About the Arts, From an Artist, To All Artists        For a year and a half a lot of thoughts about the arts world and about our place in it have continued to swirl in my thinking........some of the worst things than can happen to a large society, indeed the world society, have happened.......huge numbers of people have succumbed, and most everyone has experienced frustration, sadness, impatience, fear, boredom and perplexity about how to move forward.      We artists are kind of in a special category because no matter what our job is, we have the honor and the responsibility of talking to the world about the world and its people. The arts are, in many ways, the most exalted form of exploration and discovery on earth. So it strikes me that as we begin crawling out of the pandemic and toward what we hope will soon be a return to 'normal' life, and a rush back toward the things and people we love........we have an opportunity and a responsibility to

Outside the Storm, Finding Each Other

     The previous blog here talks about finding ourselves behind masks, at a distance from others, and seeking kindness where it may be needed more than ever. The capsule announcement which follows demonstrates how we can go beyond the pandemic, beyond the frustration and depression that each of us feels. It begins to lay out a plan for taking music and the other arts, and our resources, and our good will, to people even more desperate than we are.      Our activities in the arts are going to be directly aimed over the next few years at reaching out to everyone in need. We are proud to announce a few initial choices of recipient organizations who will benefit from everything that we can do to share the arts, to provide funds and help and encouragement. These are St. Jude's Children's Hospital, American Behcet's Disease Association, Child Fund International, UNICEF, and the Red Cross. This list will grow as we move into 2021.  Our colleagues at AcquaTroupe and JGA and World

Inside the Storm, Finding Oneself

    One thing a person learns when reaching some level of recognition in the arts is that people are often curious about who you are, what is behind the art, what your life is like. Most of that curiosity is not threatening, and actually quite flattering. At the same time, people who have been in the spotlight a long time will advise you that privacy, and even personal security, can become more difficult to maintain as your popularity increases. So over the years, I have learned to find a good balance between privacy and my public profile.      Recently my performance and production group has taken on a number of new artists who will be working with us. This is quite stimulating; of necessity, it has led me to be speaking out, talking about myself, and reflecting on my own experiences, much more than I was doing a year or two ago. The special challenge of opening up to new people like this is that I have to do it online, or through a mask which covers half my face. Meetings have to b

A most important week

Hello everyone, In the Judeo-Christian world, this is Holy Week and Passover. For everyone in the world, regardless of where their faith lies, this is also an important time in the pandemic which is affecting us all. Not only is it essential that we all  maintain physical distancing and follow all the guidelines for a healthy environment. It is also important that we listen carefully to the medical experts. We must not let our eagerness to return to normal override our common sense. The crisis will not be over magically at the end of April or even May. Yes, there is reason to hope we will enjoy many aspects of a 'normal' summer. But this crisis and its list of victims are not going to diminish any time soon. I urge all of you to find wherever your faith, hope, and capacity to survive   might be found. Use that faith to take your mind to positive places. Please keep working.....we artists can all continue to practice, learn, memorize, plan, and to communicate with others. On

Interviews with James Part 2

The following are responses to questions which have been asked of James Gibson in recent months, by a number of different interviewers, fans and friends. Comments are welcomed at ?      Do you have a favorite period in history?...especially as it relates to music. JG:  I love history! I go in and out, sometimes obsessing with it for weeks, at other times barely paying attention to it. I watch a lot of history docs on tv. Not long ago I started a pattern of studying one century in history for an entire year. I started with the beginning of the Christian -- and 'Common' -- Era, because I figured it would be too time-consuming to find enough references about pre-Christian history, fascinating as that would be. So in 2019 I studied the first century A.D. Now I am in the second century. As you can imagine, the beginnings of Christianity and the Roman Empire dominate a lot of that time period. I am largely concentrating on Europe and North America, b

Beautiful Voices Creating Peace Within Us

I seem to have a fascination with ironies and contradictions in the arts. Unlike some composers who thrive on creating dissonance and chaos and mashing things together, I prefer simpler and more gentle statements, on the whole. There can be a lot of loud power and anguish in my music, but I think and hope that the calm and soothing voices generally win out. I love pondering the seeming contradiction of peace, of utter serenity, emerging from an overwhelming gathering of hundreds of voices singing with passion. This is what I experienced recently at a rehearsal of Eric Whitacre's music, conducted by him and featuring Joanna Burrell, soprano soloist. Because she is a friend and colleague, and as I know how beautiful her singing is, I was not surprised that in the gentle simplicity of Goodnight, Moon  she warmly lifted the power of this beautiful music to a hall full of people. So we were all riding high a bit later when 800 voices filled that hall with more music, gripping and exci

When the Passion Overwhelms

    When those of us in the arts experience tremendous highs of beauty and accomplishment and joy and inspiration -- which can happen often -- we frequently seize the moment. We shout, dance, call our friends, listen to a powerful song over and over....we go out for a celebration, we treat ourselves to something special, we announce it to the world. Today, though, I had an interesting experience. I am coming off of several days of tremendous inspiration and bliss in music and performance...not because of anything I have done, but because of stunning experiences with the music of others. You will read about some of that in the coming days on     Oddly enough, and almost uniquely, I found myself withdrawing today into a glorious and silent web of reflection. Fresh inspiration from several performers whose brilliance really struck me this week...a quiet sense of how beautiful and strong humanity can be...memory of special experiences many years past, and an almost p