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cfirwin3

"Stop standing around! That's not how this works!" (Another Show Comparison)

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8 minutes ago, jwillis35 said:

As for commenting on these two FANTASTIC shows, below are my thoughts.

  • Both shows are incredible and two of the legendary shows in DCI history, even with BD's '17 production being relatively young.
  • Both shows were/are the model for the activity at their time. BD's 17 show represents a style that many other corps are trying to copy in today's activity. A few corps have found their own unique version of this style, which I feel really began with BD in 2008. Corps like the Bluecoats, Crown, SCV, Cavaliers, and now Boston seem to have made nice transitions to a unique version of this style. The Bluecoats, to me, have further defined their own style with the way they have used props and electronics, not to mention uniforms, that i believe has even surpassed BD in that regard. This is most noticeable in 2014, 15, 16, and 17.  And a real jazz show as well in 2018.
  • Both corps perform extremely well (back to BD and Cadets)
  • Both shows were fan friendly. BD gets some criticism over the years for not being very fan friendly, but that has not been the case from 2014 and on. The 2017 show rocked the dome in Indy, just as Cadets rocked the house in Madison in 1987 (and so did SCV).

Specific Comments on the Two Shows:

Garfield Cadets 1987

  • Cadets brass and field percussion are playing more. The music source material, as you noted, is from one composer and one piece.
  • In this era of drum corps (and band) it was typical to write the music first and craft the visual to work with the music. Think of the music being like the movie in a theater, and the visual drill was more like the music soundtrack, but to the music. This was the typical way to develop a show back in the day. This is different today.
  • Garfield's music is really arranged like a transcription of the orchestral ballet. Phrases are longer than what we typically hear today, and dramatic builds are more defined and given time to develop. 
  • Brass line definitely needed endurance to play the book considering the time they had the horns to their faces.
  • Battery percussion is playing and marching a lot.
  • The responsibility of the pit is solid, but not overwhelming or nearly as diverse in instrumentation as we see today.
  • The visual program is very demanding, especially for that time. But Zingali gives us more. It isn't just about demand and velocity. He gives us Art, beauty, perhaps one of the most aesthetically pleasing and polished visual books in DCI History. In addition to this being a terrific music book by Michael Klesch and who ever did percussion (I forget), the visual actually conveys the music as well as the music does. The drill moves when it needs to, pauses when it needs to, picks up velocity at the right moments,. and uses curves, angles, depth and width to paint the music to the field. They are not marching a routine for the sake of doing something hard. 
  • It should be noted that we do not see many shows today that utilize the 2-step, and even 1-step intervals that you frequently see in this show. 
  • The company front hit point and the following development of a dissolve (tension) and rebuild of the front (release) combine for one of the great impact moments in DCI History, certainly for the 80s and 90s. 
  • When I saw this show I don't think I was worried about demand or velocity or how high some kid could play, etc. I walked out of the stadium realizing that I had seen a work of art like never before...and nothing else mattered. Their score and placement did not matter. SCV was just as good. But the artistic quality to Garfield in 1987 is sure to be remembered by any and all who ever saw the show live, and perhaps even on video. 

Comments on BD 2017 coming in a little...

Did Thom Hannum write the percussion for Garfield 1987?

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19 minutes ago, LyricalCoder said:

Basic PE quality calisthenics (had to look up spelling on that) was what we did in the early 90's. I think as visual demands increased in the later 90's and beyond, so did the physical conditioning requirements. 

Thanks and I’m lucky “aerobics” cane up in spell check or I would have missed a letter or two 

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By the way --- and everyone can and should appropriately slaughter me, and I hang my head in shame ---

 

I was unfamiliar with the 1987 Cadets show until watching it now 😞

 

I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW. But what an incredible show; I was sincerely amazed at how unbelievably fresh and light that whole show read....and with a poor quality video from 32 years ago. Really musical drill writing that reads as pretty modern and lyrical. That ending in particular was perfectly written and had to have blown expectations of a closer at the time out of the water. I actually think that show holds up much better to modern design aesthetics than Star '91, which I also enjoyed as well, but was much more familiar with, so maybe not as surprised by the greatness. What a beautiful blast from the past from The Cadets!!

