John dragonetti you meet your people sir

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john dragonetti you meet your people sir

I wanted to let you know that I received my guitar today, safe and sound. John Dragonetti, Feb 27, , NJ, USA Thank you, dear sir, for a wonderful guitar! testimonials, and it was easy to see a definite pattern in what people had to say about your guitars. I received her just now and I am very excited to meet her. you, the membership, people with positive his fellow Sir Knights who helped make the hospitality room an enjoyable time by all. I hope to see all at our Thanksgiving meeting at St. Therese Mike Dragonetti. Encyclical. enthusiasm of Vincent Novello himself, and secondly to the proclivities of his talented family. and made a point of meeting as many of the composer's relatives and friends as was . Edinburgh, 29 January Wallerscott Sir W. Scott's autograph,, Domenico Dragonetti, John Poets & Literary Persons.

This slideshow requires JavaScript. Encouraged by her school headmistress, Margaret went on to study at Manchester College of Art.

She went on to produce over wood engravings, many of which were used to illustrate books, some written by her father Lawrence. However, her art education was cut short by World War 1. During this traumatic time, Margaret felt her priorities lay in welfare duties rather than her artistic career.

She was also honorary secretary of the newly established Pioneer Club for business and professional young women in Manchester. These activities took up a large amount of her time and this social conscience influenced her daily routine for the rest of her life. Margaret Pilkington is in the audience.

She was heavily involved with this group of talented artisans, including serving as chairman from until The Whitworth Art Gallery invited her in to join their council, beginning a long-standing and dedicated relationship. ByMargaret stepped in when the Whitworth suffered financial and staffing problems, by proposing a rescue plan which saw her take on the role of honorary director, a post she held with distinction for over 22 years.

He believed that I could be anything I wanted to be. He didn't go as far as the President or anything silly, but he'd say, "You can be anything you want; you have to work hard, and you must never hurt anybody.

When did you decide that what you wanted to do was play the bass I mean, even preceding when you were playing in the orchestra, when did you decide that you wanted to be the best bass player in the world? Well, I never wanted to be the best bass player in the world. People throw those things around, and I find them very embarrassing.

I don't think there's any such animal, really. There are a lot of people who play brilliantly, and I can tell you who they are, but I don't have to Well, you decided you wanted to be a superb bass player. I wanted to be a very good bass player. I'm from a small town in Connecticut, Norwich, Connecticut, which was the home of Benedict Arnold, the famous American hero. Land] who invented the Polaroid process.

And the bandleader Henry Jerome also came from Norwich, Connecticut. His thing was he remembered your name. You'd meet him once, and ten years later you'd come back and he'd say, "How's the Windy City, Bruce? We got stopped by some people, and my friend said, "If you could take me to get some gas, I'd appreciate it.

I'm sick and tired of hearing my friend," that was me! So they said, "That's interesting; that's all we're interested in, too. So they came back and said, "And who are you? Why don't you come and bring one of your instruments over to play with him? He was a St. Louis guy who played clarinet and saxophone with Fats Waller.

john dragonetti you meet your people sir

As a kid I loved Fats Waller and Louis Armstrong and the jazz people because of the excitement and the wit and the humor. Fats always teased the hell out of lyrics that are sort of puerile, and rather silly, in fact.

You know, "Your pedal extremities are colossal, to me it makes you look like a fossil, you got me walkin', talkin', squawkin', 'cause your feet's too big. So I thought, "My God, how nice it would be to make people happy and have people like music like that.

He had some kind of disease; in those days they didn't have answers to diseases. We played jazz, and he liked it and smiled. I like the happy feeling of music touching people, and communicating with people. So, Gene would have me play with him, and I'd play with all these old black swing stars. They were so kind to me. I'd be "the white kid," you know, and he'd say, "Now watch the high-hat; listen to the high-hat, Bert; watch the left hand of the piano player, he'll play you the harmonies.

He said things like, "You learn all the songs and learn how to transpose, and then play different for the trombone than the clarinet. Tiny Joe Watts was a bass player and when he retired, they didn't have a bass.

