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islandguitar

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  1. Right-hand question

    Eugenio -- I'd love to know where I could get Noguiera's arrangement of Desafinado????? Did you transcribe it yourself or did you purchase it? Also I'd love to get my hands on Dilermando Reis's arrangements of Pixinguinha. Any leads? Thanks...
  2. What is your practice regimen?

    Eugenio, I couldn't agree more. I would suggest that we often overestimate the importance of the score. Recordings are essential when trying to learn any style and or rhythm: I couldn't imagine learning something like Pereira's "Num pagode em planaltina" from only the score! I tried and I couldn't! Besides inadequacies, how many scores don't have several serious typos? I find "classical" guitarists usually are the most stubborn. It's almost like the score can never be wrong. I've had many teachers who would fuss over written note durations to the point of making the piece almost impossible to play -- even though the composer clearly performed the piece differently from what was written on the score! Nowadays, I always use software to slow down the speed of tunes I'm working on. I know some of you may consider this cheating, but I found it greatly speeds up the amount of time it takes me to learn a tune. It also makes fingering choices and note durations much more obvious. In this way I find you can listen to any performer and get a free masterclass anytime you want it. More importantly listening to slower speeds helps me assimilate more difficult passages without tension... a problem I always struggle with. For those interested, I use the software Transcribe. It's great and it doesn't cost much. Also, check out the software Audacity. It's free and it's very good!
  3. Like most "classical" guitarists I was introduced to Brazil through the music of Villa-Lobos. I always found Villa-Lobos' music very physical (i.e., untamed and raw). One could always find wonderful rhythms and challenging harmonies in this great man's music. Of course in the Choros No1 and Suite populaire breslienne there was much influence of the choros groups. Even though I've played many choro compositions I'd still like some clarification from Brazilians on this type of music. For me, the choro form typically means lots of syncopated rhythms, playful melodies, and of course a repetitive structure (i.e., ABACA, etc.). After a taste of the Villa-Lobos choro the next logical (and I'm sure common) step for me was the music of Joao Pernambuco. Recently, it was Roland Dyens who turned my attention back to Brazil. Dyens' arrangement of Jobim's Felicidade, his Trois Saudades were wonderful finds for me. I'd like to note that I find Dyens' performances of Villa-Lobos the most exciting. His recording of Choro No1 and the Preludes are simply wonderful. I also must give Dyens credit for having introduced me to the music of Radames Gnattali. In a masterclass I'll never forget how excited Dyens got when a Brazilian guitarist said he was going to perform Gnattali's Toccata No2. "Oh! I love these!" was Dyens' reaction. Exploring the studies and concert pieces of Gnattali have been another wonderful experience for me. Quite recently I've discovered the music of Marco Pereira. It seems many things have come full circle for me. Pereira's recordings have also led me to discover (and re-discover) the music of great Brazilian musicians: Dilermando Reis, Garoto, Pixinguinha, etc. Pereira's own music is an extension of the vast collection of Brazilian guitar music. My only complaint now is -- I am forced to ignore much of the standard repertoire for the classical guitar. The music of Brazil is so immense that it will likely take me the rest of my natural life to understand and absorb!
  4. What is your practice regimen?

    Hi Kristi. I found your confessions amusing. I too must confess I often "practise" with the TV on. Of course it's not a good idea if you're trying to learn a piece, but I find it doesn't hamper me if I'm warming up, doing technical exercises, or even practising sections of pieces. I wouldn't rely on this method for memorizing pieces or programs -- that takes a lot of concentration. I guess I do what works for me. At the end of a work day I'm usually too tired to practice, so I find that the TV actually helps me stay awake and somewhat focused on the music. Take heart Kristi, I've read or heard of several great musicians who also "confessed" to practising while watching TV: Joshua Bell, Joe Pass, et. al. Oh one more comment... I find I go through phases where I spend almost all of my practise time on technique; other times I work entirely on repertoire with little or no technique (still doing a warm-up though of course). I guess it depends on what type of concerts or gigs you have scheduled.
  5. Hello Flavio. I should add that the masterclass was almost entirely in French, so I'm sure I didn't get all of Dyens' explanation. I decided to use the word "concept", so thanks for clarifying. Yes it was a strange masterclass (one of my all time favorites actually!). It even gets better... there was a Brazilian guitarist in the crowd who helped Roland explain "balanco" to us. Their conversation led to the Brazilian clapping syncopated rhythms on his chest and body while Roland played Felicidade. Very cool! Roland was trying to show us that no matter how syncopated the line was it could still be relaxed. We should remind ourselves that Roland spent a lot of time in Brazil early in his career (after receiving the Villa-Lobos prize). I love his "Trois Saudades" -- too often nos 1 and 2 are ignored! They are wonderful pieces which portray Roland's deep passion and understanding of Brazilan music.
  6. I have never seen the Bellinati Jobim video mentioned above. I'll have to check it out -- especially for his version of "Felicidade". I thought I'd include a short anecdote, related to the interesting comment Eugenio made about the Dyens' version. I attended a Dyens masterclass a few years ago that included a performance of his "Felicidade" arrangement. He was a bit annoyed that the performance was so fast and aggressive. Roland went on do discuss the concept of "Balanco" and how important it was to be relaxed and calm when swinging in Brazilian music. Roland then performed the piece a bit slower than his Nuages recording actually. The entire time he emphasized a calm steady swing. It's definitely easy to get carried away when performing Dyens' arrangement -- it is an exciting work. Equally important though (as Eugenio has stated) is maintaining the style of the music and keeping with Dyens' written indication in the score: "Con balanco".
  7. Marco Pereira titles in English?

