Peeter Süda - A way to the ‘heart’ of Estonia through Germany
A way to the ‘heart’ of Estonia through Germany
The history of this research began several years ago, when I visited Tallinn for the first time. There was an International organ festival, and I was a participant of masterclasses. At one concert I heard music by the Estonian composer Peeter Süda. Within a couple of days I bought scores of his organ pieces. Two years later I was invited to play a concert in Tallinn, and I decided to play his pieces “Ave Maria” and Prelude and fugue. After a concert one Estonian organist told me: “Thank you very much, here almost nobody plays the Prelude and fugue! It was nice to hear it”. After some silence he continued: “But, you know, we have our own tradition of performance for these pieces”.
In September of 2013 I became a Master degree student
and decided to dedicate my research work in Codarts to Peeter Süda and his organ music, trying to answer the question: “How can I perform organ pieces by P. Süda, using his ideas and examples of different performance traditions?” I could just play this music without any research, but I liked it so much that I wanted to find out more about this composer and his pieces, I had a lot of questions, I was not sure about what I was doing, but I wanted to perform his music. At the beginning of my research I wished to make a recording of all the completed pieces by P.S., but things which seemed so easy to do became more complicated and interesting, and the research grew and brought me not only new things about this composer and his music, but also about German styles of performing, and other new knowledges and skills.
Fusing Irish folk music and Argentinian tango on bandoneon and harp
The deep motivation behind my research is that I want to be an earning, versatile, professional musician. Through my Masters I want to make myself the best musician I can be. Playing the instrument bandoneon, I specialise in a narrow field of music, namely the Argentine tango. In life as a musician however, a lot of opportunities will turn up that are outside my field of expertise. I wanted to find a way to enable myself to take on all of these opportunities. The way to do this, was to find a process to be able to be creative on demand. Such a process would enable me to take on opportunities in unknown musical territory, allowing me to develop further in my versatility as a musician.
The most significant goal for me was that I wanted to make for myself a process to be creative on demand - a step by step process to be creative when I need to be creative, regardless of what state of mind I might find myself in. To be creative beyond those special times when “the muses come” or when “inspiration hits.” Having the tools to be creative without feeling inspired also takes away the pressure of being inspired, letting the sought-after state of mind flow more naturally and more productively. So, the personal challenge I set was how could I make such a process for myself?
The first step was to find a way to get past creatives’ worst nightmare - the - the big blank page. In order to do this, I set myself some very narrow limits within which I had to work, in order get the initial spark of creativity started. So, I put myself in a small, difficult box. A box of clear limitations, from which I would have to use my skills, talent, and musicianship to get out of by making my own strong artistic decisions. The box I made, was the task of creating an original piece of music for harp and bandoneon, fusing Argentinian tango - which I knew a lot about, and Irish jig - which I knew little about.
I chose those specific limitations for several reasons. The first is that I have a duo with my sister Julie Rokseth, which is intended to represent a big part of my livelihood as a musician. I was interested to create a fusion of Celtic music and tango because in the duo we have been composing our own music with undetermined or unspecified influences, but that has had both tango and Celtic musical elements in them. I was interested to turn the vague inspiration of Celtic music into a clear inspiration for my music, and would do it through composing a fusion of tango and jig by making informed artistic decisions. Secondly, I reduced the large concept of Irish/Celtic music down to a very specific and limiting type of tune, the jig. This was once again to ensure that I would have very specific parameters for my box. Thirdly, I wanted to expand how I can use the bandoneon to adapt to challenges of new styles and be able to switch between them effortlessly.
Artistic Research Question
“How can I create and perform a piece for harp and bandoneon fusing the styles of Argentinian tango and Celtic/Irish jigs?”
Improvisation, Musical Analysis and Fretless Guitar: investigating the taksim practice within Ottoman Classical Music
This research has developed tools and identified a series of procedures through an analytical investigation of how improvisation functions within the context of the taksim, a solo improvisational style found within the Ottoman Classical Music tradition. By transcribing and analyzing improvisations from masters on the style, it was possible to catalogue different types of musical structures, from ornaments and small phrases to the overall scheme of improvisations and strategies employed by the musician while performing it. The elements observed within master's improvisations were adapted to the technique of the fretless guitar, the instrument in which the research has been developed. With the aid of specialized software, a series of videos were produced where structures observed through analyses of improvisations are presented in a didactical manner. Practical examples introducing ways of employing these structures on the fretless guitar are also a part of the research output. The final goal of this research was to create my personal identity on the fretless guitar by using the tools developed here.
From the pit to the stage: a comparative approach to solo bass playing
This research attempts to translate technical skills and notions from lyrical singing to double bass playing. Based on the Donizetti-Bottesini partnership, the idea was highly influenced by translation concepts developed by theorists Ricardo Piglia and Walter Benjamin. Research strategies include expert feedback, side by side work with tenors, experimental practice and extensive recording analysis on selected repertoire. Together, they outline a basic strategy that enriches solo performance. Conclusions could be applied to any similar repertoire by any other performer who reads this report.
