scottgordon

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About scottgordon

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  1. With rare exceptions, if trying to land a jazz gig, having been in corps is probably the last thing I'd admit to.
  2. Wasn't that the year that SCV's umbrellas opened just as the sprinkles started?
  3. Maybe, but that would be even more stupid. As it is, he's probably only going to get a slap on the wrist (presuming that his colleagues testify on his behalf). But if he were to have claimed a tax deduction, and he ever got audited by the IRS, he'd get hit for tax fraud. Doubt he'd get out from under that one.
  4. 1984 - my favorite year! Music from all corps was so intense from the top on down. Loved ALL the corps.! Still the recordings I listen to the most. Biggest applause is obvious on the recordings... Troopers closing push.
  5. Wow, just did a quick bit of googling, and you're right. I had no idea the spread of salaries between various colleges was so large.
  6. Strange set of events. First, anyone teaching in public school knows you can't do this sort of creative maneuver without heavy-duty consultation with administration. But what caught my eye was his salary -- I didn't know that any university band directors were making 140K+. That's more than every Engineering professor I know.
  7. I don't know the answer to your question, but I was one (a general audience member with no prior corps experience). I don't know the answer to your question, but I was one. I don't know the answer to your question(s), but the show designs have driven me away (from DCI, at least).
  8. A few of you might know me as one of the dinosaurs who, on rare occasions, crawls out of his cubbyhole to moan about electronics, amplification, Bb horns, and other new-fangled things I don't like. I admit, I unabashedly don't like the direction the activity has taken. HOWEVER, as paradoxical as this might sound, I am also mostly uninterested in the idea of DCI corps doing "retro" shows, or in rehashing old material, however great I think it might have been back in the day. By contrast, I think that the drumcorps medium as it was constituted in the 70s/80s/90s -- i.e., G bugles, acoustic-only, music-based show design -- wasn't anywhere near exhausted in terms of its potential. There is so much great music that was never attempted, and so much great new music as well, that rather than rehash I'd be much more interested in seeing what new things arrangers could do with the classic instrumentation and music-centric approach. One of the things that was so great about corps, was how it could take grand music, and make it even grander and more thrilling... not by changing it and slicing it into pieces, but by the shear magnitude of 60 brass and thick harmony. It also introduced me to a lot of music I otherwise wouldn't have known about. I guess I'd rather see a retro corps model, but with new shows, than retro shows.
  9. No need to explain G bugles when you can just listen to them. How about 1984 BD "La Fiesta" - one of the most awesome drumcorps "tracks" of all time: Nice that their concert formation happens to perfectly match the mic placement. You can even see their two arcs perfectly in line with the pair of mics.
  10. In drumcorps - where the introduction of amplification in pits indeed started the activity quickly down a slippery slope of all ranges of uses of electronics, including staff participation and manipulation in real time and the ever-expanding cornucopia of instruments, amplified or otherwise. Let me try to walk through it slowly... The question of whether amplified pits "sound better" is not one of fact, but one of opinion. To you, it is so obviously better that only a deluded idiot could believe otherwise. But after hearing many years of both forms of drumcorps, I do believe otherwise -- while it may make certain aspects of one part of the corps sound better on its own, and I could understand some people prefering it, my opinion is that it has hurt the overall sound and impact of corps. And to me (like you) it is so obvious that I can't believe more people don't share my opinion. But both sides are just that - opinion - and your opinion has won out and is now pretty much the only version of corps that exists. So you have no reason to be angry and every reason to rejoice. It makes me sad, not mad. The OP asked our opinions - that is mine. However, what isn't a matter of opinion, is that the introduction of electronic amplification of the pit changed the fundamental nature of drumcorps quite drastically. To the point that, there really can no longer be any reasoned opposition to transforming the activity completely to one of marching bands and any instruments desired. I can't think of any. Without amplification, there was always the consideration of what instruments are optimal for a football field. With amplification, that distinction disappears - if it makes a sound, it must be able to be heard. And it is hardly farcical, because the transformation to bands clearly is in progress and happening rapidly, and that too makes me sad because I don't consider marching bands to be a suitable replacement for the greatest outdoor acoustic sound on earth. With all due respect to the pipes, and the rebel yell.
  11. Again, to be fair, this is done in other settings as well, and is generally refered to as "sound reinforcement". Big bands often use it (Kenton band would mic solos, certain instruments, and sometimes sections depending on the venue, but not the whole band). This past summer when I was in Prague, I went to the famous state opera house there and saw Tosca. I am pretty certain that there was some sound reinforcement going on, in the form of small mics on the stage picking up the actors' singing. It was driving me nuts because it was causing strange phasing of the apparent position of the performer(s) as they moved across the stage... the sound would drift from their mouth to one side of the stage or the other (where the speakers were) as they moved closer to, and then further from, the stage mics. I thought the performance would have been improved without sound reinforcement in that case, and I feel the same about drumcorps (for many of the reasons you have cited).
  12. How can you refer to it as "farcicle" [sic], when that is exactly what has happened and continues to happen?
  13. Rabbit hole crack notwithstanding, the purpose of in-ear monitors in rock bands is NOT so that the performers can hear the actual performance mix, but so that they can hear what they need to hear in order to perform. Often, each performer gets a separate unique mix, sometimes under their own control. But it is rarely if ever the ultimate mix heard in the stands. And despite how you interpret the words, I don't think that he meant that performers can't hear themselves, or that they can't hear the people around them. That would be ridiculous. It was clear to me that he meant they can't hear the final blend. Now, to be fair, that was to a great degree impossible in the acoustic days too, since horns are often blowing over and alongside the pit performers. But today the final mix of the pit - as far as what is heard through the speakers - is done largely on the mixing board. If that weren't the case, why would staff consider it so important that they need control over it themselves?
  14. He never said they can't hear what they're playing. He said they can't hear their "final sound output". For many corps, that is true because the speakers are in front of them and pointed away from them. This is also true for many other musical genres - rock bands rely on sound checks before the performance, and a good mixing board operator to ensure that the sound is balanced in the audience. Nobody said they can't hear what they are playing.
  15. Yes of course you were referring to front ensembles. But since they are now a part of drumcorps, they shouldn't be assessed in a vaccuum... is this FEI ("Front Ensemble International")? No, it's drum and bugle corps. So when assessing the merits of any particular alteration of the form, it doesn't make sense to only look at those forms that have the alteration under consideration. Yes BOA has amplification, but not all similar outdoor marching forms do. By your logic, if we are going to consider expanding the use of woodwinds, we should only look to those forms that already have expanded woodwinds, and they say: "see, their woodwinds are better than ours, so we should do what they do." Ok, well at least you are candid about it. So what then is drumcorps? And what is the purpose of having drumcorps if bands are better? Again, that assesses the pit in a vaccuum. I am trying to assess decisions about the pit in relation to their effect on the drums and bugles that, in my mind, define the core of the activity. Stay calm, take a breath. Yes, that is exactly what I am saying, and I don't believe it is out of context at all. If the argument is simply "it sounds and looks good", then indeed that argument could be used to support any addition. What I'm trying to point out is that there is more at stake - the survival of an art form on the verge of being replaced by something else. Because that is exactly the argument used every time a change is proposed and implemented. At no point does anyone stop and assess what is uniquely compelling about drumcorps, and if any of it should be preserved -- even though there are other things in the world that are also good. I believe that I read your posts quite clearly, and was pointing out some implications of them. The discussion might be friendlier if you didn't presuppose everyone who disagrees with you is an idiot. There is no need to yell.