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Social Networking FTW

This weekend I get to meet my friend, Wendy Richman, in person. Not just twitter, email, Facebook and over the phone. I'm excited. Here's why:

In the spring of 2009 (i think), I joined twitter.  I had lots of friends joining it so i decided if everyone else was doing it I didn't want to miss out on anything. I began following my fellow musicians from college and the random other ones that i knew. discussions with one friend would bring other people into the conversation and before I knew it i had twitter musician friends around the globe. One evening I was having a conversation with two other composers. I don't even remember what we were discussing but i remember being in awe that the three of us were able to connect and discuss in real-time scattered across the globe. One was in Ireland, one in Australia and I was here in Mississippi. I thought that was a wonderful.

One of the musicians i feel incredibly fortunate to have formed a friendship with is Wendy Richman. We met on twitter via a mutual friend, Ken Ueno. Wendy and I had quite a few chats and one day she told me about her commissioning project for new works for singing violist. i was excited and intrigued. We chatted some more and I began writing in mid 2010. the result was Gakka for singing violist. She was able to premiere it the following year. It was wonderful.

So this weekend Wendy is in Biloxi performing in the Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra. I feel like we already know each other quite a bit even though we've never met face to face.

So here is the audio of Wendy performing Gakka for singing violist:

Gakka for singing violist

Red Beans and Rice

I decided that I need to make regular posts on my blog. I don't always have the most interesting things to say about music or many other things but I decided I would start sharing things that I enjoy.  Today i'm sharing my red beans and rice recipe. Red Beans

Soak red beans overnight.  (I prefer the Camellia brand of red beans, it's probably a regional brand, not sure.)
Drain and rinse the beans.
Trinity (celery, bell pepper, onion and Trinity almost always includes garlic even though that makes it four ingredients instead of three. but oh well, its good.)
2 or 3 stalks of celery chopped
1 medium bell pepper diced
1 medium onioin diced
about 3 cloves of garlic
{sometimes I add a ham hock or sausage. If you are in the south get Conecuh hickory smoked sausage. It's the absolute best. Add the ham hock or sausage at the beginning when you add everything else.}
Herbs und spices:
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp thyme
2 or 3 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
I also use a cajun seasoning called Tony Chachere's (pronounced sash-er-ees). It's the best. a teaspoon at least.
If you dont have a cajun seasoning substitute a little red pepper to add heat.
once the beans are rinsed i throw them in the pot. everything can go in at the begining.
put in enough water to cover the beans by about an inch.
add all of your herbs and spices.
bring it to a boil
then turn it down to a low heat and let it simmer for a about an hour or half or so
be sure to stir it regularly so it doesnt stick and burn
cajun red beans should start to loose their shape and it should have an almost creamy consistency when they are done.
add fresh chopped parsley at the end of cooking.
serve over rice.

and you gotta have cornbread to go with red beans and rice.