raystrobel47: (Default)
I got a call last week from Craig Knox, principal tuba for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. It is not often, nay, rare that a professional orchestral musician calls my number. It frankly reminds me of the viola joke about this guy who-.... anyway, he calls me to ask my permission. Yes, *he* needs permission from *me* to record Dans Profundo on an upcoming album of solo tuba music! Not only that, but he'll be performing it at an upcoming faculty recital next March or April!

This is an absolute thrill. It is so many feelings- validation, elation, excitement, relief, honor, and probably will be a few more before this is all over with. Mr. Knox is even going to invite me to one of the upcoming rehearsals so I can hear how it's going, chat with him and the pianist, and do all those "artsy" things that I've only imagined about, but desperately wanted to do as a composer and performer. It's not that I don't love teaching, but this was my first love, and now it's becoming even more realized.

I really need to get to finishing that orchestral project for Freestyle so I can begin my second tuba solo for John Manning. I don't want to suffer from a sophomore slump, especially with such a top-rate performer.
raystrobel47: (Music)
Dans Profundo is now available at Cimarron Music Press!! Click on the title in the middle of the page to see a 4-page sample of the score, hear the mp3 from the 2008 recital by David Yeager, and pay only $17.99 to have it for your very own! :-D

I'm really psyched by this. I might see a royalty check this December!
raystrobel47: (Music)
Dans Profundo will be performed by John Manning at the University of Iowa on May 1, 2010, and also at the International Tuba and Euphonium Association's 2010 conference in Tuscon, Arizona on May 29!!

It's gonna get played twice!! May 1 is a Saturday... road trip??? I can't believe this is actually going to happen... so much more that I want and need to know... more details to come! Soon, I hope!
raystrobel47: (WTF)
The good- I have the mp3 of Dans Profundo!

The not-so-good- I have no website to post it to, nor any way to upload it to LJland for y'all to hear!

Eh, any suggestions???

EDIT: I will do what I should've done in the first place and ask my lovely wife who has two wonderful websites. I appreciate all y'all's responses, and will refer to them if I need help again. Thank you!
raystrobel47: (Music)
The recital was *lovely*. Dave did really well, picked some neat music, and it all went well. The accompanist was fantastic, and didn't kill Dave for scheduling his recital on her birthday. :-) Oh, my piece? Yeah, I should get to that.

I am quite satisfied. Many parts were as I heard it, but it is so different hearing my music played by MIDI and hearing a live performance. As I explained to [livejournal.com profile] fiannaharpar, the MIDI model that I've had in my head for so long is like a 2-dimensional model, while the performance I heard was in 3-dimensions. The MIDI was a reproduction of the notes I wrote, and what Dave and Donna played was an interpretation, adding their own creativity, their own artistry, to what I laid out on paper. Some things were not as I expected- the zippy grace notes I'd imagined were gentle and rolling. But others were more than I expected. The final section, where I wrote the 'oom-pah' line on steroids, was meant to be prominent, but the piano still has the melody. The way Dave played it, he didn't give a rat's ass about the piano, he belted it out, and it was the most exciting part of the piece.

The whole piece was wonderfully received, Dave did a fantastic job of it, and I want to thank those that made it to see it-- [livejournal.com profile] cyano, [livejournal.com profile] jcipa, and [livejournal.com profile] alfiechat's husband were most gracious to listen to it in person. And, of course, my wonderful wife and daughter who supported me in this from the start. Thank you all for being there with me.

Not bad, eh? Here's the really cool part-

Craig Knox, principal tubist for the Pittsburgh Symphony, who is Dave's teacher, very much enjoyed it. He said many nice things about it, mainly that it was a good all-around piece for the tuba. That meant a lot, especially because 1) I've never written specifically for the instrument before and 2) it's coming from a professional frickin' tubist. As I mentioned before, he wants a copy. So he can perform it. In concert.

O_o


*exhales* Oh yeah. That'd suck. Ooh, how horrible, a prominent professional musician programming my music. *exhales again* Ok, he did mention it's not going to be any time soon, but he will email me later, and we can get this second ball rolling, which I hope to keep in motion for quite some time.

Wow.

After the recital, I got to talk to Dave some, thank him profusely, and remind him that he and his family are still invited to dinner. I think that will be a good time to -calmly- reflect on everything that happened and bask in our own accomplishments, if but for a while. My two favorite girls and I walked to South Craig and ate dinner at LuLu's Noodles, which was teh yum. Unfortunately, Pookie wasn't able to keep it together much, even with a full nap at school, but that did not deter from the timbre of the evening.

This is what it's like to be an artist. This is the kind of experience I want to repeat for quite some time. And maybe, just maybe, that which I am starting will begin to collect some momentum. Thank you all for your well wishes, and I will chirp up when I get the recording of the recital, with an mp3 soon to follow.

