Forging A Path to the Future with Bassoon and Electro Music

For the last three months, I’ve been working on an experimental collaboration and a series of recording projects with composer Chiel Meijering in the electronic dance music (EDM) / electro-pop genre.

For the last three months, I’ve been working on an experimental collaboration and a series of recording projects with composer Chiel Meijering in the electronic dance music (EDM) / electro-pop genre.

His original tracks are enhanced by the bassoon and it removes the stereotype of a bassoon (which has been more of an orchestral instrument) and takes it into a world of pop / electronic music.

In some of the tracks Meijering mixes excerpts from Gabrielli, Bach, and other old composers. He adds layers of electronic soundscapes and driving rhythms and melds the old and the new together into a fascinating musical graffiti.

This concept of having the ability to take the electro tracks and go out into the world and play along with them is an incredible opportunity for future musicians because this allows them to take a “cyber ensemble” into any venue at any time. This is a great avenue for some young musicians to start up their musical careers in an entrepreneurial way. It’s possible that in the future you will be able to play with cyber orchestras!

My Favorite Scale Warmup

This warmup I started on when I was 11 years old and I use it every morning. This is how I start warming up! The reason why I use this is that it condenses all of the scales within a short period of time while shifting chromatically one octave at a time allowing me to work on fluidity and changing keys rapidly.

This warmup I started on when I was 11 years old and I use it every morning. This is how I start warming up! The reason why I use this is because it condenses all of the scales within a short period of time while shiftly chromatically one octave at a time allowing me to work on fluidity and changing keys rapidly.

The document is in major scales but this can also be even more challenging by alternating between major and minor. This allows the musician an opportunity to not only work on the mechanics of playing the instrument but it also gives you a mental challenge so you are never playing “by rote” (playing without thinking). If you know your scales, this is no problem.

There are different levels you can take this exercise to. I like to apply this to my students depending on their level of study. We often do this in group sessions in a circle. Every student of mine will play alternating scales and we keep a circle going. It’s actually very fun!

New Premiere Performance at the 2019 International Double Reed Society Conference in Tampa, Florida

I am pleased to announce that my proposal for a new concerto premiere for Bassoon & Strings will be performed in the evening on July 15th at the International Double Reed Society Conference. Visit the IDRS 2019 Conference website for more information!


IDRS 2019 ~ July 14-18, 2019, Tampa Florida at the School of Music of South Florida


SHIMMY SHIMMY, Meijering McLean – February 2019 CDBaby Release

SHIMMY SHIMMY – Meijering McLean – CDBaby February 2019 Release

The 2nd of two electronic tracks featuring bassoonist Kathleen Mclean will be released by CDBaby this month. It’s a collection of interesting tracks that are a mixture of folk, rock, classical contemporary jazz. It’s an eclectic mix of electro pop.

For an interactive view of the upcoming cd, visit the CDBaby website.

2019 Tour with the International Chamber Orchestra of Puerto Rico

After two weeks spent in Puerto Rico, The International Chamber Orchestra of Puerto Rico (ICOPR) completed 8 concerts, several master classes, and reached out to many students, young children, and adults with disabilities.

The local community we visited appeared fascinated because they had never seen classical music instruments before. At rehearsal breaks the children would be paraded around the orchestra to look at our instruments. It was funny and it was almost as if we were, “animals in a zoo”. They were delighted and in many cases the students came up and touched the instruments. It was sweet!

We also had a chance to see the developments after Hurricane Maria. The people were so kind and warm. We heard stories of people without phone and electricity for seven months! Some people had to sleep in their cars at night. The only thing they had was a car and gas. No phone and no computer for that long! (Maybe that would be good?) The gift of music to the Puerto Rico community was really appreciated.

Throughout the weeks the principal players of the orchestra were giving master classes to the young aspiring musicians of Puerto Rico at each city we performed in.

On the odd off day, we visited beaches throughout the territory of Puerto Rico. There was a gorgeous surfing resort town called Rincón where we saw some super interesting waves. Some of us rented paddle boards, enjoyed the beach, and enjoyed the local dives. The visit inspired me to think I may want to move here for part of the year.

Here are some photos from the trip:

2019 National Youth Orchestra of Canada

The NYO Canada residency will begin on June 18th and will finish in mid-July. As in previous years, our Summer Institute will take place at Wilfrid Laurier University.

national-youth-orchestra-canada

For more than fifty years, NYO Canada has enjoyed an iconic reputation as Canada’s orchestral finishing school, providing the most comprehensive and in-depth training program available to our country’s best young classical musicians.

Here’s a YouTube clip of last year’s performance:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vCdxiKRdZ0