The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

Last Night's Music at Unnameable Books::

Alan Sondheim, oud
Chris Diasparra, baritone sax

This is a fair amount to watch, but it gives a good idea of the labor
involved in music production, something I've wanted to emphasize.
The oud is plugged in. To 'play like this' requires hours of practice
and an exactness that's difficult for me; I've only been playing
fretless instruments for maybe two years now. So the speed involves
quick stopping and starting (with all the issues of accelerating and
inertia involved), as well as hopefully minute adjustments to bring
the position into tune. Fingers, wrists, arms are involved. To get a
greater reach it's sometimes necessary to move the hand from under
the neck, fretting from above; I gain at least a fourth from that,
most of the time more. All of this, at speed, is exhausting; if it's
not, I need to play faster, so that the envelopes of the sounds
become the primary focus, not the individual notes and their linear
positioning. The video is a good recording of the process as a whole.
Courtesy of Azure Carter, 12/04/11.

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