Matching Items (7)

Witching Hours

Description

Witching Hours is the debut studio album of Chicago-born, Phoenix-residing trumpet player John Michael Sherman. It is a consummation of his work in the Arizona State University jazz studies program both as a performer and composer. Featured on the album

Witching Hours is the debut studio album of Chicago-born, Phoenix-residing trumpet player John Michael Sherman. It is a consummation of his work in the Arizona State University jazz studies program both as a performer and composer. Featured on the album are several other musicians who John Michael played alongside throughout his tenure at ASU, including Chaz Martineau on tenor saxophone, Evan Rees on piano, Reid Riddiough on guitar, Vince Thiefain on bass, Matt McClintock on drums, and Dan Meadows on baritone saxophone. The album features seven pieces, all original compositions or arrangements. The first track, "Workin' My Nerves", is a blues shuffle in the key of F. This is followed by "Scarborough Fair", an arrangement of the classic English folk tune in a rock style. The title track, "Witching Hours", is an cadaverous linear composition in 7/4 which is followed by "Goliath", a pseudo-tone poem about the biblical giant. "I Should Have Known" is a pensive ballad featuring an a capella intro and cadenza, followed by the most recent composition, a minor blues-esque piece entitled "Who Said That?" The final track, "Don't Change A Thing", is an upbeat samba which was written in John Michael's first year of college. These pieces demonstrate an understanding of the jazz tradition and exhibit influences from such musicians as Clifford Brown, Freddie Hubbard, Wayne Shorter, and Snarky Puppy. The album was recorded at Tempest Recording in Tempe and produced by Clarke Rigsby. Clarke is a veteran recording engineer and is the first choice of many of Phoenix's finest jazz musicians, including thesis director and head of the ASU jazz department Michael Kocour. The pieces were composed and recorded under the guidance of Mike Kocour and Jeff Libman. Witching Hours represents a culmination of John Michael's course in the Arizona State University jazz department and his endeavors as a trumpet player and composer.

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Created

Date Created
2017-05

Chronos: An Arrangement for Jazz Sextet

Description

"Chronos" is a composition by the great jazz pianist, Aaron Parks. Originally arranged for a quartet consisting of piano, upright bass, drums and tenor saxophone, I sought to arrange the piece for a sextet consisting of trombone, alto saxophone, tenor

"Chronos" is a composition by the great jazz pianist, Aaron Parks. Originally arranged for a quartet consisting of piano, upright bass, drums and tenor saxophone, I sought to arrange the piece for a sextet consisting of trombone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, guitar, upright, bass, and drums. This thesis outlines my process as I transcribed "Chronos" from the original recording and then arranged it for a new ensemble. It also discusses the difficulties faced in all the phases of the project from transcribing to rehearsing and performing the work. My arrangement is included with the thesis for those who wish to analyze the music as well as a recording of a live performance of my arrangement at The Nash in downtown Phoenix on April 7th, 2015.

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Created

Date Created
2015-05

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A Musical Tool for Practicing Rapid Chord Tone Enumeration

Description

My proposed project is an educational application that will seek to simplify the<br/>process of internalizing the chord symbols most commonly seen by those learning<br/>musical improvisation. The application will operate like a game, encouraging the<br/>user to identify chord tones within time limits and award points for successfully<br/>doing so.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2021-05

Understanding Sound as a Language: The Link Between Music and Narrative

Description

With this thesis, I have set out to answer two fundamental questions within music: does music mean anything, and should music mean anything? In answering those questions, I also set out to create a creative project that would implement these

With this thesis, I have set out to answer two fundamental questions within music: does music mean anything, and should music mean anything? In answering those questions, I also set out to create a creative project that would implement these ideas: an original concept album of music that is programmatic in nature and incorporates motivic composition, jazz improvisation, lyrics, extra-musical audio and more all in the service of telling a narrative, a story, through music. I have done research into understanding music as a language, finding that this language is primarily communicative and recreational, rather than representational, of meaning. As well, I discuss the various different ways that music composers from Wagner to Williams have created narrative meaning in their works, using examples of leitmotif and other devices, as well as tracing the contextual associations of meaning that occurs when music is perceived in certain contexts. Furthermore, I discuss the dialogue between absolute and programmatic music, and also talk about the role of jazz improvisation in adding meaning to works.
For the second part of my thesis I talk about how I came to create the creative project aspect. I discuss how and why I designed the narrative that I did, and also analyzed the music I have created to illustrate how I implemented the various methods of musical storytelling that I detail in the first part of the paper. Lastly, I discuss my plans for publication and release of the creative project.
The third part of this thesis is a sample of the creative project. There is a version of the narrative that goes along with the creative project, as well as one of the eight pieces of original music on the creative project, entitled Journey.
Overall, I found that music does have meaning, it is just meaning that society ascribes to it based off of artistic intent and context, and as to whether music should mean anything, I believe that this is a question best left to be answered on an individual basis. Music can be whatever it wants to be.

