Today is the big day and the last day of our concert preparation. We have a short rehearsal at 3:30 and then the concert tonight at 8:00. We would love to see a large number of people there to experience this great music. David Lang's Are You Experienced? featuring Steve Dumaine on electric tuba and Richard Strauss's Symphony for Winds are the concert selections and the audience is in for quite a wild ride. We hope to see you there!
In the meantime, here are a few more blog posts from some of the ensemble members. These will be posted along with pictures and selections from their parts outside Dekelboum before the concert tonight.
Performing with UMWO has been a wonderful opportunity for me. I have been experimenting with ways to project enough sound amongst the many wind instruments in this particular hip composition; I feel the triple pianissimos prove a difficult challenge for the limited string instruments present in the score. To me, the piece is an amalgamation of different sound productions and offbeat rhythmic placements, which sound juxtaposed but are accurate to the composer's intent. The story is composed in a critical sense which touches on some important social events, which are conveyed through the narrator's theatrical storytelling.
-Gozde Yasar, cello
Trying to describe David Lang's "Are You Experienced?" is difficult for many reasons. Among them, I'm not quite sure why he titled the piece "Are You Experienced?" But then again, I could ask why Lang did a lot of things in the piece and I probably would not get a satisfying answer. Honestly, as a musician of about ten years I have never "experienced" anything like this piece. It has Narrator and Electric Tuba. Do you know how many pieces call for Narrator AND Electric Tuba? It's more than you
think (i.e. more than zero).
So if Lang is asking the audience, "Are You Experienced?" I think the answer is a collective "No. No I am not."
-Michael Goldman, bassoon
Playing the Strauss piece for UMWO this rotation has certainly been an interesting experience to say the least. This has honestly been one of the most frustrating pieces that I’ve played this semester. This piece sounds cool so that was good, but it was such a killer to play. There are places in this piece that just seem to go on forever without any breaks for me to breathe. Examples of this can be seen in the fourth movement where the woodwinds have oh so fun sixteenth note runs to play over and over. Even though rehearsals could be quite tedious and left me with the feeling that my mouth and hands were going to fall off, the fact that I can play through this piece well, is an extreme accomplishment. This was just one of those pieces that you hate to love. So, long story short…the piece sounds really good now that we’ve completely put it together, but Strauss it wouldn’t kill you to put in a few more rests!
-Amanda Weeks, clarinet
Lang's Are you Experienced? has been a true challenge and pleasure to play. It is a very "out there" piece while at the same time becoming very interesting and unique. I personally have never heard or played a piece quite like it and am glad to have that experience. It is quite neat for me as a guitar player to hear an interpretation of Hendrix but through a tuba. I do not think you will ever hear anything quite like it and are in for quite a ride.
-Will Brumbach, guitar