FAQ's & STORMFacts:
(Please scroll down to see all categories)
of most recent version of Brief
letter about the
PAD Bass 22 October 04
is the PAD Bass? Also, please
see recent article
FAR MORE about KARL GEROLDINGER and his fine
Musicians! But I'll take his commentary on the PAD
BASS! He understands completely!
BASS Quicktime Video.
Score Notes to MUSASHI.
Demonstrations of PAD Bass, Harp & Vocal
Sounds desired in "storm" works.
- STORMSounds Demo Video. Hear PAD Bass, Harp & Voices.
Davis on "The New Use for Tuners"! Quicktime.
you have known about these Firsts? There
is no megaphone other than the word-of-mouth endorsements of fellow STORMDirectors.
AND! Everyone wants to be first to be second! Though you will hear many claims of, "We're the first," these facts remain:
PDF Music: STORMWORKS (1993)
PDF Music: STORMWORKS (1996)
internet REHEARSAL: STORMWORKS (2005) (actually earlier, but this was an actual conducted rehearsal!)
Parts emailing: STORMWORKS (1996-97... to Norway!)
Composer to self-publish? (Haydn & many others... but now?) STORMWORKS (1992)
that a Composer's CD with ORIGINAL MUSIC
for BAND had been nominated for a Grammy
Award: STORMWORKS (2006) (This was only in the first round and therefore not on the books, but alas, there are no megaphones. The people that nominated did it on their own and with no politics atached.)
Music for Band to utilize the DigitalMusiCard technology.
See Billboard Magazine, March 2008.
- FIRST Film Scoring Book on iTunes and in iBooks: Music to Picture
For more interesting "FIRSTS," please read the SCORE Notes to LAST WORLD STANDING.
This provides a 34-year History of the Evolution of STORMWORKS. Download your resource via DIGITAL LIBRETTI.
number of pieces in STORMWORKS: 356 movements, plus tools.
Number of Score Pages, all available as PDF: 6333 (just the STORMWorks or 148 of 1050 works)
Duration of Current STORMWORKS: 23.55 hours.
of individuals worked with since 18 March 1996: 34,634
So far, 20 - STORMDirectors got STORMQuest, never
touching their Music Budgets! How?
STORMDirectors: 441 (#333 is Chris Behrens
FIRST STORMDirector to acquire the STORMSystem
via Sweetwater is Jim Kull from St. Charles, Illinois.
333rd STORMDirector is Frank Wickes from Louisiana
2,000th STORMDirector is Larry Lamkin from Linwood,
First Official STORMDirector of 2000 is Ryan Burnette
from Winamac, WI!
First Official STORMDirector of 2001 (the 3rd Millennium)
is Mark Stice from Eaton Rapids, MI.
First Official STORMDirector of 2002 is David Wilson
from University of MS.
First Official STORMDirector of 2003 is John Dorn
from Concordia University of Seward, NE.
The FIRST International STORMDirector to get an
entire Piece... O Come Holy Night... as PDF over EMAIL is Scott
Rogers from Sandefjord, Norway! (Talk about saving some
shipping costs! Way to go, Scotty!)
FIRST OFFICIAL STORMDirector is Steve Olsen from Eden
Prairie HS in Minnesota! Thanks, Steve!
FIRST EUROPEAN OFFICIAL STORMDirector is Jack
Haasnoot of The Netherlands.
FIRST JAPANESE OFFICIAL STORMDirector is Takuo Ohtsuki
The FIRST STORMDirector to get Music as PDF over
EMAIL is Bob Casperson from Hastings HS in Minnesota! He
also makes STORMPizza every Sunday! WOW!
FIRST STORMDirector to invest in STORMQuest on CD-ROM
is Wesley Russell from Joliet, Illinois! (Little did you know
it then, Wes, but you made History. You were
the Real first to get Music this way!)
FIRST STORMDirector to invest in the COMPLETE
STORMQuest (Hard Copy) is Frank Tracz from
Kansas State University!
FIRST STORMDirector to successfully make STORMSauce
is Doug Fletcher from Indiana. Way to go, Doug!
