Senior Center News: Series examines unusual instruments

Chris Merwin is an instrumentalist and lecturer who specializes in multi-cultural music. He has been playing the guitar for 27 years along with studying music and instruments of other cultures for the past 17 years.  Mr. Merwin will present a three-part educational series on a variety of instruments at the senior center. Each presentation takes place at 11 on Thursday mornings. Reservations:  203-834-6240

April 4, will be devoted to the shakuhachi flute. This bamboo flute from Japan is one of Mr. Merwin’s main instruments and deep passions. The shakuhachi was once used strictly for Zen meditation music but is now used for Japanese classical and folk music as well. Mr. Merwin has studied in Japan and at home and plays all three styles of shakuhachi music.

Mr. Merwin will present stringed instruments on April 18. He plays some traditional music on the Colombian tiple, Turkish saz, Turkish yayli tambur, Portugese guitar, and Irish bouzouki. He mostly plays his own compositions, playing the instruments very differently from the usual approach. The history of each instrument is explained in some detail, but the main focus is on the music. Mr. Merwin is also a skilled improviser and includes some improvised pieces on each instrument.

Mr. Merwin uses an assortment of steel guitars from the 20’s and 30’s, and he will present them on May 9. Among them is the extremely rare weissenborn, which has a sound like no other stringed instrument, a 1929 National tri cone, and a 1937 Rickenbacher silver Hawaiian. The instruments themselves are the show because of their beauty and unique appearance. The silver Hawaiian and tri cone are both plated with shiny chrome and the Weissenborn is made of Hawaiian koa wood.

Play reading

Andrea Ragusa will moderate a reading of A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen (translated by Nicholas Rudall) on Monday, April 1 at 12:30.

This classic feminist play is about a husband who treats his wife like a plaything and a wife who so loves her husband she commits forgery for him. However, her self respect now demands she leave this pompous man and close the door on her marriage.

Copies of the play are available at the senior center.

Coming Events

All activities take place at the senior center (203-834-6240) unless otherwise specified.

For the week of March 29:

Friday, March 29, Good Friday, senior center closed.

Monday, April 1; 9:20, Enhance Fitness with Denise Suarez; 10:30, Line Dance Fusion with Beatriz Araujo; 12, Movie, Sense and Sensibility; 12:30, Play Reading with Andrea Ragusa.

Tuesday, April 2, 10, Painting with Althea; 11, Yoga with Denise O’Hearn; 12, Garden Club Lunch and Activity; 2, Chair Yoga at Ogden House.

Wednesday, April 3, 9:30, RSVP; 10, Tai Chi with Debbie Dong; 10, Duplicate Bridge with Dan DeVlieg; 10, Comstock Writers; 12, Lunch at Ogden House followed by Wilton Police presentation and Canine Officer Enzo; 12, Duplicate Bridge; 1:30, Mah Jongg.

Thursday, April 4, 9, Enhance Fitness with Leslie Hinshaw; 10, Yoga with Denise O’Hearn; 10, Diva JEVAS open studio art workshop; 11, Instrumental Music Series with Chris Merwin; 11-12, Blood Pressure Screening by Visiting Nurse and Hospice; 12, Lunch; 12:45, Bingo.