Warming up

May. 8th, 2008 02:51 pm
raystrobel47: (Trumpet)
Ok, so during the school day I wasn't phased by this evening. Now it's two hours, 10 minutes until the recital starts (not even my recital) and I'm getting antsy.

Things I'm grateful for:
-I can pick up [livejournal.com profile] fiannaharpar 10 minutes early today, making arriving at CMU a much less arduous and desperate task.
-My piece kicks off the second half of the evening, again reducing the need to be RIGHT THERE AT THE STROKE OF 5PM. *whew*

Concerns:
-Pookie's behavior during the recital. She hasn't done this type of thing before, she'll be hungry (but she'll get snacks between now and then), and I'm just worried that she'll get over-squirmy and frustrated, and then she'll have to be taken out and they both will miss the performance. I have to remind myself that it's no more than 30 minutes before an intermission, and both she and we will be able to deal with this. Hopefully she'll find the instrument and music cool. :-)
-*headslap* I forgot to reload on business cards. I have two. That should be fine.

I will post a recap either tonight or tomorrow. Here we go, y'all!
raystrobel47: (Music)
If you are still interested in hearing "Dans Profundo" at Dave Yeager's graduate tuba recital at CMU, here are the details one last time:

Thursday, May 8th, beginning at 5pm, in the Alumni Concert Hall, which is in the Fine Arts building.

Here are the only two updates-
1. My piece will begin the second half of the recital, not the very beginning. This is good because I'm gonna be booking it from downtown to get back to CMU on time, so that's less pressure on all of us. So, if you get there before us, save three seats??
2. Dave will provide an audio recording. I know of no video options, though if someone takes video of it, I may ask reeeeeeeal nice for a copy. :-) After I get an audio recording, I'll upload it and share with everyone.

EDIT: The total estimated time will be between an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes; it should be done between 6:00 and 6:15 at the latest.
raystrobel47: (Whoa!!)
I spoke with Dave, who's giving his tuba recital on Thursday (this is not the final reminder- that will come in a day or two), and he has now given me reason to start going *boingy*boing*boingy*.

Why? Several reasons.
1) He is really having fun with what I wrote for him. This I've known, but I talked with him right after the penultimate rehearsal and he said that each time he plays it with his accompanist that it keeps getting better.
2) The accompanist really likes it. In fact, he said that I wrote the piano part quite like its own virtuoso part, making it a bit difficult for her, but that leads into my next point:
3) Dave said that by tweaking the piano part a bit that this piece would be accessible to many, many tuba players and would be a good candidate to get published. Now, I trust Dave, but this leads me to my next point which got me going:
4) Craig Knox, principal tuba player for the Pittsburgh Symphony, wants a copy of the work. And he has connections. Especially considering the number of tuba players out there versus, oh, trumpet, flute, or *gasp* violin.

-HOMINAHOMINAHOMINAHOMINA-

I am trying to get in touch with the accompanist to get her feedback on the piano part. And if I could get the same from Mr. Knox, ...I don't know exactly where I'd go from that, but let's say I'd jump through hoops pret-ty damn trivially.

Thursday, y'all. I'll post one more reminder before the big day.
raystrobel47: (Music)
A friendly reminder for those who want to hear brand new tuba music! The recital for David Yeager, Masters student of tuba performance at CMU (yes, there is such an animal) will be on:

Thursday, May 8th, beginning at 5pm, in the Alumni Concert Hall, which is in the Fine Arts building.


My piece is the very first on the list, so come early and save your seats! What makes this recital more meaningful is that it connects my earliest experiences in education. You see, Dave was a senior at Allderdice High School (along with [livejournal.com profile] cortneyofeden. *waves*) when I did my student teaching there in the spring of '96. Between then and about a year ago, I'd seen him maybe three times. I knew he attended CMU for undergrad performance, but that was it. Then, I'd seen him and his wife (also an Allderdice grad, who I taught in '96) in Squirrel Hill, and at the Greek Food Festival. That was cool, but it was seeing him perform with other brass players for a sing-fest at our church last May that I cooly offered, "Hey, if you ever need any music written, I'm your guy." He said, "You know, I may take you up on that," and by gum he did. So, it was a treat to be doing a friend a favor, and getting to write cool music on top of that.

I will repeat this reminder the week of the recital. If you really wanna come see it but don't know where, comment and I'll try to help decipher the mystery that is parking at CMU.
raystrobel47: (Default)
So, today is when we in PA get to vote for which Dem is gonna go toe-to-toe with McCain. And I don't have to be at school until noon because of it, but I don't get out until 8:00 this evening, either, which sucks. I mean, I'll miss most of Tuesday Night Dinner, and I'll need to be back at work within 12 hours of leaving. Isn't that depressing? Granted, I had a retail job where I'd have to close at 10pm, then come in the next morning at 6:00 to work stock. *That* was messed up.