Preserving The Fire - Implementing the jazz language of Woody Shaw
T. D. Nobel
This artistic research addresses the intellectual legacy of jazz trumpeter Woody Shaw, with the main purpose of implementing his jazz language into that of my own, without losing my musical authenticity, in order to add a more modern sound to my bebop-oriented jazz language. It demonstrates how experiments result in the creation of a new method for designing musical patterns, combining two (or more) tonal modes with symmetrical aspects of the music of classical composer Bela Bartok; a method I call Cross-Symmetric Approach (CSA).
Following this CSA-method, eight patterns were constructed in order to support taking (hence: playing) structured steps beyond the borders of functional harmony, in the spirit of Woody Shaw. Due to the extended practice of both these eight CSA-patterns as well as numerous constructed exercises involving perfect fourth intervals in order to support the open and modern sound the patterns create, it is my goal to demonstrate that I can preserve the ‘fire’ of Shaw’s legacy without literally copying his jazz language. The newly gained vocabulary widely extended my possibilities for approaching chord changes and stretched my definition of harmonic consonance
A new face of the cello
Belén Ruiz Vega
As a cellist, I always enjoyed the classical repertoire but since I started to play this instrument I have tried to reproduce my favourite songs in the cello. Once I developed my cello skills, I started to write transcriptions of the songs played by my favourite bands such as Metallica or Scorpions. Years later, I had the opportunity to spend time researching this topic. So I decided to base my master research on arranging and performing heavy metal songs for cello ensemble.
In order to develop my research, I contacted experts related to this topic either for being in contact with heavy metal and rock or for being a cellist outside of the classical world. I listened to hundreds of songs and versions of those songs to take ideas and inspire myself for the arrangements and performances.
Finally, I did experiments in order to get different sounds or techniques from other instruments such as slap from the bass or death growls from the singers.
As a result of my research, I did three arrangements from different styles within the heavy metal, heavy metal itself, thrash metal and melodic death metal. Throughout this research, I developed my arrangement and performing skills, starting from a basic arrangement from cellos and drums to three cellos; and ending with an arrangement from a standard heavy metal band with new techniques included, to four cellos.
During this journey, I could improve step by step my skills and show all the progress in the last part of my research combining all the knowledge acquired through the process. As this topic was unexplored, my research could be a base for musicians interested in arranging and performing heavy metal.
With it, I wanted to bring closer the cello to all the people. Nowadays, classical music is losing audience and this new point of view can be a tool to have an impact on a new public. Since the last century, the cello has been included in a lot of popular songs, from The Beatles to Pink Floyd. Bands increased the use of the cello to the moment that ensembles of cellos, such as Apocalyptica or Break of Reality, decided to do something new and bring this instrument to different styles of music and showing the versatility of the cello.
Rite and identity of the cantaor flamenco in my own musical language
ADRIÁN CRESPO BARBA
While flamenco harmony and rhythm has been widely used for creating new compositions, the use of flamenco voice in contemporary music is almost non-existent. The aim of this research was to uncodify the idiosyncrasy of the cantaor flamenco in order to apply it in a different musical context, starting from a solo instrumental piece and taking it to larger instrumental settings. To make this possible, the voice of the cantaor has been disaggregated into its melodic behaviour, its rhythm or its timbre.
The process consisted of transcribing examples of flamenco vocal recordings; analyzing many hours of videos, interviews and iconography to understand the cantaor’s rite; the participation of experts in the field like Mauricio Sotelo, Arcángel or Niño de Elche among others; and working side-by-side with the performers. The result came with three new compositions: ‘Cántico II: A la memoria de Antonio Mairena’, for trombone quartet, video media and soundtracks; ‘Cántico III’, a piece for voice, delay system and large ensemble; and ‘Cántico IV: Saeta por seguiriya after Velazquez’s ‘Cristo crucificado’’, a piece for electronic music, 3D animation and performative acting. In addition, this is probably the first study that treats in a deeper way the behaviour of the voice in the performance of cantes like fandangos or cañas, so it can open new perspectives on the field of flamencology.
A Singer’s Guide to Dance - A journey from classical vocalist to interdisciplinary performer
This research project focuses on the relationship between choreographed dance and the voice, and seeks to discover how dance can co-exist alongside a classical vocal performance as an additional channel or avenue of personal and musical expression. This research was motivated by my desire as a classical vocalist to become more connected with my body, and to better understand and train my voice as a living, breathing instrument. Additionally, this research was motivated by the possibility for dance to provide me with a wider range of expressive possibilities. In this research project I therefore explore how I, as a classical vocalist, could experiment with contemporary dance in a vocal-dance performance of Ravel’s Shéhérazade, which served as the final artistic result of this research. In this report, I first provide an overview of my musical and dance preparation. Second, I provide an analysis of the effects of dance on my musical expression and vocal technique. Third, I examine the use of improvised dance elements versus structured choreography. Lastly, I examine and discuss how I was able to bring all of these elements together and further develop my skills as an interdisciplinary performer. In my discussion and analysis, I draw on a variety of sources of data, including experimentation, interview data, personal coaching, and literature research This report also provides a complete overview of the research ‘intervention cycles’, which explain in detail the research process and development of my final artistic result. As the contemporary performance environment increasingly demands innovative and multifaceted performers, this research can help to inspire and encourage other classical vocalists to consider the incorporation of dance as a valuable way to develop their vocal technique and musical understanding.
