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My Journey with My Violin Since May 1716.
A probably unusual way to learn improvising via baroque play-alongs.
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (6 votes) 
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Demoiselle
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Mark said
Cologne, I was there 20 years ago looking at some Elhouse equipment we were thinking about buying for an extrusion press that I was the maintenance superintendent over.
Very nice town back then.

Mark  

This planet gets smaller and smaller since yesterday evening. I meet more and more people in this forum who once went to Cologne. Someone even lived there.

My violin is a 3/4 violin, made for right-handed players, though I play it left-handed. As I felt she was the best in the shop of all 3/4 violins I tried and the luthier agreed. I prefer Obligato strings together with Eudoxa E string. Self-made bow, weight: 24 g / 0.85 oz

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bocaholly
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Demoiselle said

This planet gets smaller and smaller since yesterday evening. I meet more and more people in this forum who once went to Cologne. Someone even lived there.  

Ha, ha @Demoiselle thanks for leaving it to me to out myself... "lived in Cologne"... yup, lived there for 25 years.

Yes, @Mark it's a reasonably nice town. Cologne was pretty much blown to smitherines in WWII (except for the Cathedral which the Allied forces used for visual navigation) so big chunks of the city were slapped back together quickly and with modest aesthetic results. The city has a incredible amount of green spaces as cities go. If you were there at a trade fare, you hopefully caught a few good meals in the bits of the old city center which survived near the cathedral or in the hip Südstadt 🙂

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Demoiselle
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bocaholly said

........ Cologne was pretty much blown to smitherines in WWII (except for the Cathedral which the Allied forces used for visual navigation) so big chunks of the city were slapped back together quickly and with modest aesthetic results. The city has a incredible amount of green spaces as cities go. If you were there at a trade fare, you hopefully caught a few good meals in the bits of the old city center which survived near the cathedral or in the hip Südstadt 🙂  

My grandparents' generation was insane. What did they think would happen after bombing England? Not just Germany lost incredibly old cultural heritage -- the whole world community did lose that old Cologne. Almost crazier that the Germans then chased away their best technicians. I usually explain it to those who complain about English terms in computer technique: "Germany was leading in thing computers, until they scared away their best experts. So you have to bear with English terminology." I'm fine with English computer technology. The sun king did the same crazy thing with huguenotts and we back then prospered because we got competent people from France.

By the way, did you hear they built a subway section which caved in, swallowing the big archive in Cologne? Not long ago.

My violin is a 3/4 violin, made for right-handed players, though I play it left-handed. As I felt she was the best in the shop of all 3/4 violins I tried and the luthier agreed. I prefer Obligato strings together with Eudoxa E string. Self-made bow, weight: 24 g / 0.85 oz

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bocaholly
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That City Archive collapse was a big deal... happened in 2009 and the legal proceedings just wrapped up this past October. 

https://www.ksta.de/koeln/koel.....e-31429410
in case anyone's curious.

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Demoiselle
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bocaholly said
That City Archive collapse was a big deal... happened in 2009 and the legal proceedings just wrapped up this past October. 

https://www.ksta.de/koeln/koel.....e-31429410
in case anyone's curious.  

I'm not saying the scandal which is coming up next is as big as the collapse of that City Archive, but I feel way too sexy for my shirt in this moment. The version of what I call Chancon d'Armide may cause people to do irresponsible things....

mooning-2174mooning-2174mooning-2174mooning-2174mooning-2174mooning-2174mooning-2174mooning-2174mooning-2174mooning-2174mooning-2174mooning-2174

At least it shouldn't be considering my age.

Well, I just almost laughed myself to death, while listening to this final master, like, "Isch will 'eiraten noch 'eute Nacht auf die Champs-Élysées!" (German with a French accent and little wrong grammar: "I want to marry right away tonight on the Champs-Élysées!")

The first time my own violin is downright flirting with my voice. I have to listen to this tomorrow morning again to comprehend what it all means.....

So who will now drive me to the Champs-Élysées in my blue baroque dress to film me in hopefully swirling mist? I really don't know what other pictures to use for this new audio production.

sp_PlupAttachments Attachments

My violin is a 3/4 violin, made for right-handed players, though I play it left-handed. As I felt she was the best in the shop of all 3/4 violins I tried and the luthier agreed. I prefer Obligato strings together with Eudoxa E string. Self-made bow, weight: 24 g / 0.85 oz

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Holly

I had spent a week in Italy eating there very light and heavy on the EVO meals and my taste buds were ready for something more substantial, so what could be better than pork knuckle and sauerkraut with dark brown gravy! It was good.

