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Archive for October, 2007

Hello all,

Is anyone interested in performing a 15 minute improvised piece this Wednesday (31st October)?

I have a couple of people already enlisted, but would like a couple more. The performance would be in the morning, just before the Performance Workshop class in the Music Building.

Please get in touch with me as soon as possible via this post or one of the following email addresses –

dannymccormack@hotmail.com

dmccormack05@qub.ac.uk

Thanks in advance for any replies,

Danny

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Baroque rocks!

I hear most of you have been introduced to a Baroque rhythm in Pedro Rebelo’s class last week?
It would be really great to have some of you demonstrate your version of this rhythm for the Baroque dancer on Wednesday.
She intends to dance along as I understand it.
If you can manage to stick with the rhythm, so that she can dance, but do it “your” way, then that would be great.
She may have to change dresses, though!!!!
Look forward to this.
Here is a link to the beginning of the score (click on No.6 “Fear no danger”).
We are talking about the beginning only. The rhythm is pretty much the same all the way through, anyway.

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Just a reminder that your reflective writing for Improvisation One is due this Wednesday before class at the latest.

Also just to clarify… regardless of what we may have said before, you need to hand this in to Audrey or Iris in the School of Music Office.

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Olaf Rupp

The Thursday afternoon concert this week at SARC brought guitarist Olaf Rupp to Queen’s for about an hour of what seemed like complete improvisation. I feel like his performance was very relevant to what we have been doing lately in class. He produced some brilliant sounds with a simple classical guitar that I would never have thought possible from a single acoustic instrument.

His style, however, pushed (or should I say shoved) the envelope of what I consider music. For the first few minutes I enjoyed the atonal stream of sounds coming from his fluttering fingers on both hands, but as it became apparent that the noises were in no way preluding towards some melodic release, my mood changed from enjoyment, to discomfort, to boredom, to annoyance, and on. I could tell from the uncomfortable shifting and whispers around me that I wasn’t alone.

During the hour-long improvised song, I reflected on what my ideas of “good” improvisation are. Back home, a group of my closest friends have a band that started out as a jam band, but grew into a solid, mostly scripted indie instrumental outfit. In the beginning, I would jam with them and feel completely helpless with my guitar background ending at punk power chords and a bit of the pentatonic scale. I always admired their ability to meld together new melodies and rhythms and work off each other’s ideas. Their style was very melodic, so that’s the direction I turned towards learning to improvise.

Olaf, on the other hand has a background mainly in electronics, and that was absolutely clear in his performance. The sounds he played were almost instantly forgettable; I couldn’t tell if there was a repeating phrase, since I have no ability to categorize the different tones. He was also improvising just by himself, which I’ve never considered worth listening to, or attempting, since the boundaries are too wide for my comfort.

Back to the performances in class this week, I most enjoyed the groups who combined these two types of improvising: melodic and rhythmic vs. atonal/percussive and spastic (I don’t mean these qualities as bad). I guess it’s always some sort of balance between the familiar and the unfamiliar to keep us comfortable yet interested in music.

If you’d like to check out Olaf, here’s his website, you can hear a stream of his music on the upper-right: http://www.audiosemantics.de/index.html

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Listening 101

Ok, not as official as the title is designed to pretend it is.

I was just curious as to what music you guys recommend that may be somewhat off the beaten path? Just to branch out from the music that I listen to every day.

Here’s some of the stuff I like. The first being a Kenyan Afro-fusion musician, the second a Floridian punkrock band. Very different sounds from each other but both are brilliant.
http://www.purevolume.com/ericwainaina

http://www.purevolume.com/rehasher

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Can i be the first to say well done everybody on todays improvisations! It was awesome! So many different ideas and sounds! My personal favourites were the first band; chris, gerard, darren, steven and andy, well done guys!

But of course, CrazyKnife/CrazyPipe/CrazyPife/PsychicFoot/Santa In The Congo/Fiddler’s Funk were the best!

Crazy Knife for Life!

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TO: Mark, John, Ben, Sadie

Hey guys,

let’s set up a time to practice our performance before  wednesday.

Please email me at shortytuz@yahoo.com

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