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Texas Early Music Project
2905 San Gabriel Suite 204 
Austin, TX 78705
(512) 377-6961

For ticket and concert venue inquiries, email the Box Office

TEMP is a performing ensemble and not a presenting organization or an agency. Please do not contact TEMP about hosting other early music groups.
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2905 San Gabriel Suite 204
Austin, TX 78705
USA

(512) 377-6961

Founded in 1987 by Daniel Johnson, the Texas Early Music Project is dedicated to preserving and advancing the art of Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and early Classical music through performance, recordings, and educational outreach. 

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Blog

Explore more than 700 years of musical transformation

Taxes, Cornetti, & Sackbuts: Oh my!

Danny Johnson

 
 

Tax season: so fun, beautiful, and revelatory! The answer to life! Yep, working on taxes always puts me in such a calm and reflective mood, especially during Easter week, when church-singers pretty much live at their respective churches. 

Also fun, beautiful, and revelatory: the Notre-Dame concert from late March. The guys did great (even when given a starting pitch that was a minor 3rd too high—way to use that technique, basses!) Many, many, many kudos and thanks to Dr. Rebecca Baltzer for her suggestions, guidance, and music transcriptions. We hope to revisit this rep soon. Or something similar. Machaut? Stay tuned!

But, you know, sometimes you just have to pause and take a look in the mirror and think calmly to yourself, "Holy moly! We're doing the Monteverdi Vespers in 3 weeks!!! Batten down the hatches! All hands on deck! Trim the mainsail! Find a can-opener! 

As Schroeder exclaims, "Monteverdi is IT, clear and simple!" The Vespero della Beata Vergine of 1610 is amazing and monumental and I'm thrilled that TEMP is in a position to take on such a stupendous project! We have several distinguished guests joining the equally wonderful core group for this concert. Cornetti, sackbuts, strings, 3 theorbos, harp, organ, and more! And this will mark cornettist Douglas Kirk's (former Clearlight Waites and UT Early Music Ensemble director's) first concert with TEMP in a decade. Cornetti? What are they, you ask?  Watch Meredith's informative and fun video about the cornetto! 

Have I mentioned that it's gonna be a doozy to celebrate Monteverdi's 450th birthday? (He was born May 9, so we'll be a few days late...) This is the last doozy of the season and the wise concert goer should get tickets soon!

Oh, and there's this raffle thing! Check it out! Invite TEMP to perform for your private event!

Read more about the Vespers below...with audio teasers....Holy moly!!
-Danny

 
 

Monteverdi 1610

Saturday, May 13, 2017 at 7PM, with pre-concert lecture at 6PM
Sunday, May 14, 2017 at 3PM, with pre-concert lecture at 2PM
Both performances at Northwest Hills United Methodist Church
7050 Village Center Drive, Austin, TX 78731

Admission $30 general; $25 seniors (60+); $5 students (at the door only)
Tickets available in advance online or by cash, check, or credit card at the door.

For more information, call 512-377-6961 and leave a message,
or email info@early-music.org.

TEMP rounds out its season of musical transition and innovation with the monumental Monteverdi Vespero della Beata Vergine of 1610 and it’s just in time to celebrate the composer's 450th birthday—May 9, 1567.

Claudio Monteverdi was a major power in the transition from the Renaissance to the Baroque, and his Vespers of 1610 includes elements of both musical eras. The Vespers is a powerhouse of widely diverse styles from beginning to end, ranging from virtuosic solos and duets to exuberant double-choir pieces in a glorious fusion of late Renaissance and early Baroque styles. Enjoy these audio teasers from the Andrew Parrott/Taverner Consort recording:

The 27-voice chorus includes guest soloists tenor Ryland Angel, bass Peter Walker, and tenor Temmo Korisheli. The rest of the many soloists are part of TEMP’s core singers, including Gitanjali Mathur, Jenifer Thyssen, Cayla Cardiff, Brett Barnes, and others.

