Wednesday, April 22, 2015

All the latest

Since my last post, B’shnorkestra Global Concertos has been making great progress and gathering much momentum.  We had our first ensemble rehearsal on Sunday and worked through all five brand new concertos!  All this week we did sectionals (string, rhythm and horn) to try to be as prepared and tight as possible for rehearsals with the soloists which begin this weekend.  It feels so exciting and gratifying to finally be playing this music after months of solitary work on it.  I love the creative process of writing – but what really makes me happy is actually collaborating with the great musical minds in my ensemble and the new experience of working with these soloists.  I continue to learn more ways to best communicate my ideas to musicians whether they are classically trained string players, jazz horn players or an Indian vocalist – everyone approaches the music differently.  During the writing process, I felt nervous as to whether or not I could accomplish what I set out to do.  However after the first round of rehearsals and more meetings with soloists – I feel more confidant that we will be able to collectively create something very special.  In these compositions, I tried to both lean on each player’s strengths and also push them out of there comfort zone.  By doing that my hope is that we can all meet in a middle ground – and it will be a place that none of us have ever been before.  
Today I met with the incredible Christos Govetas who plays clarinet and brings so much to the Seattle music community both as a musician and in the many events featuring Greek, Turkish and Balkan music that he and his wife Ruth Hunter coordinate.  He played for me the modes and scales he had figured out over different sections of the piece - and they sounded amazing!  It added such a different flavor to the composition - I am very excited for his concerto. 

Here is a little more information on Christos:
Christos Govetas is a multi-instrumentalist who brings his voice and earthy clarinet style from his homeland in Eastern Macedonia. After moving to this country in his teens, Christos discovered his love of traditional music and went on to learn regional music from all over Greece, Turkey, the Balkans and the North African Arab world. In addition to the clarinet, Christos plays the zourná, bouzouki and outi, bringing his 30 years of performing experience to the mix. Christos is a beloved teacher at many music and dance workshops and has performed and toured extensively in the US, Canada, Europe and Greece. In addition to leading Dromeno, Christos also plays with Pasatempo Rebetika, and also plays laouto and sings regional Greek music with Ziyiá. Christos is the 1999 recipient of the prestigious Northwest Folklife Fellowship Award honoring his cultural contribution to the Greek-American and Folk dance communities. Christos is also a member of Bill Frisell’s  Grammy nominated The Intercontinentals.

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