Mark

Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.

Albert Sammons

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bocaholly
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Mark said

... what could be better than pork knuckle and sauerkraut with dark brown gravy! 

The stuff looks atrocious but tastes heavenly.

@Demoiselle 
That last recording was indeed blush-worthy. snake1

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Demoiselle
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bocaholly said

That last recording was indeed blush-worthy. snake1  

No wonder, this song is from that moment in Lully's opera Armide, where the love between Rinaldo and Armida is at it's highest exhilaration. There is magic in this song, I tried to bring it out in this little experiment and it worked. I sought to create an environment with sort of chanson accordéon français in which my voice would go exactly there: Young, frivolous, ready for an amorous adventure, not caring about the consequences. The final consequences of the plot are terrible, but I'm not trying to do the whole opera. I want to orchestrate the feelings which go with this chanson and it's interesting to see that all I need for this is an accordion and the spell is already there. My still rather innocent and stupid violin is sighing an moaning in some places -- even she digs the spell of this mood!

Bach's good brother Johann Gottfried Walther explaines in his musical lexicon (1732):

Chansonnier (gall.) einer der die Chansons vor die Componisten machet; oder beydes, nemlich den Text, und die Melodie darzu, verfertiget. ....

So, the chansonnier makes the chansons for the composers, or both, text and the melody. Did Lully pay some channsonier to make him a chanson for a famous chaconne chord progression which very much indeed already existed? Maybe the song was even made by a woman! Something is telling me, this song must come from a female soul.... Rather unlikely they will ever find out the truth.

I could have added percussion to Chanson d'Armide. Either the deep boom of my big hand drum, or even congas and bongos from the keys of my synthesizer. Both would have made this more interesting, but I wanted to focus on that accordion. What will it do to this melody? It's clearly to hear. It puts my violin and my voice in a mood which is funnily explained by another author in his German-French dictionary (1719):

Liebs-Kranckheit oder Raserey, f. delire érotique.

So, "love-sickness or frenzy" is translated with delire érotique. Very interesting to know there are expressions like this in a time we call baroque. We tend to underestimate those people there. And this helps to build the stage for something that may have been the chanson of that time. What was going on in the coffee houses and vine taverns of Paris? We don't know enough about that. But there must be material in French archives nobody has looked for yet.

Another point: The Swiss baroque singer Manuela Maria Hager writes in her book "Barockgesang heute" (baroque singing today), that we know a lot about voice technique on the stages of that time. But we hardly know how they sang in chambers, where they probably sang more subtly. A female voice is a female voice, be it in 2018 or 1718 and it always worked the same. I also think the feeling of falling in love didn't change. That's old human stuff. Therefore I feel it cannot have been too far away from what we know as a modern French chanson. I wouldn't even wonder if it somehow sounded like Taylor Swift back then.

My violin is a 3/4 violin, made for right-handed players, though I play it left-handed. As I felt she was the best in the shop of all 3/4 violins I tried and the luthier agreed. I prefer Obligato strings together with Eudoxa E string. Self-made bow, weight: 24 g / 0.85 oz

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I'm constantly asking myself, "Will that accordionistic exhilaration come to an end?" Today I improvised to Pachelbel's Canon, transposed to C major, using my older baroque organ accompagnement for backing the violin.

Then I paused and went to my synthesizer keyboard to play an accompagenment for that Canon using the accordion sound. When I replayed that recording in my rehearsing boot and played my violin to it, there was that excitement again which makes me  wake up and play better. I have no real explanation why that accordion sound does that to my baroque violin style. I don't play more modern with a backing accordion, maybe I sound even more baroque. I love it, but it's crazy.

At my keyboard I also recorded a baroque organ accompagnement for LET IT BE by the Beatles. Interesting experiment which I had already tried with a guitar player in April 2016. She played the guitar too modern, so the experiment didn't work. Besides I didn't play well enough at that time anyhow. I use that baroque organ to make clear that I play LET IT BE like an old English baroque piece.

In the future I will use my accordion play-alongs to wake me up on days when I feel tired. If an organ or harpsichord won't do, the accordion will do much better.

My violin is a 3/4 violin, made for right-handed players, though I play it left-handed. As I felt she was the best in the shop of all 3/4 violins I tried and the luthier agreed. I prefer Obligato strings together with Eudoxa E string. Self-made bow, weight: 24 g / 0.85 oz

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mookje
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That’s last recording sounds wonderful! It’s always a big pleasure to read about your journey!

 Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about dancing in the rain!!

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mookje said
That’s last recording sounds wonderful! It’s always a big pleasure to read about your journey!  

