June 26, 2013

Day 32

A great burger! I ate all of it!
Okay, so I just got back from seeing the faculty concert at the Mark O'Connor camp, and it was fantastic! Brilliant way to end the day. They had Mark O'Connor perform of course, but then they had all these other crazy awesome violinists perform, all of whom had unique and such characterful styles! Then at the end, a host of them came back and all started improv jamming together! It was truly inspiring and super cool to watch!
Going kinda backwards here, sorry.
Had a great third day all 'round at the camp! Started out taking a second Alex DePue masterclass, since each of them are different. This one was pretty cool; we had a participant in the course who was a tripple-music degree major and professor, classically trained, but was with us because she said she wasn't good at improvising. DePue held her in high esteem, and she played the Kreisler violin prelude and Allegro beautifully! DePue talked about practicing and embellishing songs that we already knew with jazzy licks and such before moving on to full on improv! Really good advice.
Next, I took a class with Daniel Roumain that focused on making the violin sound like different instruments without the use of electronics! This was really neat. We got to learn how to make rudimentary drum kit noises, make the violin sound like a human breathing or a shallow wind, and make it's sound shiver and vibrate like an electric guitar's! Really fun class! It was pretty zen too; he had this whole "one with the earth, sacred ground" thing going on! A little deep for my taste, but he did mention that you must have a relationship with your violin, which I do agree on! Really fun and cool class!
The third class that I wanted to go to I couldn't, because it was only for violas! Darn! So instead I went to another class... that was only for violas too! This one was taught by Wallace, though, so it was okay. There was a cellist there, so I didn't feel too awkward! We learned about Texas fiddling, and a simple Texas fiddle tune. Wallace had the good graces to pick one in D major, so it could be played on the violin without weird octave shifting! This was a really fun class. I'm taking his "Let's Compose a Waltz" class tomorrow, which is supposed to be for viola, but he says that anyone can join! Thank goodness!
Had a great burger for dinner, as you can see up top! We've been going to that burger place every day, because they have like the best burgers ever (and yes, I have eaten at Five Guys; these are far superior!) Went to the Mark O'Connor discussion panel, which this time was O'Connor talking about his method program and books. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, he promoted American fiddle music, which is great; we need more of that, especially with the decreasing interest in the violin. But he did so sometimes by putting down the classical genre and the techniques and methods taught for that genre. I did not like that at all, I thought that was a rather poor way of promoting your product; if you have to put another subject down in order to raise yours, to me that shows poor advertising strategy and a lack of understanding or appreciation for the subject which you are decrying. Not saying O'Connor is bad (in the jam session concert tonight, he looked like he was having a great time, and looked appreciative of all of the talent that surrounded him), or that his method is bad or whatever, I'm just saying that he was a little extreme in his opinions and representing his thoughts.
Sorry to rant. I did have an amazing day despite my dressing down of the panel discussion. The concert was phenomenal, the classes were spectacular, and I look forward to tomorrow's classes and concerts and panel discussion!

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