Marilynn on Mandolin #32 ~ Jan-April, 2009

YES, I MISSED ~ sending this out in January. Sorry, it was a busy time. But here I am back to report the new mando-news to y’all!

AMGuSS STIMULUS PACKAGE ~ Barack’s got nothing on us! I’ve negotiated a fee reduction for room & board @ our big event in June. For a link to information about our new format, fees, scholarships, and an application go to . Ralph, Bob, Bob, and I are excited to be back up and running from June 22-28, and hope we will see you there! There’s an additional $50 discount for registrations received before May 1st, so apply soon!

LIVE/WHIRLED a HIT! ~ The 3rd season of Live/Whirled, my Interactive Music Series @ Perishable Theatre in Providence ended March 1st with “Mando-Whirled,” featuring Enigmatica and the debut of my “Rio Luz” project— a 35 minute DVD combining my photography, music, and sonnets about Rio. It was my first venture into multi-media and I was absolutely thrilled with its reception! I’ll be showing it again @ Roger Williams University, AMGuSS, and perhaps in other venues. If you missed it @ Live/Whirled I’ll send out emails to alert you to other opportunities.

The Live/Whirled Series ended up in the black for the first time this season, thanks to donations from some of you. Our line-up included improv, bluegrass, Brazilian, and mandolin, and each concert featured an interactive Act 2, involving audience members in the music-making. Stay tuned for information on our 2009-10 season!

OTHER WINTER CONCERTS & RECORDINGS ~ In addition to producing Live/Whirled, I also had a lot of fun playing concerts around New England this winter. Enigmatica has performed three times since the last newsletter; I was in Rio in January & played in countless rodas & with Águs No Feijão and Paulo Sa; and in February sat in w/ Choro Democratico and played a great gig in NJ w/ Brazilian pianist Luiz Simas.

I’m also in the middle of two exciting recording projects. Enigmatica is in the studio for the first time in 5 years with a new line-up and a great new repertoire. The CD, as yet unnamed, is expected out in time for AMGuSS. It’s a combination of Brazilian, Cuban, and Argentinian music, and pieces by four of our favorite composers, Will Ayton, Ann Carr Boyd, Adam Larrabee, and John Goodin.

I’m recording a new Brazilian project, entirely with Brasileiros, entitled “Meu Bandolim”. It features music written by and for Brazilian bandolimsts, and I’m recording w/ my band in Rio, with Luiz Simas, and also the Paulistas, Trio Águamarina. The disc will feature 3 of my own pieces, and choro both famous and unknown. I’m so excited about both of these projects, and can’t wait to have them in hand. My solo CD won’t be out until the fall, because of logistic of recording part of it in Rio, and the rest with artists on tour. But it will absolutely be worth the wait. It’ll be my first Brazilian recording since I began my life in Rio, and my playing is so different now from my concert-style approach pre-2007.

CELEBRATING A YEAR ~ I continue to keep my daily blog of photos, sonnets, and ideas. I started it on my birthday in October and plan to keep it going for at least a year. I’ve current just finished week 21. There’s a link to it on my webpage, if you’re interested in the non-mandolinist side of me. Here’s a recent sonnet, from a couple of weeks ago:

we’re down to dregs and grounds again there is
nothing beautiful left in the world right
now except the stark reflection of light
against a blank wall even the snow wears
layers of trash and ashes ugliness
is everywhere and we are sick with it
our minds urging flight and had we but wit
enough to heed them we would leave this mess
behind and hang out at the movies un-
til spring arrives at last eating popcorn
insatiably our disappointment borne
away on dreams concocted for someone
else it’s the season we suddenly see
the profound importance of Fellini

UPCOMING CONCERTS ~ I’ve had a change of plans & won’t be in Rio in March/April, but since I thought I’d be away I haven’t got much planned concertwise for here. On Sunday, April 5, Luiz Simas will be performing @ RWU and I’ll be sitting in. The concert is free, @ 2:00, and there’s info here: </concert_schedule.shtml>

ÁGUA No FEIJAO’S CD IS A HIT! ~ and apparently we’ve been discovered by SESC– a kindof combination arts council and concert promotion agency in Brasil, who heard the CD somewhere and contacted Pablo, our guitarist and producer. A series of concerts is in the works… Muito legal! I’ll let you know when we hear more.

SUMMERKEYS 2009 ~ I’ll be doing a week in Lubec, Maine again this year, from July 6-10. This summer camp is a very different format than AMGuSS, featuring daily private lessons and ensemble classes. Information and application can be found here: <>

MY MANDOLIN MAGAZINE COLUMN ~ for the upcoming issue features a Handel gavotte that I’ve arranged to be played as either a mandolin duet, or as a 2-part solo.

The next issue of “MARILYNN ON MANDOLIN” will be out in May, and may come to you from sunny Rio, as I’ll be back there mid-May to mid-June. There’s back issues of my newsletter archived on the website @ </newsletters.shtml> if you want to catch up on your reading.

Right now it’s grey and dismal weatherwise here in Providence, but the first flowers of spring have already begun poking through. I’m playing my new bandolim, purchased in January, and enjoying it’s bright legato sound. Hope your music is lighting up the transition to spring for you as well.

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

    “A sparkling concert… absolutely brilliant!”

    – Guitar Magazine (England)

    “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)

    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)

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

    – Mike Caito, Providence Phoenix (USA)

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

    – Rick Massimo, The Providence Journal

    “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)

    “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)

    “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)

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

    – Carlos Agudelo, Billboard Magazine

    “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)

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

    – Lincoln Center Out-Of-Doors (USA)

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

    – Zupfmusik Magazin (Germany)

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

    “Marilynn Mair é uma bandolinista americana de formação erudita”

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

    “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)