June 8th and 9th….the initial Volare event in Santa Rosa, CA. This is an intensive seminar for intermediate to advanced organists who are ready and eager to improve their skills. I have created and marketed a program that I know will be of value to people whose playing has become a bit stale and stagnant. It’s easy for this to happen, especially when the musician has fallen into the trap of simply learning new songs…not new techniques. A great artist will never stop growing their craft.
Sometimes even I might drift into a period of complacency which might show up in my performance. However, I always have had some sort of engagement to prepare for that involves a crossover of the same folks attending. Consequently, it behooves me to constantly think of either new songs to play or new arrangements of something I already know. Sometimes the instrument itself (the Roland Atelier) gives me the incentive to create interesting effects and sounds that are the inspiration for the arrangement. This kind of reverse engineering….finding new sounds/rhythms….lends itself to composing an innovative rendition.
I remember some years ago when the Scat Voices appeared on the console. You may associate this sound with the late Ella Fitzgerald who used your incredible voice as an instrument. If you recall, many times within the song she was performing, she’d forgo singing the lyrics and go off on a totally ad lib melody vocally simulating trumpets, trombones, flutes, etc. In the case of the Atelier, this effect is made possible through the use of a feature called “initial touch”. This allows the player to depress the key at various pressure levels, each one activating a different phase of the effect. For example, when I use scat voices, the softest sound will be “doo”…if I press a tad harder, the vocal sound becomes “doot”, then “dat”, “bap”, and finally “bow”. The result is the organist, simply by depressing the key with varying pressure can simulate a scat style. This is exciting, fun stuff!
But back to the Volare learning system…..Immediately after I have completed the Santa Rosa event, I’ll be going to San Jose to again perform the Volare seminar on June 10th and 11th. I’ll be home for a day and then off to Portland, OR to perform at the national dealer meeting at Rodgers Instrument Inc. www.rodgersinstruments.com , a part of the Roland Corporation www.rolandus.com group of companies. I’m not quite sure what my role will be for this commitment on June 15th. I’ll have to wait until the prior rehearsal day to get direction on that. Fortunately, all I have to bring with me to prepare are my ten fingers, two feet and perhaps my personal registrations which are stored on a thumb drive. Rodgers specializes in producing organs for the institutional market. However, due to their tremendous manufacturing facility, Roland consoles are assembled there as well.
Then, on the 20th, I’ll be off to Lancaster, PA. to perform at the Dutchland Organ Festival www.billhornproductions.com/conventions.htm for two days. This is an annual event which is held at a resort in the area. There will be some 150 folks attending who love good organ music and also learning from the artists some of the techniques we like to use. I always have a great time at this festival.
I hope my dog remembers who I am after all this time away!
Keep up with me on Facebook or Twitter or visit me at www.RosemaryBaileyMusic.com
See you somewhere soon.
Today it’s crunch time for me because a week from now, I will be leaving for Palm Springs to be part of a four-day organ festival being held at the Hilton Hotel there. I’ve decided to include in my program a few new arrangements in addition to some of the regulars I play. One song that has captured my attention is from the musical “Victor, Victoria” and is called “Le Jazz Hot”. Julie Andrews originally starred in the show and sang this particular number. Frankly, I find it quite helpful to browse U-Tube sites for ideas, which is where I discovered this tune. It always helps me to have a visual as well as audio input when learning songs and creating arrangements of them. After spotting Ms. Andrews in her full sequin costume surrounded by a chorus line of terrific dancers, I knew I had to include this piece in my performance. I love it!
This is the reason for the crunch time and a repost of my previous blog.
Here’s an annual event that is one of my favorites. The Home Organist Adventure is sponsored by our local Roland dealer in southern California, Desi’s Music. The owner (and a long-time friend of mine) Desi Nelson, holds this three-day festival being held at the Hilton Resort in beautiful Palm Springs, California. This year we’ll convene on Sunday, April 4th through Thursday, April 7th. I plan on enjoying the excitement of the show and its participants. Various artists representing today’s organ industry will be on hand to answer questions about the instruments being played plus to conduct informal seminars directed towards the hobbyist musician. Evening activities include dinner followed by concertizing from some of the greatest professional organists in the world.
We all have a great time at this event. For more information log onto www.desismusic.com. I’d love to see you there!
More information about me is located at www.rosemarybaileymusic.com
Lately, it has come to mind that restricting myself to conventional playing might become old after while. We live in a time when most industries and activities are in constant movement. In the music business this is portrayed most vividly by contemporary electronic devices integrated into the Atelier organ. I’m referring to features like the CD burner, flash drive, digiscore. etc, etc., all of which appear on the upper-end Roland models. At a certain point of exploration of the instrument, the musician is confronted with a decision…whether to adhere to conventional registrations and playing styles or whether to explore the usage of more contemporary technology, only adding to the opportunities of creating more interesting performance. To totally ignore the latter is somewhat foolish in my opinion.
Step one, of course, is to learn the song without any apprehension. In other words, if you decide to avail yourself of the modern features on the organ, the last thing the player wants to worry about is knowing the notes, chords and timing of the number.