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1 hour ago, LyricalCoder said:

BD gets a lot of flack for not playing enough and just running around from set to set. But have you ever tried running a lap and then picking up your horn to play a soft ballad? Not easy, at least not easy to play well.

The BD kids have been talking about the challenge of this in the videos at least as far back as 2015, when they all went running after the witch and then had to plant and play really intricate stuff. This year's show has an even tougher spot, with the huge "hurricane" in the beginning, where they are running flat out in a circular pattern while doing upper body stuff for a sustained period, and then have to go immediately into the opening horn moment without screwing up the attack. 

Just like the show designs themselves, the varieties of demand have evolved to be much more complex. The standard used to be moderately difficult physicality overlaid on moderately difficult playing = hard. Now, in addition to that, it could be extremely difficult physicality just before extremely difficult playing = hard. By splitting the two elements and making them adjacent, each part can be made more challenging (run faster, play more notes). It adds more options to the design toolkit, without being any simpler.

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Listening to the commentary on youtube I believe the amount of playing while marching as well as the long sections of flex drill - which requires amazing individual responsibility and awareness - is being underestimated. Not taking anything away from the recent BD program - literally comparing apples to oranges. But Cadets 87 is a beast in terms of M&M simultaneous demand. 

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33 minutes ago, George Dixon said:

Listening to the commentary on youtube I believe the amount of playing while marching as well as the long sections of flex drill - which requires amazing individual responsibility and awareness - is being underestimated. Not taking anything away from the recent BD program - literally comparing apples to oranges. But Cadets 87 is a beast in terms of M&M simultaneous demand. 

I think the concern some people have is that they fear apples are being abandoned in favor of oranges.

Edited by N.E. Brigand
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6 minutes ago, N.E. Brigand said:

I think the concern some people have is that they fear apples are being abandoned in favor of oranges.

most things tend to swing too far one direction and then settle in the middle

two seasons from now I bet we see more drill mixed with staging - the "emoting" thing is probably here to stay however

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40 minutes ago, George Dixon said:

Listening to the commentary on youtube I believe the amount of playing while marching as well as the long sections of flex drill - which requires amazing individual responsibility and awareness - is being underestimated. Not taking anything away from the recent BD program - literally comparing apples to oranges. But Cadets 87 is a beast in terms of M&M simultaneous demand. 

I certainly don't intend to underrepresent what is there.  Again, there is a premise to serve by doing this exercise, and that is to compare design choices.  The scoring and choreography rules apply the same way in the '87 show as they do in the '17 show.  You can identify similar accessible playing being used in similar drill responsibility in both.  Likewise when the musical heat turns up (even in the Garfield show) the drill responsibilities are shifted to sections that are better suited to manage it.  The '17 show pushes that premise over the edge at times.

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49 minutes ago, George Dixon said:

Listening to the commentary on youtube I believe the amount of playing while marching as well as the long sections of flex drill - which requires amazing individual responsibility and awareness - is being underestimated. Not taking anything away from the recent BD program - literally comparing apples to oranges. But Cadets 87 is a beast in terms of M&M simultaneous demand. 

It was a different type of demand than was put on the performers today but I wouldn't say that is was MORE demanding in terms of simultaneous demand than BD 17. In fact the RANGE and VARIETY of demand placed on the BD 17 performers far outweighs that of Cadets 87.

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41 minutes ago, Spatzzz said:

It was a different type of demand than was put on the performers today but I wouldn't say that is was MORE demanding in terms of simultaneous demand than BD 17. In fact the RANGE and VARIETY of demand placed on the BD 17 performers far outweighs that of Cadets 87.

As cfirwin3 noted in the other thread, there is (or can be) a difference between what makes for a successful achievement and what makes for a successful aesthetic. Do the current sheets reward range and variety more than the sheets of 30 years ago? (Perhaps judges of that time would have said to a time-transplanted BD '17: "Why do you keep switching from one technique to another? Let a musical/visual concept develop fully before moving on.") And if so, is that good or bad? In any art, there are periods that history looks back on and finds wanting. Maybe the drum corps historians of the future will deride the aesthetics of '87. Maybe they will deride the aesthetics of '17. Maybe they will praise both. I don't know.

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