Monday, September 30, 2013

Hummer Goes Edgy

A long time ago, some young women from the Bigfork Valley area decided that fishing trips should not be men only.  So they went fishing…every year for twelve years. But separate cars seemed wasteful, so they bought the bus.  They liked to sing, but the words were a challenge so the bus became the “Hummer”.  After the fishing trips ended the Hummer sat idle until a traveling theatre troupe started showing up yearly.  The Hummer now was a big taxi.  But it was really getting old and got sold for a new Hummer. Well it is now getting a fresh look too…kind of “Partridge Family” style with new missions.  The Stages Theatre Company from Hopkins is the troupe and  “THE WIZ”, is an adaptation of “The Wizard of Oz” and will be the new Hummer’s official first mission next summer.  But The Edge Center in Bigfork also gets a super traveling Billboard so when you see the Hummer check it out for the newest Edge show information.

Above is the first Hummer and some of the fishing team.  The annual fishing trip was a celebration for the whole town of Bigfork.  There was often a party waiting for them at home. On one return the Piccaroon Solon in town had its biggest sales day ever.  The fishing group included Joey Jacobson, Kristi Krueth, Patty Marthalar, Barb Richards, Pam Heinemz, Carol Gilbertson, Lil Krueger, Ann McGarry, Joyce Showalther, Mary Jo Mcdonald, Sue Dullard and Heidi Korstad.

Above is the Newest Hummer and the painting crew (in no particular order) Gretchen Katt, Cinde Ashley, Steve Ashley, Azure Anderson, Roger Richards, Sue Dullard, Heidi Korstad.   Below are painting pictures that tell more of the story.

Also here is little about the new musical coming to The Edge Center stage in Bigfork next summer. It is “THE WIZ” The Tony® award-winning musical that is an adaptation of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” with a modern, soulful  twist. "THE WIZ" is adapted from the original 1975 Broadway  musical by the Theater for Young Audiences (TYA). Below is the cover from the original cast album.

Also,  make sure to look for details about more Edge events on the new and improved “Hummer.”   You may find it parked almost anywhere.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

“A Musical Journey” with OboeBass in Bigfork

A different kind of chamber music in a place designed for just such an event. That is the treat waiting for you at The Edge Center in Bigfork this Friday.  The musicians are OboeBass and they have been called “music pioneers”.  They say they are the “world's only Oboe and Double Bass duo.” Ethnic folk songs and All-American jazz influence their music. Sounds like a wonderful combination. Come and try some. They will be on stage at The Edge Center in Bigfork on September 27th.  The public performance is at 7 PM. Prices $10 adults and $5 children.

The Musicians

Carrie Vecchione plays the oboe in OboeBass.  In addition, she teaches at the MacPhail Center for Music, subs with the Minnesota Orchestra, and appears as Principal Oboe of the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra. If you would like to know more, the previous post on this blog provides more detail or you can visit:

Rolf Erdahl plays double bass in OboeBass.  He performs with the Minnesota Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Minnesota Opera. He teaches bass at Luther College and Gustavus Adolphus College. Likewise the previous post on this blog contains more background on Rolf and you can visit:

The Music

What you hear at this concert will not be what most would expect of chamber music.  That is part of “The Musical Journey” these two musicians have planned for the evening.  How it will sound to you, how you will feel about it, and will it leave a lasting impression on you can only be discovered by coming to the event. Here is the program for the concert:

Vignettes from The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (2006)
by Timothy Goplerud (b. 1960)
I. Jangles Dances for Pennies
II. Malone's Hobo Song
III. Down but not Out

Three Songs for oboe and bass after poems by Pablo Neruda (1997)
by Andrea Clearfield (b. 1960)

"Movements Suite"
by Timothy Goplerud
A Walk in the Park (2006)
Rhumboid (2006)
New York Minute (2009)

‘Round Midnight              
by Thelonious Monk (1917-1982)
arr. Timothy Goplerud (2006)

Schubert's "Trout" served Four Ways, or, Three Fishy Variations on a Familiar Theme(2008)
by Timothy Goplerud

Askelad and the Seven Silver Ducks (2008)
by Margaret Griebling-Haigh (b. 1960)

Plucked Halling
by Adrian Mann (b. 1949)

