Our Mission

To bring together Metro New York City area recorder players to make music in a friendly, supportive environment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ARS LogoThe New York Recorder Guild is a member of the American Recorder Society

NYRG Playing Meeting

Ruth Cunningham
April 26, 2018

Ruth CunninghanRuth Cunningham is a classically trained musician, a sound healing practitioner, and a founding member of Anonymous 4. She specializes in improvisational sacred music from varied spiritual traditions in both liturgical and concert settings. Her solo program Light and Shadow encompasses a mixture of music including several traditional chants from Western and Eastern traditions as well as Ruth's own compositions and improvisations. The texts include Medieval Latin Marian texts, Sanskrit texts, prayers, and poems by Ruth's sister Elizabeth Cunningham. She accompanies herself on Medieval harp, Renaissance flute and recorder, piano and shruti box.

Ruth received a Bachelor of Music in Performance of Early Music from the New England Conservatory of Music and taught recorder and renaissance flute at the Amherst Early Music Workshops for sixteen years. She is certified as a cross cultural music healing practitioner (CCMHP) by the Open Ear Center where she studied with Pat Moffitt Cook. She has also studied vocal improvisation with Rhiannon.

Ruth's most recent CD releases are Light and Shadow: Chants, Prayers and Improvisations and Harpmodes: Journey for Voice and Harp. She was part of the women's ensemble of Early Music NY and participated in their CD Music of Medieval Love . She has also performed and recorded with the Renaissance vocal ensemble Pomerium. She is a regular member of the professional choir at St Ignatius of Antioch in New York City. As a sound healing practitioner, Ruth works with individuals and groups on using the voice and music as tools for healing and transformation. She collaborates with other healers and musicians in a variety of settings and is interested in integrating sound healing and performance. Ruth played and taught a sound healing class for the Integrative Stress Management Program at St Vincent's Hospital in NYC from 2001-2007. In 2001-2002 she was among the musicians who offered their services at St. Paul's Chapel, which served as a refuge for the workers at Ground Zero. For more on Ruth Cunningham, visit her website at: www.ruthcunningham.com

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All monthly sessions are held at 6:30 PM at All Souls Unitarian Church, 1157 Lexington Avenue, at the corner of 80th St. Doors open at 6:30 PM.  Downbeat is at 6:45 PM SHARP.

NYRG Meeting Fees:
$12 per meeting for members
$15 per meeting for non-members

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Music Director, Deborah Booth Leads NYRG First Playing Session of the New Year

Playing Session

Visit our Events page for photos of recent playing meetings.

Visit our new Archives Page to keep up with all of the music played at our Monthly Meetings. Music listings of workshops and other events will be added as they occur.

Our Workshops page has all the information on Recorder and Early Music Workshops taking place in the area. Just posted: the upcoming Princeton Recorder Society workshop on March 24th.

Recorders need repairs; looking for music downloads? Visit our Resources page for information on everything recorder-related.

Consort Finder

The board and music director are pleased that you are attending New York Recorder Guild sessions to play with and meet other recorder players.  It is certainly a great place for this! You may also wish to enjoy playing recorders in a consort or smaller group setting, but it is often difficult to get the right players together for levels, geography, and temperaments.  

We can help. If you are interested in being matched with other players, write to our music director, Deborah Booth, explaining your thoughts, wishes, level, location, and years of experience.  Coaching is also available if desired. Ms. Booth will attempt to put you in touch with others who match your skills. NYRG has had success with this program in starting a consort meeting in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Give it a chance and you may be pleasantly surprised. Contact Deborah Booth at: deborah@flute-recorder-deborahbooth.com

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Deborah & LouiseNYRG Music Director and WRG Coach, Deborah Booth performed an all-Telemann program at a GEMS Concert on October 5, 2017 with Louise Shulman to a full house in the beautiful chapel of St. Bartholomew's on Park Avenue. This program offered some of Telemann's lesser known and later works from Der getreue Music-Meister (Germany's first music periodical) and also the 1752 print of bolder and more original duo pieces which survived in the Civico Museo Bibliografico Musicale in Bologna.

