John Mills new DVD

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Tom
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Re: John Mills new DVD

Postby Tom » Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:28 am

laoren wrote:
Luis_Br wrote:When I listen to the beautiful sound he can get from the sliping stroke he explains, I wonder why modern guitarists do not use this kind of technique anymore.


I would actually be interested in what situation would someone uses this "slipping stroke" to be tastefully done. But I learned something new from the video which is good.

So maybe either modern guitarists didn't know them, or they had other things in mind.


After watching this video I have tried his suggestion on the slipping stroke and I find it to be quite effective. But it will probably that sometime for me to use it naturally. It is worth trying it.

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Re: John Mills new DVD

Postby michael76 » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:28 am

petec wrote:It's the start of the 2nd movement of Tedesco's Guitar Concerto No.1.

Oh yes!Thanks!

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Re: John Mills new DVD

Postby Toad » Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:24 pm

Just ordered my copy!

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Denian Arcoleo
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Re: John Mills new DVD

Postby Denian Arcoleo » Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:48 pm

Luis_Br wrote:When I listen to the beautiful sound he can get from the sliping stroke he explains, I wonder why modern guitarists do not use this kind of technique anymore.


Well, the modern guitar pedagogy which today produces so many wonderful young technicians of the guitar has spread around the conservatories of the world This pedagogy appears to be very rigid and uniform: nearly all of the young competition winners seem to play with an extremely motionless right hand, very small finger strokes, almost no apoyando, shoulders and posture relaxed and so on. The result of this technical uniformity does appear to be a uniformity of tone and even interpretation, hence the often repeated accusation that the new wave of competition winners sound sterile and very similar to one another.

On the other hand, the way of playing so beautifully demonstrated by John Mills in this clip is playing from another era in which the tones of the guitar that lie buried inside it were explored and exploited to the very maximum of their potential.

The important point here to my mind is that those wonderful and varied tones which Mr Mills coaxes from the instrument are in fact the whole point of the classical guitar, and they are what make it worth hearing.

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Re: John Mills new DVD

Postby NylonStrung » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:31 pm

The DVD looks really good. Anybody got any idea what the running time is?
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Erik Zurcher
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Re: John Mills new DVD

Postby Erik Zurcher » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:46 pm

Denian Arcoleo wrote:
Luis_Br wrote:When I listen to the beautiful sound he can get from the sliping stroke he explains, I wonder why modern guitarists do not use this kind of technique anymore.


Well, the modern guitar pedagogy which today produces so many wonderful young technicians of the guitar has spread around the conservatories of the world This pedagogy appears to be very rigid and uniform: nearly all of the young competition winners seem to play with an extremely motionless right hand, very small finger strokes, almost no apoyando, shoulders and posture relaxed and so on. The result of this technical uniformity does appear to be a uniformity of tone and even interpretation, hence the often repeated accusation that the new wave of competition winners sound sterile and very similar to one another.

On the other hand, the way of playing so beautifully demonstrated by John Mills in this clip is playing from another era in which the tones of the guitar that lie buried inside it were explored and exploited to the very maximum of their potential.

The important point here to my mind is that those wonderful and varied tones which Mr Mills coaxes from the instrument are in fact the whole point of the classical guitar, and they are what make it worth hearing.


I totally agree, Denian. I saw John Mills in concert earlier this year and I was mesmerized by his variations of tone. What a great musician!
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Re: John Mills new DVD

Postby Luis_Br » Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:43 am

Thanks Denian and Erik. I wish I could listen to Mills in a concert. Some friends told me his sound is really amazing.
I agree and I will write some other thoughts.

Praeludium wrote:He seems to move his whole right hand a lot. I wonder how technically limiting it is... Not really convinced by his RH (but if it works for him and what he plays...). Kayath seems to be much more interesting in a guitarist point of view (and otherwise imo) for the big old school tone.

To me, music comes before technique. So I think not changing RH position is musical limiting rather than the opposite.