The Composers

Tim Goplerud, “enjoys working at the intersection of classical and vernacular musical traditions.”  He is a former double bassist and spent considerable time playing jazz and playing in symphony orchestras.  He strives to write music “…that is inventively structured yet melodically and rhythmically appealing and is as gratifying to play as it is to hear.”  He has a BM degree in music from Yale University and at the Juilliard School has a MM in Bass performance, plus at Peabody Conservatory he did graduate study in composition and electronic music. Information from:

Andrea Clearfield’s music has, according to the New York Times,  “…a consonant and melodic style, and the ease with which she moves between graceful tracery and lively, rhythmically vital writing suits these instruments and players perfectly…”.  She divides her time as composer in residence at Le Moulin √• Nef in Auvillar, France and was a fellow in June and July at Civitella Ranieri in Umbria, Italy.  Andrea recently has been the composer at the University of Texas at Austin, the College of William and Mary, The University of Chicago and the International Conservatory Week Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia.  She is a “…strong advocate for creating vital, alternative spaces for arts, her Philadelphia Salon is now celebrating 27 Years and she is curating/hosting other Salons around the country…”.  This from 

One of the premiere American music giants, Thelonious Sphere Monk excelled both as a jazz musician and composer with a unique improvisational style.   He added many outstanding contributions to music in his career, playing and composing.  He is the second most recorded jazz composer after Duke Ellington.  “His compositions and improvisations are full of dissonant harmonies and angular melodic twists, and are consistent with Monk's unorthodox approach to the piano, which combined a highly percussive attack with abrupt, dramatic use of silences and hesitations….” This from

Music that has been characterized as “…haunting, charismatic, yearning, wistful, lyrical, colorful, and insouciant! She is concerned with conveying emotions and moods, but firmly believes in the powers of memorable melodies and rhythms and strong formal structure….” Contributing to that could be Margi Griebling-Haigh’s three generations of family composers.  An Akron Ohio native, she has an excellent musical education, long list of awards on a local, state and national level to match such a glowing description. This from and

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

The Venue

All this adds up to a potentially great concert.   One that is different from typical chamber music with its unique pairing of instruments and with music from a variety of composer writing styles.  The Edge Center has hosted many concerts including artists amazing talents.  We believe this concert will continue this tradition and provide another great evening of listening enjoyment. Above image courtesy of Cindy Trboyevich.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

OboeBass: “A Musical Journey” Coming to Bigfork

When someone claims to be the “world’s only” of anything, people take notice.  In this case, the musical duo OboeBass claim to be the world’s only Oboe and Bass musicians playing duets with this combination of instruments.  Adding to that, they play chamber music “…influenced by ethnic folk songs dances and All-American jazz.” This concert sounds both unique and entertaining. OboeBass performing "A Musical Journey" will be on stage at The Edge Center for a public performance and student program in Bigfork on September 27th.  The public performance is at 7 PM and the costs are $10 for adults and $5 for children.

Along with their claim of “the world’s only”, the OboeBass’ website announces, “Double Oboe. Double Bass. Licensed to Thrill”.  That’s good marketing, but it also backed up by reputation. They have been called “pioneers” by Minnesota Public Radio for “forging ahead with a new chamber music combination”.  The musician duo is Carrie Vecchione, playing the oboe, and Rolf Erdahl, playing double bass.  The team dedicates much of their work to education with classes for young and adult students. They have CDs of music available and a very busy work schedule that goes beyond their OboeBass activities.

Carrie Vecchione shown above with a  giant oboe reed gift from Paul Bunyan...probably the biggest oboe reed in the world.  She plays the oboe in OboeBass.  In addition, she teaches at the MacPhail Center for Music, subs with the Minnesota Orchestra, and appears as Principal Oboe of the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra. She received her Doctoral and Bachelor degrees from Louisiana State University, and her Master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music. She also studied with Joseph Robinson, Earnest Harrison, and Mark Ostoich.

Rolf Erdahl plays double bass in OboeBass. Rolf above in a New Jersey sculpture gardens.  He performs with the Minnesota Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Minnesota Opera. He teaches bass at Luther College and Gustavus Adolphus College. He is a graduate of St. Olaf College, the University of Minnesota, and the Peabody Conservatory, and his work as a Fulbright Scholar in Norway, resulted in his doctoral dissertation being on the music of Edvard Grieg. He studied with Eugene Levinson, Peter Lloyd, Bruce Bransby, Paul Ellison, Hal Robinson, and James Clute.

To get a sample of OboeBass music click the links below.

