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#1203281 - 05/21/09 08:45 AM The Creative Musical Vitamins Thread
Bogdan Zarkin Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/04/09
Posts: 8
Loc: Toronto, Canada
(Feel free to move this thread if need be).

I'd like to start an escapist thread where we each offer 1-3 youtube (or other) performance links to expand each other's imagination and repetoire - to the outer reaches of jazz, classical or any other style - WITH piano in the performance.

The idea is to introduce some unique melodic, harmonic or rhythmic elements into our right and left brains in order to invigorate and spark progressive creativity (if needed).

Of course, if you are happy where you are WRT resources and your inner library needs no exanding, please ignore this thread and/or don't drop a link.

But here's 2 for starters. I'd sure like to see the transcriptions of these. Please post your own interesting links.


1) Oscar Peterson - Solo Improvisation

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIkQNti8_EU&NR=1

2) Egberto Gismonti - Frevo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=198oBM9X6jQ
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#1203340 - 05/21/09 10:10 AM Re: The Creative Musical Vitamins Thread [Re: Bogdan Zarkin]
Steve Chandler Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2625
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
I enjoyed the Oscar Peterson and Egberto Gismonti links. I enjoy jazz, but tend to get bored by it after some time. That's just the way I'm wired. WRT what I enjoy listening to tend to be all over the map, so here goes.

My first link is nothing special in terms of harmonic or rhythmic techniques, but it certainly is a scrumptious piece of music. Morten Lauridsen used the same James Agee text (Sure on this Shining Night) that Samuel Barber had set earlier.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icp4bNb7TDI

My second is interesting in that Eric Whitacre set the text, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, before asking for permission (which was denied by Robert Frost's estate). So a poem was commissioned and set to the already composed music. This became the piece Sleep, but this link is to the original version with Frost's text.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JukchYVx6Ag

And to get this back to the piano, here's the 2nd movement of Lowell Lieberman's Piano Sonata. The harmonic and rhythmic language of this piece is interesting, but not the focus of the piece.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZwFItVoIMs

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#1203829 - 05/22/09 03:39 AM Re: The Creative Musical Vitamins Thread [Re: Steve Chandler]
Bogdan Zarkin Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/04/09
Posts: 8
Loc: Toronto, Canada
I don't think it's wiring, but cumulative tendencies. For instance, I couldn't stomach the first 2 links of yours . Great music, but utterly vacant WRT complexity and the fact that it's vocal, especially choir-based, tremendously nauseates me. I'm currently hungry for more of a pianistic priority. This is pure subjective reactional tendency, and not objective synopsis.

But that 3rd link was the epitome of a musical vitamin (for me, personally). That lightning-quick chromaticism, especially over the (modally borrowed ?) V (dominant) in the bass, really hit home and inspired me, so thanks for that. Hmmm, Lieberman's Piano Sonata... not his only one, I hope ?


Edited by Bogdan Zarkin (05/22/09 03:52 AM)
_________________________


Clementi = Warm Stable Bed

Gismonti = Exorbitant Stunt Pilot


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#1203831 - 05/22/09 03:42 AM Re: The Creative Musical Vitamins Thread [Re: Bogdan Zarkin]
Bogdan Zarkin Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/04/09
Posts: 8
Loc: Toronto, Canada
I'd like to throw this out there, for everyone's overall contemplation.


Jazz can be boring if one applies the Classical evaluative standard of judgement. But instead of doing that, I recommend inverting the elemental hierarchy. I studied Classical piano from the age of 4 until 12, then branching out into studying Flamenco guitar. In order to thoroughly appreciate, understand, learn, enjoy and actually play Flamenco guitar, I had to adopt a different criteria, approach and perspective. Then at age 18, when going back to study Classical composition for piano, I had to take off that Flamenco hat.

When we are bored by a certain style, it is the result of both intrinsic elemental deficiencies peculiar to the given style or genre, as well as the result of our own patterned preferences and programmed momentuous predispositions.

Now let's put ourselves in the shoes of Wynton Marsalis or Andre Previn (not both, lest we need four feet, and four ultra-expansive brain hemispheres). They each have 2 pairs of shoes. 1 pair for classical performance and 1 pair for jazz performance. How can they do such a thing, such a feat of versatility ? With stylistic relativism, of course.


Traditional Classical Elemental Hierarchy

1) MELODY :

A) Tonal Refinement
B) Thematic development
C) Explorative Melodic Fantasy

2) HARMONY in support of 1)

3) RHYTHM in support of 1) + 2)


Yes, Bartok shook things up quite a bit with his more isolated rhythmic focus, and Brahms nominally shook things up a tad with a predominant emphasis on harmonic shifts and modulations, both effectiviely compromising manicured melodies to a considerable degree - but the exception proves the general (traditional) rule.


Traditional Jazz Elemental Hierarchy

1) RHYTHM : Spontaneous Rhythmic Vitality (usually operating within pre-designated rhythmic feels such as "Ragtime", "Swing", "Jazz Waltz" or "Bossa-Nova" - all incorporating hyper-syncopation, anticipation and delay - all at the player's momentary, split-second individualistic discretion).

2) HARMONY : Open-Ended Harmonic Exploration, again in real time.

3) MELODY :

A) Explorative Melodic Fantasy
B) Thematic Development
C) Tonal Refinement



So, when listening to Jazz, I never view tonal refinement or thematic development as stylistic pre-requisites. In fact, theory and practice, they are entirely optional, elective bonuses.

Similarly, when listening to Classical (or related eras such as Baroque and Romantic) I invert the jazz elemental hierarchical pyramid.


What's very interesting, is what 21st Century Orchestral/Classical music will be. Will it wade into jazz elemental waters and pick up some of the melodic oddities, rhythmic convolutions and harmonic devices peculiar to jazz in the same manner jazz tapped into the techniques of Debussy, Ravel, Prokofiev and Rachmaninoff ? Yes, it inevitably will. But there will also likely be some constrictive revisionism and replicatic reinforcement, so as to not lose previously established traditions entirely.
_________________________


Clementi = Warm Stable Bed

Gismonti = Exorbitant Stunt Pilot


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#1203944 - 05/22/09 11:05 AM Re: The Creative Musical Vitamins Thread [Re: Bogdan Zarkin]
Steve Chandler Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/05
Posts: 2625
Loc: Urbandale, Iowa
Originally Posted By: Bogdan Zarkin
But that 3rd link was the epitome of a musical vitamin (for me, personally). That lightning-quick chromaticism, especially over the (modally borrowed ?) V (dominant) in the bass, really hit home and inspired me, so thanks for that. Hmmm, Lieberman's Piano Sonata... not his only one, I hope ?

I've done some looking and the one is all I can find for a solo piano sonata. If you like that then perhaps you'd like my own Tocatta on my Myspace page (link in my sig). Also, I found some very interesting music by Charles Griffes. Here's a link to a piece for flute and piano (a mode I'll be composing in soon).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uXNM3FLd_U&feature=related

I believe you're correct that classical composers will wade into the jazz elemental waters, in fact that started back in the 1920s. It may have been waylaid by serialism and minimalism, but I hear elements of jazz in lots of music today (heck I use it myself). What's important to the process is to get past the "I'm borrowing from jazz" phase and just incorporate that language as part of a composer's overall palette. The more natural and organic use of jazz elements is what I hear as the legacy of the last few decades.

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#1205500 - 05/25/09 02:03 PM Re: The Creative Musical Vitamins Thread [Re: Steve Chandler]
Claude56 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/02/09
Posts: 469
I heard a sufficient amount of B vitamins in your diet every day makes you want to compose a piece of music three times as better. smile

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