Motion Sickness

I haven’t been that active lately about updating the site. We’re in prep mode for the Memphis Symphony Principal Clarinet audition as well as my upcoming doctoral recital.

Honestly though, I don’t much care about what happens with the Memphis audition. I’m really doing it for funzies, and the audition experience. These are experiences that I think every great teacher should have,. Otherwise, how would you teach your students about the audition process.

I’m actually more concerned about my recital. Well, not really concerned, I’d rather focus my energy on sculpting a really wonderful musical experience. Cultivating that level of musicality takes time (duh), lots and lots of score study, singing, listening, and making really wonderful music.

The Program:
Stravinsky – Three Pieces for solo clarinet
Schumann – Three Romances, Op. 94
Dana Wilson – Liquid Ebony
Schubert – Der Hirt auf dem Felsen, Op. 129
Theresa Martin – Solar Flair for two clarinets

I’m currently studying the Schumann and, well, it has been an interesting journey. Every recording I’ve listened to, and I’m up to 12 now, has given me the most horrible case of motion sickness. It’s as though everyone has to stretch and compress the beat at every conceivable moment. Makes me think of people that you meet for the first time and they really try to make a strong impression, but way too strong of an impression making them seem really fake.

Yeah. You get the idea.

I’ve spent a considerable amount of time analyzing the piano part, singing the clarinet part while playing the piano, etc. etc. You know, Schumann knew what he was doing and he made it glaringly obvious by the harmonic rhythm, texture, and counterpoint. Going back and listening to those recordings makes me more ill than before because now the augmentation of the rhythm and compression of the phrasing makes absolutely no sense.

I appreciate what those musicians are trying to do, but it still has to make musical sense. You can’t just willy-nilly rubatoevery other measure. Make logistical, not necessarily predictable, and sensible phrases.

Stepping off soap my box and heading back to practicing.



One response to “Motion Sickness

  1. Hey, Adam! Great blog, man. I have to tell you: I know Theresa Martin personally from the Belgian Clarinet Academy way back before I even started my undergrad in Ohio. She’s so cool! I could get you in touch with her if you want. It’s always nice to have a composer friend who wants to write you something… That piece is awesome, by the way. I heard it at the 2008 ICA Conference in Kansas City. Also, bravissimo! I heard your recital went very well. I hope all is going well at CCM. I’ll be auditioning for DMA this Fall/Winter for entrance in Fall 2013. My top choices are: Eastman, SUNY-Stony Brook, and SUNY-Purchase. What is the DMA program at CCM like? Bri talks very highly of the program, but I wanted to get a DMA student’s perspective as well. Thanks, Adam! If I plan to audition, I’ll let you know, and maybe you can show me around a little bit.

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