The expanded early Baroque orchestra includes 3 cornetti, 3 early trombones, bowed strings, and an amazing continuo section of 3 theorbos, harp, portative organ, and harpsichord.

Don’t miss the pre-concert lecture 1 hour before each concert by KMFA's Sara Schneider!

Come celebrate Monteverdi's 450th birthday with a concert that would have lit all the candles on his birthday cake!

Click on the image to purchase tickets now!

Click on the image to purchase tickets now!

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Amplify the Notre-Dame doozy while re-setting your clocks

Danny Johnson

I don't know if it was the invitation to watch kolaches being cooked in Meredith's kitchen or what, exactly—but we exceeded our $7500 goal for Amplify Austin by more than $800!! Thanks to all who donated, of course, and thanks to the team that helped with publicizing and working to get this together, not only in the TEMP team but also the Amplify team! Please watch our thank-you video on our Gallery page! You're brilliant! The funds will go to the Monteverdi 1610 Vespers concert and it will be a doozy!

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But first—a more subtle, relaxed, transparent doozy. (That's a technical term I learned in musicology classes: If something is really good and special, no matter the size of the event, it's a doozy!) The Notre Dame concert coming up on March 25 & 26 is one that we present with pride and joy, partly because no one else in this area does this rep, but also because we get the joy of collaborating with Dr. Rebecca Baltzer, renowned scholar and musicologist who has uncovered many doozies from the Notre Dame repertoire as well as much more. By the by, the acclaimed ensemble Anonymous 4 profited manyfold by collaborating with her. We're lucky because she's right here in Austin and comes to our concerts as well as concerts by other local groups. She raises the bar on how to be a supporter of real 'live' early music, right here in the Violet Crown

And the music? It's a beautifully transcendent [sometimes rousing] experience. Doozy to the max! There are toe tappers—don't worry! Learn more about our Notre Dame concert below and listen to some audio teasers!

More soon. Change your clocks this Sunday morning. . .
-Danny

 
 

Notre Dame Cathedral, c. 1200

Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 8PM
St. Mary Cathedral, 203 East 10th Street

Sunday, March 26, 2017 at 3PM
First Presbyterian Church, 8001 Mesa

Admission $30 general; $25 seniors (60+); $5 students (at the door only)
Tickets available in advance online or by cash, check, or credit card at the door.

Special note about parking for St. Mary Cathedral on Saturday, March 25:
Where: Capital Towers parking garage immediately behind (south of) the church. The entry is on San Jacinto Street. The other option is metered street parking.
Details:
* Take a ticket to park. Keep your parking ticket with you!
* Take the elevator to LEVEL 2 (also labeled PG).
* Validate your ticket at the table with the self-serve validation machine. 
* Follow signs to the church entrance at the front of the Cathedral on 10th St.
* Enjoy the concert!
* As you leave the parking garage, insert validated ticket at the garage exit.

For more information, call 512-377-6961 and leave a message,
or email info@early-music.org.

From meditative chant to rousing polyphony, TEMP explores the groundbreaking music of Léonin and Pérotin of the 12th-century School of Notre-Dame, whose musical innovations are the foundation for almost all the music we enjoy today in the Western world. TEMP is proud to collaborate with Dr. Rebecca Baltzer, recognized worldwide as an expert on the music of Notre-Dame Cathedral during the Middle Ages.

Though solemn, a sense of joy and celebration permeate this music, echoing the ecstasy of the Marian movement during the 12th and 13th centuries. Rhythmically complex polyphonic pieces known as organum act as a wonderful complement to the dance-like conductus and the even older plainchant. Enjoy these audio teasers:

We also include a few works that reveal the lighter sides of the lives of the monks with semi-secular works featuring vielle player, Mary Springfels, and harpist, Therese Honey.

Our a cappella choir of fifteen male voices perform in the beautifully renovated St. Mary Cathedral and the quietly intimate space of First Presbyterian. Guest artists Temmo Korisheli (California) and Ryland Angel (New York) join some of Austin’s best singers, including Jeffrey Jones-Ragona, Steve Olivares, David Lopez, Tim O’Brien, and others.

