On Competitions
[Their] Relative performance tells us nothing of interest because all of them may be shamefully low — or impressively high — on whatever measure we’re using. Comparative success just gives the winner bragging rights (“We’re No. 1!”). And again, it creates the misleading impression of inevitable, permanent failure for some.

But boy, do we love to rank. Worse, we create artificial scarcity by giving out awards — distinctions manufactured out of thin air specifically so that some cannot get them.

Framing excellence in these competitive terms doesn’t lead to improvements in performance. Indeed, a consistent body of social science research shows that competition tends to hold us back from doing our best. It creates an adversarial mentality that makes productive collaboration less likely, encourages gaming of the system and leads all concerned to focus not on meaningful improvement but on trying to outdo (and perhaps undermine) everyone else.
— Alfie Kohn, “Why Can’t Everyone Get A’s?”, New York Times 6/17/2019
Carnegie Hall
Saturday night 3/30/19 I make my Carnegie Hall main stage debut in Jason and Alicia Moran’s “Two Wings”. It’s pretty powerful to see your name on the display. I’ve been working so hard on my solo arrangement to represent the classical guitar well. Fingers crossed that I break ALL the legs and lift up an overlooked composer! #classicalguitar #carnegiehall #practice #music #nyc #concert   https://www.instagram.com/flippinguitar/p/Bvl-QRggJL7/?utm_source=ig_tumblr_share&igshid=1ualy1uo8xj5f

Saturday night 3/30/19 I make my Carnegie Hall main stage debut in Jason and Alicia Moran’s “Two Wings”. It’s pretty powerful to see your name on the display. I’ve been working so hard on my solo arrangement to represent the classical guitar well. Fingers crossed that I break ALL the legs and lift up an overlooked composer! #classicalguitar #carnegiehall #practice #music #nyc #concert
https://www.instagram.com/flippinguitar/p/Bvl-QRggJL7/?utm_source=ig_tumblr_share&igshid=1ualy1uo8xj5f

Album Praise
It’s been 1 month since Duo Noire released our album Night Triptych, featuring 6 incredible new classical guitar duets by brilliant women composers from around the world: Clarice Assad, Courtney Bryan, Golfam Khayam, Mary Kouyoumdjian, Gity Razaz, and Gabriella Smith.  We are honored to have worked with them and to have received such amazing reviews, including this newest one from Stereophile.  We hope the guitar world enjoys and embraces this music of our time.  *** “There’s a goldmine of ideas here, whose riches will unveil themselves more and more over time.” -Stereophile *** “Flippin and Mallett [are] virtuosos who invest their performances with energy and conviction. To claim that the two break new ground in the world of classical guitar music on the hour-long release isn’t overselling it.” -Textura.org  ***  “All contemporary programs of guitar music are not common, and this may be the first to feature exclusively female composers…A truly pathbreaking recording that is greatly satisfying in its own right.” -AllMusic  #newfocusrecordings #gabriellasmith #classicalmusic #classicalguitar #classicalguitarist #classicalguitarasia #strings #music #newmusic #composer #guitar #guitarduo #albumcover #albumart #acousticguitar #guitarstagram #womeninmusic #womencomposers #classicalmusician

It’s been 1 month since Duo Noire released our album Night Triptych, featuring 6 incredible new classical guitar duets by brilliant women composers from around the world: Clarice Assad, Courtney Bryan, Golfam Khayam, Mary Kouyoumdjian, Gity Razaz, and Gabriella Smith.

We are honored to have worked with them and to have received such amazing reviews, including this newest one from
Stereophile.

We hope the guitar world enjoys and embraces this music of our time.
***
“There’s a goldmine of ideas here, whose riches will unveil themselves more and more over time.” -Stereophile
***
“Flippin and Mallett [are] virtuosos who invest their performances with energy and conviction. To claim that the two break new ground in the world of classical guitar music on the hour-long release isn’t overselling it.”
-Textura.org

***
“All contemporary programs of guitar music are not common, and this may be the first to feature exclusively female composers…A truly pathbreaking recording that is greatly satisfying in its own right.” -AllMusic

#newfocusrecordings #gabriellasmith #classicalmusic #classicalguitar #classicalguitarist #classicalguitarasia #strings #music #newmusic #composer #guitar #guitarduo #albumcover #albumart #acousticguitar #guitarstagram #womeninmusic #womencomposers #classicalmusician

Bach in Pennsylvania

Duo Noire soundchecking our transcription of a Bach duetto at The Boiler Room in Pennsylvania last weekend. This piece never gets old! #bach #duetto #classicalmusic #counterpoint #classicalguitar #guitar #acoustic @brilliantmusicians @talented_musicians (at Hawley, Pennsylvania)

On Practicing
The only thing that remains really true is the feeling that at the end of the day, I know that I really played good or I didn’t. Or that I made some progress and I understand something that I didn’t understand at the beginning of the day, or I don’t. This to me, is the real currency of what it is to have a life of a musician. This accumulated wisdom and insight into the reality of music, and as much of a stretch as it might be sometimes, therefore into life and living…The main thing in my life, even as I stand here right now, right this second, is that I really need to go home and practice.
— Pat Metheny, 1996 Berklee Commencement Speech
It has been a wild 48 hours (!!!), but worth it to promote the Dream Unfinished Orchestra, Lincoln Center Education, and Tania Leon’s music on BronxNet TV.  I need some sleep! #classicalmusic #classicalguitar #bronx  (at Lehman College)

It has been a wild 48 hours (!!!), but worth it to promote the Dream Unfinished Orchestra, Lincoln Center Education, and Tania Leon’s music on BronxNet TV. I need some sleep! #classicalmusic #classicalguitar #bronx (at Lehman College)

My knee gave out. My second ascent of Mt Whitney -the tallest mountain in the contiguous USA (14,505 ft)- and my frickin’ knee gave out a quarter of the way in. I limped up the mountain with hiking poles and accepted a knee brace from some kind strangers who wanted me to make it to the summit. It was an emotional day and I’m still recovering physically but…WORTH IT. #grit #mtwhitney #sierras #hiking #mountains  (at Mt. Whitney)

My knee gave out. My second ascent of Mt Whitney -the tallest mountain in the contiguous USA (14,505 ft)- and my frickin’ knee gave out a quarter of the way in. I limped up the mountain with hiking poles and accepted a knee brace from some kind strangers who wanted me to make it to the summit. It was an emotional day and I’m still recovering physically but…WORTH IT. #grit #mtwhitney #sierras #hiking #mountains (at Mt. Whitney)