Why do I feel I should don a black tuxedo, complete with tails? Maybe it’s because I’m feeling quite masterful when setting the instrumentation for my next conquest….the Spellbound Concerto by Miklos Rozsa. You may remember a movie from the 40’s by that name. It was a classic collaboration of David O. Selznick (producer) and Alfred Hitchcock (director) starring Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck. A thriller, to say the least! The plot hinges around the psychosis of a murderer. Except, in true Hitchcock fashion, the guilty party turns out to be an entirely different person than the one the viewer has been led to believe throughout the film. Confused yet? Anyway, the musical score reflects this aura of danger, apprehension and mystery. My challenge is to transcribe this Academy Award Winning score to suit the Atelier organ while preserving the realism created by the composer. A bit tricky, but also a fun task.
So I set out this weekend to accomplish just that. How? Well, the music itself supplies the dissonance to make the harmonies seem a bit edgy. Funny, if one were to take the idea a little further, the result would be offensive to the ear. But this work stops just short of that point. And, just to make it even more of a challenge, a love interest develops in the plot. So part of the notation is truly warm and beautiful. Such a terrific suite to learn and to perform.
And I’ll be doing just that in Palm Springs this May at the annual Desi’s Music Center organ spectacular. It’s a three-day event where folks from all over the country convene to not only experience professional concert artists in action but also glean practical application of what they’ve heard through daytime music workshops. Part of the continued success of the festival is the hands-on aspect of the gathering where the pros like me gladly offer playing critiques and suggestions to those who aspire to advance their skills. We all stay at the same Hilton Hotel, dine together and enjoy the various planned activities. It’s always great fun as well as educational for the attendees. If you’re interested, log onto http://www.desismusiccenter.com and click on Music Extravaganza for more details. I hope to see you there this May. Come and say “hi”.
So it’s back to preparing for these exciting few days. Of course, I’ll also be featuring other less dramatic music while there. The newly-introduced Platinum model Atelier console organ from Roland Corporation provides me with instrumentation ranging from Latin to Dixieland…..and everything in between. Fortunately, I am able to store my sound registrations on a memory stick making it very convenient to “switch gears” while on stage. It’s nice to know that the music industry continues to use today’s technology in improving their products. I’m lucky to be a part of the promotion of these magnificent instruments. I feel empowered by them!
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We’ll talk more later. Bye for now.