Exciting news! To All My Dear Friends will be working again with the Hope Stone Dance Company on performances of the Squared Dancer ballet, composed by Marc back in 2012. Performances will be held over the course of a week at the end of February in Houston Texas.
Multiple performances will be staged for 400 kids at a time to help bring art into children’s lives. Marc states “I remember my first symphony experience as a kid. They played circus music and it changed my life forever.” Hopefully these performances, brought into the school system through the efforts of Hope Stone Inc and the City of Houston, will change the perspectives of a few kids. Art has all but disappeared from the schools. We will do our best to spark children’s curiosity while providing plenty of entertainment.
Of the upcoming performances Marc says “The ballet had to be revised for children viewing. Not that there’s any lewd scenery or anything like that, ha ha, but because we wanted to pack as much into as little time as possible. Jane [Weiner] and I spent a lot of time working out abridged versions of each movement, to get the ballet below 20 minutes runtime. We both want to make sure the children’s interest stays peaked the whole time. Let’s blow their little minds with art.”
Totaling 7 performances, there will also be an abridged performance of Squared Dancer for Hope Stone’s Annual Gala on Thursday February 27th.
Where has To All My Dear Friends been for the last 4 months? No touring. No album release. No site updates. So what has been going on? Don’t worry! There has been plenty of bustle.
Remember awhile back when we wrote about the concept of busking, or street performing? Marc has taken it to a whole new level this year. First he upgraded his gear, which included creating his own portable and rechargeable power source (we hope to write about this soon in an upcoming article). Then, with little to no rehearsing, Marc journeyed to the streets to create all new performances. Not only was everything performed live but Marc also chose to create entirely new music, often times completely improvised in the moment.
“Creating sound on the street is very special and unique. It’s composing a soundtrack in realtime. My muse is downtown Asheville. In the beginning I found that I had to do a lot of recreating from scratch. I needed to customize my violin tone in a way that wouldn’t work on the stage. And vice versa, my stage effects wouldn’t work on the street. Or it’s not that they wouldn’t work, it’s just that I found certain things to work better.”
Performing on the street is more than just developing perspective and creativity. There’s quite a bit of opportunity for exposure and financial gain. “I was about halfway done with the new To All My Dear Friends’ album and I ran out of money. It’s always been a DIY effort for me. Probably due to the fact that I grew up poor and also because I have an insane work ethic. Little resources is what I’m used to. Find a way to make things happen and then do it. Period. So I hit the streets, and I hit them hard. It’s crowd funding without a computer!”
There’s almost a month of studio time invested in the new album, recorded in both Ohio and Florida. Plus a vinyl and CD release is slated for next year. Be sure to keep an eye out for updates on the new album. If you’re not signed up for the newsletter, than you should do it here. With tourist season coming to an end in the Appalachian Valley, Marc will dedicate this winter to finishing the album, composing a soundtrack for an upcoming film, and refining his sound for some big activity next year.
Remember that ballet Marc composed and performed back in November with the Houston Metropolitan Dance Company and Hope Stone Dance Company? Well the video is finally here for all to enjoy!
And here are some highlights from the three weeks Marc spent in Houston. This was part of a collage that was gifted to the Houston Met.