April 27, 2012 at 3:11 AMThis year Adam DeGraff takes Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" and applies a fiddle flair to the piece for "The Rockin' Fiddle Challenge". He graciously sent it to me to transcribe to see what I would do with it.
The first step was to transcribe it for viola. This took longer than I expected. Writing music by hand is an art-form in and of itself. After working out the transposition, I had to figure out the spacing on the page for each measure, and whether the stems go up or down. I could have done this with software, but it wouldn't have been nearly as much fun.
After that was done, and correcting some incorrectly transcribed notes, it was time to start getting serious and a little not so serious about this piece. Lurking in the back of my head was this Monty Python idea of "...and now for something completely different", inspired by both Igudesmon and Joo and Adam DeGraff: take a piece originally composed in one style and apply a completely different style to the piece. About halfway into the first page, it came to me. Apply a "high classical" style to a few measures and then back to the original style. This is what I came up with:
A few days later, more videos started rolling in from others , including Grace Youn's video, with an amazing transition into Bach and back. This young musician took what I was going for and perfected it.
Did I start a trend? Maybe. Even if I did, I have some fierce competition and some work to do.
too bad i am so closed minded, right?
However, in both cases, I like the idea of adding something of your own to that part of the piece. I'm in the middle of trying to learn that part and I'm finding it a little hard to figure out where the piece is going right there.
Also, here's the blog about the Rockin' Fiddle Challenge.
One thing I'll say, this is the most I've ever video recorded myself. It has put a spotlight on my bow arm issues in a way that playing in front of a mirror never did. I'm holding off submitting the next section until I get that arm straightened back out a bit.
Actually, my son plays both these days, so he'd probably like to try both -- just showed this to my older daughter, and she'd like to give the violin version a try as well.
Hadn't been dropping by regularly, so wasn't aware of the origins of this piece here on v.com. Actually only noticed this blog post because it uncharacteristically showed up in my Facebook mobile app (along w/ other v.com posts) -- but strangely, v.com posts do not show up in my regular feed on the FB site, which is opposite of how that usually works out. Very glad to see this either way.
Anyway, I'll see about contacting the composer and probably Mendy about acquiring the music for both versions in a bit -- too busy at the moment to do much more than write this response, and the kids are probably too busy w/ their recital/concert pieces for the next month or so anyhow...
Thanks again, especially to Mendy for her work on this as well as this blog post!
Here it is:
I *love* this arrangement, except for the Pachelbel Canon part. That I could really do without. (And I'm far from a Pachelbel Canon hater--like everybody else, I've played it a million times, including on the piano, and I still enjoy listening to it. But I don't think it fits here.) It's not enough to ruin the rest of it for me, but it just doesn't work for me as well as the other two pieces. Maybe it would work better if I was a Pachelbel Canon hater . . . maybe that's what the "good riddance" refers to ;-)
This entry has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.
Violinist.com is made possible by...
Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.