I've decided to move this blog to my newly redesigned website.
You can now continue following and commenting at http://Ljova.com/blog
All of the entries and comments have been migrated there.
Speak with you soon!
My name is Lev Zhurbin, and I am a New York-based composer and performer.
Over the last decade, I have worked extensively with the cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, the Kronos Quartet, the rapper Jay-Z, filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, as well as many independent musicians and filmmakers and people less well familiar.
I have been using Sibelius since version 1, and am deeply disappointed to hear that future development has been halted. The software has been a life saver for my music, my career, and the projects I have been associated with in the past decade.
Sibelius the people associated with its progress, have been monstrously instrumental in helping me achieve miracles on the fly, such as creating beautiful orchestral scores overnight, or producing transformative changes on an orchestral arrangement, and reprinting them in the middle of rehearsal within minutes. Sibelius's features have improved my composition skills, and inspired many beautiful musical moments. Without a doubt, Sibelius software, and its friendly staff led by Daniel Spreadbury, has saved my life and career dozens of times, providing crucial response and support, often after midnight London time, and I am forever grateful to them.
I hate to thumb my nose at other people's finances, but if it is in fact true that Sibelius is profitable, and that the cost of continuing development on the project is smaller than the recent increase in Mr. Greenfield's salary, then I am not sure it is a raise I can support... Sibelius is not only a powerful composing tool for me, but also a huge force in the music education field worldwide. I want my children to learn Sibelius, and be inspired by the possibilities. Without a proper notation program, our children will simply learn to write music by humming -- the equivalent of writing your emails by speaking to Siri.
There will always be more profitable, hotter markets -- but that does not diminish in any way the need for a professional notation program that not only provides basic notation options but also keeps up to date with supporting the latest computers and technologies. That is what Sibelius is today -- just like ProTools, Sibelius is a vital source for musicians and educators.
In closing, I'd like to offer you some links to my work, notated in Sibelius:
Featuring cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Silk Road Ensemble:
Featuring the Kronos Quartet:
Featuring Ely Guerra and Alondra de la Parra and the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas:
I urge you to reconsider your decisions and keep Sibelius alive.
Lev 'Ljova' Zhurbin
This is a question that composers and performers get asked all the time, and, if you're anything like me, the ideal answer is a diversion. "Well -- at our last show, everyone was given complimentary ice cream, and everyone lost five pounds just by listening!" That'll pique some interest. It's just as dishonest as saying that what I make is a mix of "classical, jazz and world music" -- it's none of those, yet borrows from all.
For years, I've avoided verbalizing the answer to the genre question, hoping that at some point, a great writer will come up with something I can use. For example, the very first review of my debut album, "Vjola: World on Four Strings", was by Steve Smith in Time Out, who declared that "Ljova mixes rustic dances and evocative soundscapes, all crafted from little more than the gorgeously grainy purr of his fiddle."
Exactly that, Sir, thank you! - but can you imagine me saying that much? "The kind of music I make is a mix of rustic dances and evocative landscapes, which I craft from little more than the gorgeously grainy purr of my fiddle...." If I had to say this myself, I would surely redact all adjectives, and end up with the bland "I create dances and landscapes on a fiddle."
In recent years, I've began to answer this "kind of" question with another diversion, by alluding to the fact that I've written pieces for Yo-Yo Ma and arrangements for Jay-Z, among others. Both musicians have funny names, are universally well known, as well as very open-minded and courageous in the kind of sound they explore, in their choices of collaborators. I am so humbled to have had a chance to work with them both. Mentioning Ma and Z gives me instant street cred in classical and hiphop worlds, but it also makes me somewhat uncomfortable -- these are huge shoes to fill.
The truth is that my biggest influences have been my parents (my dad is a composer; my mom a writer/singer/poet), my wife (a singer), and brilliant violinists like Mark Feldman, Carla Kihlstedt, Charlie Burnham, Culai Neacsu, Johnny Gandelsman, and Iva Bittova. These are equally brilliant but less familiar names. I'm influenced by music from a variety of musical cultures and how they communicate love through sound, and my personal obsession is the suspension of groove. I notate, but wish I didn't have to; I can fake proficiency in several styles, but my specialty is a semi-studied brew of leanings that I claim as my own. At least, that's where I am today.
"My name is Ljova, and I play fiddles. The music I write is very personal, and keeps evolving -- I really hope it will connect with you, too. Come to our next show!" That would be my ideal line, my elevator pitch. Would you come?
Speaking of which -- on July 7 (raindate: July 8), my group Ljova and the Kontraband is performing on Governors Island at 1 and 3pm. The shows are free! Bring your own ice cream -- or hula-hoop -- whatever works. Here is the info: http://Ljova.com/schedule
Dear Whole Foods,
My name is Lev Zhurbin, and I'm a dad of two boys, living on the Upper West Side with my wife.
