Oooh, I'm still having fun.
We had Creative Ensemble part Deux today. Nell Catchpole, the tutor for this term had asked Andreas (Accordion) to bring in some Scandinavian folk music and oh my gosh is that stuff weird- there was clearly organization and a clear rhythm and all that, but I could not for the life of me follow what on earth they were doing- so I'm going to give Andreas a blank CD so that I can listen to it. A lot. So weird. (I can't even have it going through my head yet it was so alien to what I'm used to.) (but I *liked* it.)
Nell wanted the Scandinavian folk music because she thinks the melody that we're working with is reminiscent of the style. I don't know about that, but I'm glad to have been introduced to it.
This week Tara, Heather, and I were given the task of harmonizing a new melody that we again learned by ear. (I like Nell's melodies, but she is a violinist and her melodies are anything but idiomatic to the bass. I have to play them in a middle-to-high register in order to really hear the notes that are being played, and then I end up skipping all over the fingerboard in these giant leaps. At least my thumb position is getting a good work out.) Tara and Heather are cellists so our sounds melded really nicely together. Nell made us promise not to harmonize intellectually but instead to use our ears as much as possible.
The first thing we did was have Heather play the given melody while I dropped down a 4th. We messed with it a bit so that it wasn't entirely parallel fourths (but mostly was still). It gave the harmony a nice, vaguely Gregorian sound. Then Tara took over the given melody, I played what we'd decided on for the lowest line, and Heather played around with random notes at a very slow tempo and we'd all say when we really liked what came through. We took over 40 minutes to harmonize four bars but it is super cool (except for the last note/chord. That still needs some work).
I really enjoyed working with Tara and Heather- the collaboration went much more smoothly and team-workerly than last week. (Team-workerly, it's a technical term.) We all felt like we'd really contributed which I think is an key aspect when collaborating on something. (Oh: I'm pretty sure we all felt like we'd really contributed, but I suppose I should be specific and say that *I* really felt like I'd contributed. Can't speak for Heather and Tara...)
Nell recorded each groups' contribution and she's going to send us mp3 files. I'm hoping that I can figure out some way to put those on this blog, and if I can then you'll see them soon. (Anyone have any advice on how to do that?) If not, then I might forward the files to interested parties.
Also- I've been talking to Marvin Perrot who is the musical director of a baroque band/orchestra in the area. I'm going to play The Messiah with his group (which includes my flatmate Latana, which is how I found out about it) at the end of November. He is very keen that the group be a vehicle for getting experience soloing for each of the musicians/singers so he said that if I had any renaissance to classical solos that I wanted to do that he would find a place on a future recital for that.
"Tuneful Tots" is a toddler music education class on Sundays that is looking for a new teacher to take over a class starting in January so I contacted the other person at Guildhall who does the teaching and I'm going to meet up with her on Tuesday during lunch and then hopefully set up a meeting with the founder. So that would be totally neat if it worked out (because it is paid!) (and cool). They already have the curriculum all worked out, they just need a qualified teacher. Keep your fingers crossed!