Journal and Evaluation
I felt my original proposal of writing a big band arrangement was a little ambitious given the time scale. Considering other assignment deadlines, I thought about what else I could do that would not only meet the criteria, but also leave time needed to work on other projects. I realised that I had never performed any of my own material with anything more than an acoustic guitar and vocal, and so, came to the conclusion that an adaptation of my own songs would become my musical direction piece. The musicians I got to perform with me were Daryl Ward (Vocals), Adam Mitchell (Electric Guitar), Paul Mayfield (Keyboard) and Chris Norris (Bass Guitar). I originally had Robert Huskinson, a good friend and lecturer at NCN, playing the drums. Unfortunately he was unable to attend all of the scheduled rehearsals, and so I decided to play the drums myself. A conductor’s directing can be limited when also playing an instrument. However, I do think a drummer has the advantage over other musicians, for a drummer’s primary role is to keep time, and to suggest dynamic changes. For the most part the other musicians will keep tabs on the drummer so that they stay in time with him/her and with the rest of the band. To avoid shouting across to my fellow musicians, I decided to assign various body moves and rhythmical changes to specific commands that were simple and clearly visible to others. To direct dynamic changes I would raise or lower my upper body. Between myself and the other musicians we had agreed that when my body was descending, that meant to play quiet and when my back straightened up the dynamics would go back to its original volume. Changing the distance between the drumsticks and the drum skins was also a good indicator to directing dynamics. The band had to be facing me in order to see my body language. I hadn’t arranged any rehearsals until a week before the performance deadline. I realise that having such limited time resulted with me...
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