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Rue
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I am impressed by the ability of so many of you to memorize and develop a repertoire.

 

As a bass guitarist and player/writer-of-songs (in another lifetime long ago) I played completely by ear and had probably hundreds of songs in my pocket, none as complex as the viola music I play now, but not all dead-simple either. But on viola, I learn a piece or an etude for lessons/orchestra/recital and then it goes zoom completely out of my head afterward. Thank goodness I've become much better at reading.

 

At the moment I am working on some pieces for chamber-music camp later this summer, as well as taking my 3rd or 4th stab at chunks of the 1st Cello Suite.

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Have you ever had a day where  it seems like the universe is conspiring to do you in with little irritations?

 

 

 

 

For me the other ones are the exception. :)

 

Don't you let these minor things upset you because those are the most valuable learning moments. Crap happens but the the sky does not fall, you survive and people still talk to you. A perfect recital, on auto pilot, teaches you nothing. One learns from the bad ones. I remember 4 decades ago one of my own disasters which lasted a good 10 minutes in some Mozart Sonata : I did not tune the violin properly ( or again... ) thinking I'll just follow the piano. But the piano was almost half a tone low and that confused the daylights out of me. It was atrocious. Talentless AND tone deaf. :) And what did I learn ?

Never trust pianos - they're cheeky bastards. :)

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I am impressed by the ability of so many of you to memorize and develop a repertoire.

 

As a bass guitarist and player/writer-of-songs (in another lifetime long ago) I played completely by ear and had probably hundreds of songs in my pocket, none as complex as the viola music I play now, but not all dead-simple either. But on viola, I learn a piece or an etude for lessons/orchestra/recital and then it goes zoom completely out of my head afterward. Thank goodness I've become much better at reading.

 

At the moment I am working on some pieces for chamber-music camp later this summer, as well as taking my 3rd or 4th stab at chunks of the 1st Cello Suite.

Don't let this deter your present day playing but if you play more you will eventually memorize the notes.  Trying to remember dynamics is tougher without the sheet music.

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Cool!  Sinfonia Concertante is one of my favorites.  Are you playing it with an orchestra?

 

I wish!  No it will be with piano accompaniment.  

 

My Dvorak trio perfromance was cancelled, the pianist had a scheduling conflict and will not be coming to the Seminar at the University ;-(  However, my summer just got less stressed. ;-)

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Here is a small thing I'm working on in Fmin , I do the "orchestra" on keyboard and now I'm trying to come up with a flowing solo "real" violin part for the top that will be recorded over the track. Not sure if this will post, but well.

 

TRADGIC0.mp3

 

And here is a hard rock song I just finished, there is a violin in there, you just can't really here it, not supposed to, underlying subliminal noise scape

 

http://www.icompositions.com/music/song.php?sid=211152

 

Kinda rough, but I'm just having fun, I'm sure you'll hate it almost as much as I do my own voice, but as the Chines say, sing badly if you must but sing! :D

 

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For me the other ones are the exception. :)

 

Don't you let these minor things upset you because those are the most valuable learning moments. Crap happens but the the sky does not fall, you survive and people still talk to you. A perfect recital, on auto pilot, teaches you nothing. One learns from the bad ones. I remember 4 decades ago one of my own disasters which lasted a good 10 minutes in some Mozart Sonata : I did not tune the violin properly ( or again... ) thinking I'll just follow the piano. But the piano was almost half a tone low and that confused the daylights out of me. It was atrocious. Talentless AND tone deaf. :) And what did I learn ?

Never trust pianos - they're cheeky bastards. :)

Why thank you! That makes me feel better! :)

 

Apparently I didn't look upset at the time...and I was able to crack a couple of jokes.  So some grace, at least,  does come with age... ^_^

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Dear Woeful in Winnepeg

 

A lot of my readers would give their right arm to have your problems.  Why only yesterday I heard from a woman who only had ONE reed; it seems you have twice as many as you need.  Perhaps I can guilt you so that the next time you pass a busker with no reed at all in the subway you'll be kind enough to give him one of yours.

 

And another reader has been married 34 years.  I think you'll agree that is almost infinitely worse than 33.

 

But since it's my job to help my readers,  I suggest you get another husband, buy a flute, disown the son, learn to like smokies,  and never play on a stage with children—they will upstage you whether they play well OR badly.  Note that you can beat the little buggers at their game by wearing a Shirley Temple outfit and doing your hair in ringlets.  

