Felsenmusick - The Weblog of Daniel Felsenfeld
The Web Log of a Certain Daniel Felsenfeld: Composer, critic, avid reader, aspiring
bon vivant, capricorn, shadowy figure, advice for the lovelorn

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Shining Brow Release

On March 18, this is where I will be. This piece--the seminal work of an amazingly gifted composer (and I am proud to say, friend)--will be available, finally, on a CD (insert usual praise to Naxos, who just sees to it that important things don't go unreleased) and is deserving of a big loud fete for the launch. Make your reservations early. See you there.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Glorious Mayhem

This Wednesday night, February 11, at 10pm I will be a gleeful participant in the first installment of John Wesley Harding's CABINET OF WONDERS at (where else?) Le Poisson Rouge. This week's lineup is certainly star-studded, including Rick Moody, Jonathan Ames, Eugene Mirman, Ambrosia Parsley, Carla Rhodes, and P.T. Walkley. I'll join JWH onstage to play a few tunes with him at the piano--he's a thoroughly amazing singer-songwriter who is not to be missed. Le Poisson Rouge is located at 158 Bleeker St. You may purchase tickets here.

The other CABINET OF WONDERS shows will be on March 11 and April 15, the latter featuring music composed by me, a piece JWH and I are writing together called Music Doesn't Want Me. Details on that to come, but do save those dates if you are interested. As you'll see below, those shows will also be very special and packed full of amazing people -- you can see all of the specifics for the shows below my signature. I am honored to be part of them.

I will also join Wes to perform on Friday, February 20 on WXPN's Free Noon at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia. Again, details below.

And I am sure I'll be sending out another email alert as some other things get closer, but below is a taste of a few things happening this Spring:

April 30
The PEN World Voices Festival Presents Collaborations/Elaborations, a concert of my music focusing on my work with writers. Joining me onstage will be authors Rick Moody, Wesley Stace (a.k.a. John Wesley Harding) and Mark Z. Danielewski. Performing will be Michael Zegarski, Amy Van Roekel, Jessica Miller-Rauch and Michael Morcotte, and Jody Redhage, with pianists Simone Dinnerstein, Blair McMillen and Charity Wicks. More on this to come, but look forward to world premieres, New York premieres, and very cool readings.

May 21
The always amazing pianist Blair McMillen will play my short but densely packed piece A Dirty Little Secret at the Greenwich Music House as part of the Keys to the Future festival.

May 30
At the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the world premiere of my oratorio Revolutions of Ruin, performed by the Congressional Chorus joined by the Great Noise Ensemble. The piece is a setting of texts by Mark Z. Danielewski, Rick Moody, Michael Chabon and Tara Bray Smith, for chorus, chamber orchestra and soloists.

Hope to see you at some or all of these concerts!


Happy New Year Friends... we're a month into 2009 and really gearing up for a great year.

Before we launch into the news, let's back up just a bit to late 2008. Those of you who have placed orders for Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead cd and/or the t-shirts, dvds, signed print) should have those in hand. If you haven't had a chance to place your order, you can visit www.johnwesleyharding.com and see what's in the store. Order the new cd online and you will be send a free download code so you may begin listening right away. That will be followed up with a copy of the cd and bonus disc. Add-on the other goodies and we'll send those right along.

February 11 - Rick Moody (writer and member of duo "Authros" with JWH) Jonathan Ames (writer) Eugene Mirman (comedian) Shivaree (Ambrosia Parsley - wonderful singer) Carla Rhodes (ventriloquist) P.T.Walkley (musician you're going to love)

March 11 - Colson Whitehead (writer) Colum McCann (writer) Josh Ritter (musician, most recently heard with JWH at The Union Hall) Rosanne Cash (musician) Errollyn Wallen (composer, presenting US premiere of "From Eleanor to Sweet William") Eugene Mirman (comedian)

April 15 - Graham Parker (musician) Daniel Wallace (writer, last seen with JWH doing magic tricks in Chapel Hill) Dan John Miller (actor/musician - once of Goober and The Peas!) Sam Lipsyte (writer) Eugene Mirman (comedian) Daniel Felsenfeld (composer)

But these shows are too much to confine them to NYC. The West Coast is calling, the East Coast is begging. So, alright, if JWH must hit the road, he's taking Eugene Mirman with him and there will be other special guests along the way. The dates outside of New York for "Wes and Eugene's Cabinet of Wonders" are:

March 26 - The Brattle Theater, Cambridge MA (to be confirmed)
April 1 - Tractor Tavern, Seattle WA
April 2 - Mississippi Studios, Portland OR
April 4 - Largo, Los Angeles CA
April 5 - The Independent, San Francisco CA

More dates will be announced as they are confirmed.They will be posted on www.myspace.com/wesleystace.

In the meantime, JWH, in the company of Rick Moody, will be on Soundcheck on WNYC at 2:00 PM Eastern Time next Monday, February 9, performing songs from his new album, and talking about the Cabinet of Wonders:http://www.WNCY.org/shows/soundcheck/. That evening, he and Eugene Mirman will be on The Joey Reynolds Show, doing much the same, at midnight: http://www.wor710.com/.

And on Friday February 20, JWH will be playing live at WXPN's Free at Noon at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia, sharing the bill with M. Ward. That's free. For more information: www.xpn.org/concerts-events/free-at-noon.

Keep an eye on MySpace and the JWH Messageboard for news as it happens!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


I am enjoying reading the fact that, according to many (and especially to Mr Don McClean once upon a time), "the music" died half a century ago on this very day. Long live the music, I suppose.

Monday, February 02, 2009

This Cursed Blog

Sometimes I lament this blog simply because much of the time it bears the weight of bad news. I did not mention the passing of George Perle because I had gotten sick of writing how much lighter the world felt, but today I write in to lament the loss of Lukas Foss. A friend wrote, apropos of a despairing conversation he and I had been having, via email, about grants etc., wrote me that he had heard from Lukas' son that the great man had left the earth. Allan Kozinn has a respectful piece about it in the Times.

I met him only twice, and found him to be charming and brilliant. I thrilled to his pianism in his performance of Bernstein's Age of Anxiety and loved a lot of his music. More than anything, I liked the idea of him, as someone not hewn to any school of thought but rather a brave and inherently curious mind willing to try out anything for the sheer fun of it. I wish more composers were like that now.

So adieux Lukas and Mr. Perle (whom I never met, save once), the world truly is lighter now.

Sunday, February 01, 2009


I want to point everyone to Mark Adamo's excellent and well-reasoned essay on John Adams' difficult opera The Death of Klinghoffer. This piece is always incendiary, for many reasons, and I think Mark (as always!) brilliantly articulates why. Like the piece or not, agree with the politics or not, or even agree or disagree with the particular nimbus of criticism that surrounds that opera, Mark's intelligent and nuanced vivisection considers the work in a wonderfully specific way and ought to be read.