In the four hours I have before leaving, I'll need to vote, drop off paper recycling, clear out a small fallen dead tree, and do other things around the house. Oh, and pick up a surprise birthday present for my wife. Her birthday's Thursday. :-D

I'm still waiting for feedback after the first rehearsal of Dans Profundo with tubist and pianist. I'm finding myself unable to get truly excited about this piece actually being performed until I get some tangible evidence towards that. I know that once that ball gets rolling, I'll be quite happy. This part of being a composer is one I really love, but it's hard being patient!!

Finis!!!

Apr. 13th, 2008 10:02 pm
raystrobel47: (Music)
Dans Profundo is finished! I finished it Friday night, specifically, but I had to then futz with the page layouts of the score and the tuba part so it didn't have anything freaky going on. From just listening to it on Finale, I like it. I wasn't as buzzing with excitement as I thought I would, but the transition to the last few measures was being a big PITA. I think that the thrill of being done is replaced with the concern of how it will be received, by the performers, audience, and professors. I'm still awaiting more feedback, but I at least am satisfied with the piece being done and knowing that it's, at the very least, a decent sounding musical work. Hey, my wife likes it, it can't be all bad. ;-)

Postie

Mar. 27th, 2008 10:06 pm
raystrobel47: (Normal)
Hrm. New theme. Don't suck. Not the one I originally meant to choose, but I like the checkerboard 'n other bits. (reminder for me- hp lovers rock)

With no private lesson tonight, I was able to get quite a bit written for "Dans Profundo," which I really need to finish soon. The end, though, is in sight. And I like it. I really can't wait to get this finished and then get a taste of what it's really gonna sound like. Dammit, I wish I could stay up three more hours and get the thing done...

Just over a day until my birthday! I still get excited. I like having the special day. I love having friends, and a family, to share it with.

Tuba-mania

Mar. 13th, 2008 10:13 pm
raystrobel47: (Music)
I just completed the second section of the tuba piece, and the third is unfolding quite nicely. Not bad progress for only getting one, maybe two hours a week to work on this thing. And for those of you who know the lingo, the piece is in mixed meter, meaning the 8th note remains constant. Well, in the unaccompanied intro, the 8th=146 bts/minute. Not too fast. In the second section, the 8th=200. This last section, the 8th=320 (quarter=160, so not too daunting looking at it that way). Still, at the end, it's gonna cook.
raystrobel47: (Music)
For anyone interested in the Pgh area:

The premiere of "Dans Profundo," my tuba solo with piano accompaniment, will be at David Yeager's graduate tuba recital on Thursday, May 8th, at 5pm, in Alumni Concert Hall on CMU's campus. Any more prepositions?! Dave was a senior at Allderdice High School when I was a student teacher there in 1996, and he has entrusted me with providing music that is being programmed with the likes of Strauss and Persichetti. I am still midway through writing it, but its shape is nearly formed and its flavor is already apparent. This is an open and FREE recital, and it would be extra special for those interested to attend and support such a seldom-used solo instrument like the tuba. It should be fun, a thrill for both of us, and a night of great music. You don't need to RSVP, just mark your calendar for the 2nd Thursday in May and contact me if you need directions to Alumni Concert Hall. Thanks!
raystrobel47: (Music)
Two beats worth of piano music took two hours over the course of 24 to come up with. I think I should've sketched more liberally like I did in the intro, but I am happy with what is on the page.

One down,

Jan. 11th, 2008 10:54 pm
raystrobel47: (Music)
two to go?

I finished the unaccompanied intro to the tuba piece tonight. It was a wonderful "aha" moment on how to connect this cool idea that needed to be transitioned into as well as out of. Musically I compare it to drawing to an inside straight: you can't always write music in between two ideas you want and get the smoothest result. As it is, I was pretty happy to find the solution I did, and now I'll need to sleep on this and play it tomorrow. I've brought the piano into the mix, which certainly complicates things. Wait... >>10 minutes pass<< However, I found YouTube. Teh internetz, let me showz you them! After listening to some Dvorak and other things, I have a start to the piano part! Whee!!! Now it's deciding when to bring in the tuba, how much of the theme to introduce in piano, and working out some chord progressions. For the second section. The third section, as planned, is demon-spawn 'oom-pah'. This could be fun. :-)

I just hope C# minor doesn't annoy the hell out of him...

Tuba time

Jan. 6th, 2008 09:43 pm
raystrobel47: (Music)
The intro on the tuba solo, working title being "Dans Profundo", is almost done. I'm trying to transition into the main "theme" where the piano comes in with some semblance of style and aptitude. And as it turned out, the few measures I wrote as an insert to the intro is better than everything I wrote after the 'insert' was to have finished. I need to increase the tempo for the next section. The unaccompanied intro is going to be marked "Seductive." Yes, that's right. Solo tuba. Seductive. It's slavic. -Ish. Just y'all wait.

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