Letters

Letters 02-08-2016

Less Ageism, Please The January 4 issue of this publication proved to me that there are some sensible voices of reason in our community regarding all things “inter-generational.” I offer a word of thanks to Elizabeth Myers. I too have worked hard for what I’ve earned throughout my years in the various positions I’ve held. While I too cannot speak for each millennial, brash generalizations about a lack of work ethic don’t sit well with me...Joe Connolly, Traverse City

Now That’s an Escalation I just read the letter from Greg and his defense of the AR15. The letter started with great information but then out of nowhere his opinion went off the rails. “The government wants total gun control and then confiscation; then the elimination of all Constitutional rights.” Wait... what?! To quote the great Ron Burgundy, “Well, that escalated quickly!”

Healthy Eating and Exercise for Children Healthy foods and exercise are important for children of all ages. It is important for children because it empowers them to do their best at school and be able to do their homework and study...

Mascots and Harsh Native American Truths The letter from the Choctaw lady deserves an answer. I have had a gutful of the whining about the fate of the American Indian. The American Indians were the losers in an imperial expansion; as such, they have, overall, fared much better than a lot of such losers throughout history. Everything the lady complains about in the way of what was done by the nasty, evil Whites was being done by Indians to other Indians long before Europeans arrived...

Snyder Must Go I believe it’s time. It’s time for Governor Snyder to go. The FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the EPA Criminal Investigation Division are now investigating the Flint water crisis that poisoned thousands of people. Governor Snyder signed the legislation that established the Emergency Manager law. Since its inception it has proven to be a dismal failure...

Erosion of Public Trust Let’s look at how we’ve been experiencing global warming. Between 1979 and 2013, increases in temperature and wind speeds along with more rain-free days have combined to stretch fire seasons worldwide by 20 percent. In the U.S., the fire seasons are 78 days longer than in the 1970s...

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Tango‘d Web/ Oblivion Project 3/21/11

Kristi Kates - March 21st, 2011
Tango’d Web: The Oblivion Project plays Piazzolla
By Kristi Kates
Gabe Bolkosky, Derek Snyder, John Holkeboer, Alex Trajano, Tad Weed,
Julien Labro, and sometimes Peter Soave make up the unique jazz/classical
group known as The Oblivion Project, whose music may be somewhat oblivious
to those not familiar with the singular artist Astor Piazzolla.
Piazzolla, known for his unique take on tango music, infused classical and
jazz sounds into the tango base, effectively creating a genre called
nuevo tango, or “new tango.” No slouch as a performer, Piazzolla was also
a master on the bandoneon (an instrument similar to the concertina, which
some may misidentify as an accordian) and performed often live.
For musicians as skilled as The Oblivion Projects, it’s no wonder that
emulating Piazzolla’s work was a welcome challenge. But why focus an
entire group around it?

PLENTY OF MUSIC
“(Cellist) Derek Snyder approached me about Piazzolla’s music out of the
pure love of it,” violinist Gabe Bolkosky explains. “He heard a famous
cellist, Rotropovich, perform it and immediately fell in love with it. I
have a nonprofit, The Phoenix Ensemble, and we are dedicated to helping
individual artists create projects; we helped Derek get the band going by
supporting the first several concerts, and the band took off from there.”
Since Piazzolla has written thousands of works, Bolkosky explains, the
group figures the range of available performance material will keep the
band going for a long time, especially given the fact that they give each
piece their own distinctive Oblivion Project stamp.
“The arrangements that we have, some directly from Piazzolla and some put
together by band members, are usually stretched by the members of the
band,” Bolkosky says, “they become somewhat like jazz charts. Tad (Weed)
and Alex (Trajano) create a musical atmosphere in my opinion that keeps
the passion of the music and adds a unique sound.”

OBLIVION ORCHESTRATION
Also unique is the band’s name, which conjures up any number of images,
from modern art to science fiction. But according to the band members,
it’s basically yet another homage to Piazzolla himself.
“The name of the group is simple,” Derek Snyder explains, “it came from
one of Piazzolla’s works, “Oblivion,” which he wrote for a film score. I
picked it because we needed a name, and that particular tune is super
nice; we play it at every concert.”
Interestingly, Snyder explains, Piazzolla doesn’t seem to have ever
recorded the piece, even though it is one of his most-performed works now.
“He cranked out music so quickly, once writing a complete movie score in
one night, that he never spent much time with that particular piece,”
Snyder chuckles.
“Also, the orchestration of our group - bandoneon, violin, cello, piano,
bass and percussion - is one that Piazzolla used during his career,”
Snyder continues, “he most often chose to use either violin or cello in
his ensemble depending on his mood. We are using both instruments in our
group. Piazzolla would arrange his music for whatever ensemble he
preferred at the time.”

MANY CULTURES
Piazzolla’s music is indeed a mix of instruments and an “amalgam of many
different cultures,” as Bolkosky calls tango. For Bolkosky as a violinist,
he appreciates the opportunity that the genre gives him to stretch his
talents past what is usually expected of his particular instrument.
“It gives me a chance to explore the depth of the violin sound while also
having a chance to touch other nonclassical worlds of music,” he says.
And as for the whole Oblivion Project, they’re visiting plenty of other
worlds of music through their live shows, which will hopefully include
some larger events and more wide-ranging projects soon.
“We’re hoping to play in Detroit for the Jazz Festival,” Bolkosky says,
“and we’re hoping to create recordings of our own, too.”
The Oblivion Project will be performing at the Crooked Tree Arts Center in
Petoskey at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 26, funded in part by the Michigan
Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs and the Michigan Humanities
Council. For tix and more info, please visit www.crookedtree.org or
telephone 231.347.4337.

 
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