Thursday, April 13, 2006

Progress report

I have finished class time as an undergrad. All that remains is my final performance exam on April 19. Then I'm off on a cruise ship until mid-July. I hope to use the spare ship time (which is abundant, I'm told) for composing. It'll be an exercise to improve my discipline and self-motivation, which will be handy for my out-of-school life. I'm rather looking forward

My colleagues in the Giusto Brass Quintet asked me to arrange some material for them, and they're taking my arrangement of "Paranoid Android" on their Ontario tour. I wish them the best, and hopefully our artistic relationship will continue into the future. I'm increasingly interested in the instrumental possibilities of chamber music that complement the potential of more jazz-based ensembles.

A couple of weeks ago I participated in a "Manhattan on the Rideau" master class at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. It was one of these teleconference things set up between the NAC and the Manhattan School of Music - the McGill Jazz Orchestra was playing student compositions/arrangements while composer/arranger Michael Abene critiqued them from an MSM classroom. He had interesting things to say: some remarks were rather obvious, and others were pretty subjective and could be taken with a grain of salt. It was a fresh, welcome perspective on the craft though, and he seemed like someone I could work well with, if the opportunity should arise.

Recent inspirations:
Guillermo Klein y los Guachos - Live in Barcelona
Gyorgy Ligeti - Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano; Ten Pieces for Wind Quintet; Six Bagatelles for Wind Quintet; Sonata for Solo Viola (Sony Classical)
The collected poems of Kenneth Rexroth
Michael Herring's Vertigo featuring David Binney - Coniferous Revenge

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