July, 2008

Ran Blake Newsletter
News From Ran Blake HQ

July 2008



Welcome to the July issue of Ran’s monthly newsletter.

Book News

music theory and a bio

primacy As a long-awaited book on Ran’s teaching philosophy nears completion, a second book on his life is now taking shape.

The music theory book, The Primacy of the Ear, presents Ran’s practice of emphasizing the listening process to learn and develop a personal style instead of the traditional method of relying on written scores. It will include a CD of examples to help illustrate key points.

The book, which has been in the works for many years, is expected to be released in early 2009. Jason Rogers and Pat Donaher are major collaborators, and Alyssa Voorhis and many others have contributed to the editing.

The biography, meanwhile, is still in its early stages. Leo McFadden, a former NEC student, is the author. It’s expected to cover the many chapters of Ran’s life, including his childhood in Western Massachusetts, his college years at Bard, his many recordings and performances, his teaching at NEC, community involvement, etc. Work on the book, which has included hours of interviews and sifting through old photos and correspondence, has led Ran to revisit a lifetime of memories.

Leo is seeking stories, anecdotes or reflections from those who know Ran and/or witnessed extraordinary performances. Please send submissions (as Word attachments, in the body of an e-mail, or as MP3s) to leo.mcfadden@gmail.com.


Summer Socializing

ilonaRan enjoys a libation with friend and vocalist Ilona Tipp at Khao Sarn in Brookline.

Upcoming Performances

Brookline, New York, etc.

BAGRan has several upcoming appearances:

August 28 — This is a group show at Vernissage, a Russian restaurant at 1627 Beacon Street in Brookline. Ran will be joined by David “Knife” Fabris (guitar), Joel Yennior (trombone), and Jon Hazilla (percussion). In addition, vocalist Dominique Eade will make a special guest appearance. The show starts at 8 p.m., and the cover charge is $20. Call (617) 566-3340 for more information.

September 2 — Ran will play a song or two at the annual NEC orientation concert at Brown Hall. Other performers include faculty members Allan Chase, Ken Schaphorst, Anthony Coleman, Peter Row, and Dominique Eade, plus many returning grad students.

September 26 — This is a solo show as part of an NEC alumni event at the Third Street Settlement Music School in New York City. The school is at 235 East 11th Street (between 2nd & 3rd Avenues), and the show will be open to the public.

October 2 — Ran is expected to perform at a tribute concert at NEC honoring Jimmy Giuffre, a renowned composer, arranger and saxophonist who died last April.


PassoverRan celebrates Passover with longtime Brookline friends the Yaseens.

Kodaly Celebration

at NEC

A highlight of Ran’s month was going to the Kodaly Music Institute’s 10th anniversary program at NEC in mid-July. The event, directed by Mary Epstein and Jonathan Rappaport, featured panel discussions, films, and adults and children singing in the round. The Kodaly concept, named for the Hungarian composer/educator Zoltan Kodaly, is a performance-based music education system that stresses learning through folk songs, dancing and singing.

Thanks for reading. You can reach Ran directly at ran@ranblake.com, and you can read back issues here.

We’ll see you at the end of August.
Vol. 4, No.7