2017 Membership Party 2.0

I am pleased to announce the return of the Twin Cities Musicians Union Membership Party. As most of you are aware, the Membership Party was suspended during the 2012 – 2013 orchestra lockouts due to fiduciary diligence, AKA no money. The Membership Party reboot will have a little different look from its predecessors. We anticipate a more casual gathering while still maintaining the basics – music, food, wine, and beer. There will not be a formally seated and served meal however, which in turn will reduce the cost to members wishing to bring a guest (now only $15). The party will still be free to members as always. We are excited about the new location. The Pillsbury A-Mill Artists’ Loft is a beautifully restored building right on the Mississippi River, a great place to congregate on a gorgeous spring day. The only potential “fly” in this bucolic ointment may be the parking. There is metered street parking right on Main Street SE and also on 2nd Street SE (the block above the A-Mill). In addition, there is a surface parking lot and a parking ramp about a block and a half from the site, both with ample parking in exchange for a few of your hard earned dollars and a short hike. While details are still pending, we also hope to use the occasion to raise some money for the Young Musicians Scholarship Fund. The most important element of any party is simply your attendance. You will find Party specific information and a reservation form elsewhere in Duet. We do need you to make a reservation so that we can have a reasonably accurate count for food and beverages – don’t want you to leave hungry or thirsty. I hope you will make your reservation today – see you there!

2017 Negotiations

Along with contracts that expire and are renewed annually like the MN Twins (just completed) and MN Vikings, we will be negotiating new agreements with the MN Opera Company (underway), Chanhassen Dinner Theatre, and the Guthrie Theater. Though we are optimistic that all of the negotiations will proceed congenially, one never knows until you get to the table. The Opera Orchestra has an excellent negotiating committee consisting of John Michael Smith, Susan Janda, Matt Wilson, Chuck Hodgson, and Michele Frisch. These folks are elected by the members of their orchestra to craft proposals and facilitate the negotiations (in conjunction with the Local of course). The Chanhassen musicians have a fairly well-defined bargaining unit and generally two or three of the regularly performing musicians participate directly with Brad and me in these negotiations. While the Guthrie has a bit more loosely defined bargaining unit, we always seek out a couple of musicians who have recently performed at the Guthrie to join us in those negotiations. The musicians’ involvement in their negotiations is crucial in obtaining a fair agreement. After all, no one knows your work place better than you do. I just wanted to provide an early nod of recognition and appreciation to all the musicians participating in these important negotiations.

Is that a Bb Black Hole?

Apparently, the answer is yes! According to The Jazz of Physics (The Secret Link Between Music and the Structure of the Universe) by physicist and jazz musician Stephon Alexander, it has been recently discovered that some black holes play a drone-like song. It appears that one particular black hole at the center of a galaxy in the Perseus cluster “plays” a Bb fifty octaves below middle C. I’m not sure what that would sound like, but I was recently at a stop light behind a pickup truck with a bed full of tweeters, woofers, and subwoofers. Although I did not know it at the time, I now know that I was experiencing the raw sounds of the universe. The Perseus black hole has nothing on this guy when it comes to low frequencies. Anyway, it shook the car and me, and then the light turned green and all the frequencies vanished – probably into a black hole. I love science.
You may enjoy reading the rest of Duet because there’s no fake news, and it is gluten free.

Keep Practicing!