Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Play the Same Note 11 Different Ways

Years back I read an interview with Luciano Berio and he said that he instructs his students to play the same note eleven different ways. I was intrigued when I read this and immediately took up my guitar. This exercise came back to me recently and I used duration, vibrato, timbre, and various means of attack and saw how richer my options were then we I first played with this.

Reflecting on this on my way to work this morning I decided to add a variation on this exercise. First I played the same note, a D for tonights efforts, 11 different ways. Then I played the D using different variations but played the same note variation 11 times. This quickly focused my listening and was a rich experience.

I then worked on a passage in Dandelion Wish which always gives me difficulties. I slowed this way down and the quality of listening persisted. A short break to allow the 'muscle memory' to set and then on to relearning Prayer From a Small Room, a delicate piece. This piece began while warming up in the dining room at Raft Island last fall. The following morning it flowed out of me in my cabin while practicing.

I revisited Crack in the Door, a piece that is over a year old and has not been played for some time. Glanced at Blossoming from the same period. I need to make decisions as what to prepare to record for my next solo guitar release, The Seven Sorrows. Completed the evenings work with a run through of Matka Boska.

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