Saturday, June 21, 2008


Classical music never fails to amaze me. Recently my wife and I attended a Minnesota Orchestra concert which featured percussionist Colin Currie. That's right, a percussionist, as in drums, gongs, and so on. The piece, by Jennifer Higdon, a young American composer, is called Percussion Concerto. It is dedicated to Currie. During the 24 minute piece the orchestra used crotales, Chinese suspended cymbal, a thin suspended cymbal, bass and snare drums, low bongo, guiro,marimba, rute, large tam-tam, temple blocks.

Currie, with his instrumdents arrayed across the front of the stage, used bongos, bowl, castanet, clave, cowbell, crotales, the Chinese suspended gong, brake drum and snares, Peking Opera gong, marimba, temple blocks, timbales, tom-toms, vibraphone and woodblocks.

Far out! It was an amazing piece. Take it in if it comes to your neck of the woods.

Harper Collins has apparently gone silent for the time on its venture into reshaping the business model of publishing. You remember--no big advances, shared royalties, greater emphasis on Internet sales, few automatic returns from bookstores. Good for H/C. Instead of publically documenting every step and possible misstep, get it started and then announce the gains.

The Minnesota Crime Wave has started a cable television program. With three hosts, Ellen Hart, Kent Krueger, and Carl Brookins, the half-hour programs feature lively discussion of all sorts of topics around publishing and mystery fiction. Each program also incudes a guest, often an author, but not always. Gary Schulze, co-owner of Once Upon A Crime independent mystery bookstore in Minneapolis, author/comedian Lorna Landvik, and National Book Award winner Pete Hautman, have appeared. The program is cablecast weekly to residents in ten northern suburbs of the Tin Cities and segments are available at the MCW website.

Krueger will have a new book, latest entry in his Cork O'Connor series, RED KNIFE, out later this year, and Brookins' second PI novel, THE CASE OF THE DECEIVING DON, is scheduled for release in August.

More, deponeth sayeth not

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