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On That Note: Slip Jigs And Reels

Andrej Grilc
Robert Cohen at the Boyne Music Festival in Ireland.

We all say we want change. But when we’re presented with it, most of us resist it. We don’t like being outside of our comfort zones. And that is as true for professional creatives like musicians as it is for anyone else.

We talk with internationally renowned cellist Robert Cohen each month to talk about the life of a touring classical musician. It’s a life that he knows well: he’s been performing professionally for decades. But when he was recently asked to play with some Irish traditional musicians, it took him well outside of his musical comfort zone, even though he thought it was going to be easy:

"I found myself thinking, 'Oh, it’s simple music'. But I was so mistaken," he says. "It’s not simple at all. And it really taught me a lesson that I should never underestimate how complex this kind of music is. And you know what, the great thing about having that experience is that it makes you look at your own music quite differently."

Here's the complete recording of The Mason’s Apron that Robert recorded at the Boyne Music Festival with fiddler Zoë Conway, guitarist John McIntyre, violinists Rita and Aisling Manning, violist Carmen Flores, cellist Julie-Anne Manning, and double bassist Christopher Lawrence:

Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.
For 35 years one of the worlds leading cello soloist, Robert Cohen is an award-winning recording artist, conductor, artistic director and pedagogue who has been broadcast on TV and radio throughout the world. His passionate views on the art of learning, performing and communicating music have been widely published.