Deborah and Louise performed as part of an on-going series: Midtown Concerts; lunchtime performances of music of the 18th century and earlier at The Chapel at St. Bartholomew's Church, 50th St. and Park Avenue. Time: 1:15-2:00 pm. All concerts are free; no tickets or reservations are necessary. For more information, visit www.gemsny.org.

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Musica Viva NY

Musica VivaMusica Viva NY is a chamber choir driven by a desire to share the transcendent power of choral and instrumental music. All concerts are hosted byAll Souls Church, the organization which graciously provides our meeting space. For program information and performance dates, visit their website at http://musicaviva.org

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Subscribe to the New York Recorder Guild Mailing List and get the latest news on NYRG happenings as well as keeping up to date on the Metro New York Recorder scene. Contact: newyorkrecorders@gmail.com

Recorder Myths??

Joy Awaits You
Here Are The Facts by Judith Wink

The recorder has been around since the Middle Ages.  You’d think something that venerable would get some respect.  But no.  Too many people out there think it’s just a folk instrument, or a starter instrument for school kids, or a pocket-sized pipe with a shrill, obnoxious sound.  Even Anthony Baines, who wrote or edited dozens of articles and books about music and instruments, dismissed the recorder as “easy to play and cheap to buy,” perfect for the musician who is both lazy and tight-fisted.

Sure, in some cultures recorder-type instruments are used for folk music — Israel, for instance, which produced those abysmal Gill recorders that were made of balsa wood and left splinters in your mouth.  But in Western Europe, throughout the Renaissance and Baroque periods (and that’s a long time, let me tell you), the recorder was used for art music.  Recorder consorts entertained Henry VIII.  Bach wrote some of the solo parts in the Brandenburg concertos with recorders in mind.  In the Baroque period, the recorder was one of the premiere solo instruments, right up there with the violin.  There’s a ton of serious music just from this era. Telemann alone will keep you busy for decades with his sonatas and duets.

Sure, the recorder is a great starter instruments for kids.  You don’t have to struggle to get a sound out of it, as you do with the flute; you don’t have to futz with reeds, as you do with the clarinet and the saxophone and the oboe; and the finger holes on the soprano are easy for small hands to reach.  But don’t stop there!  The instrument may be easy to learn, but you can spend a lifetime mastering it, as any professional player will tell you.  And once you start exploring articulation and alternate fingerings, you will find that the recorder is as sophisticated as any orchestral instrument.  It may not have the range or the dynamics, but boy, is it expressive!  And no matter how good you get, there will always be another piece that’s just beyond your technique.  Like any other instrument worth playing, the recorder is inexhaustible.

As to the shrill and obnoxious sound people complain of, that’s the soprano you’re talking about, and a badly-played one at that.  The soprano has a lot of big brothers, down to the F contrabass.  Six feet tall, this monster has bottom notes that sound like the QEII setting sail.  Now and then an instrument maker with time on his hands and trees at his disposal will make something bigger. Victor Mahillon, onetime director of the Brussels Museum of Musical Instruments, copied a Renaissance extended great bass in C.  This thing is about eight feet long and virtually unplayable, but what serious musician doesn’t love a challenge?  A low consort — tenor, bass, great bass and contrabass — has the richness and sonority of an organ, and a lot more flexibility.

Is the recorder useless except for old music?  Absolutely not.  In Philadelphia jazz clubs, customers would laugh when Joel Levine got up to play his soprano recorder.  They stopped laughing after the first few licks.  Go on You Tube to hear a recorder quintet play “Purple Haze,” the Jimi Hendrix classic.  Go to Europe and hear conservatory-trained musicians play new works for the recorder.  Adventurous composers have discovered that there’s more to this instrument than a sweet sound and nimble articulation, and they’re making the most of it.

For most amateurs, though, the recorder means the Handel sonatas and Josquin motets.  And that’s fine.  Just work on style and technique, and buy some big instruments.  Joy awaits you.