He heard me playing and he said, "You could come any time, son. They were so wonderful to me, so when I teach, I teach very seriously. I love to teach and it was because these people were so kind. Then I went to music school. I had the experience that Allen Ginsberg wrote so beautifully about in Howl [poem written in ]. I came in contact with people who had drug and alcohol problems, and it was frightening to me.

Being a first-generation American of Orthodox Jewish background, and all of a sudden people are shooting up, and doing this awful stuff to themselves. It scared the hell outta me and I knew I couldn't do that.

So I wanted to be a jazz player, and I couldn't stand the life. I knew there had to be something different. What saved me was I heard some Renaissance music.

And Renaissance music, as you know very well, is "team" music, no ego. You play as a team. Jazz is like that, too, and I liked it. I played the guitar as a kid, and I had the good fortune to study with Joseph Iadone, who was a great lutenist and formerly a bass player. He was the American Hindemith student, incidentally. Superb musician, but didn't like to travel. So he's sort of unknown in big cities. But if you speak to people like Charles Bressler or Russell Oberlin, some of the early-music singers, they say, "Joe Iadone?

Oh, my God, what a great artist. We played with lute, flute, and guitar, and John Ferrante, who you know from the P. Bach days, was an old friend. We started playing Renaissance music, and I started transcribing it for the bass, and I started playing in an orchestra, and I played chamber music. I loved everything - all of it - but I was afraid of the jazz life. It just scared the hell outta me.

So you played it when you could, but really didn't make a profession out of it. I liked the idea of going in the front door, and not being told, "Let's turn off the lights and we'll pay you.

My father never made any money. And there was a certain kind of social distinction. You were symphonic, so you'd gone "legit" so to speak. I liked that, but I still liked some of the jazz dates. But when I started to teach and became assistant professor in Hartford and a member of the symphony, there were certain places I couldn't play, because if there was ever a raid, and somebody was holding any illegal substance, my name would be in the paper and I would be out of a job. My wife and kids would be in big trouble.

They'd be rather unhappy with me and I take that responsibility seriously. Were there any other very early influences? When I was 26, one of my friends - one of the first kids I met in music school - took his life.

I don't really believe in that, philosophically, or any other way, and it troubled me. He was a composer, and we both came to music school in Hartford from small towns. Everybody was talking in the front room, and we sort of didn't know what to do. He said he was a composer, and I thought, "He's a composer?

Man, this guy doesn't play an instrument [well, he actually did] but he writes music. So he took his life when he was 26, and the reason he gave people who found out later was that no one wanted to play his music. He'd just come back from Italy where he studied with Petrassi, and he was talented.

So I asked the parents for some music. He had chamber music, and there were a couple of pieces with bass. We played them and they were beautiful. So the parents were very touched. And I was touched. I realized then, when I was 26 years old - which was a few years ago - that something terrible happened in music.

At one time, as we both know so well, if you were a musician, you wrote music, and you played your music. Papa Haydn, who wasn't such a great player, they say, would sit at the keyboard, and take his symphonies out and play the violin. Mozart was a fabulous player; Bach, maybe was the greatest organist that ever lived, and so on and so forth. Then with Berlioz things start to change.

The composer was one thing and the performer was another. It looks sort of like the Platonic dialogue on love. The man and female were once one and the same, and then they split 'em off. I thought that these composers, that's all they want to do is write music and hear their music, and all we want to do is play. Why can't we help each other? Why can't we work together? So I started getting pieces written for me, and I'd say, "Look, you write a piece, I'll play it. And I mastered them.

Did you make any other demands on the composer than just "Write me a piece"? I tried not to, but at first, I'd say, "Write me a piece," and they'd look at me and they'd say, "Grove's Dictionary says the bass isn't a solo instrument. What are you talking about? So what I hadda do is find things that the bass could do that the cello couldn't do!

I used to say that the bass is not a poor relative of the cello an octave lower and an octave slower, but an instrument with its own voice. I also believe - and you may not agree, but I will argue the point - that the bass is the most versatile bowed string instrument in Western culture.

I can play as high as a violin, and no instrument can play as low as I can. With artificial harmonics I can get up there. And we have more traditions of playing than the other strings. For example, you have every national tradition of European concert music, and they're all different around the world, you know. And then we have jazz! And then we have the experimental music and the extended techniques, which has been a big part of my work.

