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Pierre Lauwers

The Next Generation

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I would like to know what you think about a slightly

special thing.

It is an improvisation (on video, may be a bit long to download, it may be

necessary to save the file on your PC first) by

a neighbourg of yours (Finistère, Brittany), on an "impossible"

(as may be found by some) organ.

The player is 18 years old and studies at the Rennes Conservatoire.

This improvisation was recorded while works were done in the church so there

are some disturbing noises.

 

Listen to:

 

http://auxgrandesorgues.free.fr/pontabbe/pontabbe1.wmv

 

Pierre

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I would like to know what you think about a slightly

special thing.

It is an improvisation (on video, may be a bit long to download, it may be

necessary to save the file on your PC first) by

a neighbourg of yours (Finistère, Brittany), on an "impossible"

(as may be found by some) organ.

The player is 18 years old and studies at the Rennes Conservatoire.

This improvisation was recorded while works were done in the church so there

are some disturbing noises.

 

Listen to:

 

http://auxgrandesorgues.free.fr/pontabbe/pontabbe1.wmv

 

Pierre

 

Quite impressive, bearing in mind he's only 18.

But he has listened to Cochereau carefully ....

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Quite impressive, bearing in mind he's only 18.

But he has listened to Cochereau carefully ....

 

How the hell does one learn to improvise? I just can't do it! I always end up with some sort of slushy, lazy-Howells style harmonisation of something on a 4ft flute. as soon as I build up registrations a bit, I totally lose the plot and get all self-conscious.

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How the hell does one learn to improvise? I just can't do it! I always end up with some sort of slushy, lazy-Howells style harmonisation of something on a 4ft flute. as soon as I build up registrations a bit, I totally lose the plot and get all self-conscious.

 

 

Get some recordings of Nigel Allcoat improvising, read his book and articles and have a manuscript/notebook handy with ideas, jottings, bits of plainsong, structures etc. rather like an artist's sketch book. I put down any useful scraps of tune, chord progressions - basically anything that I like the sound of. I have this handy most of the time and can usually find something to fit the situation. Last time I did an improvised final voluntary it came out like a piece of minimalist music based around a vaguely modal scale. I can not just produce a piece without some sort of 'anchor' whether it be a tonality, a structure, a melody or a rhythmic element hence the above - it works for me. Funnily enough I also find some of the stuff I teach at school of great help - drones, pentatonic and whole tone scales, layered ostinato patterns, 'world music' scales etc. My year 8s have just done variations so I had to do some too to get ides for them! (My year 10s did 'Video Killed the Radio Star by Buggles today - 'not sure whether that will work on Sunday though!) Above all - keep going - if you make a mistake incorporate it in the rest of the piece - have a start, middle and end in view and keep away from typical non directional Anglican noises!

 

AJJ

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Indeed he has and they are selling the t-shirt ...  :P

 

image004.jpg

 

The entire web site Orgues en Bretagne is worth looking at.

 

Well done, Michael !

 

Indeed, Virgile is a Cochereau fan. This we have here too, isn't it?

And as such, he is not too bad....

What do you think of the organ?

On the Website there is a rarity: a nearly intact Hippolyte Loret in Vannes:

 

http://auxgrandesorgues.free.fr/Vannes/stfx/stfx.htm

 

H.Loret was the true founder of the belgian romantic school, not Merklin.

 

Pierre

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Get some recordings of Nigel Allcoat improvising, read his book and articles and have a manuscript/notebook handy with ideas, jottings, bits of plainsong, structures etc. rather like an artist's sketch book ...

And then, there is the infamous Dupré method. Pratice. Two hours of literature playing a day -- and six hours of improvisation. With fourty-two hours of practice a week (sorry, on Sundays the church always is occupied by whoever!), one should get somewhere sometime.

 

I whish I could afford the luxury of practicing that much ... kept attending the lottery quite a while, but nothing came out of it ...

 

Best,

Friedrich

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Personally, I would recommend the recordings of Cochereau, Briggs and Frédéric Blanc (Titulaire, Nôtre-Dame d'Auteil, Paris).

 

Yves Devernay is also good (well, was, since he died in December 1990). He was the fourth Titulaire at Nôtre-Dame de Paris, appointed with Léfébvre, Latry and Leguay in 1985, one year after the death of Cochereau.

 

I am happy to give details of recoring labels if anyone wishes to have them.

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How the hell does one learn to improvise?

 

Listen ot those with a good reputation (and who you regard well); practise diligently - start simply, perhaps by harmonising a melody with a second part.

 

Practise.

 

Listen again.

 

Do not be afraid to make mistakes - but try to remember the progressions or harmonisations which did not fit, or did not please you, and avoid them.

 

Make yourself listen to many different styles - start off by copying them; this will improve your ear (if it needs it). Then take aspects from the styles, focus on ojne in particular and construct your own piece - using a recognisable form.

 

By commencing with a carefully-graded (and carefully-structured) study of forms, textures and styles, any more free-form improvisations are likely to sound more convincing.

 

If it starts to sound too much like something well-known, stop; slap yourself. Start again.

 

It would be possible to write about this all night. However, I hope that this is helpful for a start.

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Quite impressive, bearing in mind he's only 18.

But he has listened to Cochereau carefully ....

 

Indeed, a very talented young man.

 

However, his harmonic language is quite different to that of Cochereau - there are influences of one or two others there, but he is already developing his own harmonic style.

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