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Orchestra / Solo / Chamber Music Discuss Synergy Brass - Procession of Nobles in the General forums; ...
  1. #21
    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
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    Re: Synergy Brass - Procession of Nobles

    Hags,
    I am well aware that a commercial venture targets an audience. Does that excuse not getting technically/musically close as in this example? I don't think so. The performance would have been MORE spectacular when within the achievable playing boundaries. Every one of Synergies members is a player far beyond the capabilities of 99.xxx% of their audience. They are surely in the top couple of % of what is worldwide available. My point is that that can and should also apply to the performances. Surely they are capable of an equal measure of excitement when backing off of the gas pedal.

    No, for me a live performance is not kick boxing match where a technical K.O. means that you win. That is not "old school".

    Synergy will not lose one booking by keeping the Procession of Nobles (or any other piece) FULLY within their technical capabilities. Then we all win. Why not? 80-90% is not cool when you are among the best there is. I know how grueling the road can be. I did that for a long time too.

    I do not dismiss commercialized music as long as there is at least some comittment to the composer and basic musical taste. Some fine examples would be German Brass, Mnozil, Maurice André or if we leave the brass world: The Kings Singers, Chanticleer, The Real Group or some "old school" examples like Philip Jones, Manhattan Transfer, or the Swingle Singers.

    I do not see the necessity to separate technical prowess and clean, exciting and musical, substantial and entertaining. It is not an arguement whether the genre is valid, it is a discussion how far out of control is acceptable.

    I have never been to a Synergy concert. I became aware of the group maybe a year ago and have seen no European tours. I will admit that I normally buy a couple of CDs before visiting brass happenings. At the price of tickets these days it hurts to walk out in the middle of a concert. YouTube offers us often an even more "candid" picture of what real life could be about. That more or less explains my disappointment.

    Nope, I think that every professional can measure themselves by their ability to stay in control of the situation. Realistically, that YouTube posting should have been a wakeup call - not a supposed living the dream.

    Sorry, commercial success will never be a measure of quality or artistic satisfaction.
    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

  2. #22
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    Re: Synergy Brass - Procession of Nobles

    Point well taken...

  3. #23
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    Re: Synergy Brass - Procession of Nobles

    Quote Originally Posted by rowuk View Post
    Sorry, commercial success will never be a measure of quality or artistic satisfaction.
    Any measure of quality or artistic satisfaction is subjective, so, it's tough to objectively measure any kind of art. But again...Rowuk, calling their artistic quality into question misses the point I was trying to make. The point is they are bringing classical music to the masses, and this kind of fireworks display is what the masses want, especially here in the U.S. Synergy is giving the audience what they want, and are carving out a nice career doing it. I don't think there is anything wrong with that when you understand they aren't trying to be the American Brass Quintet, or some other "serious" brass quintet.

    So, if you want to dismiss their rendition of Procession of the Nobles as having bad musical taste because it was too loud and too fast and had missed notes, that's fine. But again, doing so misses the point of what kind of market Synergy Brass is aiming for. They aren't trying to hit the classically sophisticated market. They are the commercialized version of classical music, that *ideally* serves as a gateway to more substantial classical music. That was the point I was trying to make. So, within that context, I think it's perfectly acceptable to present the music as higher, faster and louder (and missed notes? Yeah, that's bad, but we all have our off days...and griping about missed notes in one live performance is a little unrealistic, don't ya think?). I don't think it's fair to hold them up to the same standard as you might Stockholm or American, because IMO they aren't even striving for that standard to begin with.

    I hear this argument that Rowuk is making all the time with regards to more commercialized groups, and it's a tired, worn out argument in my opinion. It's been around for the last 40 years, ever since Canadian began doing a more commercialized show. But this argument misses the fact that commercialized classical music is aiming for something different than academic or "serious" classical music. I for one, appreciate what groups like Synergy are doing and I truly hope it leads to a bigger market for more serious classical music. I hope Jon Hurrell's ideas are right and that Synergy does exist as a "gateway" ensemble for classical music.

  4. #24
    Pianissimo User HoosierDaddy's Avatar
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    Re: Synergy Brass - Procession of Nobles

    Hags,

    Interesting argument. First of all yes, all art is subjective. That being said, really?

    Secondly, Shouldn't we all be striving to sound our best and reach the highest level. I don't buy the argument that "hey this is good enough for elementary kids". There is a reason that when the American Brass Quintet plays educational shows they play their regular stuff. It's because they sound great doing it because they are being true to themselves and by playing at a high artistic level odds are good that some of the kids will "get it" and it will make an impact. If we play silly stuff and act silly we will be taken for just that, silly. I also understand entertainment, but you have to be real. You can't play down to people and think that everyone wants to see a clown show. I also understand anyone can have a bad day. I know I have had many, but I am not putting them on youtube either.

  5. #25
    Pianissimo User Huggy Bear's Avatar
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    Re: Synergy Brass - Procession of Nobles

    So, My Peoples.....It has become clear that Huggy has to chime in on this mess again.

