“I really enjoyed finding myself in different contexts and being able to explore different parts of myself in different styles.”
Master Classical Cellist turned Eclectic Creative Musician
I sat down with Cellist Mike Block to discuss his shift from classical training at Cleveland Institute of Music and Juilliard to becoming an improviser and composer in the worlds of contemporary (“non-classical”) styles. Mike definitely drops some bombs that surprised me:) We also discuss summer music camps including the Mike Block String Camp, the Global Musician Workshop and the (14th annual) Creative Strings Workshop.
Scroll down to listen in and learn about:
- Mike’s classical training and how it helped him transition to playing in multiple styles (and vice versa)
- His happiness “checklist” and how he applies it to the various aspects of his lifestyle, career, and choice of musical projects
- The transformative potential of music camps, and new challenges in organizing them to serve creative musical ideals
- His work with Yo-Yo Ma, and perspectives on “world music”
There’s still time to register for summer music camp!
Huge thank you to our sponsor Electric Violin Shop, your one-stop shop for electric instruments, amps, gear, accessories, and most of all, expertise. Use code CHOWES at checkout and take 5% off of your order. Call 866-900-8400 to get your questions answered on “all things electric strings”.
While you are talking to EVS, be sure to ask them about the new Yamaha Electric Violin (you can check out my video review here). I’ve been a Yamaha performing artist for almost 20 years now and am very proud to be a part of the Yamaha family.
The Block Strap
As Mike became more enveloped in “alternative” styles, he found that being seated while performing prevented him from connecting him with his audience. He invented the “Block Strap” to allow him to play cello standing and move while he plays, and it just may change the world of cello forever. Learn more about the block strap at www.cellostrap.com
Clips in this episode
- “Don’t This Road look Rough and Rocky“
- “Dance From the Black Sea” – with Sandeep Das (Tabla)
- “I’ve Endured“
- “It’s Time to Dance“
Please leave us a comment and tell us what you liked most about this episode!
Looking for episode 16? Check out the mini episode here: https://soundcloud.com/christian-howes/prince-tribute-sometimes-it-snows-in-april-christian-howes-violin-cover featuring the audio from my Prince Tribute video.