 

Signed,

 

Dear Abby

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Here is a small thing I'm working on in Fmin , I do the "orchestra" on keyboard and now I'm trying to come up with a flowing solo "real" violin part for the top that will be recorded over the track. Not sure if this will post, but well.

 

attachicon.gifTRADGIC0.mp3

 

And here is a hard rock song I just finished, there is a violin in there, you just can't really here it, not supposed to, underlying subliminal noise scape

 

http://www.icompositions.com/music/song.php?sid=211152

 

Kinda rough, but I'm just having fun, I'm sure you'll hate it almost as much as I do my own voice, but as the Chines say, sing badly if you must but sing! :D

So both of those are your own creations? Cool!

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Dear Woeful in Winnepeg

 

A lot of my readers would give their right arm to have your problems.  Why only yesterday I heard from a woman who only had ONE reed; it seems you have twice as many as you need.  Perhaps I can guilt you so that the next time you pass a busker with no reed at all in the subway you'll be kind enough to give him one of yours.

 

And another reader has been married 34 years.  I think you'll agree that is almost infinitely worse than 33.

 

But since it's my job to help my readers,  I suggest you get another husband, buy a flute, disown the son, learn to like smokies,  and never play on a stage with children—they will upstage you whether they play well OR badly.  Note that you can beat the little buggers at their game by wearing a Shirley Temple outfit and doing your hair in ringlets.  

 

Signed,

 

Dear Abby

Dear Abby,

Thank you! You have brought it all into perspective for me! :)

One error I do need to point out though...I was woeful in Winnipeg...which is why I moved from there in 1986...

Planted on the Prairies (er, just not in the Winnipeg portion)

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Dear Woeful in Winnepeg

 

A lot of my readers would give their right arm to have your problems.  Why only yesterday I heard from a woman who only had ONE reed; it seems you have twice as many as you need.  Perhaps I can guilt you so that the next time you pass a busker with no reed at all in the subway you'll be kind enough to give him one of yours.

 

And another reader has been married 34 years.  I think you'll agree that is almost infinitely worse than 33.

 

But since it's my job to help my readers,  I suggest you get another husband, buy a flute, disown the son, learn to like smokies,  and never play on a stage with children—they will upstage you whether they play well OR badly.  Note that you can beat the little buggers at their game by wearing a Shirley Temple outfit and doing your hair in ringlets.  

 

Signed,

 

Dear Abby

What absolutely vile advice!  Just sit down and have a cuppa, dear, and let me sort this out for you.  :)

 

First, plant a little marsh of of the proper sort of reeds, cut your own, and you'll always have a selection and spares, plus something to sell to your fellow basoonists, as well as to oboe players and to any bagpipers who happen to infest your area.  

 

Second, children are easy to upstage, I've seen Dolly P. and Cher do it on a number of occasions.  Heck, even I can do it.  Think wardrobe (or the lack thereof) plus makeup. Need one say more?

 

Third, keep enough beef brisket and pork ribs in the freezer to head off any misguided attempts to feed you burned sausage.  I don't know who started this nonsense one hears everywhere about men being BBQ gods, but way back before the invention of wieners and hamburger, in the Golden Age of roast meat, I doubt that the women let them anywhere near the firepit once they'd dragged the aurochs, mammoth, or whatever into camp.

 

Fourth, disowning your son is a horrible idea.  Handle sassiness as generations of mothers have done and make the little ingrate miserable instead.  You could start by docking his allowance for grocery money, and the next time he doesn't do his own laundry, sew all the flies on his underwear closed.

 

The real deficiency here, however, is in the marital advice.  Damned if I'd punt a marriage I'd invested 33 years in, that's silly, and divorcing just to once again go husband hunting is even sillier.  Do what thousands of years of tradition and 50 years of Cosmopolitan demand. Discreetly take a lover instead...........

 

- "Ann Landers"  :ph34r:

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Dear Abby,

Thank you! You have brought it all into perspective for me! :)

One error I do need to point out though...I was woeful in Winnipeg...which is why I moved from there in 1986...

