Yesterday, Ellen arranged for us to be a part of practica in Boulder hosted by Nick Jones and Tara Fortier. Before the practica we stopped by Nick's house in downtown Boulder for some hang out/tango nerdiness time. Nick showed us one of his strategies for developing his bandoneon technique. He plays Bach inventions, alternating bellows out then bellows in every other bar. He pointed out that the structure of Bach's music allows for a methodological way to learn the bandoneon's keyboard, which from what I can tell is like a mad man's typewriter, no logical order, which different notes for when the bellows are going out versus when they are going in.
Nick also brought out his 78s of different orchestra recordings that he bought in Buenos Aires. The first recording we listened to was Biagi's Quejas de bandoneon and it was like actually hearing Biagi on piano for the first time. The balance between the instruments was also different; we could hear the subtleties of the different attacks for each instrument, and the timbre of the bass and the piano were right there in the mix. After we listened to Pugliese's Malandraca Avik said that he wished he could play the 78 format for his students because the clarity of the sound would have a greater impact on them for understanding Pugliese's music.
At 8:30pm we participated in Nick and Tara's lesson which was on the ways a follower can negotiate back leading. There were about 40 people again, but in a much smaller space this time, which made for a really energetic night. After the lesson, we set up in the middle of the room and played four tandas of music unamplified (which is always nice) with Nick who joined us on bandoneon and Erica, a recent tango music convert on Double bass.
That night, exhausted again, we slept at a sweet downtown Denver pad owned by our lovely host and tango dancer Patricia Muscari. This morning, we were greeted by Ellen at 7:00am who sent us off with some amazing locally baked pastries.
Nick's Tango-Nerdiness-Time Pick-Me-Up Drink
Strong German Liquor (something similar to Everclear)
Soak 1/2 cup of each fruit in the Liquor for 2 days in the fridge. To serve fill a shot glass 1/3 full of the Port then top off with the fruit/liquor blend. Be sure to fish some of the fruit out of the bottom of the jug to have along with the drink.
Thursday, June 7, 2007