A percussionist and I are planning on performing Dragons in the Sky for senior recitals. I recently got your CD with that piece on it and so I thought, who better to ask about it?? If you could just talk about how to prepare a piece with tape? Where did you even get it?
Did you prepare with the percussionist first or the tape? I've never done a piece like this, so if you could just give some advice about preparing this piece in general.
Thomas Bacon's answer:
The easy question is "Where did you even get it?" Here's the info you need:
Mark Schultz - composer
"Dragons in the Sky" - title of piece
Jomar Press - publisher
horn, percussion, tape - instrumentation
I'm pretty sure the tape part now is on CD, which comes with purchase of the music from the publisher. For ordering info, go to the
Jomar Press website.
As far as how to prepare the piece, it is pretty much like preparing any other piece - you study and practice it. In this case, yes, you can - and should eventually - practice it with the tape (CD). First thing though is to practice many of the individual sections of the horn part just by yourself. There are a lot of very unusual things in the piece, and it is very advanced technically with lots of different things to figure out. Then try it with the tape.
Once you and the percussionist both have your individual parts figured out, then you will need to rehearse together as well. The percussionist has a huge setup and is constantly jumping back and forth from different instruments. One big problem for me always was hearing clarity of the tape when both the horn and percussion are playing. You have to always play with the tape because it is inflexible and will not play with you. I opted for wearing headphones so I could hear. One ear on to hear the tape, one ear off to hear the horn and the percussion. Takes a bit of getting used to but is a big help in keeping in sync with the tape.
It's a great piece, and well worth the effort to work it up.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Steven Munson