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#3841 old_and_grumpy

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Posted 20 February 2020 - 15:39

do the instruments/players in that Take Five video sound almost constantly out of tune with each other? 

 

I had another listen and there are certainly occasions when they are playing close harmonies when they maybe "stretch the boundaries" but I wonder if this might be down to whatever tuning system their recorders are using?  Jazz harmonies can push at the boundaries anyway, so maybe they would sound even stranger in instruments tuned in some version of meantone?  Just a thought!


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#3842 Zixi

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Posted 23 February 2020 - 13:18

When I was in my 40s I discovered that buying music I thought I probably wouldn't like but was recommended by someone younger than 40 was a bad idea... I ended up with CDs I couldn't actually listen to; so - despite my regard for OaG -  I didn't make the mistake of watching the vid because I *know* I hate jazz :lol:  I'm the only person I know who went to New Orleans and had to dodge the street musicians... 


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#3843 old_and_grumpy

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Posted 23 February 2020 - 15:10

 I'm the only person I know who went to New Orleans and had to dodge the street musicians... 

 

But, what has that got to do with jazz??? :)

 

Jazz at least can be regarded as keeping the art of improvisation alive - romantic composers more-or-less purged it from "classical" music but it would have been an essential element of musicianship when the recorder was in its heyday.


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#3844 Zixi

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Posted 23 February 2020 - 16:16

I do agree that improvisation is a good thing to do - a meaningful challenge and that jazz can indeed be thanked for that.

 

I don't know why I don't like (most) jazz, I just don't. I have tried... but it didn't work out. I do have a couple of albums by Pat Metheny (A Map of the World and One Quiet Night but they don't sound very jazz-like to me...perhaps they aren't.

 

 Actually, I've just found myself wondering how I'd define jazz...


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#3845 anacrusis

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Posted 23 February 2020 - 21:54

*wave*

hello all, apologies for long silence, have been struggling with burnout at work and am off sick, but the plus side of that is that I have a bit of time on my hands, and am slowly trying to mend and distract myself. I see Maizie is booked in on the Jacqueline Sorel recorder maintenance course - so sorry I'll miss you Maizie! I too am on one of her courses, but on the recorder building one the week before, have had my first day (and only my third time of ever turning wood!) and am absolutely loving it. Jacqueline is easy going and straightforward, and today we've turned a middle joint and sanded it, making the tenons and turning a cylindrical block of wood into a tapered shape. Tomorrow we'll drill the holes in that, and then start work on the head. The courses are set up so that if one is a beginner, she can talk one through the process and help out, if more experienced, she'll more or less deliver a masterclass, and I've already learned a lot :D . She's going to turn the more finnicky details for me, as she rightly points out it's not a class in woodturning, but then I get to learn about tuning and voicing in a bit more detail. 

Having also read my way through pages of thread since I last logged in - this is of course another way to go about acquiring yet another recorder.... watch this space ;)

PS - have also taken my Canon camera and am photographing the work as I go...


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#3846 elemimele

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Posted 24 February 2020 - 07:19

Lovely to hear from you again, anacrusis, and looking forward to seeing all the pictures!

I've been dividing my time between recorder and flute, which has been educational if nothing else. It's made me realise how strong flute is in its lowest octave compared to recorder in its lowest. Also I'm struck by the differneces in which notes are good on a flute compared to on a recorder. It makes me wonder how much people like Telemann, writing for both, must have considered recorder when they wrote their flute music. I am not greatly worried about authenticity provided things sound good, because I don't think 18th C musicians worried about it either; they seem quite happy to shift things from one instrument to another. But composers must have been aware their music would be played on the 'wrong' instrument, so did they plan things so that it would still be OK? With all of Telemann's jumping up and down, and pretending to play in two parts on a one-voice instrument, the lower notes sound rather weak on a recorder compared to flute. And yet it's delicious on both. He never exceeded the range of the recorder in all his fantasies, despite the flute's having a few extra useable notes at the top - but he made fairly free use of the top C# which a recorder hasn't got. What was he thinking, when he wrote these? Did he expect a bit of recordering to happen? Fluting certainly makes me change how I want to play recorder; it makes me want to linger on those low notes to make sure they come out properly. Lots to learn...