Furthermore, for classical vocalists already interested in incorporating dance into their vocal performance, this research can provide a number of valuable practical tools and insights, and help them to become more interdisciplinary performers.
Turkish Makam Influences in Jazz Improvisation
Improvisation, the art of creating at the moment, is the main reason that I started singing jazz. It allows me to express my musical thoughts, while being the biggest struggle in my musicality. I was suggested by many of my mentors and colleagues that my ideas were nice but needed to be connected. These artistic needs introduced me to taksims, improvisations based on melodic development.
In this research, I demonstrate how elements such as phrasing and melodic development can be integrated into vocal improvisation of jazz and arranged folk songs by analysing selected pieces in hicaz and huseyni makams. In this context, the recordings from Refik Fersan, Salim Bey, Andon Efendi, Cemil Bey and Tanrıkorur analysed and the stylistic elements implied into my daily practice with exercises.
These exercises made my improvisations more solid and consistent by prioritizing melodic development.
My findings, i.e. exercises and technical explanation, will help musicians, particularly vocalists who would like to apply the makam practice into their improvisation skills. By application of this process their musicianship will profit from the linear melodic approach, odd meters and the technique.
Combining Greek folk with modal jazz improvisation
My personal striving for more freedom regarding melodic and rhythmic aspects in improvisation and less emphasis on functional harmony, led me to the exploration of modal jazz.
At the first cycle of my research, I studied two legendary trumpet players Miles Davis and Freddie Hubbard in order to learn different techniques of developing a modal jazz solo.
Through this journey, I discovered a strong connection to my Greek roots. Greek music is modal and thus the idea of combining the two worlds seemed obvious.
For the second cycle of my research, I studied the French-Lebanese trumpet player Ibrahim Maalouf. Maalouf combines his Arabic roots with modal jazz and therefore he was a great source of inspiration to me.
By arranging Greek folk songs with jazz elements and adding modal jazz improvisation to my Greek folkloric sound, I found an interesting way to combine my roots with jazz music.
During my research I received valuable feedback from my research coach Dr. Dick de Graaf, my main subject teachers Bart de Win, Francien van Tuinen, Harjo Pasveer as well as from important experts Jarmo Hoogendijk, Tineke Postma, Mark van Roon, Stefan Lievestro and Eren Aksahin.
The art of chopping
Pablo Rodriguez Gonzalez
Traditionally, the violin is seen as a melodic solo instrument and on rare occasions it assumes rhythm and harmony as a principal function, as in the case of, for example, a second violin in a string quartet or an orchestra. When I started to play the guitar eight years ago, it fuelled my interest into how I could possibly translate the feeling of being a guitarist or percussionist into that of a fiddle player. Immediately after this I discovered Turtle Island String Quartet, a classical string ensemble specializing in modern styles such as jazz, rock and funk. In their performances they made use of advanced percussive bow techniques, commonly called “chopping” or “chop”.
Upon starting my master studies, my main teacher, Christiaan Van Hemert advised me to check fiddler Casey Driessen (1978, Owatonna, Minnesota, United States). He is an American bluegrass fiddler and singer who has performed with many well-known artists such as Béla Fleck, Abigail Washburn, Steve Earle, Tim O'Brien and Darol Anger. His use of advanced percussive bow techniques (chop) was outstanding. It made me realize that it was possible to use the violin as a groove-rhythm instrument.
ARTISTIC RESEARCH QUESTION
How could I expand my knowledge and use of percussive-bowing techniques used by fiddler Casey Driessen through the analysis of his music, and the translation of vocabulary from the flamenco cajón, so that I could incorporate them into my solo compositions and rhythmical improvisations?
Expanding the role of the jazz guitar
The guitar and the piano perform similar roles and occupy overlapping frequency ranges in jazz and popular music.
However, the piano can produce two or more simultaneous voices at the extremes of its range using standard technique. The guitar cannot produce two or more simultaneous voices at the extremes of its range using standard plucking or finger-picking techniques.
Thus the two-hand touch technique was developed partially to emulate the right and left hand of a pianist. The tuning of the guitar was altered to provide an extended low range in order to facilitate bass voices more effectively.
