Fernando Brandao, my current private instructor, assigned me a transcription two weeks ago. What I have here is half of Peter Guidi's solo over "Weaver of Dreams". It's a great solo for beginning transcriptions: easy pace, nice tempo, familiar chords. But it gets more difficult in the third and fourth choruses, which is why I limited myself to the first two for my first assignment.
The challenges with this solo are dynamics and articulation. Guidi plays his solo so stylistically, and the end goal of any transcription is match the original as closely as possible. Jazz is so different from what they teach you in classical genres; the lightness and fluidity of the articulation is difficult to master, especially on a flute. In addition, he plays cliches so masterfully, they fit without sounding corny. Because the chords are basically the chords to "There Will Never Be Another You" in C, the harmony is fairly simple compared to other jazz pieces, but that doesn't mean he doesn't play around with it. All throughout, altered dominants are hiding, as well as blues scales and tons of chromatic neighbor patterns. It's a masterfully crafted solo.
And this is only the first half! I have my work cut out for me in the next two weeks as I have to work through humming and playing simultaneously. Look for that in about two weeks! This weekend...something special is coming!
This week I wanted to share how the first beat from Greg Patillo's "3 Beats for Beatbox Flute" was coming along. I took it at 3/4 the speed it should go, and I can use some tone improvement, but I've been working on this piece for about a year now and I felt it deserved some feedback from all of you.
My goal is to have this and the other two movements ready for my scholarship re-audition next semester. I want to have it so solidly that Berklee has to consider giving me more money than I'm already getting.
Beatbox pieces are tricky. You really have to focus on fluidity; some of my first issues were that my phrases were too disjointed, and so the piece didn't really flow. It's easy to come at the articulation from an intense, staccato perspective, but that would be wrong. With this piece in particular, you want an intense and flowing sound; you want your audience to ask "How can he play so low and beautifully while also being crisp and clear?" Quite a paradox, eh?
I hope you all enjoyed it, and please do tell me what you think. Feedback will only make me better.
This week was the first week of classes, and also the first week of rehearsals. The jazz fusion group my friends and I began at Berklee, the ElaB NayR Sextet, met twice this week, and let me tell you: we are killing it. Our very first show will be in Berk Recital Hall at Berklee College of Music on Friday, Sep. 30th at 4:00pm.
We've nailed down our set list, planned our stage plot, bought our concert attire, and brought a new bassist on board: Jake Adams. He's a real funky cat, and a perfect fit for our group. All we need now are a few more weeks of memorization and we're ready to rock the socks off anyone willing to come listen to our free concert debut! Audio recordings of the show will to come to my SoundCloud afterwards, so fear not if you cannot make it.
Also, I put in an application for a cafeteria show in mid October, so you will have another chance to come hear some of the finest Berklee has to offer! Thank you for the support, and check my SoundCloud for a new recording this weekend!
I learned a lot from my first year at Berklee, including that flutes are much quieter than the other instruments in any of the ensembles I will be playing with as a professional. It was time to buy a mic, and so I worked hard over the summer to get enough money to purchase an Audio-Technica 831b and a Roland Mobile Cube. These new toys of mine should enhance the performing experience and allow me to explore new musical territory that only electronics can provide. And so, armed with a new tool, I prepare to tackle sophomore year as the member of two student led projects and as a soloist who can actually be heard above an electric guitar. I'll be studying with Fernando Brandao, a very fine flutist of whom my previous instructors have spoken highly. I'm super excited!