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#3847 Zixi

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Posted 24 February 2020 - 10:06

anacrusis - I hope you're feeling better - take good care of yourself and enjoy the time!! I too look forward to the pics - enjoy the course! It sounds like major fun!


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#3848 Maizie

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Posted 24 February 2020 - 10:08

anacrusis, that sounds wonderful!  What are you making? (Yes, a recorder, I know that :P I mean as in size/pitch/etc...though this may become clear once we see the pictures!)

I did once talk to a maker at the Early Music Festival, about their recorder making course, and who asked if I had much lathe experience.  When I said 'none at all' there was a definite unwelcome vibe.  So it will be interesting to see how this repair/maintenance day goes, to see if I leave with an immense desire to try doing it myself (which will obviously be helped by after this, Jacqueline Sorel will no longer be a 'scary stranger'!)  I'm so very fortunate to live within commute distance of there as well which makes it easier and/or more tempting!!


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#3849 AdLibitum

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Posted 24 February 2020 - 13:02

I'm sorry to hear about your burnout, anacrusis. The recorder making course will hopefully help with that. I too am looking forward to pictures and to whatever you post about the course!
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#3850 AdLibitum

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Posted 24 February 2020 - 13:03

Looking way ahead, is anyone planning to go to Medieval Music in the Dales in September? I'm very tempted.
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#3851 anacrusis

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Posted 24 February 2020 - 23:17

hello again all, thank you for your kind comments: doing this course is certainly proving therapeutic. I'll have to wait a little with photos as it's fiddly to post those, but today we turned the lower part of the head joint. I'm making an a'=443Hz treble recorder in cherry wood. The two sessions of woodturning I'd done prior to the course were at a friend's workshop, to see if it was something I could learn to do, and all I did was turn a piece of softwood and practise some very basic shaping and cutting a simple groove. On the course, Jacqueline presents us with three cylinders of the chosen wood, one for a head joint, one for the middle and one for the foot - they're pre-bored so that part of the process is already sorted (since she's also told me that she has made her own reamers, maybe just as well!). Starting with the middle joint makes eminent sense - the job just involves turning the tenons and shaping the basic tube into a conical outline, which is done by cutting grooves at either end to a millimetre or so wider than the final size needs to be, and then one in the middle. Lots of doing weeny shavings, then measuring to see how far it's got...once the two ends and middle are at their respective widths, you then get to join up the turning. Today we did the lower part of the head - as you'll know, there are lots of ornamental grooves and rings over that, and the turning for this section is rather complex - so as I'm a rookie, Jacqueline did that for me once I'd put the first marking grooves in place - and I got to taper the middle part of the head myself. There is also very careful sanding to be done, on each groove and ring individually so as not to blunt the detailing too much. After this we bored the finger holes using an amazing machine which can flip a piece by 180 degrees thus making sure the thumbhole is exactly opposite the finger holes, and one can also tilt the drill, which is needed to bore some of the holes which don't go in perpendicularly, but rather at a slight angle. Tomorrow we turn the foot, bore the holes in that too and oil it. The other person on the course is turning palisander, so a beautiful but very hard dark streaky wood, and seeing that side by side with the light, slightly pinkish cherry is just gorgeous :wub: 

So - does one need turning experience to make recorders? Yes, I think probably, but Jacqueline is open to letting one learn how to do it, and will help with the process. I'm lucky to be reasonably handy so am picking it up okay, and today I felt more comfortable at the lathe than yesterday: I can recommend trying your hand at it ahead of going on such a course if at all possible, and see if you take to it. 

