Hope This Finds You Well: Jeremy Checks In
By Jeremy Kittel
I hope you're safe, cozy, and healthy, wherever this finds you.
Like so many of us, in music and far beyond, I’m disappointed about the necessary change in plans to help protect us against COVID-19. We were naturally very excited for the Kittel & Co. shows at the Kennedy Center and Savannah Music Festival, as well as the Aoife O’Donovan “Songs & Strings” Tour, which had just kicked gloriously into gear. Not to mention, the premiere of a new piece I wrote for the University of Michigan Symphony Band (go blue! ;)! But we will hopefully be able to reschedule everything soon. In the meantime, let’s all do our part for our collective health as we also look for the oft-obscured silver linings. 🙂
As for me, I’m definitely looking forward to writing a lot of music, rocking the spring cleaning & home improvement, taking a lot of walks, washing my hands like Frank Sinatra - AND like many, I am suddenly available for online teaching, remote recording, arranging, composition, etc! - more on that below.
Looking for a note of inspiration? Well in GOOD news, my friend, the amazing Aoife O’Donovan’s new EP, “Bull Frogs Croon (And Other Songs)” was just released! I had the great honor of arranging, producing, and performing on this album, which also features the beautiful playing of Brittany Haas, Paul Kowert, and Mario Gotoh.
Listen to this gorgeous piece of radio by Oregon Public Radio which discusses the making of the centerpiece of the EP: the 3-movement song-cycle “Bull Frogs Croon,” which is comprised of poetry from the wonderful late Peter Sears and music by Aoife, myself, and Teddy Abrams. We had the pleasure of meeting Peter at the premiere in 2015 before he passed, and listening to this segment, I was so moved to hear him recite his poetry amidst the music from the record.
There have also been some really nice reviews of the EP, here from No Depression and Atwood Magazine. Says the latter, “Bull Frogs Croon falls into step with other beautiful Americana-classical crossovers like Punch Brothers “The Blind Leaving the Blind” suite on their first album, or Chris Thile, Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, and Stuart Duncan’s incredible album, The Goat Rodeo Sessions.”” Wowza! 🙂 You can listen to / find "Bull Frogs Croon (And Other Songs)" however you like to listen to music.
Teaching in the days before social distancing...
On another note, looking for quarant-ivities to fill your soul? As mentioned, I’m suddenly happily available to work with you remote from my NYC studio! Over the years, I’ve taught all sorts of things ranging from violin, improvisation, various fiddle styles, jazz, composition, arranging, music theory, etc. I really enjoy teaching and have done plenty of online lessons as well; they totally work! Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested.
I also may be available for commissions both large and small; feel free to let me know if you’d like to support the creation of new music or even have an idea for a piece of music you’d like to make happen. Again, you can hit me up at email@example.com.
And finally, I’m certainly available for remote recording / arranging from my home studio. Over the years I’ve recorded strings from my humble studio for everyone from singer-songwriter Laura Veirs to Disney, Lemony Snicket on Netflix, rock band Jars of Clay, NBC’s The Voice, Kraft Foods (oh, yeah 🧀) 😆, numerous friends’ albums, video games, and much more. I can arrange / produce / record strings, or any combination of the three. Feel free to reach out, again, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Of course, most of my musical brothers and sisters (as well as folks in so many industries far and wide) are making massive adjustments as we navigate this big unknown together. Please don’t hesitate to support and interact with folks who may be facing hardship. Wishing us all thoughtfulness, caution, and kindness as we move forward.