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mandolin duo

Mike Marshall and Chris Thile – The Woodsongs Radio…

Mike Marshall

Mike Marshall is one of the best mandolin players in the USA today. For more than 30 years Mike has played everything possible on the mandolin, and also on the mandocello – bluegrass, dawg, jazz, classical and brazilian choro.

In the early 80s he played together with the David Grisman Quintet. For the leading mandolin journal of that time – the Mandolin World News – he wrote the beginners page.

With the Modern Mandolin Quartet he played classical music from the nutcracker suite to Gershwin’s West Side Story.

During the last years he has learned everything about the brazilian choro and has invited the leading choro players like Hamilton de Holanda and Dudu Maia to the United States.

With this broad background it is no surprisde to find Mike Marshall now regularly together in duo concerts with German mandolin professor Caterina Lichtenberg teaching at the music university Köln/Wuppertal

Mike was a teacher at the first European Mandolin Acadamy held in Trossingen this year, together with Don Stiernberg, Caterina Lichtenberg and Mirko Schrader.

Interview with Mike Marshall with some interesting informations: digitalinterviews

Chris Thile

Chris Thile was very successful with the Nickel Creek. He plays is a fantastic mandolin player and is – like Mike Marshall – very versatile. He is certainly an idol for many young mandolin players in the USA and around the world. He plays the mandolin very creatively and has developed his own style and sound.

Woodsongs

Every week in an old theater in Lexington, Kentucky, there is a one hour concert organized by Michael Jonathan – the Woodsong’s Radio Hour. Those concerts are available for download as audio or video files – a huge archive of excellent music.

Mike Marshall and Chris Thile played concert No. 287 – a concert that you should have seen and heard. Both are playing excellent. The program includes classical pieces like the Goldberg variations by J. S. Bach, standards like the Fishermans Hornpipe and many compositions by Mike Marshall and Chris Thile. The Radio Hours is just one hour, but after a short break it was continued with an after hour, a long program with many interesting pieces.

In the beginning of the concert Mike and Chris each played one solo piece. Mike began with Odeon by Ernesto Nazareth, the first piece in the playlist below.

To download the complete video or audio go to: Woodsongs Archive

If you do not want to download the complete video you can also find most of the pieces as youtube videos. However – the complete video contains also the interviews and the talk between the pieces which is also very interesting, and you learn a lot about Mike and Chris if you watch it.

I have collected the youtube videos in my following playlist:

Additional information

Website Mike Marshall: http://www.mikemarshall.net/

Website Chris Thile: http://www.punchbrothers.com/

Blog about Mike Marshall (German) / Interview: http://www.gitarrengurte.de/blog/?p=399


CD Tip (amazon partnerlink)

Live Duets – Chris Thile and Mike Marshall

folk

Sedi Donka ❀ 7 + 7 + 11 =…

Mike Marshall and Chris Thile played one piece during their woodsongs duo concert named Sedi Donka. This is a Bulgarian folk dance tune in 25/8, divided in 7 + 7 + 11 eights.

Before they played the tune Chris and Mike demonstrated this rhythm to the public.

The rhythm goes like this:

ti – ke – ti, tam, tam
ti – ke – ti, tam, tam
ti – ke, ti – ke
ti – ke – ti, tam, tam

Today I have searched again for this tune and I found the sheet music as an ABC file, but also as a pdf. The best place I found this is the following (you can use see and hear to see the music and hear it):

http://www.goess.org/mason/other-abc/

Much more interesting is it to view the dance with the music, and the steps made by the dancers:

Sedi Donka Bulgarian Folk Dance Dansuri Populare Bulgaria

A great version of Sedi Donka with Clarinet:

Sedi Donka Bulgarian Music Woytek Mrozek – clarinet, conductor, composer

Now the version by Mike Marshall and Chris Thile:

Sedi Donka – Mandolin Duet – Mike Marshall & Chris Thile

It is not so difficult to play – go and try it!


