Posts tagged hand percussion
I was incredibly fortunate to spend a semester with Jamey Haddad at Berklee. These videos bring back some great memories.
The first time Jamey pulled a Hadgini out of his stuffed percussion closet, I couldn’t believe the sounds he got out of it. These videos don’t really do it justice.
I have a Hadjira. I can’t get it to sound so awesome. 🙁
This is hilarious. Here’s the original web page.
The orchestra played, but my attention was elsewhere, on the question that had presented itself here, as they played. What sort of a life is it to be a triangle-player?
The whole idea of a triangle-player seems, when mentioned, to have an innate ridiculousness about it; he is a man employed solely to ping his metal triangle for an orchestral piece. Does he know this ridiculousness? He must feel it daily. Does he dread that question that everyone must sooner or later ask, the question of work, of gainful employ? Does he reply that he plays triangle? Does his lover suffer from this shame when parents or friends asked; and was there scorn, or perhaps pity in their eyes at the response? Or is he unaware of how strange it seems that a grown man would be simply pinging his triangle in the midst of orchestral virtuosos? Does he consider himself a virtuoso as well? I don’t know how you can tell when the triangle is played well.
And what sort of money does he make, this triangle-player? Surely he must appear at every rehearsal as faithfully as a violinist; but it is beyond my powers of imagination to conceive that such an instrument would require the same practice, the same skill and inimitable talent that a violin virtuoso must sacrifice before his craft. Certainly, there must be more to the triangle than meets the untrained eye; but it is a child’s toy, not an instrument that makes demands on its players.
Perhaps the triangle player is not only the triangle player. Perhaps he, in other pieces, is the man who claps the castanets, or who beats the gong. The player of all the misfit instruments, the ones necessitated by the music but scorned by those who see them played. Or perhaps he was once a grand violin player, an artist, perhaps he played first chair, or soloed, toured and performed with all the best orchestras. Until the one tragic day when an accident left him unable to finger the strings, to draw forth the different notes that had once been his bread and life. And so, rather than letting him go to face an uncertain future in the artless world, his director had offered him this post instead: the triangle player.
And it is not a mere filler post, for composers do not write its part in out of mere whim. Its tone is called for, it is desired by the great composers; and yet it remains a gloryless [sic] instrument. And though its note rings out in the symphony in its correct place and adds itself to the harmony and pleasure, the sight of it being struck, by a man, dignified and erect in the back of the orchestra, brings memories of school days – the choice between triangle or tambourine, the triangles less popular and so sadly unversatile [sic]. A man in a black tuxedo should not, it somehow seems, be holding nothing but a small triangle and a staff with which to hit it.
Does he have, then, another job? Does the pay of a triangle player bring enough to support him, or does he work during the days as a clerk in some bookstore, a filer in an office on the eleventh floor somewhere? Does a triangle player hope for more – is he perhaps a verirrte percussionist who waits for the day that the drum player falls ill, so he may step in the gap and prove his worth – or is this a man who, when a child, saw the triangle and knew he could coax forth from it sounds sweeter than any man had before, if only one would give him the chance? And has it been difficult to hold onto his dream with ones like me unable to imagine what it must be like? Is it difficult to be the lover of something so out of place, is it difficult to be the triangle-player?
Some time after I wrote this, I came across the brilliant Georg Kreisler’s song, Das Triangel, written from the perspective of the triangle player…
I have a great love for “found objects”, or homemade/improvised musical oddities. These videos of Turkish-Armenian artist Arto Tuncboyaciyan rocking a glass bottle and a tambourine are just wickedly fun. There are several versions of this YouTube, but here are a couple I like best: