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Performance and Pedagogy Blog

A blog about the performance and pedagogy of music.

Filtering by Tag: Chris Martin

Let The Ideas Out

Andrew Hitz

"If you have enough bad ideas you will have absolutely no trouble having enough good ideas. What people who create do is they let the ideas out. they sit and they do the work and the ideas come. Good ideas, bad ideas."
—Seth Godin from Leap First

Seth Godin was not talking about the practice room in the above comment but he might as well have been.

It is imperative that we "let the ideas out" when we are in the practice room.

Of course we need to focus on a daily basis on range, dynamics, articulations, releases, slurs and everything in between. This is the homework that every great musician on any instrument has done in spades.

But no one really cares if you are only a great technician on your instrument. Sure, you'll probably have a career of some kind (if you are truly a great technician and not just a good one) but you won't have one that is very rewarding or that has much impact on the world.

The ideas are what affect others. The ideas are why we all got into this crazy business in the first place. And the key to having great ideas is to have lots of ideas.

Ideas are why some people prefer Phil Smith, some prefer Chris Martin, and some prefer Thomas Hooten. It sure isn't because Phil can slur better than Chris or Thomas can. They slur equally well.

Yet all three of them play with enough clear ideas and storytelling in their playing that it is quite easy to prefer one over the other two. And that's what it's all about.

And the only way to ever approach the quality and clarity of the ideas of any of those three trumpet players is by letting the ideas out. The good ones and the bad ones.

That's exactly what they did.

Monday YouTube Fix: Mahler 7 - Chicago Symphony with Pierre Boulez (Live)

Andrew Hitz

This is taken from the Great Performances series on PBS so both the audio and the video are top quality.  The Chicago Symphony brass section really leaves me in awe every time I hear them these days. Gene Pokorny is of course one of my heroes and sounds really great as always on this recording.  But it really is the trumpet section that keeps grabbing my attention.  There is not a first trumpet in any orchestra in the world that I am currently more fond of than Chris Martin.  His tone is just unreal! The blend that the entire section gets is truly remarkable.

In fact, I recently wrote about my experience playing with the Chicago Symphony's Tage Larsen while we were both in the Dallas Brass.  The whole brass section sounds amazing and I love me some Mahler!

Enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u34TL77GHss