Saturday, August 4, 2012
International Clarinet Association Clarinet Fest 2012: Day One
Clarinetfest 2012. By the time we got checked in, registration had closed five minutes early, so we couldn't pick up our registration materials and schedule. Lincoln is such a tiny city! It seems more like a suburb than a city. Wednesday night, we watched a bass clarinet performance by Michael Lowenstern. It was very interesting. He used a looper and other fancy tech equipment in his performance. The most striking thing he used during the performance was a instrument called an EWI. It is a really crazy electric woodwind instrument. It is straight like a soprano sax and played in front of the body where it is held on a neck strap. It makes a really odd electronic sound. I didn't love it, but Mr. Lowenstern played it well. I found his bass clarinet playing to be a little more to my liking, but he was able to achieve a sound that is very similar to the sound most people would expect from a saxophone. I think it is exactly what contemporary bass clarinet performance probably should sound like, and he was very good, but I kind of love the more traditional music. This wasn't my kind of music, but Mr. Lowenstern was very good at it and he had a really nice stage presence. He was quite funny and enjoyable to watch. I did like a composition he premiered called "10 Children's Pieces. I thought the Lullaby movement quite beautiful.