    I love Hoosier Daddy. Mostly because he has Daddy in his name. That's tight, yo! Fo' Shizzle! But he make some great points, too. American Brass does what they do, and they do it better than anyone in the world. I also think he's got a tight argument in that "kids show" aren't time for sloppy playing. If we're going to encourage audience development then we need to give the kids great playing.

    Hags....I love you, too! Especially since I can relate to your name since I have some "hags" in my stable....mos' def'! I'm very down with the idea that the entertainment v. art argument is a bit tired. I have HUGE love for what Canadian has done over the years! To listen to those cats play was amazing....you never knew how hard that stuff was until you got good....someday I'll get there....I'm practicing my Michael Sachs Fundamentals every day (you know, he's my favorite classical playa')! I also understand that they're trying to make some benjamins....word! Huggy likes stuff that's "Fo' Profit"! Alls my girls are "Fo' Profit", if ya know whats I'm sayin'!!! To do that you have to play some classical pops stuff, sure. Arthur Fiedler, Victor Borge, Empire Brass, Canadian Brass....made fat $$$$$ off of doing that sort of thing. Tight! Huggy gets it....no, Huggy LOVES it!!!! Synergy has modeled themselves off of Empire. Same rep, same narcissistic (sp?) front man. There's one BIG difference, though....and no, I'm not talking about Booby Thorps waist line......

    THEY SUCK!!!!!!!!

    The problem with what they did isn't the tempo they chose....it's that they're professional musicians and they can't seem to tongue their way out of a paper bag! The problem isn't that they made phrasing choices......it's that there was no real phrasing, just sea sickening swells and the occasional 50 yard line park and blow! The problem wasn't that there was no group cohesion or ensemble sense.....well, yes it was! It wasn' that they played witht eh wrong tone, but that they played with NO TONE.....and as a famous Grandaddy Pimp once said....NO TONE NO MUSIC!

    I'm all for bringing music to the masses....as many masses as you can. I'm not for a half assed raping of music by guys dancing like circus clowns, the worlds fattest trumpeter and Cousin It!!!

    Peace....

    Love,
    Huggy Daddy
    Laid back....with my mind on my money and my money on my mind.....Tight! And where's my BLING, my Peeps?

  6. #26
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    Re: Synergy Brass - Procession of Nobles

    I played that Procession clip for my 8-yr old stepdaughter, whose musical taste runs toward Taylor Swift, mainly. She said it sounded horrible.

    Look - we can't all be virtuosi all the time. But there seems to be a minimum level of "quality control" that should probably be exercised by this group - at least by the person determining what clips get posted and which don't! When there's only five of you (and no sound engineer, and no auto-tune) - playing together and in tune isn't a "subjective" matter.

    I will give them props for relating well to the kids they encounter. That's not easy to do either. But I don't think my stepdaughter's going to let me skip Taylor Swift by taking her to see these guys instead.
    Last edited by robertwhite; 06-14-2010 at 01:23 AM.

  7. #27
    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
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    Re: Synergy Brass - Procession of Nobles

    I don't want to beat a horse, but think Hags has missed the point.

    For MONEY we can expect more than just a show. From the finest players we can also expect more than a show. My criticism was not the speed, it was the sloppy. Entertainment as I previously explained is perfectly legitimate. Professional entertainment in my book is clean. The issue here is how not what. Role models for my kids need to have a sense of what they are capable of.

    There is NEVER an excuse for sloppy Hags. That does not bring classical music closer to the masses. It only brings a sense of "good enough" instead of GOOD to the masses.

    The arguments are lame and have nothing to do with old school/new school. I own and listen to Canadian Brass CDs. The disappointment is that in a live situation they were often MILES away from that CD performance because they did not consider their own human state. If a piece is not decently performable live, then Let it Be. There is enough other repertory to fill the slot without comprimise.

    Man, one example of missing common sense and then making up EXCUSES. That is not professional.
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  8. #28
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    Re: Synergy Brass - Procession of Nobles

    You know, I just spent a lot of time cooking up another rebuttal, but at the end of the day it's not worth it, and you're all right. This one clip is bad. All I can say is, when they visited our campus they sounded a lot better than this clip...and I think their playing in the DMC clip I linked earlier proves that (and there are many other clips up on Youtube that are a lot better). What I was most impressed with though, was with their dedication to education. They connected with our students and inspired them to pursue their dreams in ways that I didn't expect, and they fired up the high school kids in the area which did wonders for our recruiting. Where I teach we need that sort of "gateway" thing. So, I have no problem coming to bat and defending them when no one else will. I hope they continue to get better and keep creating excitement in our schools.
    Last edited by Hags888; 06-14-2010 at 03:05 AM.

  9. #29
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    Re: Synergy Brass - Procession of Nobles

    To be fair - it should be pointed out that the "Nobles" clip was posted by a fan and not by Synergy themselves. There's certainly some performances I've given that I wouldn't want anyone putting on YouTube!

  10. #30
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    Re: Synergy Brass - Procession of Nobles

    Bottom line ...I regret beating up on Synergy, it was in poor taste. And we all have performances we wolud not want posted... I'm new here.. still feeling my way around this site...

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