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British Composer Awards 2009 [Dec. 3rd, 2009|12:01 pm]

A recorder composition won a section of these prestigious awards:

Instrumental Solo or Duo: Thomas Simaku - Soliloquy V, Flauto Acerbo
The judging panel unanimously agreed that the winning work redefines the instrument in a visionary and entirely original way. They praised it for its virtuosity, depth of expression, and powerful imagination.

An excerpt was played on BBC Radio 3's report on Tuesday's award ceremony - two recorders played at once, amazing sound.

The York Press report is here, the composer Thomas Simaku being a lecturer at York University.

The piece was performed by Christopher Orton, whose site has a useful list of other modern pieces in his repertoire. That said, he performed this work at the Greenwich Early Music festival in November this year.

I have for some time thought the recorder to be a much underestimated instrument and this reminds me - need to get practising :-)
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I'm new. [Nov. 24th, 2009|06:13 am]

[Current Location |Florida]
[mood |curiouscurious]
[music |The TV out in the living room.]


I've been playing the soprano recorder since age 17, and began on the sopranino leter on. Well, anyway, I have a few questions, here:

My dad bought me a tenor recorder one year for my birthday; I tried playing it off and on for a year or two after that, but haven't picked it up since. It's a little too big...any advice on how to hold it so that your fingers actually cover the holes while you play?

This is a strange question...I'm not sure if it's allowed...but: I bought a Yamaha fife; I've tried to play it, with to success....However, I put a yamaha soprano recorder's head/mouthpiece on it...and it played like a recorder! Any reason why?

OK...thank you all! Have a blessed day,

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A question [Jan. 17th, 2009|09:22 pm]


I'm not a newbie to the recorder world -- there's been at least one in my house for as long as I can remember. However, I'm considering finally learning how to play, since my father isn't interested in his any more, and I hate to see musical instruments that have been in the family for a while just abandoned...(yes, I also have a house full of pets!)

My question is: how "experienced" a player were you when you started playing baroque and/or renaissance music? Eventually I am going to graduate my middle-aged self from college in May, and am considering finally getting actively involved in the SCA. Since my primary instrument (anglo concertina) did not exist until 1830, so I was considering something a little more "period."

And there just happen to be all these soprano and alto recorders in need of a good home...

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(no subject) [Aug. 28th, 2008|06:47 pm]

Any recs for the least expensive baroque alto at A=415 I can find?
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call for repertory [Mar. 4th, 2008|09:52 am]

My renaissance trio is looking for music about/evoking/related to death or the grave. Anyone have any suggestions? Pavan Funereal and 3 Ravens are already on our list. There are also about a billion chanson that play on le petit mort, but I dont think we want to do more than a set or two of those.
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What have you listened to recently? [Feb. 19th, 2008|08:14 am]

What CDs have you listened to recently?

The New World Renaissance Band Where Beauty Moves and Wit Delights
somehow this album always makes me cheerful

Here's my most recent list:
Flautando Koln, Ancor che col partire
Rebel, Shades of Red
ALSQ, Nocturne
Marion Verbruggen, Eighteenth Century Recorder Sonatas

and a favorite that I haven't listened to recently but is on the list:
Jordi Savall's Folia CD
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Odhecaton rocks [Feb. 7th, 2008|10:46 am]

(from a post in my own LJ, haven't figured out if it's possible to crosspost)

The Odhecaton is a fabulous collection of music. Seriously. I mean, how can you go wrong? Agricola, Josquin, Compere, Izac,....

Spent yesterday evening with a couple friends playing trios, largely Odhecaton although we did jump forward in time and play some of the Morley trios as well. All on matched LiVirghi Praetorius instruments. Absolute heaven. I am so lucky to be living somewhere with a critical mass of people with these instruments.

And reading from facsimile has gotten so much better now that I do it all the time. The music just flows when you take away the distractions imposed by modern notation. I *hate* barlines in unmeasured music. They're so wrong!!!

It's a bit weird though, all four of the ensembles I periodically play in seem to gravitate to Odhecaton much of the time. While it's stunning repertory, I do in fact want to play stuff from other centuries occasionally. No-one currently wants to play baroque music with me, it's just too late...
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Tricky fingering [Jan. 21st, 2008|04:03 pm]
Is it just me, or is the "cover up to the 7th hole but uncover the 5th hole with your middle finger" fingering to play F on tenor recorder really unergonomic??
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Request for ideas [Jan. 7th, 2008|04:40 pm]

Two things I'd love to hear input on:

1. Starting to put together materials for the adult beginners recorder class that I will be teaching starting next week. There is a remarkable lack of interesting 4 (or 3 or 2) part music with a limited range. So, if anyone has any pieces they especially like, with a 5 note range (first 5 notes of the key) in any key (I can typeset and transpose) I would love so see them! Generally any favorite beginning repertory would add a lot. :-)

Hopefully within a couple weeks I'll have them beyond the 5 note limit, but I need some repertory to start with. Later on it gets easier to find.

Edit: actually when I think about it, the sopranos will know G, A, B, C, D but the altos will know C, D, E, F, G. I'll teach both Fsharp as well, to give us Gmajor. This makes finding pieces much more challenging. I can simplify lines as necessary. Lastly I will probably have some repeat students from last term, who have a wider range available to them. So if some of the lines are wider, that's actually probably good.

Finding repertory tailored to the people I will have (especially when I dont know exactly what I'm going to get studentwise) is a real challenge.

2. How do you advertise private lessons in a town where

a. There really dont seem to be businesses that have community bulletin boards
b. The schools will not put up posters for private teachers
c. The libraries will only post for non-profit groups

I did do Craigslist for a while, but that got me nowhere. Local papers cost too much. As far as I can tell, there is no local PTA.
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