Tag Archives: Don Hart

Trey Anastasio (of Phish) with the Baltimore Symphony

Orchestra scores for Trey Anastasios concert with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, 5/21/09

One project that has occupied much of my time over the last couple months has been doing all the music prep. for a concert that took place this past Thursday, a concert by the Baltimore Symphony. Last year, a friend of mine, Grammy-nominated arranger and composer Don Hart, co-wrote a 30-minute piece for Electric Guitar and Orchestra, Time Turns Elastic, with Trey Anastasio, frontman for the band Phish. It was performed at a sold-out show at the Ryman Auditorium, featuring Orchestra Nashville, along with several other Phish tunes Don arranged for orchestra. In December, Trey recorded the piece up in Seattle with the Northwest Sinfonia, and that recording is now available for pre-order, releasing on June 9th. Last week’s performance was the East Cost premier, and included first performances of several other Phish tunes Don orchestrated. Last I checked, I had spent over 100 hours preparing parts and printing out several thousand pages of music for the show, and it was a real privilege to be involved in a project with such great music.

The reviews from Thursday’s show are starting to come in, like this one from the Baltimore Sun.

Musical worlds collided Thursday night when rocker Trey Anastasio took the stage with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and conductor Marin Alsop. There were no casualties.

Anastasio, founding member of Phish and a songwriter with a refreshing avoidance of conventional chord progressions, has been collaborating with traditional classical ensembles for several years now. His most ambitious effort in this field is a half-hour piece called Time Turns Elastic that he co-wrote with Don Hart, composer-in-residence of Orchestra Nashville. It premiered last September with that orchestra and received its East Coast premiere at this BSO concert, which drew a young, animated crowd.

Read the full review.

Relix Magazine review
Rolling Stone review

As one would expect from a concert connected to Phish, a live bootleg is already available on the Internet and can be downloaded here.

The next performance of Time Turns Elastic will be this Fall with a little-known orchestra, The New York Philharmonic, at this place called Carnegie Hall.

The picture is of Don Hart with scores for all the songs he arranged.

Andy Osenga, Futureman, Over the Rhine, and Stevie Wonder

This past week was a good week for live music.

On Sunday, Andy Osenga and I drove out to a concert just outside of Nashville, a fundraiser for Blood:Water Mission that featured Andy and a couple other guys playing “in the round.”
Tuesday evening, after Handbell Choir practice, I headed over to the 12 South Taproom – featuring 22 beers on tap – for another show from Eclectica, a band that’s a side project for my friend Roy Wooten (or Futureman, drummer for Béla Fleck and the Flecktones), electric violinist Tracy Silverman, and bassist Kyle Whalum (Steve Forrest filled in for him for this gig). This was the second time I’ve seen them play, so I picked up a copy of their album this time – officially due out April 1st – and have really been enjoying it. Here’s the EPK they created for Streaming Video Soul.

On Thursday evening, I headed over to Mercy Lounge for a concert put together by Vanderbilt Divinity School, The Enduring Chill: Remembering Flannery O’Connor. There were four artists, all inspired in some way by O’Connor, with readings from her writings in between sets. This was the third or fourth time I’ve seen Over the Rhine in concert, and probably the best show I’ve seen from them. At one point in the evening, the person responsible for putting together the concert mentioned a few movie directors and songwriters who owed a lot to her writing, artists like U2 and Nick Cave, and directors like Jim Jarmusch and the Cohn Brothers. I really need to get around to finishing up Wise Blood, O’Connor’s first novel.

A while back, I worked with Grammy-nominated arranger Don Hart, doing the music prep for a concert full of songs from Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life that Don had arranged for full orchestra. One of the featured soloists from that night, Abby Burke, performed four of those arrangements, along with three other charts Don had written, with the Paducah, KY Symphony Orchestra on Saturday evening. Since Peducah is only about a two and a half hour drive from Nashville, Don and I drove up for the concert. It was nice to hear those charts again, and Abby is an incredible vocalist, with a four-octave range. But I do have to say, nothing matches hearing those arrangements played by Orchestra Nashville at the $125 million dollar Schermerhorn Symphony Center, standing on the side of the stage during rehearsal only thirty minutes after printing out the last of the charts.