The result is an overall method for playing the guitar which provides the ability to effectively perform counterpoint, melody, chord and/or bass accompaniment with an extended range of the guitar that is fully utilisable.
Developing new sonic landscapes for improvisation and composition by extended techniques for saxophone such as overtones, timbral fingerings and multiphonics
The initial plan for my research was to analyze Pat Metheny’s concepts of improvisation over blues forms and incorporating his concepts into my improvisation. During my first year I thought this research would be a good idea until I had a major discussion about it with Paul van Brugge. The discussions conclusion was that this research wouldn’t add a significant value to my artistry and that this analysis of Pat Metheny’s concepts can be done, out of my own curiosity, in my free time and during my main subject lessons, if I really wanted to do it so badly. Since Paul is both jazz and classical composer in the 21st century and he have seen and experienced the development of music, he suggested me to get into extended techniques for saxophone which would give me a significantly bigger value as a performing artist, saxophonist and composer, in this ‘modern’ world. At first, I was hesitant towards extended techniques for saxophone because I heard they were extremely hard, but after I came to peace with the idea I was able to start seeing some of the benefits extended techniques could provide me.
The question that I formulated and led me to find answers and start my journey was the following:
How can I develop new sonic landscapes for improvisation and composition by extended techniques for saxophone such as overtones, timbral fingerings and multiphonics?
The Harp: No Tango Tourist | Creating an Authentic Tango Harp Voice
My Boldest Artistic Decision was to break convention and play the classical harp down the Tango line at Codarts. It was the nurturing at Codarts that let me to focus my Artistic Research on injecting the harp into Tango and discovering whether, and how the harp could sing with an authentic tango voice while also being able to give some of its own uniqueness upon the tradition. To make sure that the harp can become a real and organic tango instrument rather than being a “tango tourist”– a borrowed classical instrument that sometimes sits like a lovely guest but doesn’t actually belong.
This Artistic Research project has allowed me to show that the harp can sing with a voice that DOES belong in tango. The Harp: no tango tourist.
The search for passion: Arpeggione sonata analysis through vocal, modern cello and arpeggione influence
Virginia del Cura Miranda
How can I develop a personal interpretation of the Arpeggione Sonata for cello and piano by F. Schubert, making a performer’s analysis in the first and second movement?
*The performer’s analysis will include the following factors: a historical approach to the Sonata, Schubert’s compositional style, a form analysis of the final version, a study of the original notes written by the composer on the manuscript, the influence of the arpeggione (instrument) has on Arpeggione’s composing and the influence of vocal technique.
Translation of Middle Eastern & Balkan rhythms and meters in my set up, consisting of darbuka, cajon, bendir attached to full drum-set
This paper focuses on the structure of a practical method that facilitates the transition from traditional elements towards the modern expression of performing on percussion. The primal aim behind this idea is to enrich the performer’s experience by, not only exercising on odd meters and rhythms seen in traditional music of the Middle East and the Balkans, but also using a variety of instruments on the same time for getting the required acoustic outcome. On the other hand the main instrument on which the full combination of the percussion-set was based, the drum-set, is giving the perfect match on a try-out to combine different music practices of the East and the West. Conducting a study like that sets the start for experimentation on combinations of music styles and their representative instruments.
The scope and significance of this research is described in the first section, highlighting the importance of the research question under examination in its final phase. In addition possible ways and primal findings that helped on finalizing the build up of a distinct set-up are commented. Technical matters leading to the desired musical outcome are outlined in the second section, along with the important aspects discovered during the implementation of the study. Results, findings and limitations of the study are described below. The next section, which forms the bulk of the paper, turns to the
description of the data under examination, structured into the 3 intervention cycles of research.
Sections 4, 5 and 6 all discuss in more detail the technical, notative procedure used and how it was transformed, during the research period, in order to strengthen the significance and application of the approach under examination; basically how to transfer Middle Eastern and Balkan rhythms and meters on a set up that consists of M. Eastern percussion and the drum set. The paper ends with a brief conclusion and the more detailed description of the resulted methodology.
Developing phrasing and ornamentation in Taksim based on makam Ussak and Hicaz
From the very beginning when Ι started dealing with the modal music and the oral traditions of the Middle East I was so thrilled by the perception of this music as a living organism that evolves through time. This thought inspired me and made me want to get involved with this music in a creative way. Thus, Ι bacame interested in understanding the nature of the modal system of Makam and adopting all those elements that would allow me to express myself through this music. Through this quest, it didn’t take me long to realize that a big part of this expression that I was looking for, personified in this music via the Taksim (non-meter improvisation). Therefore, my goal of my artistic research at Codarts, was on the one hand, to gain a deeper knowledge of this music language regarding the makam-based modal improvisation (Taksim): phrases, motifs, ornaments and structure, and on the other hand, to improve my technical possibilities on the instrument so as to adopt the elements of this language on the violin.
After brainstorming and having a number of interesting discussions, I formed the question that would allow me to achieve this goal.
