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Here's me playing and improvising Silent Night on flugelhorn during a Christmas Eve service. Thanks for listening. 

https://youtu.be/cod8YXhv88o

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Hi Rodney,

Very nice! Thanks for sharing!

Gav

Thank you so much Gav for stopping by and listening.

Dave, you are way too nice, my friend. Thank you very much! Yes, this is the very first time the internet, or my online friends, have heard me for real. I am extremely self conscious about my tone and tuning at all times especially when playing with an organ playing below 440, normally around 436-438. It's funny you brought up the slurring, as I was playing this tune I kept telling myself, "Ok, you slurred and ornamented the previous phrase, don't do it this time." Lol. That church was great for playing high notes also. You could really make your sound bounce and sound differently just by aiming the bell in different spots. There was a reverb tail of almost 5 seconds allowing me to connect phrases and play with the colors of the dynamics. Thank you for noticing, and thank you for your comments once again. You made my night. 

Thank you for sharing.  Very nice.

Yes, the slight dissonance was definitely the natural rubato of the singers. We should try quantizing them next time, lol, just kidding. If you or anyone else here ever gets the pleasure of playing with a pipe organ you definitely have to tune down to them, constantly listening and adjusting. Brass instruments have tuning slides, and sometimes even triggers like on the third valve slide that we have to adjust. If we are sharp we pull out making the tubing longer, if we are flat we push in thus making our tubing shorter. When I play with a pipe organ my main tuning slide is out much further than it would be with playing in an ensemble of brass, woods, strings, tuned percussion, or even piano. The pipe organ is like a living, breathing "organism." It breaths, and the longer you play it as in a church or recital, the temperature of its environment starts causing the pitch to gradually rise. Something funny happened last Friday after my rehearsal with the pipe organ. Afterwards I had a couple of private lessons and my student and I were simply no where near on pitch together. I checked my tuning, and discovered I was flatter than a pancake with my ears still thinking 438. I posted this recording on my Facebook page also, and my old trumpet teacher assured me that I was right on pitch, thank goodness: "Excellent job Rodney!! Nice phrasing and intonation! That was a sweet Christmas present. Thank you!" The intonation was my biggest worry throughout the entire service, but I did find time to enjoy myself. Normally, when I tune I just need an F, and I am good to go. Before the service though, and this only took literally 20 seconds, I needed a: F above middle C, Bb below middle C, an A, and a high G just to be sure.

Your dream of playing in a large space with great natural reverb is very much an achievable dream. A lot of churches view their church as serving the community. This church in particular told me that I could use their building and even the pipe organ itself any time I wished. I did not know this was possible or "opened to the public" until recently. Each church is different though, but the first step is simply to ask. It could get you some gigs also.     
 
Dave Dexter said:

My pleasure RM. I could discern occasional slight dissonance but I assumed it was a consequence of the singers drifting - the organ being sub-440 makes a lot more sense - rather than your own tuning and it didn't detract in the slightest. Improvising on guitar to a piece that's a hair under standard tuning produces a similar reaction in me, it's hard to commit to phrases. However you felt about it, it sounded assured to me.

I'd love to play somewhere with great natural reverb! I can add it to my signal path or use a spring amp but a guitar, dry amp and I in a church or cathedral would be a dream. A loud, raucous dream. Looking forward to more of your playing.

And thank you for stopping by and listening!

Jim Tribble said:

Thank you for sharing.  Very nice.

I agree with Dave, Rodney - your performance was lovely!  It's so nice to hear a real flugelhorn being played by a great musician.