That last recording -- Chanson d'Armide -- profited from the magic which comes out of the violin-accordion mixture. I did not find an explanation yet, but now I think it comes from the fact that the sounds of these two instruments merge extremely well. Somehow it felt like there were joining more strings which were supporting me. There is Lully's kind of string magic in the last recording. It comes from the accordion merging with my violin. I had listened too much too Lully to not sound like his string section if I do something like that. It speaks for the great possibilities of the accordion generally. The accordion is by far underrated these days as a musical instrument as I've learned last week.

My new accordion projects had quite an impact on my brother. They told him he needs a better accordion since his left hand doesn't have the possibilities I have on my synthesizer keyboard. At the phone he told me something about accordions where you can switch chord-buttons to function as further bass-buttons. He makes money enough to buy such an accordion, so I hope he will invest in a good instrument to live his dreams. Very important for happiness in life!

Today I get something out of the Beatles song LET IT BE. If I play that on the violin it has the Anglo-Saxon folksy character of English baroque. The phrases I have to play reminds me a bit of @BillyG. I have to jump around the corner pretty fast. The edgy Anglo-Saxon phrasing scared me quite a bit in the past. I had decided against 4th finger notes like A on the D string (repeated fights over that with my ex-teacher back then!), which made tying certain notes trickier. I have to tie over to the open strings quickly, which I had practiced since June 2017. This tying over is working in faster phrases now, I actually doubled the speed since June 2017. Anglo-Saxon folk phrasing is now the right challenge to reinforce that. It's no painful rush now but fun.

dancinbunnydancinbunnydancinbunnydancinbunnydancinbunnydancinbunnydancinbunnydancinbunnydancinbunnydancinbunnydancinbunnydancinbunnydancinbunnydancinbunnydancinbunnydancinbunny

violin_girl

My violin is a 3/4 violin, made for right-handed players, though I play it left-handed. As I felt she was the best in the shop of all 3/4 violins I tried and the luthier agreed. I prefer Obligato strings together with Eudoxa E string. Self-made bow, weight: 24 g / 0.85 oz

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Canon in D with a Bluenote

I usually just dip into a musical subject and then go over to improvisation very soon. So, no long ear worms here. Yes, I played accordion on a keyboard. Pachelbel would surely have loved l'accordéon! Why "Canon in D" in C? Well, I started in C, back in 2015 when I was an early beginner on the violin and now C has become a habit in this piece. But Blue Notes in a 1600s' title? Yes! I heard so much brutal dissonances in Italian sonatas of the 1600s and Biber also is merciless at times. It's not so much like good father Handel any longer, whom I loved as a child.

My violin is a 3/4 violin, made for right-handed players, though I play it left-handed. As I felt she was the best in the shop of all 3/4 violins I tried and the luthier agreed. I prefer Obligato strings together with Eudoxa E string. Self-made bow, weight: 24 g / 0.85 oz

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Well done,

Thanks for posting.

 

Mark

Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.

Albert Sammons

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mookje
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Sounds really beautiful, love the combination of the instruments. Well done ?As a child I learned the accordeon but I don’t play it anymore. I just bought a concertina, a little accordeon, and the sound is really nice. It plays different as a accordeon so I have to practice ?  Hope I can combine the violin with the concertina in the future.

 Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about dancing in the rain!!

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bocaholly
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Thx for the much needed and much appreciated tidbits of music education, @Demoiselle.

@mookje Looking forward to your concertina-violin duo with yourself. Had to google concertina. Adorable. Would love to hear how it sounds once you have it oiled up and ready to roar (or maybe it doesn't roar?)

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bocaholly said
Thx for the much needed and much appreciated tidbits of music education, @Demoiselle.

@mookje Looking forward to your concertina-violin duo with yourself. Had to google concertina. Adorable. Would love to hear how it sounds once you have it oiled up and ready to roar (or maybe it doesn't roar?)  

Music education? I've been rather lazy yesterday, posting the same text I hadI written on YouTube during the long upload. Oh, you're actually right! It says something educational about blue-notes! So this video is actually educational, yes. I had to fill this 3 minutes long video with an educational text, otherwise it would have been the work of a full day. I am really afraid of the upcoming Chanson d'Armide production: Filming myself fiddling, singing, also dancing a bit—maybe even outdoors, all alone in a baroque dress (creepy male strangers possibly talking to me, finding very nice....)..... Then doing the video editing. That's all together gonna be the work of a full day, if not two days! So maybe I shouldn't do that and rather play. Red curtain at home? I don't know, I'd rather see an old Berliner castle in the background.

mookje said
Sounds really beautiful, love the combination of the instruments. Well done ?As a child I learned the accordeon but I don’t play it anymore. I just bought a concertina, a little accordeon, and the sound is really nice. It plays different as a accordeon so I have to practice ?  Hope I can combine the violin with the concertina in the future.  