ARTISTIC RESEARCH QUESTION
How can I improve my violin performance on Τaksim (non-metric improvisation), by playing, transcribing and analyzing ornaments and phrases of specific taksims on makam Ussak and Hicaz?
Arranging and performing Flamenco music for marimba
When I started my bachelor, I always have had the motivation to play a flamenco piece. I thought it would be important for me and my career, to be able of playing pieces from different styles. Also because I was not really motivated with the contemporary repertoire which I was playing in my bachelor years.
I have been connected with the Spanish music, given that is my own music and I have listened flamenco music since I was young, because of my culture and the location of my hometown. But I´d never listen a marimbist playing flamenco. It was in 2014 in a flamenco festival close to my hometown (el cante de las minas, La Union) when I saw for the first time a marimba player playing a piece (an accompaniment for a singer) of flamenco. Instead of guitar, there was a marimba doing the accompaniment for the singer. Sound that marimba produced when the percussionist played those chords in the Phrygian mode called my attention suddenly.
For this reason, I started to investigate deeper on the flamenco, trying to play some pieces from famous composers like Paco de Lucia, Tomatito, Moraito, Paco Peña, etc. until the moment that I thought that I had to do something else because it was not enough for me. Consequently, I took one of my favourite pieces and also one of the famous pieces of Paco de Lucia: Fuente y Caudal.
For all of this, I formulated my first following research question:
``How can I arrange these pieces of flamenco keeping the idea of the music but with the sound of the marimba?´´
This question was huge and without a concrete message, because I wanted to arrange pieces but I didn´t know yet how many and more important, in which shape. When I really thought about how many pieces I wanted to arrange I decided to write the new research question, which was the following:
How can I create my own version and arrangement of the pieces Fuente y Caudal by Paco de Lucia and La chanca by Tomatito in the marimba?
But this question still needed more information so; I decided to write another one and which the current version of the research questions is:
``How can I create and perform my own arrangement of the pieces Fuente y Caudal by Paco de Lucia and La chanca by Tomatito keeping the main features of flamenco music?
With this research question, I can show also the goal which I want to arrive. How I said before, I was not really motivated with the repertoire that I was playing. I had to play always contemporary pieces which I even really liked. Then, in my master, I wanted to explore different possibilities on the marimba, and the best way to do it was playing a different repertoire.
My main goal is can be able to make arrangements of flamenco pieces and create my own repertoire based in this music. Even, I would like to show that marimba is not just an instrument for contemporary or classical music. Marimba is still a new instrument which we have to discover new sounds and new possibilities.
Discovering the National Idiom in Alexander Campbell Mackenzie’s Pibroch Suite: A Performance Guide
This research explores the connection between Scottish traditional music and Alexander Campbell Mackenzie’s classical composition, the Pibroch Suite, through the concept of Scotland’s national idiom. The purpose of this study is to create a performance guide for future violinists who are performing Mackenzie’s Pibroch Suite. The guide includes a foundation for Scottish ornamentation, bowings, rhythm and phrasing also including general historical background to the composer and the Scottish traditional music culture. As well as technical information, this research resulted in an annotated score that incorporates the addition of ornamentations, bowings, phrasings and general stylistic ideas in order to perform the Pibroch Suite in a Scottish and classically informed style. The study focuses on Scotland’s national idiom as a foundation to discovering a performance that blends Mackenzie’s Scottish origins with his classical compositional style. The work will act as a performance guide for future musicians as a basis for their own interpretations of the Pibroch Suite as well as future work in the field of folk/classical crossover.
The Practice Guide for the Sequenza VII
Maxime le Minter
The Sequenza of Berio is for me a special piece from the oboe repertoire. It is one of the only piece coming from what we consider modern music which oboe players arriving to a certain level need to master because this piece is now being asked in most of international competitions and even sometimes for audition for certain ensembles. This piece is also one of the most challenging of our repertoire. Written in 1969, this piece includes many difficulties for the performer such as extended techniques and high level technical difficulties. Because of the many audio versions that are available, it is in our days possible to get an idea of how the piece can be performed. however, I have made in this research a comparison between two reference recordings and how many differences can be found. Some other versions of the piece have been made in order to help the performers to practice the Sequenza. Jaqueline Leclair wrote a “a” version that can be found when you buy the piece in the store. That version, with the allowance of Berio, is a measured version of the piece intended to help the performer play the piece in a literal way and gives guidance regarding the tempo and the necessary time for this piece to be performed. This version has been refused by Heinz Holliger, who argued in letters with J. Leclair about how difficult and out of context her version can be, compared to the normal version. We will see in this research that this version is actually irrelevant to the original concept/idea of the piece if performed literally and also that it brings more troubles that it solves problems because of the impossibility to perform the piece in such a tempo.