Join us in celebration of early polyphonic music that provided the impetus for generations of composers to come.

Click on the image to purchase tickets now!

Click on the image to purchase tickets now!

 

 

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Life is a subliminal suggestion, old chum

Danny Johnson

Baroque Opera is fun! Our singers and players came away from Love's Grand with new ear worms and an appreciation for a lot of music that was new-ish to them! We hope you enjoyed it also!

 

You know what else is fun? Chant & polyphony from the Cathedral of Notre-Dame! It may not be quite as immediately evident, but just let it wash over you and envelope you in a dessert of sound. Low-fat. Gluten free.  

Hmmm. High fat kolaches!

Hmmm. High fat kolaches!

 

Somewhat less low-fat will be the kolaches that Meredith will be making during the Amplify Austin (& Amplify TEMP) fundraiser. (Get the deets below!) You'll be able to watch Meredith live-stream during the night of March 2 as she reports on the progress of TEMP's fundraising and as she reports on the progress of her newest culinary obsession! We're trying to raise some funds—$7,500— in support of our season finale concert, the 1610 Vespers by Monteverdi! It's a big ’un!

So remember: Kolaches = Amplify TEMP = Monteverdi!
And Paris! c.1200! Notre-Dame Cathedral!
-Danny

AMPLIFY TEMP!

Our goal is to raise $7,500 in support of our Monteverdi 1610 program, May 13-14. We have a LOT of new and exciting programs in store for 2017-2018 as well as the familiar ones you know and love, and we need your help to make this possible. Go to our Amplify page here to read more about it.

Here’s how you can help:

You can donate $25 (or more!) on TEMP’s page on Amplify Austin. Any Amount Helps! Here are some suggestions:

  • $25–$199 Helps with office supplies and program printing 
  • $200–$499 Helps cover venue rental costs 
  • $500–$999 Assists with artist compensation 
  • $1,000–$4,999 Assists in Director compensation 
  • $5,000 + Sponsors a concert

SCHEDULE YOUR PLEDGE NOW!

You don't have to wait until March 2 to participate! You can schedule your pledge now, and it will post on March 2! Just click on the "Donate now" button on the TEMP campaign page. Be sure the little box for "This is an Amplify Austin Day Donation" is checked on the donation form.  THIS IS SUPER IMPORTANT!  If the box is not checked, the donation will process immediately and will not count towards Amplify Austin Day.

CREATE YOUR OWN CAMPAIGN PAGE!

You can also become an individual fundraiser for TEMP by creating your own campaign page on the Amplify Austin website and inviting family, friends, and colleagues to donate to your TEMP campaign. Go to the TEMP campaign page and click on "Create a Fundraising Campaign." 

BE A MEDICI - BUT NICER! AMPLIFY TEMP AND AMPLIFY AUSTIN!

Visit TEMP’s Amplify Austin page by clicking on the  button below and schedule your gift by checking the box for "This is an Amplify Austin Day Donation."

We thank you for your generous support!

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30 days hath September . . .

Danny Johnson

January doesn't have nearly enough!

I know that it may look like TEMP has a month off, since we aren't in a concert hall or doing a recording or something sort of public, but January has been filled to the brim with school outreach concerts at TSVBI and this week at the UT Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, preparing the music for the upcoming opera concert (see details below), transcribing the monumental score for the Monteverdi 1610 Vespers concert in May, and planning for next season. And that's the tip o' the iceberg! At any rate, Happy New Year and, for a little fun but informative documentary, be sure to catch Meredith's epic 3-minute vid about the viola da gamba! It's fret-worthy!

-Danny

 
 

Love's Grand: The Sweet Delights of Baroque Opera

Saturday, February 18, 2017 at 8PM
&

Sunday, February 19, 2017 at 3PM
First Presbyterian Church, 8001 Mesa Drive

Admission $30 general; $25 seniors (60+); $5 students (at the door only)
Tickets available in advance online or by cash, check, or credit card at the door.

