I've simply been too busy lately to put a lot of work into this site. For two days the site went "down," because I missed re-newing the domain name. That shows you the love I've been pouring into maintaining my love for Biber and other musics. It's not that I simply don't have time; I obviously have the time everyone else has. It's been time, however, that I've felt less capable at being creative enough to sit down and write. I hope that changes significantly in 2010. I just returned from visiting my parents south of here, and under the tree, Santa left me a pair of Sennheiser 650 headphones. I'd been using their 580 model for a number of years, the 650 is a similar design, but two notches up in their lineup. At some point, it was their best headphone; today it is eclipsed by the $1300 Sennheiser 800. I didn't think the 800 was worth the price upgrade, at least in the application I have now. The plane touched down at 11:00 PM on Sunday night, and now it's 12:01 Monday morning... I've got the pair plugged-in, and already, I notice quite the improvement over my older trusty 580s. Clarity, more stereo separation, and even a little more comfortable. Better defined bass, too. Now, after a week of intense listening, I should be ready to really report on these. While visiting my parents, my mom bought us all tickets to go see Barrage, an ensemble of five violinists and backup (percussion, bass, guitar). Started out of Calgary, Alberta (not far from the Banff Center), this group played a two-hour show with Christmas songs and some of their more upbeat, standard repertoire. For the most part, the musicanmanship was high and the emotional impact strong. My dad thought their outfits were a tad lackluster. He evidently wanted something more flashy and show-y. They do a lot of moving around in the show, including dancing, jumping, and twisting about in various formations. While in some cases this choreography was entirely appropriate and apropos to the music, at times, it also looked contrived and overdone. The music, you see, stood on its own without the theatrics. As my mom said, "The energy and music kept the momentum up the entire evening," and this was true. You never grew bored, and despite the fact they did include some lower-energy numbers, it all fit together well. Some members of the ensemble would go to the synthesizer to augment the ensemble's sound closet, and they also all used microphones either to sing, talk to us, or shout throughout the production. They have a full International lineup planned through March, 2010. If they happen to come through your town, I'd recommend them—no matter your musical taste.