The method I used to go through this process is, based on a reference recording, to show the difficulties point per point. For more clarity, I have divided the research per section, and I have put in each section the difficulties that were relevant to me, according to the comparison I have made between versions of the piece, and my own technical struggles. On each of those difficulties, there is a recording of the experimentation, including different ways of playing it, and a recording of which version is the easiest for the performer. Each result and their difficulties have been discussed with one of my three specialists and experimented and recorded by myself so I strongly believe in the result of each of the difficulties I am talking about. Also, every oboe player is different and the best way of tackling those technical issues might be different for all of us, so what I am trying to do here is to help the performer who perform his piece and the results are all according to my own way of playing and of my strong and weak point as a oboe player. I would recommend to the reader to have a flexible view on that work and to take what is helpful for the player. I would be glad to have any performer telling me that he would have used one section of this whole research.
Discovering improvisation tools in Jazz
Ella van der Mespel
Initially I viewed having these two years of my study as a chance to be able to recognise my capabilities, strengths and weaknesses and then delve into the unknown. Improvisation has been something I have longed to have the confidence and skill to be able to do. I have never had any previous training in improvisation and no chance to experiment with it. However by having the desire to gain fundamental skills in improvisation comes a deep fear of the unknown; that there is a chance of failure – that I would never reach the means to be able to improvise in a way that would bring me satisfaction. While accepting that there is always this possibility, my will and determination to experience improvisation and to find my own way to express myself through it, greatly outweighed my fear.
I have always been greatly impressed by those who are ‘brave’ enough to improvise, especially in public -to be able to experience performing with no pre-conceived idea as to what will happen and to have every aspect of musical freedom at one’s disposal. So long as one can improvise fluently, anything is possible with regard to playing and performing music - to have a unique voice which has not been corrupted by others opinions and musical wishes. This was my original and rather romantic idea of what improvisation was. I have since learned that there is far less freedom and more rules than I could have ever imagined.
Whilst having this uneducated and therefore idealistic notion of improvisation, there has been a deep embedded fear – to play music that has not been previously notated and therefore able to be decoded. A fear of playing a ‘wrong note’ – out of key and being unable to get back on the ‘right path.’
I have always loved musical genres where improvisation occurs frequently, such as in folk music and jazz. Despite being raised in a predominantly classical music environment, I have always had an affinity with music played by the greats, such as Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. As my musical tastes began to broaden, the artistry of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli came into the picture.
Perhaps it is therefore of no surprise that Django Reinhardt’s Nuages was the first tune I thought of when considering improvisation as my research topic. Over the last few years I have been fortunate enough to live in a house full of students studying Jazz. They constantly played records, and introduced me to so many artists and jazz vocabulary. During an evening of listening, we stumbled across jazz violinist Didier Lockwood performing Nuages. I fell in love with his performance and started fiddling around with it in the privacy of my home. It is from Didier’s performance that my research began to take shape.
Adapting the marimba into Astor Piazzolla's music
It is common in the percussion world to play the music by Astor Piazzolla without being proficient in the Tango style. A lot of percussionists, including me, simply play the piano or guitar parts on the marimba without making any adjustments to the arrangement, because it sounds good to us and it is technically possible. By copying directly, we think we know about the style, but we are wrong. This issue can also be found in the marimba arrangements of Bach’s Cello Suites. In my opinion, one should research about styles of the compositions if they were not originally written for percussion. Otherwise one will never be as close as possible to the intended style, which is essential for a good performance.
Since Tango is about arranging, my goal is to find a suitable role for the marimba in the music of Astor Piazzolla that is as closely aligned to the stylistic traits of Tango as possible.
De ontwikkeling van de muzikale taal van Arnold Schönberg tussen 1899 en 1908
Patrick van der Linden
Met dit onderzoeksverslag sluit ik mijn studie Theorie der Muziek aan het conservatorium af. Deze Masterstudie vormde een uitbreiding en intensivering van mijn bachelorscriptie. Dit schrijven handelde over tonaliteit in de koorwerken Friede auf Erden (opus 13, Arnold Schönberg) en Entflieht auf leichten Kähnen (opus 2, Webern).
Mijn uitgangspunt was dat ik me zowel in de theorie rondom Schönberg als de muziek van Schönberg wilde verdiepen. Ik wilde onderzoeken of analyse van zijn werk ons kan helpen zijn muziek beter te begrijpen en te waarderen. De keuze voor het onderwerp is ingegeven door nieuwsgierigheid naar Schönberg en zijn werk enerzijds: aan den lijve wilde ik ondervinden hoe zijn composities vanuit een Brahms/Wagner-traditie in amper tien jaar tijd zijn geëvolueerd naar een strikt persoonlijke stijl, in de literatuur meestal met vrije atonaliteit aangeduid. Anderzijds is de keuze gegroeid vanuit mijn werkveld als dirigent: binnen dit veld heb ik veel te maken met concertprogramma’s van koorwerken na Brahms (1833-1897) en Wagner (1813-1883). De Duits georiënteerde koormuziek van de tweede helft van de negentiende eeuw tot en met de Eerste Wereldoorlog raakt me als musicus en als mens. Het is dan ook uitermate bevredigend om te proberen te achterhalen hoe een componist als Schönberg te werk is gegaan, op welke wijze hij bij de traditie aansluit en hoe hij vanuit deze traditie zijn eigen lijn trekt. Het verwerven van kennis en inzicht en de praktische toepassing daarvan in mijn werk als docent en dirigent gaan gelijk op.
