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Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2002 16:04:57 -0800
From: Grant Green
Subject: Re: [CB] power tuba
>I have one of the early versions (non MIDI) Steiner EVIs - it is a nasty little
>sucker! While the range is from sub-sonic to supersonic, the controls are a bit
>awkward - the 3 "valve" switches seem to be inverted from normal brass function and
>the octave controller is a rotary switch held in the other hand ... I did get some
>fun things out of it but it has been more of a diversion than a real instrument to me.
That *does* sound awkward. I guess I'd always assumed that one controlled the octave output by something like breath pressure rather than by a separate switch. Don't the "valve" switches have another mode that functions more like real brass valves? I know that with woodwind equivalents like the Yamaha (I have an old Lyricon, also pre-MIDI, not that I've had time to play it for quite a while) there are typically several fingering modes, so that you can play the controller using sax-like fingerings, or flute-like fingers, etc.
Come to think of it, there are only eight different combinations of three valves (0, 1, 2, 3, 12, 23, 13, 123): how do you play an entire 12-pitch octave? What does a fingering chart for one of these beasts look like? Does the octave switch work in half-octave intervals?
Sarrusophones, contrabass reeds, &
other brobdignagian acoustic exotica http://www.contrabass.com
Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2002 16:25:30 -0800
From: David Richoux
Subject: Re: [CB] power tuba
Grant Green wrote:
> That *does* sound awkward. I guess I'd always assumed that one
> controlled the octave output by something like breath pressure rather
> than by a separate switch.
> Come to think of it, there are only eight different combinations of
> three valves (0, 1, 2, 3, 12, 23, 13, 123): how do you play an entire
> 12-pitch octave? What does a fingering chart for one of these beasts
> look like? Does the octave switch work in half-octave intervals?
Exactly - that was one of the most awkward parts of the design - the half octave button is on the rotating drum - you use the thumb to trigger it (while rotating up or down the full range) but the functionality of the whole device is strange, especially considering it was designed by a trumpet player! As far as I know, the only person to do much of anything with the EVI was Mark Isham. On the early instruments the breath switch was only a trigger and volume control. There are other knobs for effects and tuning.
From: "CLARK FOBES "
Subject: [CB] Adding to the Contra Bass Clar. repertoire
Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2002 21:46:27 -0800
I am very pleased to have been part of the world premiere this past week of Steve Mackey's "Pedal Tones". This was a composition commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony and was a piece intended to use and show off the splendid Ruffati Organ in Davies Symphony Hall.
When I saw the schedule for the season in September and noticed a piece called "Pedal Tones", I thought this composition must certainly include contra bass clarinet! I called the orchestra personnel office and they informed me that as of Sept there was no instrumentation. I had premiered another piece of Mackey's in 1989 and got to know him a bit then. I e-mailed him and asked him if he had considered including contra bass clarinet in the score. He said that he had considered it, but was uncertain as to the availability of the instrument. I of course assured him that availability was no problem and that I would most likely be the person to be hired to play it in San Francisco. I then made a demo tape of the BBb and EEb contra and indicated the written ranges on Finale Notepad. After two weeks he contacted me and said that he loved the sound of the instrument and would include the BBb contra in the composition!
It never hurts to ask! BTW, the part is not difficult, but there is a point about half way into the piece where the entire orchestra stops and the contra bass clarinet make a grand and loud statement down to lowest C. Very fun!
The performance should be broadcast on KQED 88.5 (in the Bay Area) next Tuesday at 8pm. Very interesting composition.
Clark W Fobes
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