Marilynn on Mandolin #7 Nov/Dec 2004


Yes, I am late with the newsletter. But November was full-to-bursting with music events and projects, and an unfortunate computer crash kind of got in the way. But here I am to wrap up the year and wish you a happy 2005. The Classical Mandolin Society of America convention in Philadelphia was November’s big event. It was amazing, and the preparation was intense. In addition to performing and giving workshops (on tremolo and Brazilian choro), I was asked to give CMSA’s first-ever seminar for mandolin teachers, starting the day before the convention began.

In honor of this, I decided, quite idealistically, to try to have a prototype for my new mandolin method ready for the participants. I drew exercises from many of the great American and European mandolin methods of the early 20th century, all out of print and out of copyright, to put forth my theories on technique and musicianship. I completed 140 pages (about 2/3) of “The Complete Mandolinist – An American Method,” working through uncounted late nights and a major computer crash. The book and the seminar got a great reception at CMSA, and I’m planning to continue working and revising the method in January, with hopes of having it out to mark the 20th session of AMGuSS, in June 2005.

I performed at CMSA too, in a duo with multi-instrumentalist Adam Larrabee, and with my septet, Enigmatica. Our sets were received with standing ovations, and enthusiastic congratulations for the depth and beauty of our musical vision and our tightly-integrated ensemble sound. I was very proud of my musical cohorts in Philadelphia, and pleased to be able to present such cool programs at CMSA, as it’s been 4 years since I last played there. And I am excited too, about what we have been able to accomplish musically in a relatively short time. The septet, about four years old, and the duo, barely a year, are just beginning to hit their stride and each fill a unique space in the mandolin landscape. I can’t wait to see what 2005 will bring!


The dates are announced – June 20-26, 2005 – and we’re already receiving requests for applications, many from folks who attended the workshops and performances at CMSA. We’ll be sending flyers out in January or February – when we get the new room-&-board rates from Roger Williams University – so be sure that we have your mailing address by then. There are lots of special anniversary ideas in the works – I’ll send more information about those as they come to fruition. In the meantime, read the wrap-up of AMGuSS 2004 on the website.


My Christmas CD “The Sounding Joy” is up on the front page, and I’ve updated some of the information, particularly Enigmatica”s bio. Also, if you’ve missed any issues of this newsletter, it’s archived on site so you can read them all!


For all my newsletter readers, and your friends, I’ve got a special Christmas gift. If you order any 2 CDs from my website through the PayPal link, I’ll send you a copy of “The Sounding Joy,” my Christmas CD, for free. Just request it in the comments section when you order your other two. Support independent music, and surprise your friends with a cool CD they don’t already have, made by performers you know!


My Mandolin Magazine and Mandolin Quarterly columns have just been submitted or are in the works. I’ll be putting some of the back-issue articles up on the website in January.


I will be going to Brazil in March, 2005, courtesy of an invitation from the Rio Trio & a travel grant from Roger Williams University. My Portuguese study continues, and Paulo Sa and I are figuring out the what and where of the performances we will do. Stay tuned…


I’d love to hear from you. If you know anyone who would like to get this update, have them send me their email. And thanks for reading!

The next issue of “MARILYNN ON MANDOLIN” will be out in January 2005 (yes, really…). Until then I wish you wonderful music-filled holidays, and hope Santa brings you, and me, whatever we dream.


Posted December 28th, 2004. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.
  • “Mair displays an exceptionally gifted approach to this music, using her formidable mandolin technique with grace and sensitivity… It’s the next best thing to a trip to Rio.”

    – David McCarty, Mandolin Magazine (USA)

    “A lovely concert! We estimate your spell-bound and enthusiastic audience at close to 1800 people…”

    – Lincoln Center Out-Of-Doors (USA)

    “Mair travels by mandolin to Brazil and brilliance… her commitment to the music shines through.”

    – Rick Massimo, The Providence Journal

    “Marilynn Mair has always had the keen ability to balance classical mandolin traditions and repertoire, while constantly breaking new musical ground…a superb and versatile mandolinist and composer.”

    – – Butch Baldassari, Mandolin Magazine (USA)

    “The final repeat of the melody transmitted a strong feeling of peace and tenderness that escaped no one in the audience. It is this sensitivity and subtleness that characterized the overall performance.”

    – Brian Hodel, Guitar Review (USA)

    “Marilynn Mair performs Brazilian mandolin music… she plays the mandolin as an instrument for all occasions.”
    – Vaughn Watson, The Providence Journal (USA)

    Marilynn Mair on mandolin…touches the deepest and most engaging reaches of the ancient and passionate ‘Latin soul’.

    – Carlos Agudelo, Billboard Magazine

    “A brilliant concert from beginning to end…The performance was extraordinary.”
    – La Rioja (Spain)

    “Stepping back to the 18th-century masterworks gave her the opportunity to highlight her technique with a fresh light… her playing is thoughtful, vibrant and a delight to listen to.”

    — Terence Pender, Mandolin Quarterly (USA)

    “Mair is unstoppable… capable of evoking any landscape, past or present, you’d care to conjure.”

    – Mike Caito, Providence Phoenix (USA)

    “Marilynn Mair é uma bandolinista americana de formação erudita”

    — Paulo Eduardo Neves, Agenda do Samba Choro (Brasil)

    “A sparkling concert… absolutely brilliant!”

    – Guitar Magazine (England)

    “Marilynn Mair lives up to her reputation as an excellent mandolinist, with clear tone, a beautiful tremolo, and creative expressiveness.”

    – Zupfmusik Magazin (Germany)

    “Smudging the lines between folk and classical is an intrepid endeavor… Mair’s a superb mandolin player who has brought the instrument to unexpected places…”

    – Jim Macnie, The Providence Phoenix (USA)

    “She’s a fabulous player with a wonderfully clear and lyrical sound.”

    – The Ottawa Citizen (Canada)

    “Marilynn Mair acquits herself very well indeed, a most accomplished player, able to deal with the many intricacies the repertoire demands of her.”

    – Chris Kilvington, Classical Guitar (England)

    Bring a talented ensemble of gifted musicians together playing some of the great concertos and chamber music pieces of the 1700s, present the extraordinary classical mandolinist Marilynn Mair front and center, and you have a rare combination of the right musicians performing the right music at the right time.

    – David McCarty, Mandolin Magazine (USA)