Planted on the Prairies (er, just not in the Winnipeg portion)

Hi Rue,

 

Glad you took it as the attempt at humor I meant it.  And I didn't remember exactly where in Canada you are.  I just picked Woeful in Winnipeg, since Awful in Alberta or Onerous in Ottawa or Queasy in Quebec would have not been as artistic.  I enjoyed your story.  However, I do like the ring of "Peeved in the Prairies."   :)

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I'm working on alot of "stuff" I don't particularly enjoy working on...

 

Playing related stuff -

 

Piazzolla without a hint of classical technique is a seriously rude experience if one is not used to "dirty" and "raw" tango shooting out of a violin 5 cms from the ear...

 

Technical stuff - coping with the after math of a broken wrist, not fun! :)

 

Non playing stuff -

 

New bow commission underway, Working on new moulds made following Mr Francois Denis's methods, shopping for more wood :)

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So both of those are your own creations? Cool!

Hi Rue, thanks, yes I have hours and hours of music that I make, all styles, classical, rock, blues, jazz, country, electronica, pop, bluegrass, kinda anything and everything. Just for fun.

 

The orchestral one is done in a very peculiar way I call "improv composing" where I will "imagine" something, to give myself a "plot" , in this case , this is a Fantasia in Fmin written in the true meaning of the form.

 

So off the top of my head I imagine a "story" this happens to be "Tragic lead balloon"  about a rich doctor who lives off the coast in France in the late 1800's and has decided to take up his new hobby of balloon flight, he talks his wife into going up with him, unfortunately his experience in ballooning does not match his intellect and very shortly after reaching altitude they encounter a storm that blows them off course out over the ocean, trapped in clouds being blown about, unaware of their location or altitude they soon after descend into a fatal plunge into the ocean mile offshore never to be seen again. The piece is the last 2,30 seconds of their lives trapped in the balloon slowly swaying and pulsing in the wind with short chaotic gusts eventually pushing them down to meet ther fate.

 

So, after that I will set my tempo, choose a key, keep the theme in mind and simply improvise one line at a time, slowly laying improv line over improv line, having no preconceived notion other than the "feel" in this case unsettled fear with a certain feeling towards the end of succumbing to the reality of the situation. This started with the bass parts determine a harmonic foundation and when all is said and done there are many individual parts and lines utilizing full orchestration , Strings, brass, winds and percussion, certainly not the best thing I've done , but it is what I'm working on now'ish.

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This morning, I'm playing scales.

 

G-major, d-minor, C-major, Eb-major, and c-minor.

 

I play accelerating scales.  2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 12, 16, and finally 24 notes to a bow.  I've been listening to my sound very carefully, especially at the bow changes.  I want even tone, but strong and rich as well.  I use vibrato until I'm playing sixteenth notes (8 to a bow).

 

I've also been enjoying Roland Vamos's recent publication which writes out (in several dozen pages) the double-stop method he scribbled (on half a blank page) inside my copy of Dounis many moons ago.  It makes my hand feel so sturdy and accurate.

 

To go along with my scales, Bach Suites for cello.  1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.  1, 2, and 3 are solidly by memory.  4… I have the Bourrees by memory, otherwise I'm using the music.  I've only performed it once and taught it once.  5 is coming along.  I almost have the fugue by memory.  But I'm still sorting out the voices.  I thought I was being very clever with hemiolas, but after listening to Casals, I feel like maybe I wasn't being clever enough.

 

And then there's all the new music I have to learn for later this summer and fall.  But that can wait for this afternoon.

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Lusitano:  How did you break your wrist?  And will it heal well?  Do you know?

 

jezzupe: I have great admiration for anyone who can compose.  While I have done a little bit for class or theory work...I can't progress past Twinkle Twinkle type 'tunes'.

 

Stephen:  I will be getting back to scales in a week or two too...in the meantime I have two pieces I am trying to polish before I move forward...and am working on basic arpeggios...finger patterns...to try and have those come easier to me when I play (especially when I need speed).

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I haven't put much energy into memorizing either.  It doesn't come easily to me.  I see the value though!  I can 'play' with the bits and pieces I do have memorized in a way I can't when I'm looking at the music...

 

I would like to memorize a couple more short 'showy' pieces. This Sammartini that I'm working on would be a nice one to memorize. 

 

Rue, memorizing helps a lot. You need a good teacher to explain how it's done and from there on it'll become easier and easier if you stick with the exercises. I only started paying attention to memorizing in my '30s. For 12 years of music school and high school I did very little and was holding me back.

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