FIRST STORMDirector to invest in the COMPLETE LIBRARY,
accompanying sets of Parts and all Teaching Tools is Keith
Hodgson from Mainland High School in New Jersey! WO! Thanks,
FIRST STORMDirector to invest in A WISH to the
WORLD! on CDR, not one note heard...
and do it without touching the Music Budget...
is the completely *up-to-speed*... *oh yeah, he totally gets it*,
Mr. Todd Statler from Eureka, Illinois. Way to go, Todd.
New STORMWORKS record! FIVE Minutes from Commission
announcement to Contract! This was achieved by synchronous
email watcher and True STORM Aficionado, PHIL MIN formerly
of Vestavia High School, Alabama, and now Professor of Music at
University of Southern Mississippi. WOW!
- The FIRST AUSTRALIAN OFFICIAL STORMDirector is David Polain.
6/2/05 7:37 AM, masaki takahashi wrote: "It goes from
tomorrow to the 6th to Nagoya to perform. It is a combination concert
of the army, naval forces, and the air force this time. Keep our
do tuning of F every day. The thing that goes out considering the
down beat just is considered. Ganbarimasu!! I will do a good performance."
Takahashi, from the JAPAN AIR SELF DEFENSE FORCE BAND, after
the Chapter 5:8 Recording Session.
you could see my set up at the podium... right behind me I've got
the Mac G5 20" totally maxed out, pumping audio to surround
system, and visual to an 8' x 8' projector. Music Pad pumping score
and exercise images directly to projector....and now the STORMPod
pumping audio and visual. I am putting the SCALEWORKS
in super large format errantly on band room wall! We've got this
tech money that can only be spent on tech so I've gotten in good
with my tech guy and we are pushing the envelope man....... Most
importantly, the kids eat this stuff up... imagine putting up SCALEWORKS,
and FUNCTION CHORALES on the screen directly above and behind me. Instantly gets their
heads out of the music. No paper, photocopiers be damned! Next we'll
get you on a video feed for a clinic!" Eric(h) Wells,
you to know that your methods and ideals for instrumental music
pedagogy have had a profound effect on my ensembles. Since August,
we have implemented the PAD Bass into all facets of our daily rehearsal
routine. It is now not uncommon for me to hear overtones when the
students tune themselves, and my bands are finally achieving a characteristic
sound that has eluded me for the first six years of my career."
Ron Fussell, Mastricola Middle School
- What I found INCREDIBLE was that while we were standing outside
the warm up room, I listened to a high school band take all 20 minutes
to TUNE. They would tune one person at a time, I suppose with a
tuner, and then have sections play, then go back through and hear
individuals, then a clarinet would play a pitch, and the band would
play.... they were not having much success.
I stood outside
and thought to myself "If he only knew what I have learned
about teaching the students to listen and aim." It only took
my kids 90 seconds to tune using the PAD Bass. I guess, in
comparison, that is what I found so incredible. I wish you could
hear them now. You would be so proud. I didn't have to take all
of my warm up time to tune, and could play some Function Chorales,
touch on some parts of the pieces we were playing..... It was GREAT!"
Susann Hubbell, Dublin Middle School, Ohio
The Music of the 21st century composed for the High School Concert
Band has seen many changes. The inclusion of synthesized sounds,
played by a piano proficient student, is becoming more important
as we progress into this new realm of possibilities. PADBass, Harp,
Piano and Voices from this new source add to the overall capability
of the modern High School Concert Band to render some of the most
moving Music yet written. In order to properly render this outstanding
Music and to involve more students in this moving experience, it
is important to have the necessary equipment. A sound system with
the correct amount of power and clarity is essential for our Band
to be able to render this Music. Not only will it enhance the types
of Music we can experience, it will also become an important part
of our curriculum in teaching the basic concepts of tuning, intonation
and sonic mix. We are already utilizing a synthesized bass in our
Marching Band. It would be very rewarding for the students playing
this instrument to become part of the Concert Band. It is our resolve
to bring the wonderful world of Music to everyone possible and having
this sound system will make that possible for now and years to come.
Mike Lee, Lovington HS, NM
& LINKED RESPONSES:
is IGNA? This is a personal demarcation.
is GODSPEED! It is a way of wishing you a safe journey.