It is interesting that you mention Marcelo Kayath. He recently wrote an article against modern tendency to forget about guitar colors and so on. There is a tread here in the forum about that. That article also generated a nice discussion in a Brazilian gutar forum and Marcelo wrote several other thoughts there. He was also very specific in the technique. He agrees that when moving the RH it is more difficult to play without mistakes, but he said he prefers the risk, or to study much more, but he would never play in a flat mechanical way just to avoid mistakes. He thinks modern players do not move RH too much because they are affraid to make mistakes, so they prefer safety.

Someone asked about when to properly use this technique tastefully. This make me think the problem is much more than pure technique. I think modern players are affraid to use colors and bigger dynamics because they are affraid to make wrong choices. There is always that thing about playing in the correct style vs puting too much personality over the music, so players prefer to make an average simple and direct interpretation to avoid personal criticism. At the end people say: he plays well, no mistakes, all notes are clear. So why to risk making something different than the expected average?

I agree it is difficult to please everyone with every choice. I don't agree with several choices by Segovia or Bream, but I wouldn't prefer they played without all the dynamics and color they play only to make less mistakes or not to go against my personal taste.

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Re: John Mills new DVD

Postby chelson » Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:41 am

Tom wrote:
laoren wrote:
Luis_Br wrote:When I listen to the beautiful sound he can get from the sliping stroke he explains, I wonder why modern guitarists do not use this kind of technique anymore.


I would actually be interested in what situation would someone uses this "slipping stroke" to be tastefully done. But I learned something new from the video which is good.

So maybe either modern guitarists didn't know them, or they had other things in mind.


After watching this video I have tried his suggestion on the slipping stroke and I find it to be quite effective. But it will probably that sometime for me to use it naturally. It is worth trying it.


Was mentioning to Tom that day and realise it's so familiar, in fact have been doing this all this while, if i didn't interpreted it wrongly. One typical example could think of is the accent note in beginning of the Adelita. It gives you a good accent yet without the hardness, but smooth and maintain the gentle touch of the piece.
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Re: John Mills new DVD

Postby Luis_Br » Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:21 am

If my memory does not fail, Kevin Gallagher also shows he uses this technique to accent a specific note in a Tarrega piece in one of his nice youtube lessons videos. It is interesting that Gallagher was a competition winner... Kayath also won GFA and Paris in the same year. Fabio Zanon also won GFA and Tarrega in the same year and he uses this technique. Look for his video of Malats serenata at youtube and you can see very clearly his slipping of 'a' finger in the rest stroke. He starts with a regular rest stroke and when it seems there is no more room to increase, he "enhances" the higher notes further with the slipping. The use of some vibrato also helps with the effect.

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Re: John Mills new DVD

Postby 60moo » Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:45 am

Denian Arcoleo wrote:Well, the modern guitar pedagogy which today produces so many wonderful young technicians...appears to be very rigid and uniform...The result of this technical uniformity does appear to be a uniformity of tone and even interpretation, hence the often repeated accusation that the new wave of competition winners sound sterile and very similar to one another.

The important point here to my mind is that those wonderful and varied tones which Mr Mills coaxes from the instrument are in fact the whole point of the classical guitar, and they are what make it worth hearing.

:bravo:

Hopefully the pendulum is swinging back with an emphasis on creating the most beautiful sounds - but I fear it may take a while to catch on. Audiences have now become so accustomed to hearing what passes for technical excellence, only thinking that that is the primary criterion by which performances should be measured.

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Re: John Mills new DVD

Postby Praeludium » Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:15 pm

Luis_Br wrote:Thanks Denian and Erik. I wish I could listen to Mills in a concert. Some friends told me his sound is really amazing.
I agree and I will write some other thoughts.

Praeludium wrote:He seems to move his whole right hand a lot. I wonder how technically limiting it is... Not really convinced by his RH (but if it works for him and what he plays...). Kayath seems to be much more interesting in a guitarist point of view (and otherwise imo) for the big old school tone.

To me, music comes before technique. So I think not changing RH position is musical limiting rather than the opposite.

