Electric bassoon concerto commission grant

Today we got some wonderful news that a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board was awarded to my dear friend Adam Conrad to write a concerto for me. The concerto will be for electric bassoon and chamber orchestra and will be a large scale work featuring extensive improvisation sections, including full group improvisation in the tradition of the group IMPROVESTRA. The grant is substantial enough that Adam will be able to dedicate some significant time into the writing and production, including some live performances and a professional studio recording. Exact details will follow in the coming months.

The Japanese Beetles

Sat in with this pretty killer band a couple weeks ago. Laying some electric bassoon goodness on top of their great sound. Check it out.


A video from a recital

So that recital I put on in September… I finally got the quality sound files edited and mixed, and have combined them with the video of the performance for a few of the works. The entire recital is available on bandcamp, but here are videos from the live performance. (more…)

Once I played Klezmer

Ben and I have fun with a classic Klezmer song. More high D’s than I want to count in this.

Gigs Abound!

It seems like quite a busy time for me. I gave a recital about 10 days ago that was a HUGE success (recordings will come sometime in October). Northern Darling continues to gig frequently in Minneapolis and St. Paul. And my Klezmer duo with accordionist Ben Williams is having our first public performance this Friday at the Underground Music Cafe in St. Paul, just in time to finish out the celebration of Rosh Hashanah.

If you’re in the Minneapolis / St. Paul area and are looking for a little bassoon in your life, check my calendar for performance dates.

New EP from my band Northern Darling

I joined a band a while ago. Female fronted indie/rock with a splash of jazz. We do a lot of covers of other “indie” flavored pop music, but have a few originals that we recorded to get the ball rolling. Check it out on bandcamp, and if you like it enough, throw a few bucks our way so we have a bit to get in the studio for a more full length album later!


Recital program and live CD recording

On September 14th I will be giving a recital at The Baroque Room in St. Paul, MN. Repertoire will be:

Get it! by Gene Koshinksi
Four Onomatopoeias by Graeme Shields
Sonata for Bassoon and Piano by Arnold Cooke
Partita for Bassoon and Piano by Bill Douglas
Libertango by Astor Piazzolla arr. Yuri Kasparov

I think it’s a very engaging program of contemporary music, very audience friendly. Putting on a recital in a performance space like the Baroque Room isn’t free, and I don’t feel like it’s appropriate for me to ask people to pay for tickets. If you’d like to donate a bit to cover venue, accompanist, and recording costs, I’d very much appreciate it, and I’ll send you a copy of the recital recording. Here’s a link to the gofundme page.

Edit 6/26: We very quickly gathered the funds necessary to book the venue and to pay collaborators for their efforts. Please mark your calendars!

Orchestral Duets for Play Testing and Fun

I occasionally blog for my day job at Midwest Musical Imports. I am pretty proud of this one, as short and simple as it is.

http://www.mmimports.com/2014/05/orchestral-duets-for-play-testing-and-fun/ (more…)

A memorial

I never met Lori Rausch.

She seems to have left quite an impact on those that she encountered in her life, which was cut short in 2011. Her sister Tenley came to us at Midwest Musical Imports to have her old bassoon, a Polisi Artist model, refurbished and sold from Lori’s estate. The classic song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” was apparently quite important to Lori; she used it frequently teaching music classes in South Dakota. The opening motif from the song is on her headstone.


Tenley asked me if I would provide one more memory of Lori for her and her sisters by playing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” on Lori’s bassoon for them. I was more than happy to oblige, and took an arrangement by a friend of a friend (thank you Peter) for trombone quartet, edited it for bassoon quartet and recorded this for them. I am playing all four parts to the arrangement on Lori’s bassoon.

Suites – an update

I’m in the middle of a recording project that I’m doing all by myself. Proving to be an interesting experience to run the recording machine, play, do punch-ins where necessary, and do EQ, balance, and that kind of thing with no second set of hands/ears.

Here’s the latest:

The first movement of this quartet is on my homepage already. Will be recording the third and final movement soonish. Recording time is limited, as I don’t have a very quiet space, and with an 8 month old what quiet time I have can be unpredictable.

Sept. 16 Update:

Finally had an evening with no other humans around and with cooler weather to record the last remaining piece of the Suite Argentina quartet. The full suite is here:

[soundclourd url=https://soundcloud.com/tjbassoon/sets/suite-argentina]