Firstly - awesome poster for Enda Gallery and the band below!
It was a busy week for sure with all of that, but definitely worth it. We played at Mein Haus am See, Froschkönig, and at Cafe Eigenartig as well as at a private function. This coming week will be pretty quiet as Enda will be in Ireland for a little while, but I will still have plenty to do in the meantime!
For example - I'm going to be performing with Exposure Berlin in October for their special theater performance. You can find out more on their website, as well as watch a teaser video. It will feature some great singing and acting talents as well as visual effects, and will take place in a very historical theater. We begin rehearsals for the orchestra in the coming weeks.
On the composing front, I am disappointed to say, I was not very productive these last two weeks, because of performances and rehearsals. However, I am in the process of re-editing and re-recording one of my previous works, so perhaps it will be available to you next week... we shall see!
In the meantime, however, please enjoy the Bach Prelude to Suite no. 5:
As far as cello suites go, the 5th suite is certainly not the best known. Much better known is the first suite, popularized probably the most by Yo-Yo Ma and his fantastic recordings of those suites. The first suite, in G major, is a beautiful suite, but to me seems like the simplest of the suites (if they can even be called simple). It is straight-forward and the G major key is bright, open, and works beautifully with the cello sonorities. The second suite always struck me as darker, with the D minor key, and the C major third suite is overall my favorite to play. The 6th suite is bright and the most virtuosic of the six. But the 5th suite fascinates me because of its tone, its color, and its depth.
Playing on the street with Enda Gallery, or in bars, there have been a few times where I've been requested to play a bit of Bach. Invariably, everyone asks for the first suite, because they know it. I only received one request for the 2nd suite, and the other suites have never been mentioned. Not only that, they tend only to know the Prelude of the first suite, with its characteristic arpeggiated chord beginning. This week with Jess Thomas we even attempted to make an impromptu duet with the first suite. While it could use a lot more work, it was not too shabby. However, I realized that it was completely out of place with one of Enda's concerts.
Enda's music is singer/songwriter material, and in the end, what you remember of his performances is (and should be) his voice, the melodies he sings, and hopefully some of the lyrics as well. The songs work in the common tonal harmony practice of the pop music culture nowadays, which involves not too much dissonance but quite a few "jazzy" chords, which would have been considered dissonant several hundred years ago. In Bach's time, even. And I realized, playing Bach at these venues as an experiment, that it was so out of place, that it would disinterest audiences that were loving Enda's music, and not only that, it would attract audiences who would immediately leave when Enda started singing the next song.
Are they really mutually exclusive categories of listeners? I doubt it. Some of those who walked away from Bach may just have been in the mood for singing and guitar playing, and vice versa. But I think that the fact that the styles are so different really shows how, unless your audience is ready for a stark style change, they're not interested in listening to something totally different from what they expected to hear.
Maybe that's part of the issue with new music by current composers, especially in the classical world. Maybe its just that what they're creating music that is too far out of the audience's reach. They can't connect it to something they know, so they have trouble connecting to it at all. Someone heard Enda once and asked him if he did Damien Rice covers, because his voice sounds similar. I'm not sure Enda's music is like Damien Rice much at all, but because there are only a few steps of difference between what Enda does and Damien Rice does, that woman could connect with Enda's music even after listening to his songs for the first time. She liked Enda Gallery because it was just a little different from Damien Rice, who is probably only a little different from another artist she likes. And so on.
I'm not sure where to go with this - just my rambles about Bach and music and playing in bars, which is a new experience for me... but please comment with any thoughts!