De centrale onderzoeksvraag is: hoe ontwikkelt zich de muzikale taal bij Schönberg in het eerste decennium van de twintigste eeuw? Hierbij is de studie gewijd aan een specifiek, wat minder belicht genre uit Schönbergs rijke scheppingsperiode: de klavierliederen uit 1899-1909. De keuze voor juist zijn vocale repertoire zal verder worden toegelicht in hoofdstuk 3.
In het verslag wordt vanuit de probleemstelling antwoord gegeven op onderliggende vragen, zoals:
- Wat is tonaliteit? Wat is functionele tonaliteit?
- Wat is atonaliteit? Voor Schönberg was dit een negatieve term. Is dat terecht? Bestaat atonaliteit?
- Ondermijnt Schönberg de tonaliteit? Met andere woorden: verdwijnt deze? ? Of verrijkt Schönberg de tonaliteit?
THE AFRO-CUBAN DRUM RHYTHMS: Origin, Selection, Analysis and Development of drum patterns applied to Jazz Trombone
My intention with this Artistic Research was to learn more about the afro-Cuban rhythms that I consider one of the bases on which a lot of modern music is built.
As a trombonist, I don´t consider myself only as a jazzman, sincerely I would like to be the most complete musician that I can. Of course, to study jazz gave me many tools for being more comfortable in other styles, but rhythmically, the Latin-American music has still a lot to say.
The compilation of the information for the development of this research report, has allowed me to discover an exciting world to which I am truly attracted.
Since I was a child I have been fascinated and captivated by the percussion.
Music is magic, but if there is something more magical than the music itself , that is the sound of the drum. Since ancient times the drum has been a sacred element in many cultures. The present Western society, with its great technological development, is forgetting the basics of human spirituality.
I sincerely believe that the drum will have an important role in the future, as a healing member of society. Every musician should be percussionist before playing his own instrument.
The sound of a character
Art branches have nourished and affected each other for centuries. They formed common disciplines
and evolved into new formats. Interdisciplinary relationships have offered the artist enrichment of
Music Theater is a concept that brings together music and theater disciplines, and during it’s history it
evolved into different forms. Composers’ goal to merge their compositions with performing arts
formed a basis for forms like Opera, Singspiel, Operetta and Musical. Argentinian composer Mauricio
Kagel introduced the term “New Music theatre” for new forms of music theatre that are different than
the before mentioned traditional forms.
These musical genres, involve stories, various characters, and dramatic situations. For a composer who
incorporates visual art, the score is most of the time related to the story and its characters.
The composer who is also the stage director builds a bridge between two art forms and creates a world
of sound in which she connects music and theater. The particular sound world of a visual aspect has
changed through the centuries within art movements, and each composer presented to the audience
their own adaptation of a story and the sound of their characters in different forms.
This study explores a composer who incorporates visual art’ formed of music, and how this
incorporation is staged.
Unifying two strong art disciplines like theatre and music, the strength of this combination, and the
idea that each theater character carries out a different color and sound increased my desire to improve
myself in this field. I was introduced to this world which combines theatrical and musical elements
during my Master studies, and It was my ambition to write the story of my pieces, develop the
characters as well as the music.
FRIEDRICH GRÜTZMACHER Editions and transcriptions for cello
Ivan Nogueira Martinez
The cello - as the violin or the string instruments in general - has a long and important tradition from hundreds of years. We know about many masters of the cello who could really master the instrument and contribute with something significant for its development in technique and style of playing. I could mention many names: Boccherini, Duport, Kummer, Popper, Tortelier… All these cellist lived in different moments of the history, and they did important contributions to the cello. Those contributions made the cello be like it is today, the way we play it and the way we practice it in classical music. Are we aware of that?
In order to be a good player, we need to spend a lot of time working on the technique. It needs to be so good that we can master our instrument for playing the great repertoire of the instrument. Nowadays, one of the most spread ways of practicing the technique is by playing studies. Every instrument has its studies, which every professional classical musician must have played in order to become a good player.
I always enjoyed playing studies on the cello. During my growing period as a cellist, I played many of the most important works of this kind: starting with S.Lee or Dotzauer, continuing with Duport, Franchomme, Popper, Grützmacher… Every method has been written in a different time, for a different purpose, and to develop different technical skills.
