A Lockdown project

Some of us are working on this project which we can take part
in from home, during the COVID-19 crisis. You don't need to be a
signed up member of the orchestra to take part in this project, and
doubling of woodwind parts etc is allowed.  You're welcome to
submit more than one part, and/or more than one recording of the
same part.

The project is in its early stages.  As a test, we are going to initially
try to make an audio-only recording of the last 25 bars of Grieg's
Norwegian Dance No 4 (arranged by Sitt). We've chosen this excerpt
because everyone is playing at this point, and it should come to a
rousing conclusion!

The idea of the test is to discover any problems and to then amend
the instructions before we try recording a whole piece (for which we'll
have proper individual parts, notes and a silent conductor video to
follow, rather than a click track).

We hope to complete the test by Thursday 4 June 2020, so that we
can then move on to the next phase.

To take part, please follow the instructions below.

1) GET IN TOUCH TO SAY THAT YOU'RE TAKING PART

Contact us here and say which part you would like to play. We'll reply to
confirm (or suggest that you might like to play a different part). You'll then
have an email address to send your recording to.

2) DOWNLOAD THE FILES

Here are the files you can download to take part. Only the first
two are essential:

- Last two pages of full score (PDF)

Since this is a very short extract, we're not providing individual parts for
this initial experiment, but you could use the parts that you may already
have from last term. Otherwise, please play from the last two pages of this
full score, which will easily fit on a normal music stand.

You might find it useful to print this and mark which line is your part.
The parts shown on each stave, from the top down, are:
1 Flutes 1 and 2
2 Piccolo
3 Oboes 1 and 2
4 Clarinets 1 and 2 in Bb
5 Bassoons 1 and 2
6 Horns 1 and 2 in F
7 Horns 3 and 4 in D
8 Trumpets 1 and 2 in F
9 Trombones 1 and 2
10 Trombone 3 and tuba
11 Timpani in D and A
12 Triangle
13 First violins
14 Second violins
15 Violas
16 Cellos
17 Double basses

- Click track sound file (MP3)

This sound file begins with 5 seconds of silence, to allow you to settle
with your instrument before starting to play.  Although the tempo
indicated in the score is minim=138, we're recording this test extract
at a slower (rehearsal) tempo of minim=80.

- Silent conductor video (MP4, less than 1Mb size)

Because this is a short section of music, a conductor video isn't
essential, but you may prefer to use this rather than a click track.

- Computer realisation of the last two pages of the score (MP3)

This could be useful for playing along to while rehearsing, to
check that your part fits with the others.  It contains five seconds of
silence, and then two quiet timpani strokes at the start, one per bar,
to give you the tempo. (If you would like a 'music minus 1' realisation,
without your part playing, or a sound file containing just your part,
please let us know. These are easy to produce.)

- Score used to generate the computer realisation (PDF)

The first page of this PDF is blank.  It's probably not as accurate as
the main score above, as the notes have been entered manually from
that score, but it may be slightly clearer, although the notes will be
smaller.

3) PRACTICE YOUR PART

Do some practice and make sure you can play this section well. For the
initial test we're working to a metronome mark of minim (bar) = 80.

4) PRACTICE PLAYING TO THE CLICK TRACK OR CONDUCTOR VIDEO

Play this MP3 file through headphones, if possible, so that it won't appear
on the recording you're going to make of your part. Alternatively you could
play to the conductor video, which is silent, so you wouldn't need to wear
headphones.

Make sure that you can play your part up-to-speed, and keep up with the
click track or conductor video. The music is fast, and you'll hear one click
per bar, with an extra two clicks before you start playing.
('In 1. Two bars for nothing.')

5) RECORD YOURSELF PLAYING YOUR PART

There are various ways of doing this. You could get a housemate to record
you on a mobile phone, tablet or computer, for example. It might be easier to
use a different device to the one which is playing the click track / conductor video,
but you could also use the same device, as long as it doesn't pick up the noise
from the click track. It's also possible to do this yourself, without any help.

If this isn't possible, a private Zoom session can be set up for you to play your
part and have it recorded.  You'll get better sound by recording on a smart phone
etc though.

7) EMAIL YOUR RECORDING

Email your recording by replying to the email you received in step 1).
Be prepared for some feedback, and to possibly re-record and submit if
there's anything wrong.

8) WAIT FOR FEEDBACK

We'll keep you up to date with what's happening, when you can hear the result,
and when we can go forward to record the whole dance.

Thanks very much for taking part!  Please pass this on to your orchestral
musician friends.

 

 

Quick facts:

Lockdown project:
Grieg: Norwegian Dance No 4

Next concert:
Possibly early December 2020

Next rehearsals:
We hope to resume rehearsals at
some time during the Autumn 2020
term.
 

 

 

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