(Note - I began this post on June 8th & am finally finishing it weeks later....working to get caught up!)
Open Studios 1: Brian Delma Taylor. Here it is Friday, and I'm just now getting to writing about last weekend's 15th Annual Peekskill Open Studios. Has it taken me this long to recover?! I was exhausted on Monday. Tuesday I had an all-day project. Wednesday and Thurdsday I saw patients. And here we are. Tempus fugit.
It's going to take more than one post to describe Open Studios weekend, which was absolutely fantastic, and I only saw a small part of what there was to experience. It was wonderful to have to many options, but with so much to see and do, nobody could come close to seeing everything over the precious ten hours total of Open Studios.
The new organizers did a fantastic job getting it all together. Stella the Trolley ferried visitors around. So many people came that there was an actual traffic jam - in Peekskill!
A new addition this year was the addition of performing and healing arts at Energy Movement Center on South Street. That's where I spent much of my OS time. I was showcasing there myself, as were a lot of friends. There were some world-class, kick-ass performances, starting with composer/flutist Brian Delma Taylor of SoundPainter Studios. I've known Brian for over 30 years; we were both gigging NYC musicians and often ran into each other in the Broadway pits. Brian always held his own in Gotham, but since moving to Peekskill almost two years ago, he's simply blossomed.
The NYC freelance music scene is viciously competitive, and the NYC flute world--vastly overpopulated by mega-talents--is the worst. (The directory of Local 802, the musicians' union, lists 1,500 flutists.) Brian is a gentle soul, not given to Machiavellian political machinations. As great a player as he is, cut throat NYC politics kept him from reaching his full potential. Anywhere but NYC he would be a star. Now that he's in Peekskill, he's OUR star!
Brian is blessed with prodigious natural musical gifts. He has perfect pitch (a rare ability to identify the pitch of a tone just from hearing it - most people, like me, have relative pitch and can ID intervals between notes but not the actual pitches). He's able to hear a piece of music once or twice and remember and even write down the composition, with all the voices. It also helps him a lot in his singing - he can look at any piece of music and sight sing it perfectly. Brian never sang or acted onstage until, upon first moving to Peekskill, he landed the role of Daddy Warbucks in Antonia Arts production of Annie. He's appeared as an actor in two other local productions since then.
But it's Brian's composing and arranging that really set him apart. At his Open Studios performance, he debuted two original works for solo flutes and orchestra. At OS the orchestra was digitized--I can't wait to hear them with live orchestra. In addition to his regular clients, Brian's been composing and arranging for local stars, including Daisy Jopling, Chaka Watch and Gabrielle Sansone.
Brian loves Peekskill, too, and Peekskill's lucky to have him. (Oh, by the way, he's a talented painter, too!) Check out his site: www.soundpainterstudios.com