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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Jordan Tetewsky: The Orchestra is the Violin

The violin is a versatile instrument, every composer knows this. We are taught very early on that the range, variance in expression, and overall tonal capabilities are fairly unmatched in the string family and especially the violin. Even so, from Mozart to Berlioz we would think that everything which can be done on the violin has been done.  So, imagine my surprise when stumbling upon the composer and performer; Jordan Tetewsky through his YouTube channel breathing freshness into the instrument that I frankly didn’t know was possible.




Tetewsky certainly embraces technology; the looping pedal seems to be a frequent tool in his works. We have seen this kind of innovation before, mostly from guitarists who perform solo but desire a more ensemble feel to their songs. With the violin, however; the looping and reverb effects take on a somewhat otherworldly quality, very futuristic, yet very approachable at the same time. It’s ethereal and often soundtrack-like in the best possible way. The rhythms generated from pizzicato breaths pulse underneath lush melodies  which always tend to stay interesting.




I suppose what is most interesting to me about Jordan Tetewsky’s pieces is that he manages to never fall into the boundaries of triteness in his works.  Electric violin has taken a little bit of a beating in recent years with the popularity of acts such as “Celtic Women” who tend to cater to the 40+ crowd. Tetewsky, on the other hand appears right in line with the best that contemporary/intelligent art has to offer.

More of Jordan Tetewsky’s pieces can be found through his YouTube channel here

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Andrea Vivanet: Doing Justice to Ravel

As a young person, like many young aspiring composers, I studied piano. I never took the instrument as seriously as I should have – I really only viewed it as a means to an end. Learn harmony, learn to read music, learn counterpoint, and learn to accompany – these were my goals. I have, however; always marveled at those players who did obviously take the instrument seriously, and play with a command, dedication, and talent capable of bringing out every possible nuance from the keyboard. And when I find them I just have to share it with you.


While looking around a musician message board, I stumbled across one such performer; Andrea Vivanet, a pianist living and working in Italy. Mr. Vivanet had posted a video of Ravel’s “Le Tombeau de Couperin,” a challenging, sophisticated, yet very accessible work; of course, the same could be said of the performance. Like so many Ravel pieces, the piano has an extreme orchestral quality which the performer is charged with bringing out. Andrea Vivanet meets that challenge with an ease that seems so fluid it almost makes the listener forget how difficult the piece really is.



Andrea Vivanet also has many MP3s available for free through his website and through his SoundCloud account. All are well recorded and equally well played. It will be interesting to see in the future if there is an album forthcoming, and if there is it will be posted here to remind you to buy it!

To read more about Mr. Vivanet, please visit his website at: www.andreavivanet.com