dir, mein Gott, so sehr zuwider sein:

Ich zittre recht und fühle tausend Schmerzen,

wenn sie sich nur an Rach und Hass erfreun.

My English translation:

How they wail at me, these backward hearts,

who are so contrary to you, my God.

I just shake and feel a thousand pains

when they rejoice in revenge and hate.


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We Sing Bach, Even in a Pandemic

We sing Bach because of a pandemic.

We sing Bach in spite of a pandemic.

The Thüringer Bachwochen did a LOT of work in a very short amount of time and released a video of 160 singers singing a Bach chorale with Helmuth Rilling.

Bach singers from around the world took part - it was delightful to see all the different people I've worked with in Germany, Chile, and the U.S. singing along.

The list of countries of the singers who participated is at the end of this video. It's quite a long list!

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Happy-as-Possible Holidays to you!

Happy Holidays from me to you!

I hope you can find a moment of quiet, a moment of stillness.

A moment free from the burden of this year.

A moment filled with a deep breath or a beautiful sight, a song that brings calm to your heart.

A moment of expansion, a moment of ease.

Happy-as-possible Holidays.

And to us all a better 2021.


Happy Holidays from Nicole Warner

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If only for a moment...

This one good thing happened yesterday.

This year at I started a new community for German learners. It's called "die gute Stube," named for cozy, down-home restaurants in Germany. It's a cozy, comfortable place for people to hang out, practice some German, and build their connections with other German learners.

Twice a month we have a Plauderstündchen, a time to chat. We hang out and chat about whatever for 45 minutes and I provide language assistance.

For one moment yest…

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