William T. Vollmann ~ Last Stories and Other Stories

I’m proud to have read the complete works of William T. Vollmann. Actually, that’s not quite true: his 7-volume treatise on oppression, the canvas of which is world-and-history wide, Rising Up and Rising Down: Some Thoughts on Violence, Freedom and Urgent Means (2003) I only read in its 700+ page distilled version, although I do …

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Reed Farrel Coleman ~ Hurt Machine

Like many of the books I choose to read, most if not all are matters of associations and recommendations among writers themselves. Reed Farrel Coleman has been a name in the crime genre that’s become familiar by accolades among his peers, but it wasn’t until I actually spied him among the ardent admirers of Megan …

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Brahms ~ Intermezzo in b-flat minor, Op. 117, No.2

From the Top celebrated our 300th show with a live taping at our broadcast home, New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall in Boston. For my breakpiece, I played Brahms’ b-flat minor Intermezzo, Op. 117, No. 2 Stream below:

Joni Mitchell ~ The Wolf That Lives in Lindsey

From the Top did a live taping at San Francisco Conservatory on Valentine’s Day. As rarely happens on the show (we try and include a national palette of musicians on every program), we featured kids all of whom came from the Bay Area. There are just too many talented kids at SFCM-Prep!. The program also …

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David Mitchell ~ The Bone Clocks

Cloud Atlas was the most highly and often-recommended book of 2004. It was a ricercare of characters far-flung across time, space and sensibility, all connected inevitably and with impassioned, inspired prose. Awe-struck, I since then have read all of David Mitchell‘s work except for a recent volume inspired by the author’s autistic son. Ghostwritten (1999), …

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Danny Elfman ~ Unknown Piano Solo

February 20th saw a dream come true for all of us at From the Top: film composer non-pareil, Danny Elfman appeared as Guest Artist at our live taping of the show at UC/Denver’s College of Arts and Media. I’ve wanted to have Danny on the show ever since we became friends years ago, and even …

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