It has nautical ties. It originally meant, "may God speed you."
can't use electronics in Japan!, and similar problems with contest!
What Equipment do I need to
play STEVE MUSIC?
are your thoughts on Moan Effect in
IN THE BEGINNING?
is an "Escape Hatch"?
is an "Official"
is The FOUNTAINHEAD?
Grade 2-3-4 Music for Band.
What are the Function Chorales?
is STORMWORKS versus STORMWORLD?
there an Errata sheet concerning any and
all STORMWORK Music?
How do I make the connection between the
FUNCTION CHORALES and MUSIC?
do I employ the Guitar in O COME HOLY
STORM Music on the road, I have determined that a better
placement for the Harp and Pad bass players is as follows: The players
should be positioned in the same manner as a harpsichordist would
be placed in the Orchestra. I usually place these players in the
very front, or in back of the first row of flutes and oboe. This
is dependent upon the total number of Musicians and available space.
With the speakers located as in the diagram accompanying the score,
the players are now in a position to automatically render the proper
Melillo- We have just begun preparation of "Stormworks"
with the Angelo State University Wind Ensemble. I am happy to report
that we are all enjoying the discovery process!
I have a
few questions about the piece:
1. Is there
an errata sheet available, or are score and parts completely accurate?
The place in question is in "Timestorm" at measure 164.
Trombone 3 has a Db against D in the other parts. Should it be D
natural in this part as well. Are there other places we should check
is correct, especially what appears to be random 1/2 step collisions
and changes in articulations as the piece or pieces advance. Tell
the kids this. "Now, if you Have a D, you're right! WIN! Now,
if you have a Db You're right. WIN!" The resultant BATTLE (intensified)
is precisely the Music.
that over the past 4 years, the written music has been continuously
upgraded and transformed by 4 quantum leaps. Beginning with handwritten
dynamics on old computer-assisted notation programs, it is now in
a very useful form... Mosaic 1.58 transformed into PDF's. Depending
upon when you invested in the work (s) the Music will have been
transformed to a "finished" version as of STORMWatch
2. How deeply
would you like the congas to be tuned? Do you have preferred drum
Bongos or congas,
normally tuned. The notes are not important. It is the "groove",
as suggested in my Brief Intro to Melillo Music, that is important.
Please liberate the percussionist in this way.
I am unfamiliar with the term "pad bass." Is this just
a synthesizer using a bass voice?
Yes... but the
bass voice utilized must have certain characteristics, which I'll
address with verbiage and with links to quicktime movies. Even though
highly compressed you will understand the nature of this sound.
On your particular
synth, or virtual library running through something like LOGIC,
look for patches with name-types like WARM PAD, or SLOW STRINGS
or STRING PAD. Because many manufacturers make use of the term,
"PAD" in their patch descriptions, I have adopted the
term PAD Bass so as to cover a range of possibilities
across a variety of different synthesizer manufacturers.
BUT, the synthesizer
needs to be detuned by an octave, possibly two
dependent upon the synthesizer in question. (Whether it is a
49-key controller or an 88-key controller for instance.) The
resultant tones, void of "rosin", should sound an octave
and 2-octaves below the Tubas, or lowest element in the ensemble
being voiced. Good examples of the PAD Bass reside
on the STORMWORKS CDs.
to read below. Listen to examples here. Example
1, Example 2, Example
3, Example 4.
I also speak
to this instrument in the Brief Intro to Melillo Music which accompanies
The PAD Bass
provides a new fundamental for the Band of the 3rd Millennium. While
accomplishing the task of releasing new overtones into the sonic
scape of Band, it also provides an inviolable fundamental and tuning
reference. Because it is at least one octave below the Tubas, it
also provides for, and reinforces the correct path of listening
from the wind players, which is towards the base or fundamental.
