January, 2009

Ran Blake Newsletter
News From Ran Blake HQ

January 2009



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

Rehearsal Video #1


Longtime readers with sharp memories may recall that in 2006 we made a couple of videos of Ran practicing at home available for download. The videos were filmed by Michael Hanish in December 2001.

We recently uploaded them to video sharing sites, which makes for easier viewing. The first clip shows Ran performing solo. To start it, you can either click on the picture below or (for a larger version) click on this link. Feel free to add ratings or comments on youtube.


Rehearsal Video #2

duet with the Knife

The second video shows ran rehearsing with guitarist David “Knife” Fabris. There are two medleys — Vilna > Dr. Mabuse > Mood Indigo and You’ve Got It Bad Girl > Fantasy > Night Crawler > Haitian Fight Song > Merci Bon Dieu — followed by brief renditions of Elijah Rock and Spiral Staircase.

The video is too long for youtube, so we put it up on a site called Vimeo. The direct link is here.


Driftwoods Set For Release

solo CD salutes singers

DriftwoodsRan’s new album, Driftwoods, will be released by Tompkins Square Records on January 27. The album of solo piano is Ran’s tribute to his favorite singers, with interpretations of songs popularized by Billie Holiday, Mahalia Jackson, Hank Williams, Nat King Cole, and others.

The track list is “Driftwood,” “Dancing in the Dark,” “Lost Highway,” “Cancao do Sol,” “No More,” “I Loves You, Porgy,” “Strange Fruit,” “Pawnbroker,” “There’s Been a Change,” “Portrait,” “I’m Going to Tell God,” and “You Are My Sunshine.”

Driftwoods will be available from Amazon (now accepting pre-orders), Tompkins Square, ranblake.com, and other retailers. You can stream or download “I Loves You, Porgy” here.

February Concerts

Gunther and Alla

allaRan is looking forward to two musical events that Boston-area residents may also want to check out.

On February 5, 6 and 7, Gunther Schuller will be conducting Where the Word Ends, a new work commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra in honor of its 125th anniversary, at Symphony Hall. You can buy tickets here and hear Gunther talk about the work and his compositional process here.

On Thursday, February 12, composer and pianist Alla Cohen performs original compositions at the Boston Center for the Arts‘ Wimberly Theatre (527 Tremont St. in the South End). The program will feature musicians in various combinations, ranging from duets to an 11-piece chamber ensemble. Ran is hosting the event with Joyce Kulhawik and will deliver some introductory remarks. Tickets are available here, and you can read more about the show here.


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

We’ll see you in February.
Vol. 5, No.1