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Today’s Guest Bloggers Mariel Bildsten and Andrew Gutauskas of Brass Against

We caught up with Mariel Bildsten ( trombone ) and Andrew Gutauskas (Musical Director/Saxophone ) of Brass Against to see how they have been using all the time they have during the shut-in we all are experiencing…

Mariel Bildsten:

Hi all! I hope you’re staying healthy and sane during this CRAZY time!

All of my performing got canceled for the next few months (concerts are the very opposite of social distancing lol), so I’m trying to use this time wisely and tap into the things I’ve been wanting to do, but haven’t had time for. 

Cooking

My friend and Brass Against bandmate Andy gave me a sourdough starter that’s been neglected in my fridge for a couple months. It takes about a week to ferment with daily feeding before I can bake the bread, so it’s my interim pet. My favorite bread in the world is from a bakery in San Francisco called Tartine, I’m excited to finally bake their recipe. In the meantime, I’ve been baking my little sister’s focaccia recipe. All in all, lots of bread to make up for my lack of $bread$

Watching

I’ve been watching Bojack Horseman on Netflix, it’s so hilariously dark, smart, and well-written!  

Listening

Ahmad Jamal Trio – Live at Pershing

Phineas Newborn Jr. Trio – A World of Piano!

Quincy Jones – Gula Matari

The Brand New Heavies – Brother Sister

Tame Impala – The Slow Rush

Q Tip – The Renaissance

Practicing

Just in the shed, per usual, just more hours in the day for it!

Reading 

Richard Wright’s “Native Son”

Malcolm X’s autobiography

Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” 

Connecting

I started taking lessons with one of my favorite trombonists, Steve Davis, via FaceTime. His playing is so beautiful, clear, and he’s an amazing teacher. It’s a treat to take lessons again, I haven’t done that in years. 

It’s been great to FaceTime or Zoom with friends and family, even though it’s not nearly the same as face-to-face hanging out.

Andrew Gutauskas

Social Distancing day 16: 

Up until three weeks ago, my girlfriend (an amazing actor/singer) and I had been in this sort of back and forth where one person would be away for a month or two for a gig/tour, come home, and then the other person would have to leave town for weeks. At the beginning of March we “joked” about the fact that we had spent roughly 25 hours together in 2020. One of the silver linings with both of us out of work for a while is that we can finally enjoy some time together! 

We’ve been trying a lot of recipes from the website Serious Eats and really enjoying cooking and coming up with little songs to go along with whatever we’re making. The Great British Baking Show has been a late-night inspiration for Irish Soda bread and sourdough pancakes. We’ve also been catching up on some great movies; Lion, Yesterday, Hunt for the Wilderpeople 

Personally, along with applying for every artist assistance program possible, I’ve spent way more time with books I’ve wanted to read for a while; I just finished Maajid Nawaz’s, Radical, and Malala Yousafzai’s, I Am Malala, both inspiring life stories that I highly recommend, and I’m excited to delve into Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s, Infidel

I’m spending more practicing saxophone, writing music, learning recorder and some Chinese flutes and playing piano; studying the genius of Bach’s, Well-Tempered Clavier. The other day I jokingly told my girlfriend, “pay me a dollar and I’ll play you a sweet sax lick…” She sent me a dollar on Venmo and what started as a joke became my new Instagram page, SweetSaxLicks. “Send me a dollar (or whatever you want) and I’ll write you a sweet sax lick,” is the way the page works and so far it’s been a fun way to bring a little sunshine into people’s lives and make a couple of dollars on the side. Stay safe and healthy!

About Teri (2616 Articles)
You can usually find me traveling, queuing, or at barricade for a band. I am most likely doing all three things in a day. If I'm not at a concert you can also find me digging through crates for that coveted black disc of vinyl.

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