All of this is so much easier if I just wrote it out on staff paper and posted a PDF. Some days go better than others, but it’s the path toward consistency that we all must travel upon.
Today it’s Kahila exercise #3, tomorrow it’s Haydn’s “The Creation” or Franck’s “Symphony in D Minor.” Then the next day it’s some recording session that has three trombones inexplicably playing unison licks up to high C#’s.
The third study, Andante con Molto, features exquisitely beautiful phrases, which makes having the technical difficulty sound easy that much more important.
Here’s a run through I did of the third etude on Wednesday, March 13, 2013: – I hate the note F#.
When I’m tired and have been playing in the high register a bunch, the sound of my low register closes off a bit.
It’s all about staying relaxed, projecting the air and filling the horn with vibration.
This piece, just as any piece of music, will say something different to each person that plays it.
The important thing is that we say – With these gorgeous, sweeping phrases that Kahila wrote comes a great deal of air control responsibility for the performer.
I literally experienced an emotional, mental and physical ‘breakdown’.These studies pushed the envelope back then and they still do today.But beyond all of the advanced technique one needs to tackle this book, the studies are musically rewarding, with every interval jump, every note in the extremes of the range and every meter change being written with purpose.The “Semester of Studies” for Bass Trombone by Kauko Kahila has a little taste of everything in these short sixteen etudes.
As the preface of the book says, these studies are “designed to fill a need for practice material which is in the difficult style of writing often found in the modern orchestral repertoire.” Where this book was once solidly in the extremes, these extremes have become almost commonplace in not just modern orchestral repertoire, but also show and commercial music.
Thirsting for a way to not fake the low “B” in Bartok’s “Concerto for Orchestra,” the addition of the second valve to the bass trombone changed the instrument…dare I say the world…forever.