Jeremy Kurtz-Harris

 

The Not-So-Obvious Art of Using a Metronome

How to develop your internal sense of pulse and have fun, too!

THE PROBLEM

Practicing with a metronome is a tedious experience.

THE SOLUTION

Try some new tricks to have fun honing your internal pulse.

Many of us had our first experience with a metronome early on in our training. "Practice with a metronome!" your string teacher may have said over and over again. But how to use a metronome was not necessarily explained, and so often that device would seem like a schoolmaster, slapping a ruler on all the downbeats-not exactly a joy-filled experience. The thing is, a metronome-like any tool-can be used in many different ways, and what you do with it can make the …

Chamber Music and the Bassist, Part 2: Thoughts on Arranging & Adapting—with Words of Wisdom from

In the previous post on chamber music, I wrote about the wealth of chamber music with bass that exists and that rarely gets performed. For those of you who still haven't visited the link, I'd urge you to check out Paul Nemith's site for proof. But digging up lesser-known repertoire is only part of the “solution” for bassists who want to devote more time to small group chamber/collaborative music projects. Another important option is to arrange existing music for an ensemble that includes bass.

The Collaborative Bassist: Chamber Music and the Bassist, Part 1

The Great Chamber Music Search

As a bassist, I have always taken advantage of all opportunities I find to play chamber music.  Unfortunately, these opportunities have seemed to be exceedingly rare--at least, compared to those of my upper-string-playing friends and colleagues. This is often because of the seemingly limited range of chamber music available for the bass.  Recently, I have become inspired to search more carefully for pieces, and have already turned up much more than I imagined was out there.

Kurt Muroki: On chamber music, listening to the hall, and being a musician first

Kurt Muroki is one of the few bassists I have met who has taken his love for chamber music and turned it into a significant part of his career. His recent schedule has included concerts with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (he can be heard on their recent Deutsche Grammophon recording Dreams of Fancy, Tales of Loss with mezzo Ewa Podles), performing at the 92nd St. Y with Jamie Laredo and Friends, performing with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, subbing with the New York City Ballet and as principal with the American Symphony Orchestra, performing with the Marlboro Music Festival Orchestra, and performing at Carnegie Hall for a chamber music tribute concert to Elliot Carter. Kurt and I have been exchanging emails over the past year about a variety of topics, and I had been waiting for a chance to follow up on these discussions. On a recent trip to New York, I finally had the opportunity to sit down to talk with Kurt in person at Stony Brook University on Long Island, where he recently joined the faculty.

The John Harbison Bass Concerto Project

From April 2006 through the end of the 2007-08 season, 15 bassists from across North America will be stepping in front of their respective orchestras to be part of a "rolling premiere" of a brand new work for double bass and orchestra. Especially exciting is that the concerto is by one of the most prominent American composers—John Harbison.

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