Concertina may be it! I'm done with saying, "Akkordions are great because they sound like church organs." In my Blue Note video it sounds a bit like a church organ when I grab full chords. But the same accordion sounds more concertina-like in Chanson d'Armide because there I had to be soft and tender, considering the love-dreamy lyrics. Concertina is not heavy, easy to transport with a violin. I've seen on YouTube you love to go out and play outdoors. That's simply it. Violin and concertina duets, I'm looking forward to hear that, mokje!

My violin is a 3/4 violin, made for right-handed players, though I play it left-handed. As I felt she was the best in the shop of all 3/4 violins I tried and the luthier agreed. I prefer Obligato strings together with Eudoxa E string. Self-made bow, weight: 24 g / 0.85 oz

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Mark said
Well done,

Thanks for posting.

 

Mark  

Thanks, I had to do it to push myself into daring a bit more. Vigorously accentuating those blue notes did not go wrong. This production is now constantly reminding me I can take more risks. We need to constantly push ourselves and working with keyboard-/button- or string-instruments helps a lot. It builds a greater musical world around a single fiddler. 

My violin is a 3/4 violin, made for right-handed players, though I play it left-handed. As I felt she was the best in the shop of all 3/4 violins I tried and the luthier agreed. I prefer Obligato strings together with Eudoxa E string. Self-made bow, weight: 24 g / 0.85 oz

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This made laugh very hard after the mastering. A couple days ago I found out that disco rhythm is better for violin than swing. I think disco soul has a very violin friendly accentuation and typical phrasing that works well on the violin fit very well to disco rhythm. So I used a cheap keyboard with automated rhythm to improvise with the violin to it for a fast experiment. I could not resist adding some vocal effects like rhythmical whispering and final singing which I won't do every day because it was really tough on my voice. But it was worth it because it's so funny.

These automated keyboards are actually good for people who want to work on chords if you don't use the lazy one finger mode but really grab those chords. Which is very-very easy to learn! Something you can figure out in a couple minutes. But the advantage is that you can try out improvised melodies with your right hand while grabbing the chords with the left hand. That way you learn what melodic phrases match which chords. And you can of course play violin to that rhythm.

I will go on with improvising to disco rhythm stuff alongside my baroque style. It helps me to get more energy into my technique and also more precision into bowing and fingerboard hand.

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My violin is a 3/4 violin, made for right-handed players, though I play it left-handed. As I felt she was the best in the shop of all 3/4 violins I tried and the luthier agreed. I prefer Obligato strings together with Eudoxa E string. Self-made bow, weight: 24 g / 0.85 oz

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That really does work!

I know you perform baroque dance and music in appropriate public settings.
Could you imagine heading to do a gig in a disco?

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bocaholly said
That really does work!

I know you perform baroque dance and music in appropriate public settings.
Could you imagine heading to do a gig in a disco?  

In September 1994 I had a gig in the biggest and most famous club of my old home town. It got so crowded that many people couldn't get in. Not long after that the manager of the great local concert hall asked me to be my manager. At that time I really felt like it was the begin of my career as composing soul diva. But on the long run there was not enough support. I told an old moovie directing buddy months ago, "You guys should've supportet me when I was young, it's too late." 25 years ago I was ready to start from scratch for low pay and work 24/7 nonetheless. Now they would have to pay me very well to distract me away from baroque. I don't see that coming at all and that's good. That old buddy was like, "A band isn't good enough, you should stand in front of an orchestra." So who's gonna pay for that as I'm not a really big name? Well, he could've worked consistently when I was young and make me orchestra-worthy. Many people have issues with reallity. And then they wonder, "She's gone, went to Berlin... Why?" Let them sleep, it's better that way. But dancing while practicing on the violin is great. It's more energy for bowing/fingering, more fun and more workout, plus more relaxation while playing. Disco music makes people dance even if it already hurts. Like military music makes them march into the craziness on battlefields. But dancing is really a good thing, I absolutely believe in the health effects of dancing.

My violin is a 3/4 violin, made for right-handed players, though I play it left-handed. As I felt she was the best in the shop of all 3/4 violins I tried and the luthier agreed. I prefer Obligato strings together with Eudoxa E string. Self-made bow, weight: 24 g / 0.85 oz

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