Monday, December 22, 2014


This post is one I've been meaning to make for a long time. Below you will find my own definitions to terminology I use periodically.

The Performance

A sacred act in music. The moment when energy, existing without form, is formulated by, and transmitted through the performer(s). The energy is then received by an audience, whose response returns back to the performer(s). The performer(s) prepare for this activity yet they are guided in the act by inspiration (sprezzatura). The goal of this activity is a shared experience between performer(s) and audience. 

Historically-Informed Performance (HIP)

Movement in 20th/21st Century classical music involving numerous aspects of performance. Musicians self-identifying in the HIP movement perform on period- and regionally-specific instruments (or copies of instruments) relating to a given work. Emphasis is placed on the understanding of past performance practices and contextual research. Any work from any time period can be subject to an historically-informed performance. 

Early Musician

A musician who has undergone a reevaluation in their development. One who has had the traditional classical music upbringing and is later introduced to HIP. This reevaluation includes a period of time focused on developing skills on a period instrument (or instruments), study of primary sources relating to performance practice, period-specific contextual studies, as well as an analysis of the goals of that musician and how they relate to the goals of HIP.

Period-Instrument Performer

Musicians who self-identify with the HIP movement but who have not undergone the above-mentioned reevaluation. Most often this musician plays a period instrument (or copy), or owns relevant equipment to perform with early musicians (baroque bow, gut strings, etc.). However, a period-instrument performer can have spent their whole development in HIP. Regardless of their introduction to the movement, period-instrument performers have not often fully considered the goals or merits of the movement and how they relate to their own. The technical level of these players can vary from amateur to world-class professionals.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Eubo's last six concerts have been quite intensive for its bassoonist. With solos or soli sections in Jean-Féry Rebel's Les Éléments, as well as a number of vigorous passages in our combination suite of dances from Rameau's Zaïs, Platée, and Les Boréades, I've had to work harder than ever before in concert and there is no doubt that any bassoonist would shudder a little to think of how much energy it would take to go the distance. What kept me looking forward to every night wasn't the challenge, however, it was the opportunity to play Rameau's Entrée de Polymnie, from Les Boréades. It is one of, if not The, most beautiful pieces ever written for strings, flute, and obbligato bassoon.

Monday, December 8, 2014


A few weeks ago in MOMO class we had an exercise where every student had to speak for a minute or two on a given subject. Mine was 'age'. "If a conservatory were to hire a talented 21 year old in 1960, the hiring committee would, and did, see the candidate as an investment in the future of the institution. If that same candidate were to be hired today the decision would be looked upon as 'risky' and no doubt there would be a call for the committee to reexamine their options. So," I asked, "when do I lose my youth?" At that moment a discussion started. Discussions rarely happen in MOMO, but when they do there is plenty to think about.
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