We shop at Whole Foods often -- it's very convenient for us - and we find that the prices, for the most part, are reasonable -- some items are more expensive, and some are cheaper than a competing super market - but overall, the quality is much better. And you make the best diapers.
However, I take issue with the lack of plastic bags available at the register. I am not a packaging advocate, and if there were such a choice, I wouldn't use any bags at all.
You have to realize, that unlike most other places where Whole Foods operates stores, the overwhelming majority of Manhattan customers, like myself, do not drive. We either walk, take public transportation, push a stroller, or bike. We do not wheel a shopping cart into a parking lot and stack our bags into a trunk. In that we don't drive, Whole Foods shoppers in Manhattan are already a lot more "green" than others nationwide.
Whole Food Market's insistence on paper bags place Manhattan customers at a disadvantage.
-- the handles of a paper bag routinely break - especially if you're holding more than one in the same hand.
-- paper bags get wet in the rain. If you are walking home from Whole Foods on a rainy day, your products will get wet and ruined.
-- if you put a paper bag onto a wet surface, while waiting for a bus, or on a slushy subway platform, the products will also get ruined
-- you can use plastic bags to take out the trash -- and save on buying other "garbage" bags. they are small enough to go down the compactor (trash) chute with a whole day's trash.
-- plastic bags can be used to pack up liquid waste, household dust, and other products.
-- plastic bags can be cinched up pretty tight at the top.
-- plastic bags are smaller, more durable, and have more uses. As such, plastic bags are more reusable than paper.
Yes, the reusable bags you sell are fine - but they are also bulky, and I would not want to walk around with them all day, just to make a trip to Whole Foods on the way home.
I urge you to consider giving Manhattan customers the option, and offer plastic bags at your checkout registers. Paper or plastic should be a choice. (Trader Joe's offers just that.)
Perhaps it's not fatherhood's fault -- it's just that, if you're a guy shopping for gadgets, you want to be 100% sure that you bought the right thing. Luckily, there are many stores that support you in this quest, by offering 7-day, 15-day or 30-day return policies. Some stores (Bed Bath & Beyond, for instance) let you return items even 5 years later. (I wish they sold more gear!) Some stores charge restocking fees, some don't.
(Русский текст ниже)
Alexander Zhurbin / Irena Ginzburg
with special guests Inna Barmash & Ljova (a.k.a. Barmaljova)
Sunday, January 15, 2012 at 9.30pm
425 Lafayette Street
New York NY 10003
Tickets: $15 in advance / 20 at the door - buy online or call 212-539-8778
Alexander Zhurbin is Russia's pre-eminent composer of musical theatre, film soundtracks and popular song. His career launched overnight in 1975, when he wrote Russia's first rock-opera, "Orpheus & Eurydice", which went on to be the longest continuously running theatrical production in Russia, after 2500 performances. Since that day, he has written scores to over 60 films, 6 operas, 45 musicals, symphonies, ballets and concert works. Thanks to his wide-ranging output and activity, he has often been compared to the "Russian Leonard Bernstein".
Together with his wife, Irena Ginzburg-Zhurbin, they have been co-writing songs and performing internationally for over 30 years -- Alexander at the piano, and Irena singing.
For this extremely rare New York appearance, Alexander and Irena will be joined on stage by their son Lev Zhurbin (better known in New York as Ljova, leader of his ensemble Ljova and the Kontraband), their daughter-in-law Inna Barmash, as well as special guests.
Александр Журбин, Ирина Гинзбург-Журбина
Лев Журбин и Инна Бармаш (Бармалёва)
15 января 2012 года в 21:30
425 Lafayette Street
New York City
Билеты - 15 долларов, возможно бронировать online, или по телефону 212-539-8778
Александр Журбин - известный российский композитор, автор многих произведений в жанре музыкального театра, саундтреков для кинофильмов, популярных песен.
Его карьера началась в 1975 году, когда он написал первую советскую рок-оперу «Орфей и Эвридика», и, как говорит пословица, «на следующее утро проснулся знаменитым». “Орфей и Эвридика” оказался самым долгоиграющим проектом за всю историю музыкального театра, эту оперу играют и сейчас в том же коллективе, через 36 лет после премьеры. С тех пор Александр Журбин написал музыку к 60 фильмам, 6 опер, 45 мюзиклов, симфонии, балеты, концерты. Благодаря необыкновенному разнообразию и разножанровости его творчества, многие газеты мира называли его «русским Леонардом Бернстайном».
Вместе с женой, Ириной Гинзбург-Журбиной, Александр уже более 30 лет пишет песни, и они вместе исполняют их по всему миру.
15 января в Joe’s Pub произойдет крайне редкое событие: Александр Журбин и Ирина Гинзбург-Журбина будут исполнять свои произведения, а также в концерте примет участие их сын Лев Журбин ( известный в Нью-Йорке как Ljova, создатель ансмбля “Ljova and the Kontraband”) и его жена Инна Бармаш, a также специальные гости.