I’m pleased to share videos from my recent Delta State University faculty recital, featuring the compositions of Yusef Lateef. A few are my own adaptations for altered instrumentation.
I’m pleased to share videos from my recent Delta State University faculty recital. I performed for a reduced in-person audience due to COVID-19 precautions.
All the repertoire involves electronics of some kind: prerecorded tracks, a looper, an actual electronic instrument (the Akai EWI), and/or live signal processing. This was my first time doing something so electronics-intensive, and I was learning to use some new equipment, so I’m including here some videos from the live recital and some from a dress rehearsal depending on audio quality, etc. (You will still notice some distortion and other issues, which I’m learning from and hoping to improve in future performances.)
I’m pleased to share videos from my recent Delta State University faculty recital. I performed for a very small in-person audience due to COVID-19 precautions.
All the repertoire is unaccompanied. The program begins with multiple-woodwinds repertoire by Samuel Adler, Kyle Tieman-Strauss, and Nicole Chamberlain (a world premiere of a commissioned piece), followed by some odds and ends on recorders, clarinet, and tinwhistles.
Here are videos from my recent faculty recital at Delta State University. I performed the Saint-Saëns oboe, bassoon, and clarinet sonatas, plus the flute Romance and “The Swan” from The Carnival of the Animals as a baritone saxophone transcription.
“The Swan” is originally for cello, so I assumed it might work well as a baritone saxophone transcription. It turns out it really fits quite comfortably in the alto saxophone’s range, but I decided to take it on as a baritone piece anyway as a personal challenge.
Here are some videos from my recent Delta State University faculty recital. I enjoyed tackling Brett Wery’s challenging Sonata for multiple woodwinds (flute, clarinet, alto saxophone) and piano, plus some little oboe pieces and the André Previn bassoon sonata. As always, the goal was to challenge myself, so, as always, the performance had some hiccups. But it was a valuable growth experience for me and a chance to perform some new repertoire.
This year I played all jazz at my Delta State University faculty recital. Program and some selected videos are below.
I’m very much a part-time jazz player, so it was fun to spend the summer trying to get my chops in shape to play tunes in a variety of styles on a variety of instruments. This was my new record for number of instruments on a recital: flute, oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon (electric bassoon), soprano/alto/tenor saxophones, and EWI, 9 in all. I’ve written previously about the challenges of improvising on multiple instruments, which I suspect might be surprising to non-doublers or non-improvisers.
An additional challenge is that I live in a small town in an isolated area, so I had to bring in some rhythm section players from out of town and rehearsal time was extremely limited. Enjoy the videos warts and all.
I have previously done some things with bassoon and electronics, but I took that to a new level this time around with a Little Jake pickup and a few new effects pedals. This was lots of fun and I’m already brainstorming how I can use the Little Jake with some other instruments.
I performed a recital with a faculty colleague on our campus at Delta State University, and again at the University of Mississippi (“Ole Miss”). Program and videos are below.
The idea behind the first half was to play Paris Conservatory competition pieces from 1916 (100 years ago). The Büsser and Lefebvre pieces are not unknown, and the Fauré Fantaisie for flute and piano is core repertoire. The Paul Puget Solo for bassoon and piano was much harder to find, as it seems to have been out of print for some time. The University of Michigan library has it, and was willing to send their yellowed copy on interlibrary loan for a fee. (I am hoping to get it up on the IMSLP. Update: it’s now on the IMSLP.) If anybody is familiar with the piece, I would be curious to hear from you.
No special theme on the second half, just a couple of contemporary works I wanted to do. Greg Pattillo’s Three Beats for beatbox flute was a fun challenge and a crowd pleaser. (My beatboxing has a long way to go. Also: I bought the piece as a PDF through Pattillo’s website, but the site seems to have been updated and now I can’t find it to link to.) And Roberto Molinelli’s Four Pictures from New York is a charming piece for saxophonist playing soprano, alto, and tenor, performed here with piano but also available in several ensemble versions. I copied Otis Murphy‘s substantial cuts to the third movement, which make sense for the saxophone/piano texture.
For over a decade, all of my solo recital performances have been on multiple woodwind instruments. Last month I performed (twice) a recital program with pieces played on flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and three saxophones. Here are some of the things I do to prepare.
- Practice the physical changes. I opened my program with an oboe piece, and followed that with a flute piece with a delicate entrance. As the recital approached, I made sure to follow each oboe practice session by practicing that flute entrance, to be sure I could do it under those conditions. Something that didn’t work very well: after the oboe, flute, and bassoon pieces, my hands and jaw tended to be a little tense for clarinet playing. If I were preparing this recital again, I would bump the clarinet to the end of my practice sessions to work on playing relaxed even when fatigued.
- Practice the mental changes. If I can put myself into the right place mentally for the instrument I’m about to play, my physical technique seems to fall into place. Sometimes I will do some rotating warmups—play, for instance, some scales on one instrument, and then immediately play them on another, and another. That gives me a chance to practice shifting mental gears. Once I have my program order set, I also make liberal use of Post-it Notes to give myself reminders between pieces: “take a moment to relax embouchure,” “keep breath support strong in low register,” “clear moisture from octave vent.”
- Make thorough checklists. With seven instruments on my most recent recital, I surely would have forgotten something—a bassoon seat strap, a case of clarinet reeds, a piece of sheet music. I made a detailed list and used it to set up for a dress rehearsal. Sure enough, there were a few things that hadn’t made it onto the list, and I was able to retrieve those items and add them to the list before the first public performance. When I traveled a few hours for another performance, I was confident that I had everything I needed.
- Use good stands. Good ones are sturdy and make it easy to set down or pick up an instrument without fuss. Since I played flute, oboe, clarinet, and bassoon on the first half without leaving the stage, having some good stands kept things moving smoothly and let me stay focused.
- Do thorough warmups. As the performance approaches, it’s tempting to practice in panic mode, and skip over things like warmups. I always play much better if I do my warmups faithfully all the way up to the day of the performance. I find that if I warm up slowly and thoroughly on each instrument before the performance (this might take a few hours with multiple instruments! I usually do it in the morning), then I’m able to switch between them more easily.
Break a leg!
I put on a faculty recital in August with a colleague. Here is the program and some videos:
Here are some videos from a guest recital I did at the University of Tennessee at Martin a few weeks ago. Among other things, I played Ástor Piazzolla’s Tango Etudes, originally for solo flute, in my own arrangement for multiple woodwinds soloist.