Friday, April 26, 2013

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra: Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute - Joel Harrison: Day 1

Joel Harrison in the Hotseat
I'm here in Buffalo getting used to the sound of my orchestra writing. I am not surprised to find that there is much I don't know...YET! It is really clear to me where I can make my piece better, and equally clear to me that I do have some good ideas that need time to gestate. Of course, the main issue, as far as lack of rehearsal time, is rhythm. To get an orchestra to groove is a challenge. Part of it is how you write the rhythms (or rather for whom), but part of it is the fact jazz musicians hear groove as a building block of their sound, often incorporating aspects of "world" music in their sound. Very few orchestras have had any exposure to these types of sounds on an ongoing basis.

That being said, this orchestra is really good, and all of us feel extremely lucky to have this opportunity. I am learning an incredible amount and the program is being run very well. Great to connect with James, Anthony, and Nicole as well as the other composers.

So incredible to hear the difference of the music as it sounds in your head, and the actual sound from the stage.
Please visit my composition blog - it's brand new -

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