Sunday, May 31, 2009

Set Organization Progress (Addendum)

I had meant to show the final A major suite in the previous post on this topic, but I simply forgot.

To review, my set for dinner and bar crowds, art openings, parties, and corporate events, is organized around the circle of thirds from A minor to A major: A minor, C, E minor, G, B minor, D, F-sharp minor, and A.

The pattern for the suites is two originals, and then alternating covers and originals, with a crowd pleaser at the end - for a total of nine pieces per suite - and each suite is about 25-30 minutes in duration. So, I play four suites, take a 30 minute dinner break, and then play another four suites to make a four hour gig (D major and F-sharp minor are still short at this point, running about fifteen minutes each).

As I mentioned previously, the first four suites have crystalized, with just a bit of uncertainty in the G major one. Because there is so much great guitar music in A minor and A major, it's just natural that the final suite has come into focus as well.

It looks like this now:

64] Figuration Prelude No. 8 - Hucbald
65] E-Axis Study in A major - Hucbald
66] Guardame Las Vacas - Luis de Narvaez
67] Six Variations in A minor - Hucbald
68] Etude VI - Leo Brouwer
69] Irreducible Fugue No. 3 - Hucbald
70] Yankee Doodle Dixie - Chet Atkins
71] Irreducible Fugue No. 4 - Hucbald
72] Desert Song - Eric Johnson
73] Heavy Nylon - Hucbald
74] Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin

I have eleven pieces here just in case I run short and have some time to fill up. This is a very good idea, because it's a million times more impressive if you never repeat yourself over the course of a four hour engagement: Folks think you could just go on and on. So, if I'm on time, I play Stairway to Heaven, which is my finale/encore piece, last (In place of Desert Song). If the crowd is a good one - drunk, jazzed... and tipping - I'll play the whole set through Heavy Nylon (Which is a PITA to get just right) to Stairway.

You'll notice I put some A minor pieces in here: There are just a gazillion cool pieces for the guitar in A minor - I actually have extras - and a lesser number of compelling A major works, so I did that on purpose, not out of any necessity. I have an awesome - and extremely difficult - arrangement of Bach's Sheep May Safely Graze in A major, which I may learn at some point, but I have all eleven of these memorized, so that's the path of least resistance right now.

I could have updated the previous post, but I wanted to post another pic of this stunningly awesome redhead.


Blogger Claudia said...

It's so well organised. And 11 pieces memorised! I'm impressed. It's true that people think you can offer a programm for 3-4 hours, and never repeat yourself. I used to envy the musicians who could improvise.

Fazil Say(a Turkish pianist) takes a Paganini(or Mozart)theme and just invent, on the spot, brilliant variations. I'm not sure it's the right thing to do. But he's never short of "new" pieces to play.

Wish I could be listening to you with the crowd, 'drunk, jazzed and tipping'.

Praise from my son for your gorgeous ladies. You never make a mistake....:)

All the best from Canada.

10:15 AM  
Blogger Hucbald said...

Back in the real classical era, performers almost always improvised their cadenzas, but in the romantic era, composers started writing them out, and so improvisation eventually became a lost art.

I saw a classical pianist - I'm sorry I can't remember his name - playing with a symphony orchestra, and he improvised his cadenzas. He did the Mozart No. 21 - my favorite - and his improv was quite good.

Bach, Mozart, Beethoven (In his younger years), Liszt and Paganini were all great improvisers. I never was interested in improvising much, except in blues and rock idioms, as I always wanted to slow the process down and make the solo "perfect." Typical modern composer. LOL!

Tell your son thanks for the props, Claudia. ;^)

You do know I'm a Newfie, right? Born in St. John's.

12:31 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home