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Created

Date Created
2019-05

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Louis Armstrong: Jazz and Civil Rights

Description

Throughout history, African-Americans have had to fight for their civil rights. There were many ways used to voice their opinions and advance the civil rights movement, including protests and marches. One very effective method was through music and the creation

Throughout history, African-Americans have had to fight for their civil rights. There were many ways used to voice their opinions and advance the civil rights movement, including protests and marches. One very effective method was through music and the creation of jazz. Louis Armstrong was an innovator and major influence of jazz. His abilities as an artist were recognized by society, above his political position or class status.
The topic of my thesis is Louis Armstrong and his influence on society and the Civil Rights Movement. The intent is to demonstrate how Louis Armstrong aided the Civil Rights Movement by using his music to promote social justice and racial equality. The focus will be on the context of African-Americans, their social status, and rights from the early 1900s to the mid-1900s. I will connect this to important events in that time such as the fight against Jim Crow Laws and how Louis Armstrong played a role in ending segregation. He accomplished this by pushing the movement forward through speeches, fund-raising events, and his innovation of jazz. Armstrong’s gift was a form of swing jazz that advanced improvisation and emotion of music.
He was criticized for playing to segregated audiences and was thought to keep offensive stereotypes alive. However, Louis Armstrong battled against these conspiracies by performing fund-raising events and through public political stances against the oppression of African-Americans. As an example, he was outspoken about his disapproval of government and the public for their treatment of the nine African-American students enrolled at Little Rock. This resulted in the first time the school would be unsegregated between whites and blacks. Louis Armstrong worked hard in the fight against segregation and used his mastery of jazz to advance the civil rights movement. Finally, I will make a proposal as to how society can learn from Louis Armstrong and how to inspire new innovative forms of positively influencing society to help the less fortunate.

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Created

Date Created
2020-05

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Data Representation for Predicting Harmonic Clusters with LSTM

Description

The purpose of this project is to create a useful tool for musicians that utilizes the harmonic content of their playing to recommend new, relevant chords to play. This is done by training various Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) Recurrent Neural

The purpose of this project is to create a useful tool for musicians that utilizes the harmonic content of their playing to recommend new, relevant chords to play. This is done by training various Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) on the lead sheets of 100 different jazz standards. A total of 200 unique datasets were produced and tested, resulting in the prediction of nearly 51 million chords. A note-prediction accuracy of 82.1% and a chord-prediction accuracy of 34.5% were achieved across all datasets. Methods of data representation that were rooted in valid music theory frameworks were found to increase the efficacy of harmonic prediction by up to 6%. Optimal LSTM input sizes were also determined for each method of data representation.

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Created

Date Created
2021-05

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"Jazz Happens Here": The Nash and the Formalization of Jazz in Phoenix, Arizona

Description

The Nash, a jazz venue in Phoenix, Arizona, is an example of a decades-long process of the formalization of jazz—being codified as an art music relying on academic and philanthropic support. Formalization developed as jazz began to be taken seriously

The Nash, a jazz venue in Phoenix, Arizona, is an example of a decades-long process of the formalization of jazz—being codified as an art music relying on academic and philanthropic support. Formalization developed as jazz began to be taken seriously as art music worth of critical evaluation from critics, academics, and the hallowed establishments of American high art. Jazz became increasingly dependent on an infrastructure of institutional support, and a neoclassical ideology sought to define what styles of jazz were ‘real’ and worthy of preservation. In Phoenix, the origins of The Nash were laid in 1977 when Jazz in Arizona was formed, a non-profit organization that aimed to support jazz through information dissemination, music scholarships, festival organizing, and attending jazz events throughout Arizona. The Nash was conceived as a way to more fully engage young people in the community. Herb Ely, a prominent Phoenix attorney and philanthropist, pitched the idea to Joel Goldenthal, then Executive Director of Jazz in Arizona. The venue was built under the auspices of Jazz in Arizona, and operates as the organization’s headquarters. In keeping with the broader trend of formalization, The Nash presents jazz as a performance of artistic expression. Continued philanthropic support allows The Nash a degree of independence from economic concerns. The Nash is also committed to providing support for jazz education, by partnering with local educational institutions and presenting educational programming. The focus on providing opportunities for young musicians, as well as its location in the hip neighborhood of Roosevelt Row have contributed to The Nash becoming relatively popular among young people. However, the formalized approach to jazz espoused by The Nash has created some conflicts within the Phoenix jazz community, as some professional musicians feel that The Nash is underpaying musicians for their labor. The American Federation of Musicians Local 586 argues that musicians are workers, and The Nash ought to be paying union scale.

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Created

Date Created
2016-12