Saturday, June 29, 2013

Rock Bassoon

My latest bassoon adventure has gone to the dark side, in fact there's None More Black... hahahaha (to unsubscribe from lame jokes click here)

None More Black was a project for my senior recital and completely voluntary on the parts of everyone involved. The idea was to write a rock song for bassoon and play it! I really wanted to play something people could relate to better. I love classical music, but how often do you go downtown and hear classical music blasting from a bar? Or bassoon in a downtown setting?
Though I think hearing classical music in a bar may be a long shot, I'm really hoping the fate of the bassoon will not be so grim. One step at a time.

I digress. The wonderful people who made this song come to life did everything for free and are totally amazing. You guys rock. Literally.
We world premiered NMB May 3rd, 2013 but due to some funny business with the microphones, we rerecorded with fancier mics (though tragically with slightly less sophisticated recording equipment) in early June. C'est la vie d'une etoile de rock. hahaha (please don't kill me)
iphone pic of  hastily scribbled theme 

Ben Stonaker is the composer. He hails from Louisiana and is currently working on his doctorate at UT Austin. He was a rock musician for the longest time, but turned rogue and now writes music of the new variety. He was the perfect guy to write this piece, which wittily features quotes from Paint it Black and Freebird (6 minutes in). NMB is also centered around a melody sent via text message.. from my phone! Gotta love technology! Incidentally, I look back at this picture and I cannot for the life of me understand what possessed me to write B double flat.. or C flat.. *sigh*

It was great collaborating with him. Funny note, he ended up sight reading the piano part at my senior recital.. sight reading a concert is badass.. no matter how you slice it! Ben Stonaker, you are a beast.

Other news from my senior recital, click here for my fav recording from the recital that is not rock related. This is Eugene Bozza's Recit, Sicillienne and Rondo for bassoon and piano. Suyeon Kim (possibly the best pianist I know) was kickin' it with me for this one and recently got a job as a full time professor in Colorado. Congratulations Dr. Kim!!
Special thanks to Dadio who came out with Mom and recorded and uploaded it all from his phone.

Right now I'm just trying to finish school. I supposedly graduated, but in reality I have 2 online science classes to finish, one of which I finished last Tuesday and the other I'm hoping to knock out early in the next 1-2 weeks. Cannot wait to finish.

I also have been teaching at the Long Horn Band Camp again this summer. It was fun! I really love the kids and we always have a great time. I never get tired of their excited young faces or cracking jokes when I'm supposed to be teaching. I'm so ADHD myself that I really try to make lesson times as relevant and engaging for the student on as many levels as possible. I understand how difficult it can be to focus on what teachers say, I was there not that long ago!

One amusing excerpt from a lesson went as follows:

Me: Try singing this note before you play it again, and really tune it..
Student: *grins* I can't.
Me: Nonsense, now sing.
Student: *still grinning* I can't.
Me: *sings horribly but in tune* look, if I can do it, so can you! 
Student: *worried smile* I can't...
Me: We haven't got time for this, now just try.
Student: *sings well and in tune*
Me: AHA!! YOU CAN!! Now don't tell me you can't anymore because you clearly can! Now let's do that again and really listen to tune it with the piano. *plays interval of a 5th*
Student: I can't..
Me: You just did... 
Student: *sings pitch eventually tuning well*
Me: Great, now do that on the bassoon!
Student: *tunes bassoon and sounds amazing*
Me: Never tell yourself that you can't, because you only set limits for yourself. You just proved that you can, even though you thought you couldn't before!

Not that long ago I was the one saying "I can't." in lessons.. I was so sure I knew my own limits! So I totally understand how much saying "I can't" is a complete waste of time. It is completely counterproductive to put limits on your own infinite creative potential. Thank you Ms. Jensen for knocking some sense into me. 

On that note, it's time for sleep. Until next time!

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