While in Bigfork, the duo will have a special concert for students. They devote considerable time providing music appreciation and education tailored to the ages of audiences.   Called “Pages of Music with Rolf and Carrie,” this activity not only includes concerts, like the one that will be done in Bigfork, but residency programs for young people.  For younger audiences, “We perform and demonstrate on our instruments, introduce basic musical concepts, and share children’s literature to show kids the creative power, beauty, and sheer joy that await them in the wild, wonderful, multifaceted world of music.”

For Adult Music Learning Series OboeBass provides several different programs to introduce music on a personal level.  The adult series customizes the presentations to accommodate particular audiences. The program is well received and can be an excellent addition to activities of adults of any age.  Although these programs are designed for adults, by the addition of younger audience members they work well for inter-generation presentations.

Music CDs available of OboeBass include “Askelad” and “The Seven Silver Ducks,” a traditional Norwegian folk tale,  their debut CD came out in 2008 titled “It Takes Two” and "The Story of Barber the Little Elephant" .

The OboeBass duo is a very talented and creative pair.  The Edge Center’s wonderful acoustics and comfortable seating should provide anyone who can make the performance an exceptional experience.  The Edge also has hearing assistance devices available.  Come and hear OboeBass and you will be entertained by a unique chamber music sound.

Friday, September 6, 2013

"This film wasn't released - it escaped."…M*A*S*H Coming to Bigfork

This, according to Director Robert Altman, described the process of getting his film into distribution. M*A*S*H was a winner both at the box office and by other industry standards. It won an Academy Award and was nominated for five more, won a Golden Globe for Best picture, and the Palme d’Or at Cannes.  Deemed “culturally significant” in 1996, it is preserved in the U.S. National Film Registry.  This dark satirical comedy about the personnel in a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) unit set during the Korean War but was really about the Vietnam war.  What a great way to start this year’s classic film series at The Edge Center in Bigfork. Jack Nachbar will show the movie along with a cartoon from the same period and provide his informative discussion.  All this on September 12 at 7PM. Admission is free along with appropriate goodies during intermission.

M*A*S*H  is an R rated movie. About the movie Jack Nachbar says, “1970 was a terrible year for the counter culture in America. There were bombings in Cambodia. And there were killings by troops of young people at Kent State and Jackson State. Cynicism, even despair, hung in the air like a black mist. Then M*A*S*H was released and taught a whole generation that a solution to the madness in the world was a bitter laughter.”

M*A*S*H featured doctors with little respect for Army procedures, protocols and rules, but were amazing combat surgeons.  They party, womanize, won’t wear uniforms and break any rule needed to save lives and get their jobs done.  Being released at the height of the Vietnam War in 1970, there was lots of discussion about whether it should be in a Korean War or Vietnam War setting.  But the controversial implications of having it in Vietnam were too significant, so the compromise was to do a Vietnam War movie not very well disguised as a Korean War movie.  “Actors Donald Sutherland, and other members of the original M*A*S*H cast, stated during interviews, that when they went to work (everyday), they always knew ‘...that they were in Vietnam and NOT Korea....’…” Quote from .

The director was Robert Bernard Altman, who died in 2006 (shown above at Cannes).  He was nominated for five Academy Awards for his directing and eventually recognized by the academy with an Academy Honorary Award.  He was known for movies that are “highly naturalistic, but with a stylized perspective”. Three of his movies are in The United States National Film Registry.

The cast (poster above from warmoviebuff.blogdpot)  included an amazingly ensemble group of performers that current movie producer only wish they could find and afford.  The producer, Robert Altman assembled so many unknowns, that after the short list of known actors at the beginning the rest were labeled as “introducing”.  The three top surgeons played by Donald Sutherland , Elliott Gould and Tom Skerritt were the most mischievous rule-breakers with the less-talented doctor played by Robert Duvall.  One of the most memorable was actress Sally Kellerman being “unmasked” in the shower….come and see what we mean?  Kellerman was nominated for an Academy Award for best supporting actress as “Hot Lips” in this movie.

