Event Details

  • November 12, 2017
  • 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
  • $8 General, $5 Senior/Child, FREE for HSU students with ID
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Event Description

HSU Guitar Ensemble

Guitarists can be real loners and don't play well with others. This year, the HSU Guitar Ensemble is changing that by working with other instrumentalists and singers. Please join guitar teacher Nicholas Lambson and these excellent student musicians as they collaborate and share their talents with each other, and with you, on Sunday evening, November 12 at 5:00 p.m. in Fulkerson Recital Hall. $8 General, $5 Senior/Child, FREE for HSU students with ID. There are a lot of lessons to be learned working with other musicians, including being an accompanist to someone else who is playing the main melody, which is a very different experience from playing solo. It's also good experience working with another musician who requires air to make a sound. (Note: we all need to breathe to live, but guitarists could technically hold their breath while plucking a string - though it's not recommended). Working with someone who has to breathe like a singer or a flutist can be a revelation on how to shape a musical phrase. As usual, the HSU Guitar Ensemble is including music from many different time periods and genres from Renaissance music to jazz and experimental music. As part of this concert, they are performing a landmark piece of the 20th century called In C by Terry Riley. This piece is generally credited with starting the genre known as minimalism, which features simple musical elements including melodies and harmonies, though the genre can be very complex in other ways, including rhythm. It was a reaction against complex chromaticism and the atonal musical style of Arnold Schoenberg and the Second Viennese School of the early 20th century, which partly alienated audiences from classical music. This piece is made up of 53 musical fragments called cells. Performers can repeat them any number of times and will be spontaneously altering them in a variety of ways. It is essentially a collective group improvisation, where the players are jamming on these cells, choosing what to play based on what is happening in the group at any given moment. There are very few rules and the piece could last 30-60 minutes depending on what they want to do that day. On working with Riley in grad school, Lambson remarks, "I had the pleasure to work with Terry Riley on a performance of this piece at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. I earned my Master of Music degree there along with Terry's son, Gyan, who taught at HSU the year before I took over. Terry was very relaxed in the rehearsal and did not offer any strong opinions on what we needed to do. He was very down-to-earth and had a big long beard and wore a leather vest. He then made a kind of dirty joke in the rehearsal; needless to say, he made an impression! One of our performers, Joshua Abrams, also knows Terry. It's Josh's last semester, so I thought it could be fun to play this piece and I am excited to be joining my group of roughly students, which includes two flutes."

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