Bologna – Sat. Jan. The 17th.
This project has been set up to respond to the need of people involved in previous Circle work and/or in the ongoing AAD course, to clarify/verify what has been done, as almost all of us will participate at the OCG course next month in SC. Also a new formula which may allow us to work more efficiently in the next future, is probably needed.
Bologna, a choice already going in the direction of efficiency as it’s geographically convenient for all of us, was made possible by Cristina Atzori, her hospitality and generosity. She allowed us to transform her apartment in a kitchen/dining room/ dormitory and hired for us a room at ground floor to use it as our ballroom.
I personally left home Saturday at 6 in the morning, got the train at 6,30, arriving in Bologna at 9.25, Roberto Deiana was on the same train, and eventually at 10.00 we were standing by the door of the condominium hall together with Filippo Guerini coming from Crema and Adriano Clera from Venice; Cristina and Alessandro Papa (who arrived from Napoli the night before) joined us few minutes later and opened the door. While we set up the chairs in a circle, Michele Agazzi (coming from Bergamo) just appeared. So at 10:15 there were 7 of us, we begun:
10:15 – Inaugural meeting
We collected ourselves and then we stated to each other the reason why we were there and our aim for the weekend. Cristina invited few friends on Sunday afternoon at 3 o’clock for a brief performance, so we had a quick look on how to get ready for that avoiding to polarize the weekend only on that event.
10:45 – A brief break: a very simple tea station was set up in the room so we had a coffee.
11:00 – Warm up
Right hand: a widening 6 note-cross picking pattern was played at 80 bpm, first in 8th notes, then in 8th triplets, eventually in 16th.
Left hand: as the AAD suggested, we practiced the 1st Primary alternating 2 four finger combinations (in this case 1-3-2-4 and 1-3-4-2) going down the strings and all the way up the fretboard, then, on the way back, their complementary ones (4-2-3-1 and 4-2-1-3); again 8th notes, 8th triplets, and 16th notes.
11:30 – break
11:45 – Back to the Circle with the preparatory exercise for Third Relation
12:00 – Cristina and Michele went up to prepare lunch, while the remaining 5 went trough the form of the piece. Then we switched into Tango Apasionado with the fabulous intro arranged by Filippo.
13:00 – Lunch: zucchini and potatoes omelettes with salad.
14:30 – Circle work – We begin with tapping 5 with the feet (1 and 4 on the left foot and 2, 3 and 5 with the right), then we circulate to the left on 1 and 4; we stop and do the same to the right on 2, 3 and 5.
After that we approach some AAD material by practicing the 2 four-note-patterns in E symmetrical (E-Bb-D-E and F-B-E-F); back and forth.
15:15 – break
15:30 – Circle work: we circulate series of notes beginning with the first note of the basic figure, followed by same thing but a minor third higher, then the third person would play the same pattern as the first one, but beginning with the first displacement, and so on; ex: E, G, Bb, Db, D, F, E…
16:00 – tea time
17:00 – Back in the Circle – Repertoire: we play Cutting, then work on Thrak (section work, then transitions), and finally worked on a full group arrangement of Rescue in M.B.
18:00 – Roberto and Alessandro left to prepare dinner, Cristina with them to help, while the rest of us, after a short break, worked on Third Relation and Askesis
19:00 – Dinner: Filippo, Adriano, Michele and I performed Askesis while pasta with vegetable sauce was served (cheese and salad were in the centre table)
21:00 – After the cleaning of the kitchen/dining room we go down to our ballroom, encircle, collect ourselves and begin again: TEOTN – Filippo shows us the Burble part as nobody really knows how it works, then all the parts are distributed and we approach the piece (section work, fixing, polishing, etc.). From now on Adriano is in charge for the Performance preparation.
22:15 – break
22:30 – Run through 24:00 – to bed
Bologna – Sun. Jan. The 18th.
07:30 – Rise 08:00 – Sitting 08:45 – Breakfast
10:00 – Warm up led by Filippo: right hand – 8th notes – beginning with the 6th string every downbeat, playing all the others in turn from the 5th to the 1st and return, on the up beat; the switching the centre of gravity on the 5th string (downbeats) and so on.
Left hand – 2 finger combination o 2 adjacent strings in endurance fashion.
10:30 – We go back to yesterday’s exercise tapping the feet in 5 and, to take it further, circulate (clapping this time) 1 and 4 to the left and 2, 3 and 5 to the right, at the same time: too difficult, we dropped it after quite few attempts.
11:15 – break
11:30 – Set list: beginnings and ends, review of specific spots
12:15 – Adriano and I leave for lunch preparation while the rest of us set up the room
13:00 – Lunch: lentil soup and salad 14:30 – Getting ready: collecting, tuning
15:00 – Performance: the first member of the audience coming in, finds us already sitting in semicircle circulating in C Melodic minor. As the third person comes we begin our set:
Se Solo Sapessi (quartet)
Tango Apasionado (quintet)
Circulation A Harmonic minor (Thumbs) TCOL (trio)
Rescue in M.B.
During this piece the last member of the audience walks in making 7 of them, a 1:1 ratio…
A woman asks if we could play again that piece which sounded so romantic… We figure out that it must have been the Tango and play it again. Then we decided to play two more pieces for the late ones:
Third Relation (sextet) Asturias
For me a honourable performance, few spots resulted a bit untight, it would have probably been better to set the chairs slightly closer together to reduce dispersion, specially for the small group pieces: if you have a lot of room it doesn’t mean that you have to use it all…
After the performance we spent some time socializing with the guests.
17:00 – We leave everybody there and go up for our Final meeting:
We refrain from talking about the performance. Adriano points out that we missed to share comments and observations about our work, during the meals; so he mentions two experiences he wanted to share with us: on Sat. afternoon I called a break after an hour or so of Circle work and one of us automatically stood up while the others were just collecting themselves in silence; this perturbation made possible for him to see what we actually do when we acknowledge the completion of a process. The second one was somehow similar as, looking at one of us in the Circle having a “transient male attitude” he reckoned that normally there’s no male or female attitude in what we do, almost androgen instead…
I underlined our weakness in circulating, probably this is one of our main feature due to the limited time we can spend working in the Circle. So, how do we get through this? How could we turn this seeming disadvantage into an advantage? The question stays with us. One possible approach would be to improve our fretboard knowledge in order to free up our attention from the concern to hit the right note and make it available for what is actually going on…
We talked a bit also about our possible future, deciding that, since except Cristina we’ll all be in SC next month, we’ll take it from there.
We acknowledge Cristina’s ultra efforts for this project, hug her, and then leave.
17:30 – To the train station.
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