Monday, March 31, 2008

Recital Venues

This weekend my quartet (Phil, Mike Wall, Michael Ozment, and myself) had the opportunity of playing two recitals.  One in a church in Spencer, Iowa and one the next evening in Harper.  Originally we were treating the recital in Spencer as a dress rehearsal for the concert on Saturday, but when we got there we realized that it was the more important concert.  We played for about 120 people in a church (mostly older people) and were received very warmly.  Although they were not the most well-trained audience (they clapped not only between movements, but also in the middle of them), but the energy they gave us made our performance even better.  It was the most fun I have ever had performing.
On Saturday we played the same concert at UI.  The audience was much less enthusiastic and interested in our playing, and although we didn't necessarily play any better or worse than the previous evening, the concert felt like a failure and was one of the worst experiences I have had as a performer.  The audience was very well behaved, but the negative vibe sucked all the energy out of the room.  Most of the audience was only interested in receiving recital attendance and figuring out how to stay awake.  I was tempted to collect their cards at intermission and not play the second half of the concert.  

Don't get me wrong: I think that rectal attendance is important, but I never realized how a well behaved audience can have a negative effect on performance.   The question is how to combat this negative vibe.  I think that increased support from colleges could help.  There were only 3 music major in a crowd of 38, and those were also there for recital attendance. (I am not trying to call anyone out for not coming, I know people are busy).  Some simple publicity could have gone a long way.  We put posters up and told our friends, but this seemed ineffective.  We didn't make a facebook event just out of spite for having to make facebook crap for everything.  The University does have an events calendar but it I think the department could take a more active role in advertising both student and faculty recitals.  I am definitely guilty on not attending recitals I probably should have, but some of that is just out of ignorance. A weekly email of events (I know we already get too many emails) and a little more dedication to each other could go a long way into making performing a lot better at the University.   

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

National Geographic

National Geographic has a part of their website dedicated to world music. There is a lot of intersting information there.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Philharmonic Brass

The Philharmonic Brass features the LA Phil brass sections and friends.  It was originally recorded in 1978 and was re-released on CD in 2003.  We listened to some of the Rayner Brown, Five Pieces for Organ Harp (Ladd Thomas, Organ), Brass, and Percussion, and the Fisher Tull Liturgical Symphony.    While the Fisher Tull Liturgical Symphony, and Variations of and Advent Hymn are important pieces, I really enjoyed the Rayner Brown Organ piece.  The organ playing is fantastic.  There are also 8 fanfares by various composers(some are by the players) and and a Rayner Brown Fantasy-Fugue.  This recording is available on

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


I did not get to this CD on my talk about symphony brass section recordings on Wednesday. The Antiphonal Music Of Gabrieli recorded and released on LP in 1969.  The brass sections include members of the Philadelphia Symphony, The Cleveland Symphony, and The Chicago Symphony with E. Power Briggs on organ. There are 25 tracks of Gabrielli and 7 tracks of Frescobaldi. This is definitely on the must own list of brass recordings.  The musicianship is fantastic, but sometimes style and blend in not quite consistent (there is some extreme vibrato in the trumpets that is sometimes a bit concerning), but overall is fun to listen to.  The CD has a very informative insert.  It explains some of the church modes and has a seating chart so that you can try to figure out which ensemble is playing on the stereo recording.  You can purchase this CD from

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Music Survey

This survey is being conducted by Emmanuel Angel ant the University of Pennsylvania and is supported by the Philadelphia AFM. It is designed to be a comprehensive study of people in all regions and facets of musical activity. Please take this opportunity to weigh in, It is all confidential.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Ronak Mela Baja

Brass music is a very important part of Indian weddings. This group plays both wedding music and Bollywood style music in the UK you can read about them here.

Chinese Youth Trombone Quartet

The is a video of the 2007 Trombone Festival in Beijing,China. The China Youth Trombone quartet in playing. This is a fine example of the budding brass tradition that is beginning to take hold in Asia.

Vienna Horns Update

I found a video of the Vienna Horns playing Haydn String Quartets Hob.Ⅲ 38 "The Joke"

Vienna Brass

We listened to the Vienna Horns second CD on Wednesday.  If you are interested in purchasing, it is available on Kep Pope's website

Real Tibetan Horn Playing

I found a recording of the Gyuto Tantric Choir playing traditional Tibetan music.
I think you will need Real Player to open this file.  This is from the website.