Saturday, August 4, 2012

International Clarinet Association Clarinet Fest 2012: Day One

My mom and I arrived in Lincoln, Nebraska Wednesday evening for 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.

1 comment:

  1. Michael Lowenstern came to Illinois State University about a year and a half ago. He's an incredible bass clarinetist and musician. 10 Children is by far my favorite of all his compositions. ;)