Tuesday, February 17, 2015

world of uncle Leos

Rehearsal Date: 02/14/15
Orchestra: Chamber
Repertoire rehearsed: Stand By Me and a little bit of Nirvana

I'm an uncle now!
My sister was in labour as we were rehearsing on Saturday, and the baby girl was born right around the time we stopped rehearsing! I still haven't been able to meet my baby niece yet, but I plan on seeing her today! So exciting!

I always knew I'd be an uncle one day, because it seems to me, all uncles are named Leo... I can think of two different uncle Leo characters from two different sitcoms, and even the person I am named after was my father's uncle Leo...

Anyway, we went over the chord progression of Stand By Me again, this time with more complicated patterns. Faster arpeggios in different order of notes, adding non-chordal tones, double stops, etc. I am convinced that you really get to know your instrument better in a more complete way when you learn a song this way. We learn not only how the progression goes, but how to play them while understanding exactly what you are doing harmonically, and what that means to your fingering patterns. Also working on the progression with arpeggios, scales, and double stops also act as technical exercises. At faster tempo and adding more notes, you can really get a nice workout for both your left and right hand, especially when the notes within the arpeggios are randomized and non-chordal tones are added. So please keep working on it. I really believe in this.

Next week, I promise we will have some version of Leonard Bernstein's (possibly another uncle Leo??? I know he had two daughters himself, but I don't even know if he had any siblings...) "America", from the West Side Story. I intend on doing the arrangement myself, so I will bring in something to get us started on the piece, even if I don't finish it completely.

As a bit of an excuse, I am playing in an opera right now, and it's taking up a lot of my time with so many rehearsals...

In the meanwhile, please familiarize yourself with the song esp. if you don't know it at all/well.
Here's the clip from the film. Music starts around a little after the 2 minute mark, if you want to skip the dialogues that lead to the song.


Amazing music, and great lyrics.

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