Day one down, day two up

Yesterday was really productive with Scott and Nina. I did a brief interview with Scott in his car while he drove to an afternoon performance with the St. Louis Symphony for the St. Louis Opera. (Sidebar - The Elixir of Love ain't no feminist manifesto). After that, Nina and Scott rehearsed for about an hour in their home while I filmed and recorded them with good equipment. I've already converted and edited the video, and today I'll work on matching the good audio with the good video.

Today we're going to the Steinway showroom here in St. Louis, where I'll film and record Nina and Scott as they play the 2nd movement of the Brahms sonata in Eb. Then we'll sit down for an interview before Scott has to play for the opera again this evening.

So far, so good. Just making it happen.

Starting work on the next one...

I flew to St. Louis yesterday to begin work with Open G artists Nina Ferrigno Andrews and Scott Andrews. Today I'll be filming and taping Nina and Scott as they rehearse, as well as laying down a podcast later this evening after Scott plays an opera with the St. Louis Symphony.

I can't lie: I'm a little nervous about all of this. It's one thing to have done all of this for my own project. It's another entirely to do it for someone else, much less my lifelong best friend. This project begins the real flowering of the idea for Open G Records, and as such it's important for me to make it great. Now all I have to do is do it.

Updates in the coming days, including some footage of what we're doing.

Open G + GoPro = Awesome

Recently four Open G artists (Xak, Zvi, X, and myself) got together to rehearse and perform Olivier Messiaen's "Quartet for The End of Time". I set up my GoPro on a headmount and took a couple of brief rehearsal clips from my vantage point. The results ended up being pretty cool!

The first clip is from the end of our second day of rehearsal. We were completely tired out, but I convinced the guys to play the last few minutes of the sixth movement ("Dance of Fury, of The Seven Trumpets") for the camera. I'm really glad I did! The second clip is from our first day of rehearsals, and is probably the second run at the fourth movement ("Interlude").

Why Open G?

Good question. Let’s get the name out of the way:

  1. “Open G is the first note I learned to play on the clarinet. No fingers, just air: open G.
  2. There is an open G string on every stringed instrument.
  3. My last name starts with G.

So there you go.

I started Open G with the idea of creating an artist-driven indie classical label, but the idea soon became much larger than that. What I realized is that there are a lot of people out there who (like me) love music, but (again like me) find the traditional classical industry to be hopelessly old-fashioned at best. To that end, Open G Records ( is an attempt to create and nurture a community of musicians, artists, thinkers, and fans. Its my fervent hope that as the idea grows the fans and artists will together shape content from the label, choosing projects and directions as a community. In addition, beyond creating great new recordings with a roster of world-class musicians, Open G Records is a home for podcast interviews with musicians, composers, actors, and other interesting people, as well as a place where you can find essays about music and life written by myself and others. Open G Records is a place for music and ideas.

I believe that the people who make art are often as interesting as the art itself. Showing the process of making and recording music is a vital part of the mission of Open G Records, and as such youll meet and become fans of great artists as we put together projects from beginning to end. I want to break down the wall between performer and audience, allowing both to invest in each other in new, deep, and meaningful ways. I mean, really, the gulf between people sitting on stage in tuxedos and the audience sitting in uncomfortable chairs for a couple of hours is enormous, and I want to do away with it. A big part of that will be bringing the artists directly to the audience, through podcast interviews, live Q & A sessions, livestreams of rehearsals and recording sessions, and as many other ways as we can think of.

Recently, there have been articles and books proclaiming the death of classical music. They arent far off. Its been choking itself off for the better part of a hundred years. Open G Records isnt trying to save classical music. Thats too big of a job. Rather, we want to envision it in a new way, to reimagine tradition, to create new ideas wherein musicians and the people who love what they do create art together, and do so in new and meaningful ways. I hope the idea is as exciting to you as it is to me, and I hope youll want to join us in making something great.