92 – Live Rehearsal with the Double Double Duo


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Join Kornel Wolak and Michael Bridge from the Double Double Duo for an exclusive peek into what it’s like rehearsing and arranging music for their unique ensemble. They share valuable insight into their orchestration methods, why picking a key is important for resonance on the clarinet, and how they innovate with the electronic accordion.

Show Notes

[0:40] – Sean introduces the Double Double Duo

  • Kornel Wolak (clarinet / piano) and Michael Bridge (accordions / piano)
  • First ever live music on the podcast!

[2:55] – The Double Double Duo discusses how they transcribe new repertoire for their ensemble

  • Choosing octaves and adding stops on the accordion during each read through
  • Experimentation

[4:18] – Excerpt: Gigue from Bach’s Partita No. 3 for Solo Violin, BWV 1006

  • Double Double Duo’s transcription was inspired by a different transcription by Rachmaninoff

[6:30] – Kornel discusses how he chooses between A and Bb clarinet during the writing process

[9:00] – Why does the clarinet lose resonance as more sharps or flats are added in the key signature?

  • The more we alter the notes on the clarinet, the more keys are required to play these notes
  • Tone hole placement is a factor
  • Kornel discusses staying in a key as close to the original as possible, but he also takes into consideration the sound quality of that key on the Bb vs. A clarinet.
  • His main advice is to pick the best key for the situation

[14:46] – Are there instances where you would consider using a ‘harder’ key because of the differences in sound quality between Bb and A clarinet?

  • The answer involves understanding the goals of your arrangement
  • Composers used to be confined by keys, but now we can write based on tonal characteristics

[18:45] – Equal Temperament

  • History of Equal Temperament
  • Tuning of the Accordion
  • Dry vs. Wet Tuning on the Accordion

[22:45] – Blending Between the Clarinet and Accordion

  • Clarinet overtone series vs. tuning with the accordion

[26:08] – Excerpt: Overture to Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, K.492

  • Discussion of the transcription process
  • Changing textures
  • Michael discusses techniques he uses to maintain energy in a composition through effects on the accordion

[34:30] – Excerpt: Overture to Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, K.492 – AS FAST AS POSSIBLE

[36:45] – “Thinking like a Conductor”

  • At higher speeds, not everything gets the same level of importance, so the duo must decide what can be left out
  • Using extended techniques in order to facilitate technical passages

[40:05] – A Story from Kornel about the Importance of Harmonic Context

[44:26] – The Electronic Accordion

  • Radical experimentation in their transcriptions is made possible by the electronic accordion
  • Rock Bach – Album
  • Michael instrument performs all of his parts live on the electronic accordion – without reeds!
  • Any sound can be programmed into the instrument

[48:45] – The Impact of Electronic Music

  • Performing a variety of genre
  • Engaging audiences in a different way
  • Perform music that they would not ordinarily have played

[50:37] – A Call for Proposals for Clarineat Listeners for the Double Double Duo

  • Send your request to Sean at [email protected]
  • The Double Double Duo will consider the top 2 or 3 of the most far-out requests!

[53:03] – Performance: Rock Bach



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