“I always wanted to play something different than the way most trumpet players played.”
The single most marketable commodity in the music business is originality.
“People with a low tolerance for risk, whose behavior is guided by fear, have a low propensity for success.”
-Keith Ferrazzi from Never Eat Alone
Whether trying to become a band director or start a new chamber ensemble, the music business, like every other business, generally rewards those who take risks. And taking risks involves getting out of your comfort zone.
Are you taking enough risks today to succeed?
I don’t know about you, but my Monday could sure use a video of Leonard Bernstein conducting the Vienna Philharmonic doing Mahler’s First Symphony.
This is simply breathtaking stuff. Enjoy!
I just stumbled onto this video of the New York Philharmonic’s historic trip to North Korea. This is a video of George Gershwin’s “An American In Paris” from their concert at the East Pyongyang Grand Theatre on February 26, 2008 conducted by Lorin Maazel.
Not only is this one of the most famous orchestral concerts from the last half century, but the orchestra sounds phenomenal. Especially the brass! Joe Alessi, Alan Baer, Phil Smith and Philip Myers as well as the entire rest of the brass sections just sound fantastic. Alan’s tuba solo from this version of “An American In Paris” is spot on.
On my Facebook page recently, I posted the following quote:
“Playing soft with the same intensity as loud is difficult to master.”
I think it’s a great quote that puts a spotlight on the importance of playing softly. But as usual, one of my mentors, Rex Martin, came in and put it in even better words. The comment he left on that status was priceless:
“Not particularly difficult at all, but pretty time consuming.”
Reminds me of the JJ Johnson quote from one of last month’s Monday YouTube Fix’s about taking shortcuts when learning an instrument. Spoiler Alert: JJ couldn’t find any.
Okay this is awesome! My friend Andy Bove, who I interviewed for my book, “A Band Director’s Guide to Everything Tuba: A Collection of Interviews with the Experts“, put together one of the most impressive low brass ensembles every formed for this video.
So what did he decide to record with this collection of low brass players? The theme to Game of Thrones, of course! Seriously, you have to hear this. It got well over 100,000 views almost overnight and is already at over 200,000 and rising. It will rattle your windows. Continue reading
“To hell with facts! We need stories!”
― Ken Kesey
It is natural for classical musicians to get wrapped up in getting the facts right: playing the right notes and the right rhythms. This is of course critically important, but can not come at the expense of having storytelling as our primary focus.
We need more stories!
“The most perfect technique is that which is not noticed at all.”
This should be the ultimate goal of any performer and one that takes years of discipline to achieve.