I have written here about the “Mediterranean Musical Dialogue” seminar, and I am happy to report that my bass class included not less than 8 bass players (!) and three cellos too.
All bass players had my MEDB course every morning at 09:00, and then another class with one of the other great teachers in the seminar (see the list of teachers on my original post). After lunch they were assigned to one of the ensembles each teacher conducted.
So what did we do?
- The first day started off with the basic workshop, presenting the Middle Eastern music, discussing its various elements and their execution with the double bass, and was focused on the Maqam.
- The second meeting was dedicated to ornamentation. After discussing the roll of the Arabic ornamentations and basic, universal ways of practicing musical embellishments, we had a musical piece from the Arabic repertoire (Sama’i Farahfaza) written with different kinds of stylistic ornaments. Each ornament was explained and an exercise was practiced for its correct execution. After reviewing four or five different ornament that are in use in this music, and seeing ways to use them in the music, we saw how to combine ornaments and had a good example of how eastern musicians choose the ornaments and determines their amount.
- The next day was all about playing together. We worked on a piece from the North African repertoire, arranged by me to a group of basses. Some of the work in progress can be heard in the video.
- The last work we had included individual playing. Some of the participants have been working on Middle Eastern music for a while, and four of them agreed to play in a ‘master class’ kind of setting for the rest of the players to watch.
On Friday all the ensembles played at the YMCA concert hall in Jerusalem. It was great to see so many ensembles with basses, and everybody played wonderfully.
What a great way it was to say goodbye to 2011, may we all have a wonderful 2012, full of double bass creativity!!! Hagai.