Covid Chronicles: A Staycation Story

Greetings All,

I hope this message finds each of you well and that you are safe and sound!

These last few months have not only been interesting, but also revealing in a multitude of ways. Like most artists I, too, was affected by the pandemic. Loosing work and feeling every emotion from A-Z did not help.

During this “staycation,” “pandemic,” “covid-hoax,” “judgement-day,” “end-of-days,” “lockdown,” “chill-reset”, “daily-challenge,” “armageddon,” or whatever it’s called this week, I decided to be proactive rather than reactive. In turn, I wanted to come out of this “staycation” a better version of myself from when I entered and decided to tap into my “collective,” while protecting my energy in the process.

In doing so, I decided to put together a virtual recital of pieces that are near & dear to my heart. Each week, beginning today until December 10, 2020, I will post a performance video of compositions that I would have performed on my recital this Fall, and then some!

Here’s what Morales says about his composition…

“Cityscapes” is a three movement work for five Bb trumpets. Each movement gives a caricature of city life “under the microscope”. The first part entitled “Rush Hour” is a light and somewhat comical movement that depicts the morning commute into the city. The second part, entitled “Skyscrapers”, attempts to portray the grandeur and magnificence of the city’s skyline. The third and final part, entitled “Rhythm of the City”, is a musical essay that describes how a city is always teeming with action and is never at rest. This final movement features an unusual percussive effect of tapping the mouthpiece to create active layered rhythmic patterns. Rushing interlocking 16th notes at blinding speeds and sudden pyramidal effects create a thrilling ride that will leave you breathless. – publis

Although he write three movements, I only recorded the first 2.

See you next week!

Ave-Maria: Meditation

Ave Maria is a well-liked and much-recorded setting of the Latin prayer “Ave Maria,” initially printed in 1853 as Méditation sur le Premier Prélude de Piano de S. Bach. The piece consists of a melody that Gounod, superimposed over a solely (barely modified) model of the Prelude No. 1 in C major, BWV 846, from E book I of J. S. Bach’s “The Well-Tempered Clavier,” revealed in 1722.

The first thing I do when I wake up is play some type of music, regardless of the genre. However, before I play a note on my horn (when I walk into my office), I play Bach’s Prelude in C on piano. Why, because I believe in the ever-living power of vibrational frequencies, its healing capability, and plus…there’s something hip about playing Bach. Ya dig?!?!

Either way, here is Ave Maria a la Gounod/Bach.

Fantasia Pernambucana: Jose Silva (Duda)

An extremely wonderful quartet composition using variant sorts of Brazilian folk music. Although these movements are rather shot in length, it has plenty of thrilling and rhythmic complexities which were extensively edited to acquire appropriate style.

It showcases 4 different genres with a mix of lovely and energetic movements; Choro, Serenata, Maxixe and Frevo. The composition has energy in comparison with extra playful characters…with the intensive modifying exhibited on this edition, it strives to display the correct style of Brazilian genres. In his compositions, Duda assumes that each performer knows the correct performance practice in application and execution.

For this project, I asked a buddy of mine to help heal the world via his percussive gifts, Simon Carroll

Vignettes for Trumpet and Percussion: by Jim Stephenson

For this installation, I called upon my colleague and percussion instructor of FAU, Matt Nichols, to help me heal the world via his percussive gifts. I decided to do it in two parts due to the length of each movement (while trying not to have a video longer than 8 mins).

Vignettes for Trumpet and Percussion is a 7 movement work that incorporates various trumpet and percussive instruments to help tell a story. Here’s what the composer had to say about the piece…

I composed these eight Vignettes (7 + “Encore”) for Eric Berlin and Eduardo Leandro for performance at the ITG (International Trumpet Guild) Conference held in Bangkok, Thailand in 2005. The only requests I was given before writing these was to be aware of Mr. Leandro’s traveling needs (in other words: aside from the marimba and vibes, which would already be in Thailand, I shouldn’t include too many percussion instruments that would need to be carried all the way there), and to use several different trumpets, including Mr. Berlin’s “flumpet”.

The pieces are arranged only by the order in which they were composed; I leave the decision up to the performer to arrange them according to their preference. I also would imagine that several mini-“suites” could be derived from this set, depending again on the performer’s wishes.

The “Encore” is, in fact, tongue-and-cheek, and might be used by the performer depending on the performance situation. It is certainly not meant to take away from the rest of the seven Vignettes which are definitely not silly by any means. The “Encore” is my first and will be my last bit of “abstract” music. “White on White” is a reference to the famous modern painting of the same name, and also describes the white noise of a loud trumpet (not Eric’s) and a loud cymbal crash sounding simultaneously. Like the rest of the pieces, it could be put anywhere in the order, and doesn’t necessarily have to be reserved as an encore.


Part I

Part II