We will be mainly asking questions in order to get to know a little more about you. We would also like to hear if you have any particular stories from your past about any subject matter that really stands out to you. We would also like to get a sense of what music means to you and what role it has played in your life. Since it has played a large part in our lives, we find it interesting to see what impact music has and can make on others. We will try to ask questions not to find out specific details, rather open up a conversation to enhance our communication through music, as well as through words and stories.
We will be using volunteers for the interviews and we will try to interview as many of them as we can. The interviews will be about 25min.-30min. long. We will be recording the interviews with flip cams. An important thing to consider, should we interview many people in one room at a time to relieve the stress level, but risk the background noise, or should we have potentially awkward interviews in a room with only two people? If we choose the large room, that could be either the library or the room across the lobby from the library. I don’t know where we could have the one on one interviews. Please post any opinions on how this should be done, and remember, this is not yet official.
At the beginning of the conversation we should establish that these are informal ways to facilitate conversation since we have really enjoyed talking we with them at our concerts and want to take conversation a step further.
Where are you from?
When did you come to America (if from another country)?
How long have you been at the Goddard House? What has your experience been like here?
Why did you choose Goddard House?
How do you think your childhood was different than ours?
Who has made a significant impact on your life? (Add our personal opinions)
If you could go back and change something about your past what would it be?
We want to learn from you, is there any advice you have for us based on your personal experiences?
What role has music had in your life?
How do you think music has impacted you?
What impact do you think music can have? (Add our personal views here)
What were you very passionate about at our age? (music, something of interest)
If anyone has anything else to add just write it in the comments!
Along with having orchestra at FYO, we rehearsed chamber music one hour a day. I was in a trombone duet with Mei Endo. We played a version of La Nozze de Figaro by Mozart. It was really fun, but a really challenging piece. Our concert was on the 28th of July, a day before the orchestra concert. We did do a lot of serious work on the piece, but Mei and I also played around a lot during our breaks, finding out who could make the weirdest sounds with the trombone and playing around with different mutes. I had a great time in that duet and I improved a lot in that duet. That is the only trombone duet that I have ever preformed.
This summer from 7/11 to 7/29, I was involved in Festival Youth Orchestra (FYO) at New England Conservatory. We rehearsed with the full orchestra for five hours a day and rehearsed in sectionals for one hour a day. Aaron Kula, our conductor, was AMAZING!! He was so much fun. In orchestra we played Brahms’ 2nd symphony, An American in Paris by George Gershwin and Bernstein’s Candide Overture. They were so much fun. Our trombone instructor, Alexi Doohovskoy, was awesome and I had tons of fun in trombone sectionals with him and the other trombones. It was my first experience playing in an orchestra so it was awesome for me. Each of our pieces was completely different so I developed many new skills while playing there. My favorite piece was An American in Paris. It was nice and jazzy and everyone got a feature. I had a blast there and I met quite a few new friends there.
Excited about Goddard House: Part II. There have got to be a ton of stories to tell from the summer. I am looking forward to it and I know the residents are looking forward to it.
I finished up my last Tanglewood project on Saturday. It was called the “Piece-a-Day” project. It had each of the composition fellows writing a three pieces, one each day. I was assigned to play with a trumpet player for six pieces. We learned the music and put the pieces together in a week and stepped out on the stage and played them. It was really cool getting to know each of the composers through that process. Because of the time constraints, everyone was forced to do what came naturally – we couldn’t prepare very thoroughly. So the composers had to let their ideas flow when they wrote them and Mark, the trumpet-player, and I had to let the rehearsal process flow. It’s freeing, in a way because there is simply no time to let any kinds of doubt or hesitancy creep. Just gotta go for it!
I’m spending some time now, while I still am staying in the beautiful Berkshire area thinking over some big concepts. Came up against some interesting questions (and for once, I’m not immediately trying to answer them). Take this one:
We all can identify when a musician gives an authentic and moving performance. What does this represent? How can a performer, who is merely interpreting someone else’s ideas, deliver such a performance? What is the meaning of interpretation of music? What does it mean to communicate in your own voice as a performer?
It has led me to look at communication as a two-way experience. Interpretation involves relating the composer’s ideas to your own life-experience, digesting it, and sharing it with someone else. I think authenticity can lie in the depth of that digestion and the performer’s courage in opening it up to someone else.
A mentor of mine here in the Berkshires told me this: You do not truly understand, unless you are confused.
Grappling with ideas is the best part of the game!
I am writing you from a small, quaint house in Stockbridge, MA where I will be staying through the end of August. This summer, I was invited to play new music at the Tanglewood Music Center as a member of the “New Fromm Players.” As such, I am living with three other string players in the program. Our house are a short walk the historic main street of Stockbridge made famous by this drawing by Norman Rockwell:
Of course, it is far from winter here right now (95* at night?!) and there is certainly no snow on the ground but the picture does capture the unfading charm of Stockbridge. There is a wonderful sense of calm here. It is quiet and secluded and we are surrounded by nature. It is a great place to immerse yourself in your work.
We have a big load of contemporary chamber music to prepare and perform. Over the course of the summer, we are playing music by Ligeti, Babbitt, Schoenberg, Wuorinen, Stravinsky, and a few young composition fellows. The earliest piece we are playing was written in 1906 and the most recent piece was completed a few months ago. It has been really fascinating to survey the wide variety of music that has been written in the past 100 years. It presents a unique challenge to us as the performers. With each piece, you need to not only figure out how to technique produce the sounds, but you have to really get into the head of the composer. You have to learn what is important to them, where their priorities lie. Some are concerned solely with creating captivating textures and colors while others want very precise and complicated rhythmic patterns. Its a bit like trying to speak a different language at each rehearsal.
It has felt like a challenge to pull off all of this new music. It is something I have not done so much before. When we stepped out on stage and played the Ligeti quartet we had worked on for hours and hours and hours, it was almost a shock to realize we could play it!
Anyway, just wanted to say hello and tell you a little of what i have been up to. CAL team I miss you! I hope you guys are having a great time with the summer so far. Where are the pictures? I want to hear some stories!
A shot of one of our quartet performances.
After a concert, I got a chance to check out this awesome hiking trail on Monument Mountain.
Looking forward to hearing from you guys soon!