Saturday, March 04, 2006

it's almost masterclass time....

I don't know if you've heard but Matthias Ziegler is coming this month to do a flute masterclass. Since it's coming soon I figured I would go back and listen to his cd again. If you ever thought you knew what flute music was like, then listen to his cd "UKati" and you will learn how wrong you are.

Mr. Ziegler is famous for his new innovations in flute performance and in flutes themselves. He likes to play in nontraditional styles and has even invented his own flutes beyond the general bass and alto flutes. i suppose you could call his music flute tricks, but it sounds like nothing you will ever hear at an orchestra concert.

The first track, “Uakti” starts with the feeling of being in the forest listening to birds. Then he starts making wind effects. Ziegler uses all parts of the flute in his music, even smacking the keys to simulate the sound of running. He uses overtones and whistle tones to create wind noises. The sounds that he’s making with these flutes sometimes sound like machines, but they also sound like people and animals too. It’s scary sounding and would be the perfect soundtrack for a horror film in the jungle.

“Maschad”, the second track, reminded me of videogame music. In the middle of the piece he starts using his throat almost like he's using kriti syllables in indian music. ( I'm sure Dr. Johnson is so proud of me right now) It was amazing how clear he can make lower notes come out mixed in with all the fast moving higher, airier notes.
Parts of “Mimi” reminded me a little bit of a Messiaen piece. In “Quarters” I liked how at the very start I thought maybe it would be a more normal sounding piece, but it wasn’t. I played a piece that had some rolling in tricks in it and it’s hard to get it to be even and not over too fast. I liked how it jumped from pitches to swirling air sounds and there was no overlap, the change was clear. The amount of air control needed to switch from regular tone to all these half tones and higher register sounds is amazing.
When I was listening to Rattag and all the vocal parts that are in it and the parts where it sounds like he’s actually talking into the tubing, I thought about how, even though surprisingly I like this a lot better than I thought I would, I could never ever play anything like it, and I don’t think very many people could. I don’t think the dean would be too appreciative if I tried to do something like this for my proficiency.
When I saw that one of the pieces was called “Ballade” I expected it to be somewhat dance-like, instead it was mostly tricks and melody without a defined beat structure. The sound on “Ghashghai” was interesting because it reminded me both of Irish music and Indian music at the same time when it started.
The beginning of “Recercada Primera” sounded like some of the Gregorian Chants we listened to in music history. The flute sounds just like those low bass voices, and sometimes it actually sounds like there could be words.

I know that a lot of people don't normally sit down and listen to a flute cd, but I really think every should listen to "Uakti" because it really is like nothing else that you've ever heard and make sure that you go to Matthias Ziegler's concert on the 19th.

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