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Classical Caber for the holidays: Dirk shares his brand new Barcarole

Merry Christmas and happy holidays, everyone! Dirk and I want to share something with you to celebrate the season… a brand new original composition! It’s a barcarole, a song traditionally sung by Venetian gondoliers. Dirk wrote it for me to learn as I (slowly) re-teach myself how to play the piano… the one that you, our wonderful and supportive fans, recently helped us acquire (see gofundme.com/piano-for-dirk). The tune is perhaps especially appropriate for the season, as the first five notes might suggest a familiar carol.

This recording is of Dirk playing the piece — I’m not quite ready to perform it yet — using his laptop and a single microphone, a process for which he says he needs some more expertise and practice. Hence, it isn’t studio quality, but we’ve cleaned up the audio to the best of our ability, and we’re still happy and grateful to be able to share this with you. We hope you enjoy it. (This piece, along with many of Dirk’s other compositions, can also be found on his SoundCloud page.)

Dirk and I truly appreciate all the support you guys have continued to give us over the past year. Thank you for being a big part of our lives! And no matter where you are or what holiday you celebrate, we want to wish you all the best this season and happiness in new year and beyond!

Jesse and Dirk

Classic Meets Fetish 2016

Dirk Caber premieres two original compositions at second annual “Classic Meets Fetish” concert in Berlin (VIDEO)

Back in September, my hubby Dirk Caber — credited under his real name Jack Parton — performed several of his original compositions at the second annual “Classic Meets Fetish” concert in Berlin, in association with Folsom Europe. The video from his performance just been made available! (See above, or watch it on YouTube.) Although it’s been edited down a bit, it still gives you a great idea for the feel of the concert. Enormous thanks to Ron Berlin for shooting and editing this great video!!

Dirk premiered two all-new pieces during his 25-minute programme. The first, his cello sonata, was written expressly for this event and features cellist Leather Paul; it begins at the 1:48 mark in the video. The second, starting at 9:06, is a barcarole, a traditional folk song sung by Venetian gondoliers. Dirk’s barcarole is especially dear to me, as it’s one of the first pieces of music that he’s written for me to learn on our beautiful new piano. (The one that our fans helped us buy… for which we remain eternally grateful!) I’ve gotten to the point where I’m almost ready to play it, but I’ve heard it countless times and it still brings tears to my eyes.

One other note about the video… there’s an awkward moment at the 1:28 mark where Paul, in the middle of Brahms’ cello sonata, abruptly gets up and leaves. It later became apparent that he’d broken a string and had gone to get a different cello. In the moment, though, the audience — not to mention pianist Greg Winn, and Dirk who was turning Greg’s pages — were very confused. But Greg’s response to the awkward silence was absolutely brilliant.

The first “Classic Meets Fetish” concert in 2015 sold close to 300 tickets, and this year’s sold over 800. Next year’s edition will be held in an even larger venue, and the date has already been announced: September 7, 2017. Visit classic-meets-fetish.de for details. Dirk will be there, and I hope to be too. See you there!

Here’s a gallery of photos from this year’s concert, courtesy of Jens Schommer and queer.de… and if you want to hear more of Dirk’s music, check out his SoundCloud page.


Composer Dirk 1

A much-needed new Classical Caber: Morceau No. 8

I think we could all use a little more beauty in our lives, especially after the ugliness of this year’s presidential election (and the potential for what might follow). With that in mind, here is Dirk’s “Morceau No. 8”, the eighth in a series of 12 piano morceaux, none longer than about 3 minutes. Here’s Dirk’s description of the piece:

openquoteOnce subtitled ‘Mysterious’, this composition was the result of an accidental handfall on the piano keyboard one day. The sonority had a distant, rarefied feel; I had a vision of an empty snow-covered field, distant mountains, a misted sun in a grey sky. This piano figuration appears in different guises in a few pieces of mine, notably in the accompaniment to my thematically related song ‘Mysterious Night’ for bass and piano, set to a sonnet by Joseph Blanco White:

Mysterious night, when our first parent knew
Thee from report divine, and knew thy name,
Did he not tremble for this lovely frame,
This glorious canopy of light and blue?
Yet, ‘neath a curtain of translucent dew,
Bathed in the rays of the great setting flame,
Hesperus with host of heaven came,
And lo! creation widened in man’s view!
Who could have thought such darkness lay concealed
Within thy beams, O sun, or who could find
Whilst leaf and insect stood revealed
That to such countless orbs you made us blind?
Then why do men shun death with anxious strife?
If light can thus deceive, wherefore not life?

