Days in the life of a conductor

Becoming a concert soloist with Michael Kamen

The exciting time when I found a concerto I could actually play

Becoming a concert soloist with Michael Kamen

Somewhere along my studies, there was this spark of interest about the role of a soloist in a concerto setting. Part of it reflected my frustration with musicians that thought that it was OK to be closed in their own world oblivious about their surroundings, ignoring the fact that a concerto is still a highly collaborative endeavor. Another reason was me having the urge of actually doing music with my own hands at the level I could hear in my head. It’s not fun, to be able to hear so many colors and expressions in our heads, at the same time not being able to make it come to life my self. It’s like having voices that won’t shut up. That’s why some of the greatest spent their time in their studio. Because they needed to take it out into the world.

It was a fantasy I never truly entertained since I thought it was out of my reach. My main instrument had been guitar which I abandoned to pursuit conducting, and any other instrument would now take too much time to get to the level I intended.

But that was until recently… 🙂

Before I received my calling to the world of classical music, the electric guitar was my jam.

This was during the ’90s, the time when I had long hair, my virginity, and an extremely fragile ego always being beaten down by the bullies at school. My musical taste was slowly migrating from Nirvana and Pearl Jam, towards Pink Floyd and Dire Straits, and at the hight of my skills, I knew almost every David Gilmour’s solo by heart.

But then, after finishing the conservatory in Classical Guitar, I slowly stopped playing. After moving to Prague in 2006 to study conducting, the guitar was kept in my closet to never to be touched again.

That was until last year, 2018, I picked it up again and I have been discovering a whole new world. It was now an instrument I did not know about when I was younger. I am learning now new and exciting things. Incorporating my orchestral studies and classical musical skills has been amazing.

And to my surprise, I found now a Michael Kamen’s Concerto for Electric Guitar and Orchestra. WHHHHAAAAATTTT????

NO WAAAYYY!!!! Caaan I…..? Will I…?

Michael Kamen wrote his concerto for Eric Clapton!!! WHAIT!!!! WHAAAAATTTT? How did I not know about this? Not only that, there’s more! MUCH MORE!

After a bit of research, I found that Mr. Kamen’s worked on the soundtrack from my favorite movies of my childhood like: Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, Highlander, X-men, James Bond 007: License to kill, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, The last boy scout, Last action hero, and of course my sister’s favorite movie: 101 Dalmatians, which I used to hide the tape since she liked to watch it twice a day every weekend. (Believe me that, in a household of just a tv it’s rough and can drive a young teenager insane!)

But there is more!!!!

Michael Kamen also wrote the orchestral passages for Pink Floyd’s the Wall, and collaborated with David Gilmour in many other projects.

I WAS STUNNED!!! How could I had not had known of Kamen before?

Finding this concerto, with Kamen being connected with so much of my musical culture from my youth, means a lot to me. His music takes me back to a different time, brings back old memories and speaks to me on a deep emotional level. This has to mean something… right??? Are the gods telling me something? Is this destiny?

I AM DOING IT!!! AND DOCUMENTING THE PROCESS!!!

Anyhow… I fiercely hunted for the score and I finally got it this week. I Hope to, I can bring some of my experience in classical music to this work. A conductor with an electric guitar? Who would have thought? I surely didn’t!

I AM PSYCHED!!!

 

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