For more information, call 512-377-6961 and leave a message,
or email info@early-music.org.

The best opera tells a story that is one that we can connect with through the characters and the music. In our upcoming concert, TEMP creates an opera experience in which beloved arias and songs from the first 200 years of opera’s history are performed by some of your favorite singers.

Popular works from the world of Baroque opera are on the musical menu, including the Handel aria “Ah, mio cor” (Alcina), Monteverdi’s sensual duet, “Pur ti miro”, (L’Incoronazione di Poppea), Vivaldi’s “Vedro con mi diletto” (Giustino), and more.

In true TEMP fashion, we also explore some of the lesser-known gems during this exciting period of development, including works by Cavalli, Cesti, Charpentier, and others. This concert of beautiful, captivating, and spellbinding arias—with precious few recitatives—reminds us why opera became so popular and remains one of our most cherished art forms.

The TEMP regulars in the cast are sopranos Meredith Ruduski, and Jenifer Thyssen, with alto Sean Lee, tenor Jeffrey Jones Ragona, baritone Brett Barnes, and Peter Walker, our frequent guest baritone from New York. The period instrument orchestra will include violins, viola, cello, harpsichord, and theorbo.

Experience the beauty, brilliance, and passion of opera, from its intimate beginnings in the early 17th-century works of Monteverdi and Cavalli through the High Baroque virtuosity of Handel and Vivaldi. Be treated to intimate opera in an intimate space.

Click or tap on the image to purchase tickets now!

Click or tap on the image to purchase tickets now!

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The *Less-Early* Early Christmas from TEMP

Danny Johnson

Tune in to KMFA 89.5 FM on Thurs. 12-15-16 at 6pm!

Tune in to KMFA 89.5 FM on Thurs. 12-15-16 at 6pm!

I always feel big pangs of nostalgia when our Christmas concerts end; we have so much to accomplish in so few days, it's very bonding (in the good way, not the oh-my-gosh-the-zombies-are-here way) and we're always sad when it's over.

Sara Schneider, host of Ancient Voices, KMFA 89.5 FM

Sara Schneider, host of Ancient Voices, KMFA 89.5 FM

Except that we all have so many other gigs'o'the season, we can't linger in that sentimental feeling. And these last few days I've stayed right in the concert mode by working with KMFA to present a one hour version of the concert for their Listen Local series. (Yes, 12 minutes of wonderful music had to be left behind due to time constraints.) So if you didn't get to come to the concerts or if you would just like to revisit them, then listen this Thursday, December 15, at 6pm to 89.5 FM or catch it on the interwebs at www.kmfa.org. Sara Schneider will be your M.C. for the program, so you know she'll have the best hits lined up!


Download the TEMP An Early Christmas program notes to follow along while listening!

Joyeux Noël!
-Danny

Join us for our next concert, Feb. 18 & 19, 2017!

Join us for our next concert, Feb. 18 & 19, 2017!

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Today is the first day...

Danny Johnson

 
 

of TEMP's "Year of Christmas," in which we we have a different blog post daily about some aspect of Christmas/music/life through December 25, 2017. Yes, a whole year of musical jokes and little-known-facts along with suitable graphics and musical links. Hold on, my phone is ringing. In the meantime, try to come up with suitable lyrics for the 316th day of Christmas—I'm kind of stuck on that one . . .

Hmmm—according to our webscribe and also our graphics guy, there will, in fact, "not" be a year of Christmas with a daily blog/graphics/jokes/links! And they ’splained it to me real well why, in fact, there will not be a year of Christmas with a daily blog/graphics jokes/links.

So, maybe the best thing is just for us all to treat the rest of the year like we do the Christmas season: Be kind and thoughtful and helpful and loving. And go to lots of TEMP concerts! 

 

 

On the 388th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . . 

