zTunes

Music is my first passion in life. I’ve often mused that, if made to choose between blindness and deafness, I would choose blindness. I truly believe I would die inside if I could not hear or create music. On the other hand, the sounds of life can be so overwhelming at times as to drown out the music inside.

Zimmy on Gamelan

Zimmy on Flute

 

In concert with Westminster Community Orchestra, Princeton, NJ

In concert with Westminster Community Orchestra, Princeton, NJ

Flute is my primary instrument and has been for over 30 years with only a brief hiatus in high school. Even though survival won out over artistic dreams, I’ve continued to stay active with community ensembles. Recently, I met a very gifted young flutist by the name of Becky Peterson and we started playing duets. It’s been a very long time since I’ve felt such an instant musical connection. We play with ease and a great deal of fun and I hope she sticks around for while. Here are some of our sound samples.

Flute Duet Sound Samples
Flute Duet Sample – #1
Flute Duet Sample – #2
Flute Duet Sample – #3

Another musical partnership forged and yet lost too soon was with my dear Amy Shortt – graduate of Westminster Choir College and pianist extraordinaire! We played together for only a short time before her road led her off to Kansas . . . but what beautiful music we made! Here are two or our samples.

Flute-Piano Sample – #1

Flute-Piano Sample – #2

Zimmy on Guitar/Vocals

Probably one of the longest standing musical partnerships I’ve enjoyed is with my friend, Nancy Halter. I met Nancy through her husband, Dave, whom I knew from the many community ensembles I have been involved with. In fact, Dave and Nancy are part of a close-knit circle of musical friends that I have been lucky enough to have as a second family here in NJ.

Nancy, an artist and elementary-school art teacher, and I quickly discovered our common passion for playing guitar and singing. Nancy had already been honing her voice in church choirs and would soon move on to community choral groups and formal lessons. Although I always loved to sing in private, I never had the confidence to do so in front of others until Nancy inspired me. We started out slowly – just playing around and soon found in each other a wonderful blending – her sparkling soprano with my somewhat earthy alto. It wound up being beyond our own expectations and as she pushed me to sing higher, I pushed her to sing lower and there are times now when we’re not sure who is singing what part. We continue to push each other to grow and are now incorporating a third voice – that of Keith Vandoren, also an elementary-school teacher. Keith is grounding us with his lower voice and pushing us forward with his own musical experience!

What are our goals? Well – I don’t know this yet but, in the meantime, it’s just incredibly wonderful to be able to share this with Nancy and Keith and whoever else might want to listen;-)

Until recently, we had been recording ourselves at Nancy’s house using one basic microphone and a bag full of cassette tapes but then our good friend (and fine trumpet player), Rich Johnson offered to record us using professional equipment in a great acoustic setting. Thanks, Rich! Following are some of these recordings.

June 23, 2010: An additional note here to quickly update this posting until I have time to rewrite this segment . . . our group is now officially called, “Off the Record” and we have a website in progress at http://www.lilzimmy.net/offtherecord.  A complete redesign including professionally designed logo will follow soon.  Until then, enjoy our first demo recordings below – we hope to post some updated recordings soon!

Ventura Highway – America

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow

Taking Chances

Landslide

Lonely People

Fire and Rain

Angel

Zimmy in Community Ensembles

* Blawenburg Band, Blawenburg, NJ
* Bravura Philharmoic Orchestra, Plainsboro, NJ
* Lawrenceville Community Band, Lawrenceville, NJ
* Manalapan Battlefield Symphony, Manalapan, NJ
* Raritan Band, Hillsborough, NJ
* Westminster Community Orchestra, Princeton, NJ