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the LEVNET zone, part 2

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Posted: 7/30/2009 8:35:16 PM
FredM
From: Eastleigh, Hampshire, U.K.
Joined: 12/7/2007

threads posts

[i]"Here is a video of American mezzo soprano Jessye Norman singing DIDO'S LAMENT from Henry Purcell's DIDO AND AENEAS. As some of the commenters mentioned, she is flat throughout. Personally, although I have loved Miss N.'s voice in the past, I can't listen to this. " - Coalport [/i]

I can listen to this - but I wouldnt choose to.. I do not know this piece (but I am sure I have heard it before) and could not judge why I do not like the vocal performance, but I dont.. in fact, if I had not been informed that she was flat, I would not have known that she was "out of tune" and would have assumed that it was supposed to sound like that, and would have thought that I just didnt like the piece.

So thats my confession for the day! - I know what I like, and I know what I dont like, but most of the time I probably dont know why I like or dislike a piece of music!

Hmmm - I dont think I would even have liked it if she had been a Tvox... 8-(

Posted: 7/30/2009 8:37:42 PM
Thereminstrel
From: UK
Joined: 4/15/2008

threads posts

FredM wrote "Is there a possibility of having a web page somewhere, on which a list can be kept, with links?"

Fred - to an extent this is what I've done. My playlists (over 90) are "public" on my channel page, and are categorised by both thereminist and make of theremin. So, if you want to listen to Lydia Kavina, or hear what a Tak E-Winds theremin sounds like ... simply click!

I do a theremin search at YT once every day or two, checking for new additions ... so, if there's a new Armen Ra Theremin video, for example, I add it to the appropriate playlist as soon as possible. I'll continue to do this.

To save people having to visit my channel, I also prepared a short video with many (but not all) of these playlists linked to by annotations. The idea was that if someone wants access to these links regularly to check for updates they can "favourite" the link-filled video so all the links are then accessible by playing it on their own channel page. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but I've hesitated to mention this here, as I don't want to be accused of ego-stroking or self-promotion, even though the video is to promote ALL thereminists and theremins I've found at YT.

I don't much like the idea of an actual "official" page or chain e-mail, especially one that gives ratings. I think Youtube's own rating system is sufficient. Fred, you mentioned a few pages back that you "still panic when pasting a link to your own music". Whenever I post a video I feel physically sick, and almost dread anyone noticing it. Chain e-mails or such would completely and utterly inhibit me ... and terrify me even more than those scary people with white faces and gloves!
Posted: 7/30/2009 9:24:27 PM
FredM
From: Eastleigh, Hampshire, U.K.
Joined: 12/7/2007

threads posts

[i]"Fred - to an extent this is what I've done. My playlists (over 90) are "public" on my channel page" - Thereminstrel [/i]

How do I find your "channel page"?

Also, I empathise with you regarding the feelings one gets re posting on youtube etc.. When I submitted my entry for the BBC Galapagos contest (my first attempt at doing music for a video) I kept re-mixing the tracks, trying to make it "better" and kept finding more awful flaws, and every attempt to fix these made it worse.. In the end, I sat down at the keyboard and did the whole thing again, about an hour before the closing deadline.. I was sure that I needed to sync the music tightly to the video - so was playing while watching the monitor - bloody tortuous!
The winning entries turned out to be only loosly synced to the video, but (although at the time I did not see it that way) the music was much more sensitive to the subject matter.
I was so stressed by the idea that some 'real' musicians would be critically evaluating my work, that it made me physically sick.

I think this is one reason that perhaps I get on my "high horse" when people are critical of those who post imperfect performances - I am sure that some of these posters have sweated blood and bravely overcome their inhibitions to make that posting.
Posted: 7/30/2009 9:25:31 PM
Etherspiel
From: Los Angeles
Joined: 3/8/2005

threads posts

[i]"You know why orchestras sound so good?

Because all the instruments are a little off tune."[/i]

I don't know where you heard that, but it is incorrect. I work with orchestras every day. They do not sound good because they are out of tune. When someone in the orchestra is out of tune we stop rolling, re-tune and do another take. When someone in the orchestra is out of tune it sounds terrible and is very obvious.

[i]"If you want perfection, play back a MIDI file of your favorite orchestral piece. Listen to it over and over again."[/i]

I spent years doing orchestral mockups for feature films, so I know a thing or two about midi orchestras. To explain why a midi orchestra doesn't sound as good as a real one does not have to do with intonation - it has to do with the acoustics of several instruments vibrating in the same space, as opposed to electronic production where this phenomenon does not happen. There are many other reasons why an "electronic" orchestra does not sound the same as a real one (including how well it the programmer made the midi file, and the sonic limitations of instrument modeling), but it would take quite a bit of space to explain.