Correctly implemented, the simple addition of this new instrumental
colour will provide for a whole new world of acoustic possibilities
in the winds and percussion idiom. In addition...
is enhanced by means of the following: Students who might otherwise
not be a part of the band program, pianists by example, now have
a place and important function. The instrument (instruments,
when including the synth-Harp) presents the opportunity for
consistent rehearsal practices, including the commencement of a
rehearsal by the simple sounding of the concert "F". Access to the
keyboard in the rehearsal environment provides for greater student
interaction with instruments belonging to a more complete inventory
of the modern orchestra. It also provides a medium for exploration,
experimentation and of course, the demonstration of score passages,
etc. Utilize the PAD Bass to establish the rehearsal by providing
the reference fundamental. From the Concert F, the entirety of the
rehearsal logically unfolds.
5. We are
using a Sound Canvas Mk II tone generator. Do you have preferred
voices for this piece of equipment? I checked, and it has some of
the same voices (ice rain, etc.), but not all.
MIDI, the voice WARM PAD is available. It is not truly the ultimate
PAD Bass sound, but when detuned and properly "touched",
it will serve its purpose... that of supplying a NEW "fundamental"
in the band orchestration. The other sounds suggested in the piece
"Stormworks" can be as written... in 1988!.. or you can
modify them to the standard STORMWORKS orchestration. The "keyboard"
part can now be played on a stereo positioned HARP with reverb.
By the way,
the sound system, as illustrated in the SCORE NOTES is also of GREAT
importance. When I guest conduct, I spend a great deal of time correcting
this situation which band directors and clinic hosts do not fully
explore. The one change I would make is the placement of the "players".
The speakers should be as graphed. The players should now be in
the front of the ensemble, so as to "hear" their mix level
with the sounds of the group. This is how we recorded the STORMWORKS...
Chapter One CD.
UTILIZING SYNTHS in CONTEST: Now, I have one question. What
is PAD BASS? If the pad bass is one of the electric musical instruments,
we can not use on the contest. In Japan, we are not permitted to
use electric musical instruments on the contest. What can we use
instead of PAD bass?
"I'm sorry... but guess what, you will have to change
the rules! The piece is composed for those instruments.
For the rule committee to say, "THIS IS NOT ALLOWED"...
would be the SAME as the rule committee saying, "SORRY BEETHOVEN, YOU CANNOT USE TROMBONES"... or
"SORRY WAGNER, YOU CANNOT USE TUBAS". The PIECE
was composed for THAT Orchestration. They are denying
the Composer's Music & Orchestration Innovations by forbidding
"electricity". Gee, I guess that means that the concert
must be played OUTSIDE and during the day, no microphones
allowed!... because inside we would have to use LIGHTS!
Any body who plays this Music in Japan... MUST be
a CHAMPION of the True Music as it was meant to be
rendered. It's Time for some guts, my friend. And since Synthesizers
were INVENTED in Japan... well, what can I say?"
We met at the 1997 Midwest Convention. You GAVE me a copy of your
Function Chorales because you felt
sorry for the economically-disadvantaged Band Director from North
Carolina. I wish my kids could play with the same tone production
on all their music that they have when we play your chorales. I
feel like it is their concentration span. I hate to pick your brain.
Do you have any suggestions? My kids LOVE "By Love Compelled.."
Thanks, Mike Bloomer
101! YOU need to make the correlation between discovering
the skeletal structure in the Function Chorales
and THEN discovering the same inner workings in a piece.
It so happens that BY LOVE COMPELLED offers a TREMENDOUS opportunity to explore Tuning and Intonation. You simply need to
ask and challenge the kids to find that inner "function",
that inner geometry and engineering. Evoke them... Invoke them,
and they will respond... because Music is truly mathematical...
and though it is not a "universal language", it is most
certainly, "the language of the Universe!"
GUITAR IN O COME HOLY NIGHT!
I am currently
attending the American Band College at Southern Oregon University.
We read two of your pieces - one of them was O Come Holy Night.
I had particular interest in this one because I convinced my jazz
guitar player to join concert band (as a percussionist) and I thought
I could utilize him on guitar on this composition.
Do you want
it performed (rendered) on electric guitar, amplified acoustic,
or acoustic - not amplified?
amplified acoustic would be nice, but why not leave it up to the
player. Sometimes, the guitarist can get a great and haunting sound
from the electric, very smooth... See if he can't create a whole
new mood based on his choice.
