Posted by: benfrasier | November 16, 2004

good clean acoustic fun

Last night I went to the Kentucky Theater and heard a broadcast of the “Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour.” This event is normally not my cup of tea, but I need recital credits and it was only $5.

I was pleasantly surprised by the show. One group that really left an impression on me was the California Guitar Trio. The trio consists of three (imagine that!) guys: Paul, Bert, and Hideyo. They all play on identical guitars that are uniquely tuned so that their pitch will blend together and sound as if there is only one guitar playing. The second song they played was Bach Prelude Circulation. This piece is interesting because they each played the melody by playing one note at a time instead of having one guitar on melody with the other guitars accompanying . Its hard to describe on this blog how this was done. Bert would play one note, then Paul, then Hideyo, and finally back to Bert. They continued this cycle for the entire piece. If you closed your eyes you would imagine only a single guitar being played.

These guys are unique for many reasons, but the thing that most impacted me was that they simply love to make music. These guys are so freakishly talented; yet, they aren’t cashing in on their talent to make loads of money. I’m sure these guys could find a way to play in some pop band that would require little skill but earn 10 times as much money as they are making now. They are simply doing what brings them, make music.

They also exhibit no evidence of a hierarchy within the group. After all, they are all playing on an identical instrument. No one is designated as the “lead guitarist” or “bass guitarist.” In their eyes they are all equal. This is amazing for a trio of such amazingly talented individuals (who all studied classical guitar at a school in England) to be so humble in their approach to the ensemble.

Being a clarinet student at a university, I can easily forget how music can be a joy. Sometimes I get so frustrated when I don’t play like a professional player every day of the week (or any day of the week!). Playing the clarinet can almost become a chore at times!

So what I’m trying to say is that it was great to be reminded of how music is a gift! Hopefully my practice sessions won’t be so dreadful for the next few days!


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