    Eugenio, there is a Barrios waltz called "Tua Imagem"; it's in the well known Stover volume containing "Julia Florida", "Vals Op8, No4", and "Choro de Saudade". This Barrios piece is actually in a different key than "Flor das Aguas". I looked through my Barrios music... the Barrios waltz (in A-major) I was thinking of is called "Junto a tu corazon". This waltz obviously has little in common with Marco's. I'm curious did Marco comment that he based "Flor das Aguas" on Barrios Vals No.3, Op8? As I said earlier, I very much agree with you Eugenio. Even though the two pieces are in very different keys, the rhythms and structures are very similar if not identical. I plan to include both Vals No3, Op8 and Flor das Aguas in an upcoming winter program. I love to contrast pieces that are connected and or influence each other. Thanks again for the info!
  8. Bravo Eugenio. Just adding my "2-cents" and paraphrasing Pereira's GSP publication info... his compositional style is a remarkable synthesis of Brazilian rhythm, jazz, and classical music. Like many great Brazilians before him, Marco combines classical and jazz technique. In my opinion, Pereira has continued the tradition of Baden Powell, Garoto, et. al. His music is unquestionably Brazilian, with roots firmly in jazz while at the same time remaining essentially classical in structure. Marco's live recordings do much to confirm that his improvising capability and technique is among the best of any guitarist or musician in this genre. Marco's playing is so smooth and natural that you forget how friggin' difficult it truly is!
  9. I first stumbled onto the name of Edmar Fenicio as an arranger in the well know Chanterelle publication "PERNAMBUCO Famous Choros Volume 1 (Chanterelle 761)". Recently I ordered some of his music from GSP (California, USA): "Message to Jobim" & "Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro". Unfortunately there seems to be a dearth of information about this composer, at least outside of Brazil. My goal with this post is to establish a forum where guitarists can discuss his compositions and or details about this composer. To begin I'll include a few brief comments about the above pieces. "Message to Jobim" This is a pair of short pieces. The first titled "Dawn's Song" and as you'd expect is slow and somber in the key of b-minor. The 2nd titled "Evening's Prelude" is again slow but much brighter in the key of E-major. As I've said, these pieces are short, but together they would make a nice addition to any concert. Fenicio's writing is very idomatic. Chord shapes are jazzy and very colorful yet always remain comfortably under one's fingers. "Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro" This is a slightly more substantial piece (in length at least) in the form of a samba. Again the writing is very idiomatic, while the chords remain diverse and explore "flat" key areas. Even though you would encounter many of these chords in other Brazilian repertoire (i.e., Garoto) Fenicio still manages to remain original. Several altered chords plus some open strings here and there make his writing unique. I should note that Fenicio's writing in this piece is very sequential; he repeats chord prgoressions exactly often a wholetone away from the previous beginning chord. As a performer this enables you to get a lot of material with the same technical effort. Caution, there are a few wrong notes, but usually it's a missing accidental that's pretty obvious -- especially if you follow the sequential patterns. This tune has a moderate tempo and really swings!
  10. Marco Pereira titles in English?

    Ohhhhhhh, Barrios's "Vals No3"... I agree with you that makes a lot of sense -- it's the same rhythm! I guess I thought you might have meant "Tua Imagem" (in the same key as Marco), but I didn't see any similarity. Thanks again.
  11. Marco Pereira titles in English?

    Wow! What a great resource for non-Brazilian folk like me, who love Brazilian music. Thanks for the detailed information EUGENIO and GFR. Eugenio thanks for the compliment but most of these pieces are still a work in progress... I may be able to play them, but nothing like Marco! You're right "Flor das aguas" is tough and a great piece (by the way which Barrios piece were you referring to?). I guess that's the magic of players like Pereira -- they force all of us to be better players because their music is so friggin' good! Oh not to prolong this post, but I thought of another Pereira title: PIXAIM. Once again I'd love to hear your comments.
  12. Could somebody please translate and or add some details about a few Pereira compositions for me? I feel ridiculous performing pieces when I can't add any info about the title or composition. Thanks... I love Marco's music! Num Pagode al Planaltina Seu Tonico na Ladeira Flor das Aguas Tio Boros
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