A.I.RE. (Artificial Intelligence Rhythm Evolution)

A.I.RE. (Artificial Intelligence Rhythm Evolution) is a pioneering program that I, Lisa Pegher, developed in collaboration with the IceBerg New Music Collective and visual artist Kat Zhang. This program integrates artificial intelligence with live percussion and electronic music, featuring eleven distinct compositions that explore the symbiotic relationship between human and machine. The program aims to evolve the percussion instrument’s role from its traditional roots to its contemporary integration with AI and generative music. Each composition uniquely incorporates AI, ranging from subtle, reactive electronics to complex, interactive systems that respond to the performer’s movements. This study investigates the conceptualization, execution, and challenges of blending AI with live performance, offering insights into the future directions of AI in music.

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Interview with the Maharajah Flamenco Trio

We are privileged to feature the Maharajah Flamenco Trio in this edition of the International Journal of Music. Our discussion with Silviu Ciulei, Ramin Yazdanpanah, and David Cobb took place during their tour in Istanbul, Turkey. The trio shared insights into their latest projects, the origins of their collaboration, and their unique musical backgrounds. This interview highlights their creative processes and the diverse influences that shape their music. Enjoy this engaging conversation with the Maharajah Flamenco Trio.

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Simon Diricq, Heir to Adolphe Sax

Simon Diricq’s journey from a quiet child in Tournai to an international icon in the saxophone world is a testament to his early passion and clear goals. Raised in a musical family, he embarked on his musical odyssey at the age of 5, guided by influential mentors and fueled by an unwavering desire to succeed. The saxophone quickly became the focal point of his life, and at 12, he boldly declared his dream of winning the first prize at the Paris Conservatory.

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Resolving Breathing Issues with the Saxophone

This article explores the critical role of proper breathing techniques in the performance and practice of saxophonists. Despite the extensive hours of practice and performance, formal education often overlooks the importance of respiratory health and control. The article delves into the anatomy of breathing, the impact of correct posture, and the benefits of using various respiratory training devices. Emphasis is placed on diaphragmatic breathing for relaxation and performance enhancement. Recommendations for integrating breathing exercises into daily practice routines are provided to improve overall musical performance and reduce physical tension and stress.

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Haydn, an Unknown Classic

This essay, the third in a trilogy on Anton Weidinger, focuses on the performance of Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto in E-flat Major with an orchestra and a keyed trumpet. This realization occurred on January 20, 2024. As the author’s technical proficiency with the keyed trumpet improved, it became clear that mastering the instrument was insufficient; coordination with the orchestra was essential for a historically informed, coherent, and viable performance. This led to an in-depth investigation into various aspects necessary for unifying criteria in articulation, dynamics, timbre, and style. This study underscores the importance of considering historical context, instrument characteristics, and performance practices of the classical period to achieve a faithful rendition of Haydn’s work. The essay explores fundamental knowledge elements required for an authentic performance, addressing unresolved questions and ambiguities surrounding the concerto. Key areas of focus include the instrument’s timbre, dynamic contrasts, appropriate use of vibrato, tempi considerations, and articulation practices, providing insights and reflections that contribute to a deeper understanding of Haydn’s masterpiece for the keyed trumpet.

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Hanon for Violin

In this article, I explore the potential benefits of incorporating Hanon piano exercises into the practice regimen of adult violin learners like myself, aiming to improve finger flexibility and dexterity. The violin, celebrated for its ability to produce captivating melodies, poses considerable challenges to learners, particularly adults navigating mechanical and psychological hurdles. As an adult violin student, I’ve grappled with the intricate finger placements diverging significantly from mundane activities, often leading to issues of inflexibility and weakness, notably in the underdeveloped pinky finger. While dedicated practice is crucial for improvement, the multifaceted nature of violin pedagogy demands attention to various competencies beyond mere finger dexterity, including proper instrument positioning, nuanced bow control, and string tuning. Despite the need to familiarize oneself with basic piano hand positions, this transition is feasible, especially for adults with prior musical experience. Integrating Hanon exercises, renowned for enhancing agility, speed, and precision in piano players, holds promise for adult violin learners like myself seeking to enhance technical proficiency and musicality without significant disruptions to our practice routines.

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Understanding and Managing Stage Anxiety in Musicians: Prevalence, Predisposing Factors, and Coping Mechanisms

Stage anxiety, a form of specific social anxiety, is particularly prevalent among musicians. This condition manifests through physiological responses such as sweating, tachycardia, dry mouth, dizziness, urgency to urinate, and tremors. It can occur not only during performances but also in anticipation of and after these events. This paper explores the prevalence, predisposing factors, and maintaining factors of stage anxiety among musicians. Studies indicate that 70-80% of musicians, both students and professionals, experience this form of anxiety, with one in four students potentially abandoning their musical studies due to it. Predisposing factors include family influences, social pressure, biological vulnerability, and environmental factors. The concept of classical conditioning is also discussed as a mechanism through which anxiety responses are learned and reinforced. The paper further distinguishes between initiating and maintaining factors, emphasizing the role of negative reinforcement in perpetuating stage anxiety. Common avoidance and escape behaviors are identified, providing insight into how musicians cope with anxiety. Understanding these factors is crucial for developing effective interventions to manage and reduce stage anxiety, enabling musicians to perform at their best and enjoy their craft.

Understanding and Managing Stage Anxiety in Musicians: Prevalence, Predisposing Factors, and Coping Mechanisms Open »

Woodwinds Clarinet Saxophone

Music and its Audience

When speaking about one artform I find it can be useful to view that medium through the lens of another. Having long held an interest in the art of poetry a question lurking in the back of my mind while writing music for ‘(after)’, my ninth album as composer and leader, was tied to an idea discussed on a frequently listened to poetry podcast called ‘Sleerickets’ hosted by poet Matthew Buckley Smith. The question often discussed is: ‘what should a poem be doing for its reader?’ I take this to mean: ‘where should the emotional weight of the poem be felt’ – with the poet who composes the work, or with the reader who takes in that work? I found myself asking this same type of question of my own work as a composer: ‘what do I want the listener to get out of listening to my music?’

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