ESCAPE FROM PLATO'S CAVE & the "ESCAPE HATCH"
wrote: "I performed Escape From Plato's Cave last spring with
my advanced band, and it was a great experience for all involved.
So far this fall, I've heard it performed at two different music
festivals, and there are some questions that I'd like to ask, since
the interpretations were each dramatically different than what I
got from the score.
The Cave- in m. 44, is this a sudden tempo change from the 124
marcato section, or should it ritard smoothly?
The Tempo SHIFT was designed in the Music to occur at beat 3 of
measure 44. How would one know this? Well... Rhythmically, I've
set this up so that there is a cessation of motion. The conductor
could take his/her time to set up a very dramatic moment. I do this
often in many pieces. Hit beat three... then let the Timpani and
Snare Swell and Roar from that moment into the "Back to Darkness"
section of measure 46. I call this device in my writing an "Escape
Hatch". I formally CALL it an ESCAPE HATCH in the
piece DAVID. This is defined as being a device, usually
rhythmic in nature, which allows the conductor to shift, hold, create
drama... as felt. (More on the "escape Hatch"
Escape- m. 104 What is a MEL swell?
is a dramatic crescendo between the Timpani and Large TAM. The players
must start at ZERO. Now, I can't stress this enough via written
word... ZERO! Then in the kind of slope as suggested in the "BRIEF
INTRO TO MELILLO MUSIC", they swell to create a highly dramatic,
dynamic effect... ala what happens in the piece "Stormworks"
in the last movement. This is the best I can do with words.
m. 108 Should all of the melodic percussion be out of time,
or just the bells? Also, which mallets did you have in mind to produce
the effect that you envisioned?
score is marked so that only the Harp and the Orchestra Bells are
playing "as fast as possible" Mallets should be metal.
BUT, in measure 122, the vibes also have this marking. This is to
create a spectacle of colour even though there is a HUGE "Almost
Forever" fermata in the winds!
Thanks for your time. I would like to think that I convey my
interpretations with the composers intentions in mind, but it's
interesting how two people can look at the same words and pull two
very different meanings out.
because of what I tell the kids all the Time. If a man writes a
letter to his best friend, telling him about how he was recently
dumped, destroyed and betrayed after years of being fooled... and
the friend has never experienced treachery from the opposite sex...
of any kind... do you think that ANY words, or ANY notes could make
the friend read and KNOW the story as intended?
AN "ESCAPE HATCH"? (asked in regard to the piece DAVID)
Hatch is a Rhythmic device which allows Time to stop or
slow... depending on the feeling of the Conductor. You will note
that at moments marked "Escape Hatch"... which I formalize
in this piece. (It applies to all STORM works) ... the rhythm is
such that everyone is in a moment of rhythmic cessation. This pause
can be extended to great drama by means of the conductor. I hope
that this is sufficient. If not feel free to call.
are your thoughts on the MOAN Effect in IN THE BEGINNING?
Digging in on "In the Beginning...." What were your thoughts
on the "Moans" in the PAC. II part? (My kids think it's
cool I can email the composer for suggestions.) I will print your
reply and give it to them. Thanks for being so accessible.
"moan" can be done in one of two ways.
1. On a synth
(like the Proteus) use RB's Whine patch and then use the pitch bend
to get a lonely, distant fall into oblivion...
2. You can
hum a desolate and dropping pitch into the timpani vocally... so
that the timpani shell "rings" and projects the sound
through the ensemble from the distance.
Hope that helps!
was wondering: could you give me some information about Stormworks
(or Stormworld, I don't know how they are related and what they
mean) ? I would really appreciate it! Thanks in advance and Godspeed
STORMWORKS is the name I have given to a large body
of interrelated works for Band. It is the name of a piece, a theme
song if you will, and it is also the name of my self-publishing
entity. STORMWORKS has been a reaction to Goliath-like
political forces, which now ironically, follow many of the Musical
and Music-Publishing initiatives and influences originated by STORMWORKS.
has pioneered many fronts and is now imitated in ways which will
continue to make things better and better for Musicians and Conductors
is approximately 18 hours of Music. Because STORMWORKS
is constantly expanding, and because there is now a STORMWORKS®
EUROPE (in The Netherlands) and a STORMWORKS®
ITALIA, a STORMWORKS® Singapore and a STORMWORKS®
JAPAN, it seemed appropriate to expand the name STORMWORKS
on the web by calling the site STORMWORLD.com. I hope that
this is a thorough enough answer for you. Thanks, Gerben and Godspeed!