[i]"When was the well tempered scale adopted? Would you prefer 18th century plumbing too?"[/i]

I think you meant to say the "tempered scale" - not to be confused with Bach's workbook, "The Well-Tempered Clavier", which was written expressly to exploit the invention of tempered keyboard tuning - which allowed instruments to play in all keys without the need to retune.

Incidentally, the tempered scale is what we currently use in western music - I am not sure what it has to do exactly with 18th century plumbing, however. ;)
Posted: 7/30/2009 9:43:30 PM
Thereminstrel
From: UK
Joined: 4/15/2008

threads posts

Fred>>
My Channel page is here! (http://www.youtube.com/user/Thereminstrel) Click "Playlists" in the purple bar across the top and they'll all appear down the right side. Click a playlist to open it, then click a video and it will play on the left. The video with the links "Youtube Theremin Guide" is here! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypwRSPDv3OI) They won't all be to your taste. I try not make additions to the lists based on my own preference, as I don't want to be judgemental about anyone else's playing. However, generally speaking, I only list those who have been playing more than one year, and who upload videos on a fairly regular basis.

Posted: 7/30/2009 9:59:40 PM
Etherspiel
From: Los Angeles
Joined: 3/8/2005

threads posts

[i]"I think this is one reason that perhaps I get on my "high horse" when people are critical of those who post imperfect performances - I am sure that some of these posters have sweated blood and bravely overcome their inhibitions to make that posting."[/i]

Fred -

Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a "perfect performance". Years ago when I was working as an arranger, I moved to LA and my first job was working for Quincy Jones. One day we were listening to a live recording he did in the 1960's, where Freddie Hubbard during a solo hit a "wrong" note. Instead of quickly going to a different note, Freddie swelled on the note and then resolved it to the correct chord tone. I remarked how this was a good trick at making the mistake sound intentional, and also showed Freddie's inventiveness and musicality. I remember that Q said, "there are no wrong notes in music, only wrong ways of resolving them."

That has always stuck with me. It is one of the hallmarks of a great musician that when they make a mistake, it does not sound like one. Listen to Clara's recordings closely - she did not always hit the pitch immediately - but she had a good ear and quickly corrected the pitch. This has nothing to do with perfection - it has to do with good ear training - or in Clara's case, perfect pitch.

The difference is that some people cannot hear when they are off pitch, and do not correct it. The good news, however, is that anyone can develop a good sense of pitch through practice and ear training excercises. It is my feeling that with the theremin, this is more important than with many instruments, as it is so very easy to play out of tune.
Posted: 7/31/2009 1:25:33 AM
fintushel
From: Santa Rosa, California USA
Joined: 7/25/2005

threads posts

(Oops. Never mind.)
Posted: 7/31/2009 7:23:46 AM
coalport
From: Canada
Joined: 8/1/2008

threads posts

FredM wrote:
Re: Jessye Norman's DIDO

"Hmmm - I dont think I would even have liked it if she had been a Tvox... "

***********************

DIDO'S LAMENT may not be your cup o' tea but, like it or not, it is considered to be one of the great classics of English music. You should not need to be familiar with the piece, however, to recognize that the singer is flat. No matter.

De gustibus etc.....

Just for fun, here is a recording I did a number of years ago of the same piece. The theremin is the Moog Ethervox. Somewhere around I have an even earlier recording I did using Samuel Hoffman's RCA. I think I could play it better it I were to take another crack at it today.

http://www.peterpringle.com/music/dido.mp3
Posted: 7/31/2009 10:43:52 AM
GordonC
From: Croxley Green, Hertfordshire, UK
Joined: 10/5/2005

threads posts

I don't think that's quite what Fred was saying.

I can imagine myself in a hypothetical conversation a few years ago, after watching the video with someone who was an expert.

Ex: What did you think of that?
Me: Didn't like it.
Ex: Why?
Me: Not sure. Not my cup of tea. Sounds like my Aunt Florrie singing in church.
Ex: You do know she was singing it wrong?
Me: What? Really? But it was on the TV with an orchestra and everything!
Ex: Do you know what she was doing wrong?
Me: Too loud? Too slow? Wrong tune? Too pompous?
Ex: She was FLAT you dunderhead!
Me: Ah, thank you. So that's "flat." Now I know what Aunt Florrie does wrong.


(These days I know what flat sounds like.)
Posted: 7/31/2009 11:20:56 AM
FredM
From: Eastleigh, Hampshire, U.K.
Joined: 12/7/2007

threads posts

"Me: Too loud? Too slow? [b]Wrong tune?[/b] Too pompous?" - GordonC

ROFLMAO!!! :-))
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