Sylvain Leroux, the tambin player that was working with us, brought a variety of tambin sizes, which means the modes each played also differed. Phrygian mode was common though. One of the main sonic aspects of the timban is its reliance on multiphonics and the “chuff” of the sound; this is very different than the pure sound we often strive for on western flutes. Typically the low register is not played on the tambin (though it is available), and the style of playing is upbeat/quick. Additionally, singing while playing, or even singing in between playing, is common.
Related to the singing and playing, Sylvain demonstrated that this technique of singing certain pitches to highlight the line works well even in traditional western music. He played some Bach as an example. We also listened to a recording of Sylvain’s mentor, Bailo Bah, playing that employed the interspersed singing technique. He was rockin’.
The coolest thing to me is that you can adapt the western flute to mimic a tambin! If you remove the footjoint and use the fingerings for D, F, and A, you essentially have a makeshift tambin! How awesome is that???
- Robert encouraged us to question fundamental assumptions with flute playing to discover new things.
- I’ve been playing piccolo A LOT these past few days. Switching from bass flute to piccolo is really an experience.
(Come to our recital December 11 for the entire piece!)
- I’m about to fly to Michigan for the wedding of one of my best friends! Can’t wait!
- I bought a plane ticket to return to Texas!!!!
Until next time!