Equipment Do I Need to Correctly Render STEVE MUSIC?
As you know,
I have been a proponent of employing synthesizers in "band"
compositions since 1980! I put "band" in quotes because
in all other areas of Music, the synthesizer has been employed for
many years prior. We are "behind" the times... but not
only Musically. We are ignoring a tremendous Educational responsibility
when we deny kids who are very much interested in the technology
their chance to be a part of the school's Music program. We are
similarly denying pianists and other "electronic" Musicians
access to the incredible rewards of partaking in the school's instrumental
ensembles. STORMWORKS provides Music to meet the needs not
just of wind players, but of percussionists and electronic Musicians.
All that having
been said, my utilization of electronics is not extreme. In fact
it is quite "customary". I employ only two synthesizers.
One is dedicated to an instrument called the PAD BASS. The
other is a HARP. These "electronic" instruments
serve to create a bridge to the orchestral world.
In all Steve
Scores, you will find a diagram depicting a SEATING CHART.
Speakers should be positioned in stereo. The one change I've made
is that the keyboardists should be up front, so as to hear themselves
from the conductor's point of view as their colours mix with the
winds and percussion.
What are the students playing and what are we hearing them through?
very inexpensive keyboards which have no sounds on board. They function
only as Mother Keyboards which trigger modules. 88-keys is best
because of the authenticity to a piano. This is not necessary, but
your pianists will be grateful.
These can go
for around $250. GREAT Modules with built in effects
and 16-bit CD quality sounds can be had for as little as $100!
This is a far cry from when we started! There are also many lightweight
sound systems, high in amps and relatively low in cost. At Midwest,
I saw JBL Speakers that were quite impressive.
There are many
ways to set up a MIDI environment, and obviously you want to secure
a system which combines ALL of these elements.
1. Very Portable.
( I have helped people to design weatherproof systems for the field.)
2. Easy to set-up.
3. Can be used in concert band, but also in jazz band, orchestra
and marching band. (Chorus too!)
4. Can be integrated into a school MIDI system where compositions
and recordings can be made, as well as investigations into MIDI-MUSIC-MATH-SCIENCE.
Keyboards can trigger ONE Module, and the ONE Module can output
just TWO (stereo) 1/4 inch cables to the sound system. In an 8-track
board, you would still have room for 6 microphones! Here, the system
would call for TWO MIDI cables going into a MIDI MERGER then out
to the one Synth-Module.
making any move to purchase feel free to call me, or speak to anyone
whom you would consider an authority in MIDI implementation. It
is a WORLD too many directors have ignored.
Many of the bands need to play grades 2,3 & 4 music, but as
you know, the easier the music needs to be, the more difficult it
is to find good music. I have been asked to select 6 works in each
of the grades 2,3,& 4 levels. These works will become the official
recommended list for next year's New Zealand national festival.
This is an
awesome task and I need your assistance. I want to include your
STORMQUEST works, but I don't know the grade levels. I want
to make the list international, so I've got a lot of research to
do. I want to put NZ on the cutting edge.
ALL 15 pieces of STORMQuest range from grade 1.5
to 2 to 2.5. They were designed to sound filmic
and large and dramatic and interesting and color-filled and emotional...
but all at *that* grade level. Remember, I have no publishing
company to broadcast why this is good stuff... but it is nevertheless.
It has yet to be *really* discovered for all that it is because
of the Nature of David and Goliath. It is designed as an inspirational
learning tool, but many high school honor bands have played
the Music and loved it. To this list, I would also add MONTY!...
a British style march.
The order form
lists the grade level of each and the duration. Now, there are some
really neat 3-4 pieces!
OF NIGHT & INTO THE LIGHT OF DAY!
THE MOTION PICTURE: AURORA
RUNE (Grade 4 +)
(we can talk
about any of these, or you can read about them on the STORMPage)
back to Grade 2's. I JUST completed a NEW suite of pieces called
A WISH to the WORLD! There are potentially NINE pieces from that suite... maybe more, that would fit your criteria.
