Matching Items (33)

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

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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Date Created
  • 2017-05

Wherever That May Be: Creating Community and Equality Through Recorded Music

Description

At the onset of my honors thesis, I laid out three goals for myself. The first and most significant one was to record and produce a full length album incorporating

At the onset of my honors thesis, I laid out three goals for myself. The first and most significant one was to record and produce a full length album incorporating as many of the musical influences in my life thus far as possible. Having studied many different styles of music at various stages of my musical development, from jazz to punk to classical to styles of folk music around the world, I wanted this album to be stylistically diverse. This broad range of influences led me to my second goal: to present all styles of music as equally valid and without a hierarchy. By presenting disparate styles of music fused together on the same album, I would place those styles on the same plane of existence without judgement. Another result of
this stylistic fusion would be to show the similarities between seemingly distinct genres and how those genres could complement each other. The final goal I laid out was to build community through the recording process. This community would link together the different departments of the School of Music and extend outside of the School of Music into other social groups I interact with. My hope with this goal was that musicians of all backgrounds would be joined together on one cohesive project, and those musicians would be able to either play music not commonly found in the School of Music, learn new styles of music they may be interested in, or express
themselves in a format that they do not commonly use. The result of these goals was a nine track album, approximately 40 minutes in length, titled Wherever That May Be. In the following pages, I will explain the process I went through in composing, recording, and producing the album, and I will give a track-by-track explanation of the album to add depth to my audience’s understanding of the music and how it met the goals described above.

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Date Created
  • 2020-05

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

"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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Date Created
  • 2015-05

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

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