November 23, 2010


So we've got the sun back today, but during the transaction somehow lost all the warmth. Still it was glorious to walk to school this morning and catch its golden rays playing among the leaves of one of the giant willows on campus.

I've finished my morning practice and am now back in the lounge doing some listening. There's a great electronic database of recorded music called the Naxos Music Library to which I now have access as a student at Northwestern. It provides streaming audio of about 50,000 cd-length recordings that I can listen to free of charge (as long as I'm still in school--after I leave I'd have to pay a subscription fee) and the repertoire available is stunningly varied. Right now I'm listening to a trumpet/organ recital by a guy named Reinhold Frederich. It caught my eye because it includes an unaccompanied trumpet solo I played for my senior recital at Juilliard: Michi (paths) by Toru Takemitsu. It is a dramatically meditative piece and requires some clever acrobatics in the use of a harmon mute. The soloist must quickly switch between muted and open trumpet constantly throughout the performance. In order to facilitate smooth and quiet transitions and maintain the mood and pacing of the work when I played it, I rigged up a rickety old wire music stand to hold my harmon at just the right height so I could place the bell of my trumpet on the mute when I needed to and then just as quickly back away. This took some getting used to, but ultimately proved a bit more effective than trying to play the entire six-minute piece one handed (my left hand would have been occupied always holding the mute at the ready)...especially 'cause there are some pretty high notes towards the end, and those are really hard to play one-handed!

I've got no classes today, but in just a little while will be participating in two research studies, my proceeds from which should total about $18...WOOHOO! Yay for science:)

1 comment:

  1. Ha! I remember when you played that at the recital in Utah how inventive I thought your harmon mute / music stand acrobatics were. I want to hear you play again. Maybe someday we will get to come out and hear a recital.