To see a list... again, look at the order form. It was designed
to indicate the duration and grade level as well. (... and again,
we can talk about any of these, or you can read about them on the
much! Hope this helps.
your reply. We will read the Escape
on Thursday. I assembled and will also distribute the attached handout
(A collage from the internet) to students. Do you have any further
is much... But it is difficult in an email. ESCAPE from PLATO’s CAVE has been played in 22 countries,
and all audiences respond in the same way. Also,
the kids from the many All-State Bands that have played this relate
to it in a very deep and interesting way.
I was in Switzerland. Listen to THIS! I was at this hotel, and someone
said, “Ciao, Melillo”. Well, the hotel clerk said...
“STEPHEN Melillo?” I said “Si” still in
Italian mode. He called the HOTEL OWNER. This was at midnight mind
you! The hotel owner drives in from wherever he was, and has in
his hand a drum! He starts playing... Simple QUARTER
NOTES, and sings... “BUM, BUM. BUM. Bumbumbumbum,
BUM, BUM, BUM, Bumbumbumbum.” He then communicated
to me that ESCAPE from PLATO’s CAVE was his
favorite piece. Interesting world, huh? And there are MANY stories
3 important ideas:
1. This Music will NOT play itself. Rich, there was a SCREAM and
applause from the audience at the premiere in the FIRST MOVEMENT
after that measure 13 build! So, ESCAPE is an opportunity
for real drama. It needs to be CONDUCTED and PLAYED with great feeling.
In this regard I know the piece is in GREAT hands with you!
2. If you could just get a hold of an internet VIDEO CAM, we could
actually do a session right over the NET! I use iSITE, and the AUDIO
quality, let alone the Video Quality is amazingly good. There is
a demo at the STORMSite under VIDEOCONFERENCING?
Perhaps one of the kids will be able to nail this right away for
you. Other than that, email is too difficult a medium to discuss
Music. I’m sure you understand!
3. Give ‘em Heaven!
Thanks & Godspeed! Steve
From Glenn Roberts
I've been using the PAD bass in all bands (5-6, 7-8, and 9-12) for
about 3 years now. Yesterday, I had an epiphany during 7-8 band
that I wanted to share with you.
A thought came to me during the Function Chorale...boy, the sound
is full and rich for an early 7-8 grade group! Oh, yeah...that's
the PAD bass doing that! What would the kids think if they could
how beneficial this is by not having it for a moment? (All of that
took less than a measure, by the way). So we tried it. First phrase,
no PAD. Try the first phrase again, this time with the PAD. What's
the difference, guys? Here are some of the responses, as best I
can remember them. (High notes and gray hair do bad things to memory!)
But I deeply APPRECIATE your efforts and I will put this on
the STORMSite with your permission.
"We sounded flat without it!" (I am not sure if she meant
flat in terms of pitch, in terms of acoustic dimension, or in terms
of that "stale bread" type of flat, or a combination ...
I think all three.)
more in tune with it".
"We sound bigger".
"We feel more secure". (THERE'S a mature response that
cuts right to its function in my ears!)
What I noticed is very much the same thing. It's been a long time
since I've been in front of a group without a PAD bass, even with
conducting 2 festival bands. The difference was notable. They sounded
hollow and immature without it; unblended, and sort of reminded
me of a calliope.
But with the PAD, they were able to find their place in the overtone
series, which meant in tune, which meant focused tone, which meant
good projection, which meant not having to strain the dynamic. Gee...
All that? 8 - ) ?
And believe it or not, Glenn... I am sure we can get your kids
sounding even better! I only wish ALL band Directors could have
seen what transpired in Austria this past Summer.
All of those
things we try to teach, in other words, are reinforced and even
helped along. But even more importantly, the kids are aware and
can make good judgments like the ones they did. You have heard all
this many, many times I am sure. But good words are always of great
My current work, CUBA
will be further inspired by your kind and supportive thoughts! Thanks
so MUCH, Glenn and please say hello to the kids for me and tell
them... Godspeed! Steve