I’ve just posted a bunch of new audio clips, this time of the Simcha Band’s October 27 lesson with Susan Watts. Susan worked more intensively with us this time on learning how to play in the proper style. We already had most of the notes down by this time, and since our ultimate goal was to perform the sher in a way that would make sense in a klezmer dance setting, we needed some help understanding exactly how we should sound and how all the dance steps fit with the music.
I find the clips labeled “Playthrough of tune 2 and some stylistic modifications” and “Tunes 3 and 4 and ‘simpler is better’ discussion” particularly interesting. You can get a good sense of the progress we’ve made by this point (or haven’t made), but you can also get a sense for how Susan conceptualizes the sher, and the subtle ways in which klezmer style can be changed and personalized within set limits.
Despite the fact that I (Meredith Aska McBride) sound comically “classical” in the clips labeled “Susan and Meredith discuss vibrato” and “Susan working with Meredith on violin technique,” I still think they’re worth a listen if you’re interested in comparing and contrasting classical vs. klezmer style. Susan is quite explicit about the ways I should think about my klezmer playing and how that differs from my typical style, and I think that the ways I try to negotiate this stylistic transition are sort of interesting.