Sunday, April 20, 2008

Marianne Ploger's Views on Music

Last year, after a friend had taken two of her summer workshops (which cost him around $1200 and he said it was worth every penny), I decided to try to find out what Marianne Polger was all about. Luckily, she has two very informative websites. Her personal website has information on her workshops and a very interesting essay that she wrote on the "Causes of Error" in performing. This is an excellent essay to examine. Her other website, Musical Ratio, she discusses the art of Musical Communication. Though mostly aimed at techniques which are immediately employable on a keyboard instrument, many of her ideas have helped me work to discover inspiring musical interpretations at very crucial moments in pieces which I have performed. I wish I would have blogged to the class about this earlier, because I'm sure that now we all have less time for leisurely reading, but this is definitely worth a look, when you find the time.

こまつ 本気ネタ ....?

When you watch this, jump to 1:15.

So....Um.....Would This Be a Sicklelical Composition?

Mr. Manning had previously mentioned this clip of the Leningrad Cowboys, in which the group collaborated with the Red Army Choir to create quite a spectacle. Although this production is huge and effective (especially with each member of the choir having their own black version of a Madonna-like vocal microphone), I find the Leningrad Cowboys' rendition of "My Way" similarly inspiring. They have a fairly interesting website, also: Leningrad Cowboys

Buddy Rich - The Bus Tapes [Please note, there is extensive (and entertaining) profanity]

In a comment posted to an earlier post of mine, Peter had suggested that I post a blog about these rather famous tapes. Oddly enough, I first heard of these tapes on my first day as a music major as an undergrad. Easily quoted and often embellished, these tapes are simply notorious. Around 4:00 in the recording, he even threatens that he'll fire the entire band if he hears "one [freaking] clam." Around 7:50, a band member claims that one of his own arrangements or charts is the best chart in the book. Buddy Rich did not agree, and tells him to take his chart and leave. Pretty interesting stuff...How'd you like to play in his band?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Gipsy Trumpet Player

Have a summer job yet?

Hub'n Bub'n Polka Band - Silberfaden door Olaf Frijns

I used to play at the Haufbräuhaus in Newport, Kentucky (for money), and I really grew to like the style, regardless of its difficulties. I wasn't aware that the genre was one that found its way to music videos... and some pretty great trumpet playing. Don't be surprised if you see this on my recital next year!

Mr. Manning reminds us that it is best to practice in our drawers....


Ok... This is a horrible collection of performances (live?) which did not go well. Though it seems immature initially, there is something to be learned from observing another performer's struggle. It seems that the natural tendencies of live performances are not embraced enough, but I hope this provides an educational spin on things...

Trumpet Bloopers

Thankfully, this Stockhausen was not built on sand...

I recently discovered that Karl Stockhausen's son, Markus Stockhausen plays the trumpet. I discovered this after Mr. Greenhoe had told me of a cadenza for the Haydn Trumpet Concerto which was written by Stockhausen for his son. I fell in love with the cadenza immediately and began investigating Markus Stockhausen as a trumpet player. It seems as if he currently has a successful career as a performer in the genre of (no shocker here) NEW music. It seems he is doing really innovative things with not only the music he performs, but also in the staging of it. Here is a link to his website.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Some call it, "really out of tune," some call it, "[delightfully] micro-tonal."

Stephen Altoft recently came to Iowa to do a masterclass and recital. He is a European trumpeter who is primarily interested in new (VERY NEW) works for the trumpet and also works which utilize atypical tunings. He brought with him a variety of instruments and told us of the history of their construction. His initial exploration with quarter tones dealt with alternate fingerings. I found it irresistable to later try to develop an ear for such pitches. It's odd but definitely interesting... He has a very extensive website: The Microtonal Trumpet

Atony that's obscure....