Posted by Sean Chisham on December 10, 1998 at 15:20:57:
In Reply to: Re: Re: Re: Mirafone Eb vs Besson Eb posted by Joseph Felton on December 10, 1998 at 11:00:13:
Michael Sanders played an excerpt at ITEC '98 on both an F and his Yorkbrunner CC. He then asked the crowd, of low brass players, which instrument they prefered to hear for the excerpt. A large percentage of the tubists in the audience voted for the Yorkbrunner. I don't believe they voted for it because of the blend it achieved with the trombones, or the appropriateness of it's sound for the piece. Many, if not most, voted for the "O' golly gee-wizz what a huge sound!!" factor. I grant that this is my opinion, but the F tuba sound of the particular excerpt he played had a good blend with the trombones, while the Yorkbrunner seemed to stick out on that particular piece and kill the effect.
As Mr. Sanders pointed out in his lecture, Susan Slaughter, principal trumpet of the St. Louis Symphony, tended to also like the blend of the F tuba. I can't fathom anyone's artistic merits for preferring the bigger horn for that setting. I am open for debate though.
Some tubists, who have not passed their "bring down the walls and take no prisoners on every piece" stage in their development tend to only listen for certain technical aspects of tuba playing such as how loud did that low F come out, or was that tuba players sound always out front and in your face. These aspects are sometimes cherished by power hungry tuba players hoping to "stand out".
Players of other instruments, or indeed non musicians, have different values usually. They are listening to a brass quintet or an orchestra or a band. They are not usually listening to a tuba player in a brass quintet, or a tuba player in an orchestra, or a tuba player in a band. The idea of the greater good for the ensemble and most importantly the audience should be the goal.
By playing for a non musical friend or a musician of a totally different instrument there will most likely be no preconceived notions of what is difficult and what is easy. No real understanding of how impressive you may think it sounds to play something down 2 octaves, when the listener could maybe more easily hear the harmonies as written.
Don't shrug off the opinions of non-tubists. The audience that you will be performing for will almost always be full of fewer musicians, and more non-musicians who want to hear a great ENSEMBLE.
PS. Anyone who missed Michael Sanders' lecture and playing at ITEC '98 missed out on an amazing performance and discussion. As an orchestral tubist he has few peers.