Well, you put all that together, and then you add the world music that I've been fascinated with and have played all my life - Greek bands, and klezmer bands - I know that music!

As a little boy from Connecticut, of course you played polkas, and kujawiaks, and obereks, and mazurkas. Is there any music anywhere in the world that you either haven't played or couldn't play? I'm interested in African music, and in world music because I don't believe that Americans should be so Eurocentric.

It's a very strong feeling I have. With a name like Turetzky, I can do all kinds of things. But I'm very American and I'm very committed to that. I tell a joke. You know, for business reasons. Let's come back to technique just a little bit. When you say, "Write me a piece," each composer decides, "Well, I'll find a new thing that the bass can do. Perle's house in Flushing. I had done a lot of research already, and I demonstrated this pizzicato tremolo thing that Bill Karlins used in the piece tonight.

I showed him some of this guitar pizzicato that is very luscious and doesn't have an accent. I showed him all kinds of things, the bending the harmonics, like we had tonight, and he said, "That's quite beautiful! Yeah, he wanted to write a piece! So I gave him enough ideas. Usually I make a demonstration, on a tape or in person, and they would get ideas.

That seagull from the whale piece by George Crumb [Vox Balaenae Voice of the Whale,for electric flute, electric cello, and amplified piano] comes from my seminar. I used to use the seagull; I used to play Young Audiences concerts, and I used to have to show 'em things the bass can do that the cello couldn't do.

Does it behoove a composer who's writing a new piece to use any, or all, of these new techniques? Only if it works in his music. I always say, "Look, write your own piece. Here's what I can do, here's what interests me, but write your piece. Do the techniques make you more of a trained seal than a musician? One composer, who will be nameless, wrote a piece with every technique that I demonstrated in the order I demonstrated it.

Well, this was a terrible piece!

john dragonetti you meet your people sir

But I demonstrated some techniques to Bob Erickson, who's a wonderful composer. Someone else heard some percussion things and said, "That's really wonderful! I have a different way of playing them - with vibrato instead of a white sound! And I can play them lyrically, because I finger them on a different part of the instrument, and so on.

So, everybody picks up what they like, and I say, "Always write your own piece. That's not the idea. It sounded just as fresh and exciting asjust like Reflux [a concerto for amplified double bass, solo wind ensemble, piano, and percussion] was this evening. You're still teaching youngsters how to play bass? Yes, but I teach them very traditionally. We go through traditional materials and we look at traditional techniques in a different way. So they're gonna play the Bottesini and Dragonetti But with style, not this new objective style of playing, which I can't stand.

You know my playing, so you know I don't play that way. Do you also teach them how to experiment with new techniques - your own and their own?

When they can play the bass, then we can talk about that. Somebody once came to me and he said, "I'd like to study modern music with you. When would you like to start? So I said, "Can we play a Vivaldi sonata?

I said, "Well, we have a couple of things to work on; we'll do this, this, and this, and next week we'll do this. He came for three months, and he said, "Mr.

I came for learning how to play modern music! And I'm enjoying it very much. I just wanted to tell you that. I think the biggest people who hide their inept instrumentalism and musicianship are the people who play very avant-garde music and very early music.

We really don't have a basis for comparison, sometimes. So you can get away with it. Well, they get away with it. I never tried to. I just don't like that, so I have a lotta trouble with the performances of a lotta people who play new music. I'm hooked into a tradition of music as an expressive idiom. Tonight we played Bill Karlins' Reflux. There's some intervals in there that I look at, for example, when I'm playing a melodic line, as having a dynamism and energy just like the great people who used to play tonal music.

I had the privilege and pleasure of playing with Marcel Moyse, who was the greatest flute player I ever heard, for 12 years, in a chamber orchestra in Vermont.

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And Louis Moyse, who's still one of the great artists. Earlier this evening, you brought up a word that I want to pounce on: There can be very high level entertainment, and entertainment can border, even, on the spiritual. Say we're playing the Threnody [ ] of Penderecki - that's not entertainment, clearly. I wanted to come to a concert and have a good time. I come out on the stage and I play a piece, and the audience just looks and sits on its hands, and they look at me, and they say, "My God, what have we come here for?

