BARTÓK: A Soundtrack For Life
This month we spoke with Brian Mason, the Santa Clara Vanguard percussion arranger, and Jeff Lee, Electronics Composer/Coordinator, about arranging Bartók for percussion and electronics. We caught up with Brian and Jeff after the February camp at the SCV Hall.
Bartók for Percussion
While Bartók may pose challenges in arranging for brass, the selections from this contemporary composer for the Vanguard 2010 show support the percussion arrangement quite well. Brian Mason, percussion arranger, spoke about how the music for 2010 is very different from last year’s Copland piece— “the phrases are shorter, and the melodies are broken into smaller components, giving it a rhythmic quality and a different type of musical line.” At the same time, Jeff Lee, the electronics composer/coordinator, pointed out that a challenge in arranging the show comes from having to break up what Bartók created as a logical progression, and not getting “too academic” about the arrangement. “At some point,” said Jeff, “you just have to step back and listen to the entire arrangement.” Brian added that there are moderate tempos available this year that have opened up possibilities for the percussion.’
Read the rest of the article here.