Monday, August 15, 2011

Musicians who changed my life: Bobby McFerrin

Yesterday, I went to get my bassoon looked at as part of the pre-recording preparation.
Once the sessions start, we will have two back-to-back 8 hour recording days with no time for emergency bassoon repairs.  Nothing was wrong with my horn, so Shane Wieler
took a couple of hours to clean it up and grease all the keys, making it much quieter.
Then we went to hear Bobby McFerrin  who was performing at the Rose Theatre as part of the Brampton Global Jazz Festival.

I was so inspired and motivated after that concert that I practised the moment I got home to Toronto.  But I gave up sometime just before 1 a.m.... I just couldn’t achieve anything like the multi-voiced lightness that he produces so deftly.
Today was another practise day, and as usual, I first made a reed.  I took my time and didn't bother trying it until it was completely finished.  I kept thinking about the kind of quick response I wanted to get, depth and warmth throughout my range without any blurs or burrs on the tone.  And for whatever reason, the resultant reed was different than any other that had gone before it.  #52XI8 was the best reed I have made this year.  And I think it was because of hearing Bobby sing, speak and improvise last night.  I left the theatre with a very palpable sense of the physical relationship to sound... he created such a light-handed yet extremely architectural shower of tones, each one resonating with what went before and came afterwards, even when things took an unplanned turn.  
In the days before a big recording project, I always guard my time very jealously.  Yet, because I took the time to hear Bobby McFerrin  perform last night(at the suggestion of my wonderful repairman), I am sure that I am able to play better today. 

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