I will say things like, "Didn't you read Grove's Dictionary that says the bass isn't a solo instrument? And if you didn't, what hell are we all doing here? So I just depart from the program, because if someone is kind enough to come to hear me play, they're gonna have an experience.

I'm not gonna just do my thing and say later, "These people are stupid. I came down from the mountain with Moses. I bring you the truth. They came out to a concert, they deserve something. They're getting away from the television, God bless 'em.

So let's try to give 'em something. So, I tell stories. I'll tell 'em about taking the bass on the airlines, and they'll laugh and after a while they'll say, "This guy is real. He may be crazy but he really loves what he's doing, and he seems to have a good sense of humor. He's not pompous, he's a real person. We'll suspend disbelief and we'll give him a go. Sometimes it takes me 15 or 20 minutes, but I'll try because I learned from being a jazz player that man, you gotta give 'em everything you got.

You know, like the athletes say, "I played percent. So that's what I do when I go to a concert. I never give up. So far, I've been very successful. Some of my pieces are entertaining, I must tell you. I do Tom Johnson's Failing [ ], which is one of the truly funniest pieces written in this century. I don't mind doing entertaining pieces. Nancy and I do it all the time. Nancy Turetzky Bertram's wife often performs the speaking part for this piece.

Then let me ask the big question: What's the purpose of music? I'll give you my thrust; that's what you want, anyway. I can't talk for anybody else. Sometimes music is something that I need to just calm down. I read a newspaper, or I hear something awful that we're doing again. I listen to that and I say, "It's wonderful to be a human being; it's wonderful to be alive. I'm living on the same planet that this man, Mahler, lived on. I really mean this! Or sometimes I listen to a Bach work, the Sixth Brandenburg, especially, and I say, "Oh, this is wonderful; there must be somebody responsible for all this craziness, but listen to that.

I mean, that's a marriage of intellect and emotion unparalleled anywhere. It almost transports you out of this world. Yes, it does, and I like that. Sometimes things used to get very bad. I'd play in the orchestra, and we had rehearsals, and I'd teach all day, so my wife would play Orlando di Lasso, Thomas Morley, and Gastoldi duets for guitar and flute, late at night.

john dragonetti you meet your people sir

We'd sit there, and how airy, how beautiful it was. It had charm, and it had great structure. I was just happy to be alive, and be in music. So music is for that. And then music makes people feel things, and makes people think things. I was at a dress rehearsal last week at school of Brian Ferneyhough's Prometheus [ ] - the early woodwind sextet - and it really grabbed me. I was thinking of all the ideas; I could hear where things were coming from, they were so imaginative.

And unlike Brian's more recent music, which is the famous "New Complexity" everybody talks about, especially in the English and the Australians, it didn't move so fast that I couldn't hear it.

I sat there and it was really exciting. So music is very stimulating for some people; we hear ideas. Ives' Unanswered Question is a very touching piece for me.

Three Places in New England are very touching. When I listen to some of that music I'm very glad that I'm an American. Of course, my America is different than a lot of other people from America. My America is the America of the artist, of the renegade and the outlaws. And John Cage and Lou Harrison. And yet it allows place for the traditionalists.

So music is my life. When people ask, "What is music? It's an awful profession. You meet some terrible people who are in it as a business and a profession. Then you meet these beautiful people who write music for you, and people come to concerts wherever you are, and they just tell you nice things, people like you who love music.

Here we are, late at night, and we're talking about something we both love! I think that's important. Young people hear music, and I watch them. I still play in the schools of San Diego, and around this country. I love to play in the schools. You see little people hear music, and they change their shapes, the body language changes. Even the very experimental music? A lot of it, yeah.

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I play my music with love and conviction. Take it like castor oil. You need it, right? I'm playing these pieces for real. So, yeah, they like a lotta music because no one told them that this is bad, or this is funny. We play a variety of music. I like all kinds of music. Do you have any advice for audiences who want to expand their knowledge of music, especially music for the bass? First of all they should forget about stereotypes. They should suspend disbelief like we do when we go to the opera, and see what this instrument can do!

