twin cities recap

On Sunday John and I landed in Minneapolis, toy piano in tow.

We traveled west at the invitation of Ben Krywosz, who had offered us an opportunity to present Our Basic Nature on Nautilus Music-Theatre’s “Rough Cuts” series. Ben describes “Rough Cuts” as a kind of Zen practice, an ongoing commitment to airing works-in-process, in a wide variety of styles, on a regular biweekly schedule. There is a rigorous informality to the presentational style, which always includes music stands, dialogue between artists and audience members, and cookies and milk.

Chris Roberts of Minnesota Public Radio stopped by our first rehearsal to record a bit of music and talk to us about Lucy and her dad. The resulting story, which aired less than 24 hours later, blew us away. Chris managed to digest about an hour’s worth of rambling conversation into a tight, compelling story with a complicated sonic style not unlike a Radiolab episode.

Andy and Chris

John and mascot

It was my first time to the Twin Cities, and John’s, and we were both excited to visit one of the most culturally vibrant places in the country. They’re not just home to Nautilus and MPR (although that ought to be enough for anyone). The Minnesota Opera recently launched a multi-year new works initiative that includes an international coproduction, three revivals of American works and three commissions in seven years. The Minnesota Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra are similarly committed to programming that celebrates both tradition and innovation. The Guthrie Theater is one of America’s premier regional theaters, and we got a VIP tour of their fabulous new building by the geeky (a compliment in my world) and glamorous Katie Koch, another old friend from Glimmerglass.

We never made it to the Mall of America but we felt this particular store sighting was an auspicious sign indeed.

On Monday night, we performed at Nautilus’s own studio space in St. Paul. Tuesday morning, we crossed the bridge to Minneapolis to speak with some students at Augsburg College.

They were a bright and interesting bunch, and many of them returned that evening for the second night of “Rough Cuts,” which took place on the college campus. For the post-performance discussion, we were joined by Dr. Grace Dyrud, a professor at the college (and Jocelyn’s husband’s aunt) who actually knew Maurice Temerlin.

warming up at Augsburg

In both locations, we were blown away by the intensity and insightfulness of the post-performance comments and questions. The trip was tremendously useful in so many ways, and I’ll have more to say about that – as will everyone, I’m sure – in the coming days.

Meanwhile, a heartfelt heartland “thank you” to:

Meet the Composer, for funding our trip

Nautilus Music-Theatre, for presenting us

Chris Roberts, for telling our story

Dr. Grace Dyrud, for sharing her memories

Ben Krywosz, for his commitment to artists and new work

The “Rough Cuts” audience, for showing up with open ears

Janet Gottschalk Fried and Sonia Thompson, for welcoming us to Augsburg College

Katie, for providing geeky facts that made us love the Twin Cities even more

Andy and Erika, for beds and food and good company

Annika, for providing our mascot and, in general, making our days sparkle

3 Comments

  1. suzy o'hara
    Posted November 19, 2010 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Awesome! Can’t wait for December 10th!!!

  2. Posted December 1, 2010 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Such a cute photo of Annika!

    OK, bananas are funny, are they not?!

  3. Kelley Rourke
    Posted December 2, 2010 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    All photos of Annika are cute. Just like all bananas are funny.

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