Donald Sutherland (above in 1981) played Capt. Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce

Elliott Gould (above photo courtesy of WireImage) played Capt. John Francis Xavier "Trapper John" McIntyre

Tom Skerritt (above at 47th academy awards) played Capt. Augustus Bedford "Duke" Forrest

Sally Kellerman (at a movie premier in 1979) played Major Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan

Robert Duvall (shown above at President Bush's left at 2005 Medal of Arts photo) played Major Frank Burns

M*A*S*H had an “afterlife” that was amazing by itself.  The TV series Mash (above image from johnpostmblog.blogspot) and TV sitcoms had a long running career entertaining viewer up until 1985 with the end of  the TV sitcom “Trapper John. M.D.”.

The sign post from the television series (above image) is in the Smithsonian.

The whole M*A*S*H movie and television series family still has a loyal fan base and 20th Century Fox had significant success in selling them on VHS and DVDs (above DVD VHS movie jacket).

If you have been to a movie classic in Bigfork, this is a great one to start this year’s programs.  If you have not, you might consider coming to see M*A*S*H to find out for yourself why this movie made such an impression on a whole generation of movie goers and reached into TV land for so many years with its spin off series. The big screen showing of the movie will be in The Edge Center Theatre with its very comfortable seating and superb sound system.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Upcycling…(Art from Nothing) at The Edge In Bigfork

The amount of “stuff” Americans throw out is amazing, and so is how it can be reused.  This month you can see some creative ways at Upcycling (Art from Nothing) at The Edge Gallery in Bigfork.  Maybe an inspiration is waiting for you, and we can see your art at next year’s show. Upcycling art can be challenging, an adventure, a treasure hunt, simple, and certainly fun. Dates September 5 to October 5. Artist’s reception September 6, 5-7 PM with treats provided. Gallery hours Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10 AM to 4 PM. Admission is free to the gallery and the reception.

For most of us recycling has become a common part of daily life. No one really thinks much about separating trash into paper, cardboard, plastic, aluminum cans, and other metals.  And we have confidence, that by recycling, less will end up in landfills. Well, how about some it ending up as art? This is the first Upcycling art show at the Edge Gallery and some beautiful pieces are on display. The above is one of four sculptures made from used steel, by Ken Steel from Balsam, Minnesota.

Here are a couple of the several familiar faces at the show. They are some of the giant puppets making an encore appearance.  From the “Wilderness Almanac” performance at the Edge and in the Bigfork Wilderness Days parade, the puppets were made of old bits of paper, cardboard and other materials.  The artists were Bigfork students who created them during a 2012 residency directed by Theresa Linnihan and Patty Feld.  Here is a chance to meet some of them up close and personal.  Maybe they will be annual visitors for the event.

Did you ever wonder what to do with those old books that are just gathering dust on your stuffed shelves? Julia Feld Strand created an answer by turning some old books into shadow box relief sculptures. By doing so, they become great table displays, wall art or usable anywhere else you need to add a touch of beauty. Wonder if there are any first editions in the collection?  

A few years ago talented local Quilter, Char Bailey made a special quilt honoring the quilts made in the 1930’s depression era, when sewing supplies were very limited and expensive.  This art uses vintage flour sacks that were a typical material for quilts in that period.

For all the sportsmen visiting the gallery there is an Eco Walleye on display.  I am sure many of us have seen discarded cans on the bottom of lakes and were dismayed at the litter, but if you saw a walleye made from old tin cans, that would be a treat.  Kathleen Munson and DeWayne Ehler collaborated on this beautiful fish sculpture created from old tin cans.

These photos show just some of what will treat you at this show. And if you are curious about the concept, and want go back a bit to try and figure out how this genre developed, you might be surprised at how many names and “origins” this art claims as part of its history. Names like Found Objects...objet trouv√©, Dada, Ready Mades, Junk Art, Trash Art all are in its lineage. The above photo is one of the most famous recycled larger sized art made.  It is Carhenge near Alliance, Nebraska on the High Plains made by Jim Reinders and is a replica of England's Stonehenge done in grey painted cars. So far, nothing like this is at The Edge Gallery, or outside on the lawn, or in the parking lot, but who knows what might show up.

The gallery committee volunteers added a personal touch to this show.  Each of them created a letter in the show title using recycled materials.  They include braided rug, broken wine bottle and cork, packing material, licence plate, pine cones, moss, DVDs, and folded paper. Photo shown above.  Thank you so very much to the gallery committee for this creative colorful new show. So, come and visit anytime during the month of September to see what is on display for this first of its kind exhibit. Better yet, come to the opening reception this Friday September 6th and meet the artists who can be considered our founding Upcycle artists for letting the gallery share their special works with the communities.