I think Morceau No. 8 captures a bit of the uncertainty that our country faces right now, and yet provides a certain much-needed peacefulness. Dirk and I hope you enjoy this brief respite from our crazy, unpredictable world.

To hear more of Dirk’s original compositions, check out his SoundCloud page. If you’d like a copy of Dirk’s music on CD — including some exclusive tracks that aren’t on his SoundCloud page — you can get one through our GoFundMe page. (The GoFundMe has officially concluded, but if you’d still like to order an autographed CD, we’d be delighted to send you one!)

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Tame Your Man: Adam Tendler & Dirk Caber’s piano/bondage concert

Composer Nathan Hall’s Tame Your Man is a “living music sculpture”, a theatrical work composed for piano, rope bondage artist, narrator, and electronics. The piece premiered in November 2012 in Boulder, Colorado and has since seen several more performances with the NYC-based group Tenth Intervention. Over the course of the work, the pianist gets progressively more bound to his instrument, and the piano writing purposefully reduces the range of motion of the hands on the keyboard. By the last movement, only the outermost keys can be reached.

The above performance, which took place at Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore on January 8, 2016, is a condensed version of the piece that was included as part of this year’s New Music Gathering festival. It features Adam Tendler on piano and my hubby Dirk Caber (credited under his real name, Jack Parton) on rope bondage and as narrator. Enjoy.


Text by Mark Mangini:

So here I am, here we are. One tie leads to the next, One tie leads to the next.
and once again I am nothing without you.
This physical restriction emphasizes
purity of communication
predicated on trust. Trust.
In this space we transcend ourselves
and our lives and our words.
How many more times do you need to hear
that love is all we need?

And with you, together, I know only of what I feel; that I can express directly
with no intervention, without artifice.
A half dragging the dead weight of the day from place to senseless place —
But here I learn I can breathe again.
I can think/feel/express with
a clarity that makes no sense in the day
to day world.
You put a hand in mine and I believed.
You spoke and I understood.
We know no ambiguity.
We have created a new reality.

It works as a focus.
One note, one point, a concentration.
The dissonance doesn’t resolve; it ceases to be.
“I don’t need you anymore” transitions to “I am you now.”
We are fused in that heat, dependent on the other to breathe,
to feel, to be.
You do not have to chase after me now because I have given myself up to you,
have put myself in you, am bound to you.
We are one focused point in space.

New Classical Caber: Presenting Alternating Hand Motion, Dirk’s first original composition on his new piano!

Here is the fifth of twelve piano études Dirk wrote for the wonderfully generous folks who donated $500 or more to our successful GoFundMe piano campaign (http://gofundme.com/piano-for-dirk), and the first one he’s sharing publicly… just in time for the new year. Étude no. 5: Alternating Hand Motion is dedicated to Dr. Burt Humburg, a particularly athletic friend of ours from Iowa. The piece is a similarly energetic work which features sweeping runs of notes that eventually require the performer’s arms to swing wildly across each other. Dirk thinks it quite a fitting tribute! We’re posting it with Burt’s permission; in his words, “I’m proud to be a part!”

Thank you once again to everyone who contributed to the GoFundMe campaign. There’s much more to come!

– Jesse and Dirk

P.S. Please note: This is a synthesized recording that Dirk recorded with the music composition software he uses (Sibelius). It’s not perfect, but it’s the best we can do at present in lieu of a professional recording… which we’re working on getting for all twelve études. Stay tuned! Also, click here to read the whole story of the GoFundMe piano campaign… and to hear more of Dirk’s music, visit http://soundcloud.com/dirkcaber.

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Alternating Hand Motion 01 (708 px)

Alternating Hand Motion 02 (708 px)

Alternating Hand Motion 03 (708 px)

Alternating Hand Motion 04 (708 px)