Your story of the organ's tuning reminded me of one of the funniest incidents of my "getting commissions" days.  I wrote a lot of original music and did a lot of arrangements for weddings, and sometimes the requests were a bit strange!  This particular family was Scottish and the father of the bride wanted several different arrangements of "Highland Cathedral" for pipe organ, bagpipe and string quartet to be played at different points in the wedding.  I duly delivered the scores in plenty of time for a few days rehearsal ahead of the wedding, but those of you who do wedding music know that the first "rehearsal" is usually an hour or two before the wedding.  As soon as the rehearsal started, the father called me in a panic.  "You need to rewrite the music!  The parts don't fit!!"  It took a little calming down time and interpretation for me to realize the problem.  The organ and the bagpipes were not in tune with each other, and neither are instruments that are easily tuned.  The strings could of course tune to the organ, so I talked it out with the musicians over the phone.  This was before the days of internet or sending pdf files, so they were stuck with the scores they had.  We changed it so that the bagpipe played the processional as a solo, the strings and organ played the two interludes and the bagpipe played the recessional as a solo.  Whew! 

I will never again forget the ramifications of instruments that can't be immediately tuned, combined in one score!

I thought you did a magnificent job, Rodney, of being in tune with the organ.  Just be glad you weren't playing a bagpipe.  Of course a bagpipe playing "Silent Night" would be a bit of an oxymoron ;-)

Hi Rodney-

Very nicely done! The flugelhorn adds just the right touch of regal warmth to the hymn, and makes for a most enjoyable listening experience.

Thanks so much for sharing!

Bob https://soundcloud.com/bob-morabito

Hello neighbor, so glad you stopped by to listen. It absolutely means the world to me. I don't deserve your kind words, but I do appreciate them greatly. Thank you for sharing your story and truly sharing my pain, lol. I'm happy to hear though that you figured out the solution and all was well in the end. Before the service I was picking with Eric, the organist, and said, "Let's play a duet, you on the organ, and me on the piano. Play an F on the organ." (He plays an F while I play an F in unison on the piano clashing horribly.) Me smirking, "Nevermind."  

Julie Harris said:

I agree with Dave, Rodney - your performance was lovely!  It's so nice to hear a real flugelhorn being played by a great musician.

Your story of the organ's tuning reminded me of one of the funniest incidents of my "getting commissions" days.  I wrote a lot of original music and did a lot of arrangements for weddings, and sometimes the requests were a bit strange!  This particular family was Scottish and the father of the bride wanted several different arrangements of "Highland Cathedral" for pipe organ, bagpipe and string quartet to be played at different points in the wedding.  I duly delivered the scores in plenty of time for a few days rehearsal ahead of the wedding, but those of you who do wedding music know that the first "rehearsal" is usually an hour or two before the wedding.  As soon as the rehearsal started, the father called me in a panic.  "You need to rewrite the music!  The parts don't fit!!"  It took a little calming down time and interpretation for me to realize the problem.  The organ and the bagpipes were not in tune with each other, and neither are instruments that are easily tuned.  The strings could of course tune to the organ, so I talked it out with the musicians over the phone.  This was before the days of internet or sending pdf files, so they were stuck with the scores they had.  We changed it so that the bagpipe played the processional as a solo, the strings and organ played the two interludes and the bagpipe played the recessional as a solo.  Whew! 

I will never again forget the ramifications of instruments that can't be immediately tuned, combined in one score!

I thought you did a magnificent job, Rodney, of being in tune with the organ.  Just be glad you weren't playing a bagpipe.  Of course a bagpipe playing "Silent Night" would be a bit of an oxymoron ;-)

Thank you, Ray, for stopping by and listening. It means a lot coming from you.

Ray Kemp said:

Nice job Rod, thanks for sharing.

Julie, as soon as you started that story I knew what was coming having had that pleasure every New Year’s Eve for more years than I care to remember.

Of course, on guitar I could just bend the strings a little.

Wow, Ray, I'd love to hear your New Year's Eve music which I assume includes bagpipe and guitar?  Maybe you could start a new thread about New Year's in Scotland, or anything to do with bagpipe plus other instruments.  People like me who still follow every nook and cranny of "Monarch of the Manor" would love it!  I love when the new Laird Paul puts in earplugs before every pipe performance.  Not a true Laird, surely?  ;-)

Ah, sounds like a much more enjoyable New Year's Eve.  I keep hoping someone will convince me of the beauty of the highland bagpipes, but so far no one has.  Enough said!

Rodney, sorry for going off in a different direction from your Silent Night treat.

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