CD tip (Amazon partnerlink):

Live Duets Mike Marshall and Chris Thile

Mandolin

LA SEXTA BASICA – Music from Venezuela with Mandolin

I have dicovered this video already some time ago, and I heard it again today. La Sexta Basica is a group composed of typical Venezuelan plucked instruments and a singer. They play a very interesting mix of traditional Venezuelan music with a modern sound.

These are very good examples of how to use plucked instruments in a group with a singer. Enjoy the videos!

Pueblos Tristes – La Sexta Basica-Musica Venezolana

“Pueblos tristes” original de Otilio Galindez interpretado por La Sexta Basica en Lunacreciente Studios.Caracas, Venezuela.
La Sexta Básica son:
Guitarra, voz y dirección: Pablo Escalona
Guitarra: José Manuel Cardona
Mandolina y Bandola llanera: Mariana Cardona
Mandolina y voz: Roselyn Rondón
Cuatro y voz: Lilian Córdova

NOCHES DE PALMERAL – SEXTA BASICA

VALS PASAJE, DEDICADO AL FUNDO PALMERAL, joropo

Aqui esta el indio – La Sexta basica-bandola llanera -pajarillo

La Sexta basica, grupo de musica venezolana contemporanea.

Director, guitarra y voz: Pablo Escalona
Mandolina: Roselyn Rondon.
cuatro:Liliam Cordova
guitarra: Jose Manuel cardona
bandola llanera: Mariana Cardona
Contrabajo: Jesus Milano


El Diablo Suelto – Guitar Music of Venezuela CD (Amazon partnerlink)

bandola

The Bandola Llanera * Plucked Instruments from Venezuela *…

There are several instruments in Venezuela and Columbia named bandola, the bandola llanera is the most popular of those.

The bandola llanera has 4 strings – usually made from nylon like the strings of a classical guitar. It looks like a pearshaped guitar, at the first sight it looks quite strange and unusual. The instrument is played with a pick, and it sounds a little bit like a Spanish flamenco guitar. The players seem to try to play it loud, and usually do not try to produce a clean and sweet sound. But this is right for the kind of music played on the bandola llanera. This music goes back to the music of Sapin in the 16th and 17th century and has been further developed in Venezuela.

In the Atlas of Plucked Instruments – Venezuela you can find a description and pictures, a longer article in Spanish language is available here: La Bandola

The different instruments named bandola: http://pacoweb.net/Cuerdas/cuebando.htm

Tuning:

Atlas of stringed instuments: The 4 nylon strings are often tuned : a d’ a’ e”.

http://pacoweb.net/Cuerdas/cuebando.htm: describes two different tunings, a d’ a’ e” and also g d’ a’ e”, the second tuning is the same as the tuning of a mandolin or violin, the first hast just changed the lowes string from g to a

Wikipedia Stinged Instruments Tunings: A3 D4 F4 B3 ???? is this also used as a tuning???

Dolmetsch Online: (English, German f.) the Venezuelan bandola is similar to the cuatro, but is shorter, often pear-shaped, and more percussive or stronger-sounding due to the manner in which it is played, with a plastic pick. The bandola is strung differently in different regions of the country, but, in general, has four courses of strings

Saúl Vera

Saúl Vera is one of the important players of the bandola llanera, his ensemble has existed for more than 18 years now.

Homepage: http://www.saulvera.arts.ve

There you can find the following passage:

A beautiful instrument and living reminder of the 16th century, the
bandola llanera joins the cuatro as a defining element of Venezuelan
music. Since the Ensemble’s inception in 1986, Saul Vera has explored
various themes in his musical work with the bandola, allowing audiences to
enjoy the pleasures of his remarkable technique as well as gain an
understanding of the instrument’s cultural value.

An older video – Saúl Vera shows the bandola llanera and how it is played:

You can see that Saúl Vera is using an instrument with a special cutaway, to be able to better reach the higher frets.

Another video with a duo with two bandolas llaneras:

Saul Vera y Tomasito Orellana

Read more “The Bandola Llanera * Plucked Instruments from Venezuela * Saúl Vera / Ricardo Sandoval”