When you listen to the bass, there are all kinds of players. There's the irrepressible Milt Hinton, who is one of the great slap-bass players left in jazz. There was the great singing bass player Slam Stewart who left us recently, a joyous player who played with Benny Goodman. Give him a bow and Gary'll make that lamp sing, man. He's one of the great singers on any string instrument, alive.

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I love his playing, and he's a dear friend. There's Barry Guy, the amazing English bass player So now you rattle off all these names, but there's still not a huge list like there would be of violinists and pianists. No, you're right, because bass players have been told that their job is to play in the orchestra, and many of them believe that.

They didn't read Horatio Alger! They didn't have the vision of some of us who just feel that our job is to raise the awareness. One of the things I realized that I wanted to change was not only the musical image of the bass, but to make it a first class citizen. Before people were talking about this kinda power, that power, I was saying, "Bass is beautiful. What else would you like me to play? That probably intrigued them.

john dragonetti you meet your people sir

So, they started saying, "Well, let's do something else! Would you do a Paganini solo, or would you do an Erickson solo? I wouldn't do a Paganini solo. I would maybe do Erickson, or I might play an interesting sonata with piano because there was a good pianist.

And they would say, "That's interesting. In two of them there are harmonics, so they're very beautiful, very soft and gentle. They'd say, "I didn't know a bass could play like that! You're gonna find out. So they hired you not only to play, but to teach. I think playing is an extension of my teaching. We have Talmudic scholars in the family. So tonight I played a piece of modern music, and a lot of people liked it.

Maybe some of them didn't like it, but they heard the lines sing well, hopefully, with conviction, and played con amore, and with a sound that hooks into what they know a string player is supposed to sound like. It's not that "objective" kind of playing where the performer says, "I play the notes, man, what else do you want? I'm 59 years old. I've heard those great players and I adore the way they play! I don't take some of the liberties that they do because I feel there's a certain responsibility to the composer, unless the composer says, "Look, personalize it," like David Baker from Indiana University.

He said, "Personalize it, Bert.

john dragonetti you meet your people sir

It's your piece now! You know, I'm giving you my child. But then it'll be different if he gives that same child to Gary Karr, or somebody else. And he's ready for that. But now some composers aren't ready for that. They won't give it to me, or they won't give it to Gary. They'll want someone to play it their special way!

So the composers you glom onto more are the collaborative composers rather than the dictatorial ones. The collaboration is a very important concept because already there's no hierarchy.

I did a piece with Ernst Krenek. He came up with quite an interesting duo! He was happy to collaborate, and, you know, he was not a spring chicken then, even! Some composers are not so dictatorial. A guy like Ken Gaburo who is a master musician, a wonderful composer, and basically unknown for reasons I don't understand. Every note in one of the pieces that I play, he wanted it. So it took a year! Now when I play the piece, I see the man's face light up.

That's the way I wrote it, man. So I like to work with both kinds: I'm in a growth mode, or else we wouldn't be talking. And I wouldn't be playing anymore, because when do I arrive? You never arrive, you're always on the way! Now you're still teaching bass. Are some of the techniques that you use being incorporated into your teaching, and are we finding that the young bass players coming along are starting at a higher level because of what you have done through your life?

I wish that were true. Some of the teaching of traditional techniques is helping. I've put out some good students, but when they have to play a 20th century piece, sometimes they don't know what to do with it! So I get telephone calls.

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Persichetti said, "Ladies and gentlemen, that's the way the piece is to be played. I was so happy, so proud. Well, the kid called and we spent a lot of time on the telephone going over everything that I had gone over with Persichetti, and the kid was just delighted. Now he now knows what the composer wanted. So, if Persichetti says, "That's the way the piece should be played," and you instruct someone in how to play that piece, is that the end, or is that the beginning?

It's the end for some people who are very literal. What I did was remember what he said, and then I think, "Persichetti!

Italian music always sings, from Jacopo da Bologna [Italian ars nova composer, fl. I think it has to sing in a special way. That's why a lotta people don't like it because these people say, "It's so hard to get all the pitches and the rhythms" that it doesn't have that. But I know Italian composers after they have a few drinks.

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I've never had drinks with Luigi Nono, and it's my misfortune. But I have had with many others of that generation, and man, their music sings. A friend of mine auditioned for Berio, and he said, "Don't sing any of that funny stuff.