It’s been a little bit since the first movement The Hawk Goes Hunting came out, but we’re all excited again because the second movement of Chip’s 2nd Symphony Birds of Paradise is out. It takes us a little while to get all of the individual recording sorted out, and aligned when you don’t record all together. :)You can click on over to InstantEncore to download it, and use the code TwtrParadise for a free copy.
TwtrSymphony is a new concept in the symphony orchestra –a group of musicians who create their unique sound through remote recording sessions. Each musician is given their part and a click track. They record it on their own time leaving them free to take on other music related projects.
When each musician is done with their recording they send it to our sound engineer who puts the tracks together to create a full orchestra sound, without having the expense of a hall.
The music we’re performing is also unique –limited to 140 seconds per track. Each track is the pure essence of the music, with no time for long drawn-out developments often associated with classical music. Our composer, Chip Michael has trimmed off the excess to capture the bare nugget of each piece.
Chip Michael goes a step further taking the idea of a beat into new territory. Instead of considering a beat a constant, the music shifts the meter where a beat might be five eighth notes in length, followed by a beat with only four eighth notes. The eighth notes progress by too quickly to count giving the music as sense of energy, propelling it forward, while the irregular length of beats provides the feeling of ever shifting rhythms.
Part of what makes Twitter unique is the terse conversations that take place. It isn’t a place where long, drawn out diatribes are posted. Rather, Twitter is communication boiled down to the essentials. Conversations happen, but they tend to be quick exchanges of ideas and concepts. TwtrSymphony captures that with short pieces filled with energy and intensity.
Tuesday was a pretty exciting day. Back in March an new idea was born. An idea to have musicians all over the world come to together through twitter, and form a recording based orchestra. And so the twtrsymphony was born. I was fortunate enough to audition, get in, and have a had a blast ever since.
It has been a labor of love for many in the group. Our wonderful composer Chip Michael who has composed all of the music, put parts together, made click tracks so that we’re all going the same speed, and kept the ship going straight. There are so many wonderful musicians I have “met” on twitter thanks to this little group. Maybe some day we will all meet in person. I’m not sure a room can handle us, but we sure do have fun on twitter.
After some technical hitches, and a flood in Scotland putting a damper on things our first recording went live on Tuesday. “The Hawk Goes Hunting,” is the first movement of four from Chip’s Symphony No 2. Click HERE to hear the recording
Last week I was watching TV and scrolling through my twitter feed when I came across something interesting. There was a mention of getting an audition ready for the twtrsymphony. Hmm, what in the world is the twtrsymphony? After a little poking around I got a good idea. The twtrsymphony is a social media experiment with the idea of how a symphony is put together. Instead of all of the musicians being in one space together the twtrsymphony wanted to see about putting together a group of musicians that were on twitter. By combining individual recordings done by musicians the composer would then sync them all together in one massive recording to make the symphony. It sounded kind of cool. After a short conversation I had a message from the composer in residence, did I want to audition?
I have been searching for an audition to do for months. Ever since things finally started to click back in the fall. The small problem is that most orchestras are still keeping open positions unfilled to save money. The music industry has taken a hard hit, and while things are slowly getting better auditions are still few and far between. So, did I want to audition? Sure, I’ll give it a try. Usually I get audition music up to a month in advance if not more. This time I had less than a week. Okay, I can do this! I think for once it actually helped to have less time. So, I practiced the same 140 notes over and over again (the idea is based on twitter’s 140 character limit). I recorded it, and listened objectively to where I needed to make adjustments. How was the sound quality, the dynamics, the rhythm, and the tempo? Finally last Sunday I was ready to start working on my “official” audition recording. In order to make sure that everyone was working with the same tempo the composer provided everyone with recordings that also included a metronome click track. It meant figuring out how to wear headphones while recording. I loved it! I had no idea how cool it would be have a click track in my ear while playing. Yes, it meant hearing intonation stuff was a little tricky, but the trade-off was getting all of the tempos, time changes, and rhythm right. I kind of wish I could have a click track all the time now 🙂
Auditions closed earlier this week for clarinets, all string instruments, harp, and piano. Out of 100 auditions 53 musicians from all over the country and world were offered positions with the group. This morning I found out that I am one of those 53 musicians! I’m looking forward to being a part of the orchestra and spending more time recording. It’s opened my eyes and ears to things in my own playing. Things that were just starting to make sense, and will make me an even better musician. Even better I have a successful audition under my belt. I want to do more! It makes me realize that I do belong in this industry, and hopeful that one day my dream job may just become a reality.