Sunday, January 11, 2009

Directions for 2009

Over Christmas I was involved in five performances: the community band (horn), the Presbyterian small ensemble (horn & flute), the Kenwood Players at Gordon House (horn & flute), the Dixieland band (banjo & vocal), and the Kenwood Players at Oak Chapel (alto flute, guitar and vocal). The strongest response (from me and the audiences) was to the sing alongs (Dixie and Oak Chapel), with the Gordon House performance a strong second.

For this past Friday I prepared a five part improv platform for Down By The Riverside to build on the success of the sing alongs. It worked well by spreading the instruments (Eb tuba, baritone, trumpet, clarinet) over the frequency spectrum with all being heard well in the mix, and everyone having plenty of choices of what to play. We also worked on #'s 1, 3, 13 & 14 in the Sampler Suite, with Dick improvising a descant on repeats, and that went well, though he asked for guitar style chord notation to make the improvs easier.

(Dick & Maggie went to a concert this week where classically trained players riffed on classical themes and had a great time, so that reinforced the idea of improvising repeats in the Sampler Suite.)

So I spent all day yesterday assigning well tempered chords to Renaissance dances, refining the five part improv template, and checking to see what hymns are in the public domain so that sing alongs can be built around them. With the Sampler Suite and the hymns the idea will be to present the material as it exists in the public domain, and then a second version in the improv platform (which will have the extra advantage of making it easy to break out melody lines and guitar chords in whatever key might be needed). 

Along with the hymns and spirituals for sing alongs, traditional and W.C. Handy blues are things I'm looking to include in Music for Music Makers 2.0. 

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