I’m pleased to share videos from my recent Delta State University faculty recital.
- International Clarinet Association (Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr and Jean Raines): Reprints from the Early Years: Music for Clarinet by Women
- HeaneyMusings – Joshua Heaney (saxophone): More than a Rough Draft: Debussy’s Rapsodie Pour Orchestre et Saxophone
- The Babel Flute (Lea Pearson): Myth-Conceptions about Breathing
- Nadina Mackie (bassoon): Talent Drills for Orchestral Excerpts
- Julie A. Linder (clarinet): Clarinet basics: pinkies
- The Flute View (Lindsey McChord): Making a Headjoint – A Fusion of Science and Art
- oboealli (Alli Gessner): Do you know the 3 elements of fast articulation?
I’ve been having fun with woodwinds enhanced with pickups or microphones. (If you’re interested in natively-electronic instruments like wind controllers, I’ve written about those elsewhere.)
I still have a lot to learn about working with electronics. But here are a few observations in case anyone finds them helpful.
Which instrument(s) to use? I find lower-pitched instruments to be more fun, since they can provide convincing bass lines. Electronics can pitch a high instrument down, of course, but I haven’t had the success I would like making this sound good. So far I’ve installed pickups into a bassoon bocal, a bass clarinet neck, and an English horn bocal. I’ve used microphones for other instruments.
Which gadgets to use? I’m personally using the Little-Jake pickups, a looper, and a multi-effects unit. When I started getting into effects pedals, I found it alarmingly easy to accumulate quite a few. This was a good and inexpensive way to get started. But I quickly discovered that it was becoming unwieldy to try use use more than a few in performance (I literally had to walk back and forth across the stage to get to them all). A multi-effects unit turned out to be much more practical, with a few foot switches I can configure to operate a large number of effects. (I’m currently using one by Boss.) It takes a little more advance setup than individual pedals, but greatly simplifies the onstage footwork. And I was pretty easily able to sell off the individual pedals to fund the purchase.
Which effects to use? I think the best-known guitar-type effects are distortion, delay/echo, and reverb. Those are fun to play with, but I’ve become more interested in ones I can use to give my instruments new capabilities, rather than just give their sounds a little grittiness or echo. For example, smart harmonizers (which add harmony lines based on a selected key) and pitch shifters (which add harmony lines based on selected intervals) make my instruments polyphonic, a significant upgrade for a woodwind player. And a looper, or even a cleverly-used delay, can create counterpoint.
Here are a few examples of my experiments:
- bassoon blog (Betsy Sturdevant): Guidance for High School Orchestral Bassoon (and Woodwind) Playing
- Best. Saxophone. Website. Ever. (Zach Sollitto): The Art of Mouthpiece Refacing with Thomas Occhiuto
- Dudukhouse Blog: Mastering the Duduk: Understanding Key and Pitch Options for the Traditional Armenian Instrument [note: commercial site, but good info]
- Jennifer Cluff (flute): A very quiet whistle
- Everything Saxophone (Ben Britton): Achieving Your Best Sound from Low B♭ Through Altissimo
- The Flute View (Morgan Pappas): How To Be Your Own Agent: 5 Tips for Booking Your Own Concerts
- DoctorFlute (Angela McBrearty): Bending Pitch to Work on Intonation
- Khara Wolf (oboe/flute): Is an embouchure injury possible?
- Meerenai Shim (flute): 3rd octave contrabass flute fingering ideas
- Hodge Products, Inc.: Latest News (oboe/bassoon, Tim Hodge): Are Synthetic Reeds Better than Cane? [disclaimer: could be construed as a commercially-motivated post, but contains good information]
- Flute Journal (Jessica Valiente): The 19th-Century French Five-Key Flute and the Modern Boehm-System Flute in Cuban Charanga
- Blue Moon Bassoon Blog (Amanda Pierce): 10 Helpful Things I Wish I Knew Before Teaching Private Music Lessons
- Rachel Taylor Geier (flute): The Gizmo Key
- The Flute Examiner (Keith Hanlon): Arm-Chair Experts and Filtering Forum Content
- bassoon blog (Betsy Sturdevant): Playing the bassoon in an orchestra
- Jennet Ingle | Oboist: Reedmaking Fear and Anxiety
- Joffe Woodwinds (John Yoakum): A Guide to Being a Studio Musician
- The Flute View (Terri Sánchez): On Practicing Slow
- Blue Moon Bassoon Blog – Blue Moon Bassoon LLC (Amanda Pierce): What’s Wrong With My Bassoon?
- DoctorFlute (Angela McBrearty): Playing with an Open Throat
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.)