It is interesting that you mention Marcelo Kayath. He recently wrote an article against modern tendency to forget about guitar colors and so on. There is a tread here in the forum about that. That article also generated a nice discussion in a Brazilian gutar forum and Marcelo wrote several other thoughts there. He was also very specific in the technique. He agrees that when moving the RH it is more difficult to play without mistakes, but he said he prefers the risk, or to study much more, but he would never play in a flat mechanical way just to avoid mistakes. He thinks modern players do not move RH too much because they are affraid to make mistakes, so they prefer safety.
[...]


I agree with that (: when I wrote "he moves his right hand a lot", I meant "he moves his Rh a lot in order to produce one note". So it could be rather limiting in a complex RH context (faster tempo, more meaty polyphonic writing, etc.). This doesn't mean it's a bad way of producing a note. Just (maybe) limited.
But maybe he moves his whole hand to produce one note just for fun :mrgreen:

Otherwise I also am a great supporter of the very varied and rich shades of tone and attack we can hear in some guitarists' playing - otherwise I'd stop playing the guitar, because it has also a lot of "defaults" as a classical instrument. The tone and its shades is IMO where lies poetic quality of our instrument.

edit : About the young conservatory guitarists. I think you're being a bit hard here. After all, as you point out they're just coming out their conservatory. I think we tend too much to compare any of the many 23 years old guitarist who win competitions with the mature Bream or Segovia.
Although I agree about the fact that they're boring, how many musicians can claim to already be worth comparing to the great masters being twenty-something ?
Richter ? Menuhin, Milstein, Bream, Argerich and some other maybe. But these guys were unique, it's unfair to judge even a GFA winner by this standard.
That said, I guess some young guitarists like Marcyn Dylla (can't think of anyone else ?) could be contender.
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Re: John Mills new DVD

Postby jeff_hatcher » Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:57 pm

Just ordered my copy.

Also take a look at Mr. Jaggs' upcoming video on "Renaissance music on the Classical guitar" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBgsm-wRyCE.

David Jaggs is doing an incredible job as a small, independent documentary filmmaker. There are relatively few such documentaries made for (and in this case by) classical guitarists.

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Re: John Mills new DVD

Postby jeff_hatcher » Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:46 pm

NylonStrung wrote:The DVD looks really good. Anybody got any idea what the running time is?


56 minutes, 31 seconds.

The forthcoming video on Renaissance music for guitar will be digital download only, 37 minutes long. David tells me that it is nearly complete.

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Re: John Mills new DVD

Postby Praeludium » Fri Aug 24, 2012 12:28 pm

laoren wrote:
Praeludium wrote: Kayath seems to be much more interesting in a guitarist point of view (and otherwise imo) for the big old school tone.


Could you care to elaborate? Thanks.


Sorry, I just remembered this.

Kayath is also a guitarist who (from what I can gather) sees himself in the lineage of the great guitarists of the XXth century who used a lot of tonal variations and didn't hesitate to use a lot of great contrasts.
The difference (from what I can gather again, I haven't seen any of them in concert) for me is that Kayath seems to be able to use those colors in demanding music (there's YT video of him playing Buxtehude which is quite impressive, even though the audio quality is unfortunately very poor). Mills give me the impression of a more fragile tone. More like Segovia (yes I think Segovia often had a poor thin and metallic tone most of the time). To put it in a nutshell, the stroke he talks about in the video gave me the impression of being a "nice tone trick" but not much more. But I might very well but totally wrong.
Cette dernière trahison m'a été également reprochée. Ce que je trouve à répondre, c'est:"merde aux conventions!"

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Re: John Mills new DVD

Postby pogmoor » Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:16 pm

Praeludium wrote:Mills give me the impression of a more fragile tone. More like Segovia (yes I think Segovia often had a poor thin and metallic tone most of the time).

Because I've attended quite a number of workshops and courses run by John Mills over the years I'm fairly familiar with his playing, both in classes/lessons and in concerts. He has always seemed to me to play with both a wide dynamic range and a wide range of tonal colours.
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