Keyed Kontraptions Concert – April 7

On Saturday April 7 at 7:30 Keyed Kontraptions has a concert at the  Seventh Avenue Presbyterian Church. We will play works by Yangfan Xu, Bryan Lin, Sarah Wald, Joseph Columbo, and Lily Chen.  The program is varied including elements of aleatory, minimalism, and some juicy woodwind extended techniques!

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New Year, New Product

Happy 2018! I now have Contrabassoon swabs available. These are made from silk and are used like a push through swab. After playing, remove the tuning slide and insert the swab into the wooden “wing joint” to remove moisture.

Find them here

http://www.kingbassoonreeds.com/accessories

Contrabassoons of the World!

It’s so amazing that we live in the age of youtube and world wide web! We are able to hear what different players sound like all over the world, the differing styles and tones of certain players. Contrabassoon is especially interesting because I don’t think that contrabassoon tone is uniform throughout most cities! Thanks to players uploading footage and interviews we are able to hear from a wind section that we wouldn’t normally have access to. These are a few clips featuring players around the world.

 

Amrei Liebold, Orchestre de Paris

Luke Whitehead, Philharmonia Orchestra

Dominic Morgan, London Symphony Orchestra

Lewis Lipnick, National Symphony Orchestra

Jaap de Vries, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra

Gregg Henegar, Boston Symphony Orchestra

Contraforte Range

The usable range of the Contraforte is from A0-C5. This is an improvement on the contrabassoon range by a few steps. Although I know some very talented contra players that can play almost as high as any contraforte. Im mostly posting this so that composers are able to hear the timbre change of the different registers.

The Contraforte does not have a dependable high D but it is possible. Here I play the opening bassoon solo from Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, at actually pitch. I used an extremely thick reed with a lot of resistance.

Contraforte Fingering Chart

Thomas Adès and the San Francisco Symphony

Thomas Adès

This weekend (March 5,6,7) Thomas Adès with be conducting his own composition with the San Francisco Symphony. His piece “In Seven Days” is based on the seven days of creation outlined in the book of Genesis. It is a multimedia piece including video projection and he scored it using a contraforte!

Bay area people should all go and hear some contraforte in Davies hall!

SF Symphony Tickets

This is the first time that contraforte has been used in the San Francisco Symphony and it will be performed by Steven Braunstein.

Steven Braunstein Contraforte

Steve Kris ContraforteHere I am visiting the Contraforte tamer

 

Green Reed!?

Green Reed

I tried an experiment last week involving a Green Reed for Contraforte. I just harvested some cane in early January and decided to try to immediately make a reed out of it instead of letting it dry. And this is what turned out! I regular reed that sounded and acted like any other reed but it was fresh green cane and didnt need to be soaked in water before I played on it. The texture was similar to a very hard piece of cane so I had to make this thinner than I would normally. After a few days it started to dry out and warp and is now is playing very sharp. Next I’m going to try this on regular bassoon.

I would suggest trying it to all of the cane harvesters out there!