November 30th, 2012

andrew potter

Event: 20th Anniversary Concert for the AIDS Quilt Songbook at Cooper Union

From Perry Brass:

Dear friends,

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the one of the great cultural events in New York —the AIDS Quilt Songbook, premiered at Alice Tully Hall on June 4, 1992. Conceived by international concert star, baritone Will Parker, who would die of AIDS a little more than a year later, the AIDS Quilt Songbook was meant to be a first: a classical music response to the AIDS crisis. Will said to me, “I realized after I had AIDS that classical music had done nothing in this epidemic. We could sing about everything else, why not about this?”

So Will, on his own, started to assemble an “AIDS quilt” of concert-quality songs, going to every composer he could think of, and to poets, singers, and with the help of Philip Caggiano, as his publicist and John Gingrich as his manager, brought the AIDS Quilt Songbook to Lincoln Center. It revitalized the almost dead art song in America for the first time in God-knows-how-long. These songs which had usually been in German about pretty miller girls, were now about something real: men and women contracting a terrifying, life-threatening illness, living with it, and dying from it. The AIDS Quilt Songbook confronted what was for many people the sheer aloofness of concert music in America, with its armies of closeted singers, directors, and socialites who didn’t want to know about what was happening in front of them. I was very proud that my collaboration with the young, gifted, and soon to die composer Chris DeBlasio, “Walt Whitman in 1989,” was among these songs and was repeated constantly in other appearances of the Songbook in other cities and years.

On Saturday, Dec. 1, World AIDS Day, the Twentieth Anniversary Concert for the AIDS Quilt Songbook will be performed at the Great Hall of Cooper Union at 7:30 PM, presented by Sing for Hope and Cooper Union, with Thomas Bagwell as artistic director, Philip Caggiano producer and publicist, and a roster of singers, actors, and musicians. It will feature new songs by Robert Aldridge, Juhi Bansal, Stephen Dembski, Herschel Garfein, Gilda Lyons, Drew Hemenger, Fred Hersch, John Musto, Jack Perla, and Wolfram Wagner. I am including a E-poster with more information, but if for any reason your email server doesn’t bring it in, then please get back to me.

Tickets are only $20 each, you can order them through One of Chris and my songs, “The Disappearance of Light” will be on the program. I hope that I’ll get to see many of you at Cooper Union on Saturday, Dec. 1, at 7:30. If you are receiving this outside NY, please feel free to forward this email to friends in the city.



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andrew potter

Legal Tender by Andrew Grey

Legal Tender doesn’t go far from the other books in this series, cute young man with a bit of drama in his past meets another cute man, slightly older and with an aura of security that will give stability to their relationship. And so why I continue to read them? They are like peanuts! Or strawberries, or any other addictive food. You know how they will taste, but nevertheless you need to take another and another and another.

Legal Tender is sweet and comfortable; the same comfort Timothy so desperately needs in a relationship. Timothy is still young but he had a tragic experience in his past that is causing him trouble in his love life. He needs someone patient, passionate but not pushing, someone who can go to the slow pace Timothy needs to take. You would expect for the man to fit the bill to be maybe older and lived, but instead Joiner is just out of college, the younger lawyer in his firm. But the safety in Joiner lies in his attitude and in his quiet behavior.

Another nice aspect of this novel is the gay neighborhood that is basically colonizing a small city area: from the first novel to this one, we have artists, lawyers, shop owners (but of sophisticated businesses like wine shops and antique galleries), all of them buying and restoring Queen Victoria and Queen Anne houses. It’s almost like a fairy tale land, where the LGBT community can live happily ever after. And in most of those houses you can find treasures, like for Timothy who found a cash of gold coins in the attic. Fairy tale indeed you would say, but it’s not long that I have read of a woman who found a Renoir in her attic, so nothing is really impossible.

Amazon: Legal Tender
Amazon Kindle: Legal Tender
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (April 6, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1613724373
ISBN-13: 978-1613724378

Series: Art
1) Legal Artistry:
2) Artistic Appeal
3) Artistic Pursuits
4) Legal Tender

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle

Cover Art by Anne Cain

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andrew potter

Daron's Guitar Chronicles: Volume One by Cecilia Tan

I don’t think I’m doing any wrong to the novel saying that indeed this is a Volume One of a chronicle that needs to be read in its totality; in volume one we barely have the chance to know Daron, and he is still in his formative years, experimenting with life, and that means also with sexuality.

Even if he doesn’t want to admit it, Daron is gay; in less than a year, he will have three different partners, all of them men, plus a not so hidden interest in a fourth one. It’s only that we are in 1986 and being gay is still a stigma, especially in the music rock world Daron is trying to enter. Another point that is important to highlight is that this is the 1986, just one years before AIDS became the plague we all know. And unfortunately, Daron is only worried about being gay for what it means to his career, not to his life: Daron is having unprotected sex with many partners, something that will become very dangerous very soon and very dramatically.

Something that is probably important to say is that this is not an erotic romance; Daron is having sex, but most of the time the reader is not invited inside the bedroom, we only know that something happened.

This installment reads smoothly and quickly, and it entices you to go and buy the next volume in the chronicles.

Amazon Kindle: Daron's Guitar Chronicles: Volume One
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle

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