Category: practice

  • Multiphonics: Tips for Study

    Actually, this is a “notes-to-self” entry disguised as “Tips”. There are good sources for learning and practicing multiphonics such as Robert Dick’s “Tone Development through Extended Techniques” (although I know the term “extended techniques” has gone out of fashion, but the practice in the book is solid). I also have a detailed presentation where I […]

  • Sixth-Tone Exercise Audio

    This is a very simple exercise for playing sixth-tones The audio file has undulations on three notes: (I picked these because they appear in a piece I am coaching.) Bb3 – Bb3 sixth-tone lower Db4 – Db4 sixth-tone lower C3 – C3 sixth-tone higher All you have to do is practice at first playing with […]

  • What is your Superpower?

    Having a kid and playing modern board games where it is teamwork against the forces of chance or evil (not everyone for him/herself like in my day), it is easy to fall into this kind of thinking. Because these days, everyone is special, right? No one is supposed to get left behind. Everybody has their […]

  • The Dong

    I have been meaning to keep an online account of my adventures with Georges Aperghis’ piccolo solo “The Dong with a Luminous Nose”, but it’s already three weeks before the performance and I haven’t written much. There are practical reasons for this – one is we ironed out the final version with cuts and tempo […]

  • In the Middle

    Thoughts provoked by working on the middle section of a large piece. Today I focused on pages 14 – 16 (of 21) of Aperghis’ the Dong. What goes on in a composer’s mind at this point? Was it a middle point when it was conceived? How will I survive to the end? How do I […]

  • Riches

    Some musings on current and future collaborations: Yesterday I discovered a new sound on my bass flute. It is high-pitched and horrible and usually something that I try to avoid. But like some things, under magnification or extreme pressure, it can yield a diamond-like beauty. I discovered this sound during my first session with composer […]

  • Using Harmonics: Making Difficult Intervals Even Harder! Why?

    If you have a difficult interval in any kind of musical passage, playing the second note as a harmonic makes it even more difficult. You have to put more effort into directing the air and controlling the air speed. Once you have done that though, going back to the original passage without the harmonic seems […]

  • Gesang | Gesicht

    Today is the long-awaited “premiere” (Corona-style – that is, online premiere) of a project that has been brewing for more than a year. Here is the video performance and the notes below. Many thanks to the Frauenkulturbüro, NRW for their generous support, and to the Altefeuerwache Cologne, who could have closed their doors on me […]