Some years ago, my curiosity about this topic became more intense. It happened in a period where I came back into the practising of the Duport studies after many years of having done so. I realized that the edition I was using was made by the cellist Pierre Fournier (French cellist, 1906-1986). I wondered how the original version of Duport would be like, and where my edition came from. What I found out was something that changed my vision of the work and woke up my curiosity on the field of editions. All the modern versions of this Duport work are based in the edition made by F. Grützmacher. His edition is very different to the original. It reflects the way of playing and the aesthetics of other different period of time and it also reflects the strong personality of this cellist. Those modern versions are closer to the Grützmacher version than to the original, what made me think that this edition may have been so important and popular at its time that it became the standard version of the work. At that moment I started to be interested about Grützmacher. Who was him? How much did he influenced the modern cello style of playing? What can I learn from him?
NARRATIVE APPROACH IN GROOVE-RELATED MUSIC
Carmelo Emanuele Patti
During the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic eras, western composers have used various traditional forms to structure their works. For example, each dance of a Baroque suite had its own rhythmic character and tempo. The sonata form affected composers until the twentieth century, adapting the traditional form to a new musical language. In Jazz music, the tendency to write music following forms borrowed from the past is really popular. The structure, that we can find in a lot of Big Band pieces, formed by an intro, exposition, development and recapitulation with the “shout chorus” (in which the whole ensemble plays the theme or a special) has classical reminiscences (e.g. certain aspects ABA-form). Moreover, if we consider the main Jazz repertoire (e.g. Standards from Real Books) we can also say that almost all the compositions are based on pre-defined forms (e.g. blues, 16/32 bar form, rhythm change form, etc.).
Except “free Jazz” in which the player, starting from a concept has the freedom to develop his musical thinking only through improvisation, in Jazz there is still the tendency to write music starting from rules, such as pre-defined chord progressions or fixed forms. As a composer I found it interesting to find a way to open the traditional use of form in Jazz, and I decided to investigate on how it is possible to relate the aspects of musical narration to the aspects of form. The question that led me to find answers and start this journey was:
How can I relate the aspects of form in my groove-related music by analyzing the aspects of musical narration?
This allowed me to open the traditional way of writing groove-related music, rethinking the use of the constructive approach in writing in “groove”. The use of narrative approach was also a pretext to reflect on the representation of meanings into music, and I included in
my research some reflections about the role of musical perception.
The concept behind the musical narration defines the form, and the narrative approach opened me to a variety of possibilities to develop musical material in my composition. The constructive approach used to build up the groove (at a Micro level) can be implemented with the narrative approach (at a Macro level).
The French cello bowing style from around 1900
The Artistic Research has been full of surprises, opportunities and it even created a world full of new ideas for me which I did not think was possible in the beginning of the research.
When I started to do the research, my first thought was to focus on relaxation in performance but since I already been very interested about French cello playing for a few years I decided to change the path because I found my topic less treated and full of potentials. Thereafter I started in the Performance Practice domain where Job ter Haar became my coach and to have a cellist as a coach when you are a cellist yourself has been very inspiring, helpful and motivating for me.
From a few years ago I have always wanted to have a broader insight in the bowing style and a deeper understanding about it, because I knew that it could led to self-improvement in my own playing and also be useful for other cellists. As I have been fascinated of cellists such as Paul Tortelier, André Navarra and Maurice Gendron for their way of playing the French repertoire and their use of the bowing technique, I was curious to find out more about their heritage in French playing and how they applied this in their musical language. The knowledge about this area has never been close to me, which I will explain later in my motivation.
After a few domain meetings my head was full of new ideas for the Artistic Research. The journey took off with the French bowing style from around 1900 on the cello, where I got the opportunity to research in several elements of the bowing style and how I could apply them to the French repertoire and close related repertoire from that period.
Since then, I have felt that my choice of the subject has been right and has kept me interested to progress in this unknown area for me throughout my Artistic Research.
Learning from a vocal approach on music
Sophie Elisabeth Ehling
When we speak, there is rhythm, intonation and expression in the words that we choose. When we sing, a melody is added, the story surrounded by musical context. When I play the cello, I can express feelings, thoughts and stories without using any words.
I based my research on the relation between language and music, because I wanted to know how to be more expressive in my cello playing. Singers have the text to guide them into making clear what the story is about. As instrumentalists, we might not use words during a performance, but we can definitely learn from involving vocal elements into our approach to music.
That is why I consulted experts in the German, French and English language, as well as singers and cellists, to guide me in my process of making an ‘instrumental translation’ of vocal repertoire, in order to broaden my spectrum of possibilities to be expressive. Based on the results of desk research, text and score analysis, interviews and work sessions with the experts and experimentation on the cello, I made a comparison that led me towards the final result, recording the third movement of César Franck’s sonata, a piece in which I could put a lot of the new things that I had learned.
I hope that this research can assist anyone who is looking for a way to become more ‘outspoken’ in their instrumental playing, and to stimulate instrumentalists to always stay open for new ways to interpret a piece.