Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Recital Day

Part I of IV

This Friday marks the 10th Anniversary of my undergraduate recital, and seeing as how my daily updates are starved for content more often than any given page of eHow.com, I thought I would spend the next few days doing an indulgent Behind-the-Scenes, Where-Are-They-Now, Blu-ray-Edition-With-Deleted-Scenes retrospective on the whole affair.

My recital was one of the few instances in life where I actually displayed qualities that could be mistaken for ambition, which is why I like to pull it out of the closet every few years and parade it around like a six-year-old son who just won a Halleys Comet trivia championship.

By the numbers, The URI! Recital involved 24 musicians, 3 stage hands, 9 original compositions, 15 minutes of the Arutunian concerto, 8 months of planning, 2.5 hours of performance (with two intermissions), a 17 page program and a budget of about $350. It also instilled in me the critical career skills which I still rely upon today, notably, the ability to use Photoshop for funny pictures, and the ability to buy gift certificates on Amazon.com (musicians work for cheap when they don't have a degree yet).

Although bits and pieces of the recital recordings have appeared on this site in the past, I'll be posting full-length MP3s of some of my favourite songs this week. The first one is Vanishing Point:

    Vanishing Point (4.3 MB MP3)

Featuring 3 trumpets, 3 horns, 3 trombones, 2 tubas, and 2 percussionists, my goal here was to treat a brass ensemble as a sectioned jazz ensemble and show that an unwieldy ensemble full of muddy brass instruments can swing surprisingly well. Here are a few other fragmented thoughts about this piece:

♠ The chord progression here is based on the song, Bernie's Tune.

♠ Philip Barbie performed the trumpet solos here, because I'm not a fan of improvisation and I knew he wouldn't do anything retarded.

♠ The decision to write a jazz piece for brass was actually very in line with my education: jazz was my go-to language for boring writing assignments, and when a composition professor would want me to compose another sonata or do something with more wrong notes, I would always fall back on jazz as a passive-aggressive way to bring the assignment back into the realm of "music people might actually want to listen to". I also have a three movement jazz sonata and a three movement jazz suite for brass quintets in my repertoire.

♠ The only reason there are two tubas is so that one can always be breathing. Walking bass lines require oxygen.

♠ Towards the middle of the piece, the original horn line (396KB MP3) required a lot more finger-flexing, and was rewritten the night before the performance to be less difficult. Even with the new line, a beat goes missing somewhere in the performance, and the drummer ends up on 1 and 3 for a few bars instead of 2 and 4.

♠ I didn't want a guitar mucking up the works, and the stage was too small to roll out the piano, so chord innards were provided by a vibraphone player. This gave it a unique sound, but still ended up a little too muddy for my liking.

♠ This was one of the pieces I conducted -- even though jazz ensembles generally don't need conducting, I was worried that the piece would just get slower and slower without me, and I would have to come out of the wings with a cowbell and start yelling, Chip McNeill style.

To be continued tomorrow...

Gang tattoo leads to murder conviction
Store owner forgets to tell computer the holiday schedule
Commuting impacts job security

tagged as memories, music, media | permalink | 3 comments
day in history


Previous Post: Weekend Wrap-up


Next Post: Recital Day

 

You are currently viewing a single post from the annals of URI! Zone history. The entire URI! Zone is © 1996 - 2022 by Brian Uri!. Please see the About page for further information.

Jump to Top
Jump to the Front Page


April 2011
SMTWHFS
12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
OLD POSTS
Old News Years J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
J F M A M J
J A S O N D
visitors since November 2003