Elemimele - on Telemann: I think the man was a master of producing music which was flexible enough to fit the compasses of several instruments, depending on what players might have to hand - you're right, the lowest notes on a recorder are so hard to punch out convincingly or with emphasis, but the top C# can be handled readily enough on a voice flute without needing to resort to a knee-stop, as it's in D. I haven't the technique to play flute, and raise my hat to you for learning it - I get horribly dizzy and my breathing goes to pot. However, I did get a go on a baroque oboe as Jacqueline makes those too.. temptations, temptations...


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#3852 Zixi

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Posted 25 February 2020 - 10:37

anacrusis - It sounds like you're having a lot of fun learning! Always the best way to learn. I like cherry wood too - my harp is cherry. I must admit I love hearing how people get on at these courses, venues and events as I'll never go. We adopted a very abused collie-kelpie cross some time ago and we'd never let her out of our sight for fear of what people might (inadvertently) do to her. I've already got fed up with an (ex) vet over how she **talked** to our girl! So I do love living vicariously... Which brings me nicely to...

 

AdLibitum - go for it! Tell us all about it and take some pics!

 

I took on elemimele and OaG's advice over desert island music for the recorder and started on The Nightingale and some more of Daphne. My husband actually recognised it was The Nightingale I was 'playing' so I'm pretending that means some kind of progress has been made.

 

Maizie - how are things going with your teacher? We miss ours... a lot...


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#3853 AdLibitum

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Posted 25 February 2020 - 18:40

Aha, Zixi, I need to look at it as providing a service to the Recorder Thread community, right? That's a very good reason to go, in my opinion. :D Good of you to have adopted your collie-kelpie. She must be happy to have found such a good home.

The workshop sounds great, anacrusis, please keep us updated! (The harp I was renting while waiting for my own one being built was a cherry, too, and it was lovely. A bright yet warm sound and very responsive.)
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#3854 elemimele

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Posted 25 February 2020 - 22:36

oooh, the nightingale... lovely, I think, for those of us who tend to play what's on the paper, and forget that we're using an instrument that makes sounds - and can imitate a bird. Wasn't that what Charlotte Barbour-Condini played in the BBC young musician thingy a few years ago, rather beautifully, and showing the BBC's audience that recorder is an instrument to be reckoned with?

Flute: I don't think I've got the technique either, but who knows, with time!? The dizziness definitely gets better. I think it happens because at first we're making a wind-stream that goes all over everywhere, only part of it hitting the edge that will make the note, so in order to get a note, we have to blow about three times as much air as is really necessary, and we hyperventilate. Once the accuracy of embouchure improves, you can get more note-per-puff and the human gas-exchange situation is much better.

Oooh, baroque oboe, they sound so nice on YouTube, but I've never even seen one in person.


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#3855 anacrusis

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Posted 25 February 2020 - 23:03

talking of the wind stream, today we had a tutorial on the shape of the recorder windway, and what it aims to do - another complicated machine was used to cut it into the head section, a tapering channel, very slightly concave, the aim being to concentrate the airflow over the labium. Tomorrow it's block-making day and completion of the head - foot turning and sanding also happened today, and then a good dunk in a jar of oil - raw linseed, with a citrus oil added which smells very pleasant. The wood is very thirsty at this stage, soaking up as much oil as we can throw at it within an hour or two. We've also gone over some of the principles of tuning and shaping of the finger holes - they've been drilled under size, then will be under cut as needed to get the instrument in tune and also to refine the tone. I've been dragging my mind back to the physics lessons from my dim and distant past, thinking about the shapes of sound waves and their upper partials, and also about the way air needs to flow over the labium to make it produce sound. So much information! We have a plastic recorder, sliced in half lengthways, to help us to see how the construction works, and lots of diagrams are being produced on scraps of paper. I'm beginning to wonder how on earth all the various stages in the build were ever developed - it's amazing seeing just how much is involved in making recorders. 

Still working on the best way to show photos, bear with me :)

On the baroque oboe - we got another go at it today - it has the reverse problem to the flute, in that of course all the air goes down the instrument, but is squeezed past something very little wider than a drinking straw, so one always ends up with way too much air left spare and needing to be got rid of before a new breath can be taken... 


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