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Monthly Archive: November 2006


More on Carnegie

Posted on Sunday, November 12, 2006


I'm just back from BART in New York State where we workshopped the first few songs from my Carnegie commission. There were quite amazing musicians involved, not least of which being my two singers Melissa Wegner and Yang Yang (pictured)



Osvaldo Golijov (with me below) and Dawn Upshaw led the process and provided lots of helpful advice.



I also met crazy accordion man Michael Ward-Bergeman - here doing a bit of composing:



Michael had some great Romanian music he introduced me to (he's played with Taraf de Ha´douks), including the extraordinary voice of Dona Dumitru Siminica. Read more about Michael's zobstick on my Instrument Blog




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Lagerphones, zobsticks, bushwackers

Posted on Sunday, November 12, 2006


Composer and Accordionist extraordinaire Michael Ward-Bergeman introduced me the multi-named instrument that has a remarkable propensity for cropping up in cultures across the globe, from Australia to Austria. It's built from beer bottle tops nailed or screwed in to a pole. Here's Michael playing one he built himself - I'm currently collecting tops for my own attempt - stay tuned!





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I bought a duduk

Posted on Friday, November 03, 2006


The joys of ebay - my newly ordered duduk has arrived. It's beautiful-looking and has a very distinctive smell (it's made from apricot wood).





The reed seems enourmous in comparison to a clarinet reed - very long and very fat. It came with two of them - the first one seemed to go a bit wide after I ran the tap over it (as instructed in the helpful e-manual that came with it).

First impressions are that it's a bit of a bugger to play, much harder than a clarinet, more like an oboe. But I love the untempered tuning - I'll try to put an excerpt up here once I've practiced a bit!

The duduk (pronounced [duˈduk]) is a traditional woodwind instrument popular in the Caucasus region. It is of Armenian origins. More from the wikipedia article on duduks



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