-Danny

 
 

An Early Christmas

Friday, December 9, 2016 at 8PM
First English Lutheran Church, 3001 Whitis Avenue

Saturday December 10, 2016 at 8PM
First English Lutheran Church, 3001 Whitis Avenue

Sunday, December 11, 2016 at 3PM
First Presbyterian Church, 8001 Mesa Drive

Admission $30 general; $25 seniors (60+); $5 students (at the door only)
Tickets available in advance online or by cash, check, or credit card at the door.

For more information, call 512-377-6961 and leave a message,
or email info@early-music.org.

It’s time for another Early Christmas! We explore music and the intangible essence of Christmas from the cultural capitals of Europe from the 13th through 18th centuries. TEMP puts its unique stamp on joyful carols and lullabies from Western Europe and the British Isles, with arrangements for solo voices, small chorus, harp, violin, flute, mandolin, viols, and lute.

The familiar theme of the Nativity from the shepherds’ perspective figures prominently in most early music Christmas repertoire, as does the motif of Mother and Child. We present several works with this focus, including our original arrangement of two Nativity pastorals from 1684 by Marc-Antoine Charpentier and the choral masterpiece for 8 parts, Nesciens mater, by French composer Jean Mouton.

There are lively works from Spain, thoughtful, pensive works from France, and of course, a little taste of Celtic and English influences! Our popular versions of the Carol for St. Stephen’s Day and Gaudete! feature this year, as well as other Celtic favorites.

Nationally acclaimed historical harpist Therese Honey joins TEMP's troupe of soloists, choir and chamber orchestra.

Enjoy this audio teaser from our CD Noël: An Early Christmas:

Enjoy more audio samples from our other Christmas CDs: Stella splendens and Swete was the Songe.

Join Texas Early Music Project for a splendid and enriching evening of music. Encompassing six hundred years of festive creativity and beauty, this music is sure to delight your ears and warm your heart.

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I voted. . .

Danny Johnson

for TEMP to go on a Pilgrimage to College Station!

 
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But first, thanks to all of who came to the Sephardic concerts last week. We really love doing that rep. . .so many old favorites and some new pieces that will eventually be old favorites! It was terrific to have Peter Maund with us again and new-to-us oud player Josh Peters. And thanks to all for coming to hear us at Congregation Beth Israel; it was a welcoming venue and they were very gracious! 

At any rate, concerning the upcoming pilgrimage to College Station: We are preparing for our annual (since 2010) pilgrimage to St. Thomas Episcopal Church in College Station to present a shorter version of last October's popular concert Medieval Pilgrimage in Iberia. (It was nominated for Best Chamber concert for last season by the Austin Critics Table, btw ...) If you're in the vicinity and want to re-visit the concert or if you missed it the first time around, then check out the info below and come see us!  Or you could recommend it to your friends in College Station and environs.... News about the Christmas concert is coming up ... 

–Danny

Medieval Pilgrimage in Iberia:
Music on the Way to Santiago de Compostela

Sunday, November 13, 2016, 6:00 p.m.

St. Thomas Episcopal Church
906 George Bush Drive, College Station

 
 

A company of eight female singers explores the music of pilgrimage in Medieval Spain. This music celebrates the richly transparent timbre of treble voices in unison or in polyphonic settings, making the most of sweet consonances and pungent dissonances.

There was never a more popular time for religious pilgrimage than during the Middle Ages. In those times, people made long and dangerous trips, lasting months or years, in a search for spiritual meaning or fulfillment or as an act of penance.

Several of the most important sites of pilgrimage during the Middle Ages were located in what is now northern Spain, along the route to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.  TEMP performs music from the Llibre Vermell, from the monastery at Montserrat in Catalonia, which was intended to be sung by the pilgrims themselves. We also feature music from Ms. Las Huelgas, from  the Cistercian convent in Burgos; Las Cantigas de Santa Maria from the royal court of Alfonso X;  and the Codex Calixtinus from the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela in Galicia.  All of these places are stops along the route to Santiago de Compostela;  Santiago is Galician for the Latin Sanctus Jacobus, St. James.   Many people continue to make this walking pilgrimage, even today. 

Featured soloists include Jenifer Thyssen, Stephanie Prewitt, Cayla Cardiff, and more, along with the TEMP Medieval orchestra of vielles, harps, oud, psaltery, and gittern.

Whether you are focusing on the music with closed eyes or silently clapping your hands and tapping your feet, the long-lasting beauty of our Medieval Pilgrimage will delight you.  We invite you to join us for this Concert! 

The Concert is supported by generous grants from the Gilbert and Thyra Plass Arts Foundation and the Joe and Florence Ham Charitable Trust and TEMP is happy to be supported by the Texas Commission on the Arts.

Admission is $10/$5 students, at the door

For more information, please contact Bonnie Harris-ReynoldsOrganist & Music Director, St. Thomas Episcopal Church

St. Thomas: music@stthomasbcs.org
Phone: (979) 696-1726 or the church office at (979) 696-0452

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Veni, Vidi, Mastercard!

Danny Johnson

 
Julius_Caesar-Mastercard.jpg
 

Ok, we dodged the worst of a couple of viruses (physical, not virtual) that threatened to make last week even more interesting than it was going to be anyway! Whew, because I would have hated to have missed the party that Meredith put together last Saturday at Wally Workman Gallery! It was fun, a lot of folks donated (and bought) both goods and services (recorder lessons, for example) and good eats and drinks were had by all! Priceless!

Many thanks to those who came to the fundraiser and also to those who couldn't come but who made donations that were extremely helpful! Thanks! And thanks to the TEMP musicians & Board members who made it a fun late-afternoon soirée!

We're heading into preparations for the Sephardic concert (see info below!)  and the rest of the season! It's non-stop from now until May ... Calgon, anyone?

-Danny

 

 
 

Songs of the Sephardim: Love, Lament, and Loss

Saturday, October 29, 2016 at 8PM
Congregation Beth Israel, 3901 Shoal Creek Boulevard

Sunday, October 30, 2016 at 3PM
St. Martin's Lutheran Church, 606 West 15th Street

Admission $30 general; $25 seniors (60+); $5 students (at the door only)
Tickets available in advance online or by cash, check, or credit card at the door.

Take advantage of preferred seating by purchasing Season Tickets
through Oct. 28!

For more information, call 512-377-6961 and leave a message,
or email info@early-music.org.

Expelled from Iberia in 1492, the Sephardim created haunting music that reflected their longing for return to Iberia while adapting their traditions and music to their new homelands.

Sephardic music is at once beautiful and haunting, fun and poignant. TEMP’s performances of these songs of love, jealousy, loss, and comedy are one of Austin’s not-to-be-missed events. Most of us are familiar with the effects of love and its cousins, pain and jealousy, but to hear music from the last 500 years deal with this subject in simple, yet excruciating beauty, illustrates how our emotions aren’t so very different from those of the Sephardic exiles.

TEMP’s unique and creative arrangements, soulful vocal solos, and ensemble pieces explore this music, accompanied by the exotic textures of a hybrid Medieval/Middle Eastern instrumental ensemble. The program includes some favorites from the TEMP Sephardic repertoire (La serena, La rosa enflorece, Puncha, puncha, and the erotically charged song Noches, noches) and many newly-arranged songs and dances. Listen to these audio samples from our CD Night and Day: Sephardic Songs of Love and Exile:

International recorder player and world music specialist Nina Stern (New York) joins us for this concert, along with Bay Area’s Peter Maund, specialist in early and ethnic percussion. Houston’s Therese Honey (harp) joins oud player Josh Peters, Scott Horton, John Walters, Kit Robberson, Bruce Colson, and Stephanie Raby in the instrumental ensemble. Our singers are Gitanjali Mathur, Stephanie Prewitt, Jenifer Thyssen, Cayla Cardiff, Gil Zilkha, and Daniel Johnson.

From the passionate, tragic love songs to songs of fantasy and gaiety, this alluring musical genre will capture your imagination and captivate your heart.

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