Friday, January 30, 2009

Wizard and Oz at The Pumphouse 30th January 2009

Probably the best Blues and Jazz duo out of Australia, have been touring NZ and gave a terrific concert at Takapuna's Pumphouse. DSCF0962 The concert started at 7.45pm and continued until 11pm with two short 'fluid' breaks for both the audience and artists on this balmy summer evening. The music by the talented duo covered a broad range of genre including: jazz; blues; semi-classical; and ballads. The Wizard, Andrew Farrell, plays grand piano and vocals and Oz, David McMillan, guitar and vocals and the near full-house was rocking to the superb music. You can't help but recognize that The Wizard's style is a fusion of his classical piano background and jazz/blues - very original style but very, very good. They have quite a few CD's published and some of the tracks are original compositions. DSCF0963 Some of the songs played this evening were:

McArthur Park; The Dream of Olwen (classical solo piano); The Dark Side of the Moon; Georgia (on my mind); Waltzing Matilda (hey, they are from Melbourne); Silver Thunderbird; Hallelujah.

You can visit their Web Site to check out there CD's and their current gigs calendar -

Wizard and Oz made grateful acknowledgement of the ongoing support of Musicworks who lend them their equipment when touring New Zealand.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Korg Workshop at Orewa Music 21st January 2009

This is one for the Korg fans ('Korgies' as they are affectionately referred as). Another successful and highly informative session was held at Orewa Music at 7.30pm this evening. The Workshop was conducted by Kane Steves and Rod Moffat. As the numbers of attendees have increased, there were some 25 or so attendees tonight, the ability to gather around the keyboard with functions being demonstrated has become nigh on impossible.DSCF0955 To overcome this Stephen Hindson kindly brought along his Sony camcorder, projector and screen so everybody could see the buttons being pushed and follow the chord techniques demonstrated.

The evening started with cheese and wine -very civilized - and then followed by Rod Moffat covering topics such as chord inversions and 6th and 7th chord constructions. Rod demonstrated on his Korg Pa1X Pro (extended keyboard version) whilst Kane demonstrated on a Korg Pa50 keyboard. The writer was pleased that Rod clarified that when using keyboards with the left-hand split in place it is imperative that the chords be played in the root inversion if you want the harmonizing accompaniments and ensemble voicing to sound correctly. Rod is only the second person to mention this important point in my experience (the other person being of course John Bercich).

Kane demonstrated backups (so you don't ever lose your sound and performance setups) and global saving methods for any default settings wanted to be permanently active such as changing the default reverb setting. Kane also recapped stride piano and arpeggiated chording techniques such as used by Richard Clayderman.  DSCF0959 Kane then demonstrated this very nicely by playing "From A Distance" with and without the arpeggiation of the chords. Also, Kane covered the use of the Pitch Bend and Modulation combined device that all Korg keyboards have. Kane explained that this is important to get a realistic Hawaiian guitar effect or with brass instruments. The beauty of the Korg 'stick' is that is allows you to both bend and modulate fairly easily in sync which is very difficult to do when these two effects are controlled by separate wheels.

All in all a very useful Workshop and I am sure everybody took away some useful tips. Thanks Kane, Rod and Stephen Hindson for your assistance in making this a great evening. For those interested and or could not get to the event, Stephen has created a DVD of the evening which is available at a modest cost of $15 (to defray expenses). The video shows up close the fingering techniques discussed and the button pushes to achieve the various functions covered on the evening. Contact: Stephen at Creatif Video 09 426 2098. DSCF0956

It is recommended that you keep checking this Web Site as postings will be made in advance in the activities calendar for future Korg Workshops.







Monday, January 19, 2009

Coffee Day 19th January 2009

What a wonderful day was had by all 19 members that shared the great music, food, weather and comradeship! Colleen's home was a perfect venue for this hot humid time of the year with the opportunity to sit in her sun shaded patio or indoors. Gordon brought his Korg Pa1X and placed this on patio so there was no escaping the music whether indoors listening to Colleen's very nice Roland digital ensemble piano or her Korg Pa80 arranger keyboard! All three instruments were well used and thoroughly enjoyed by all present. It was very nice to see Vera Wrightson back amongst us after being poorly late last year - thanks George and Jean for transporting her. Also, it was great to see Ann Izzillo our member from Rotorua turn-up for a time together with Jesse Osbourne. Also, new member, John Bercich, just returned from a vacation up North was in attendance also and so we were treated to some great music on the Korg's and in a jam session duetting with Rob Powell on the Roland piano. Great music by all the contributors!

And now for the photos which are provided exclusively by Colleen Kerr this month as yours truly, the Editor, forgot his camera. This is probably good since Colleen has been a professional photographer in another life in another Continent and so there are some great shots to follow (your Editor did manage to sneak one shot of Colleen relaxing from all the kitchen duties):


Colleen, Marlene, Clare and Barbara relaxing to the great music on the patio


Ngaire, Pam, Barbara and George on their best behaviour!


Up close and personal with Clare and Barbara and the Editor's replacement set of wheels in the background (following the write-off of his previous 'chariot' on the way to the December 2008 Club Night!)


Vera, Jean and Lynsie relaxing in the lounge and listening to the Roland digital piano




Barbara was glad she made the effort to swap her day off to attend whilst John Bercich prepared to play the Korg Pa1X and Pam and Gordon bring up the rear






John getting down to business on the Korg Pa1X











John playing Colleen's Pa80 with Gordon, Ken and Desiree focusing on the 'watch and learn'









Rob getting some great sounds out of the Roland piano - playing with rhythms and styles to boot! Marlene looking on with admiration.












Wow, is that the Editor pushing down more than one note at a time? Well it looks realistic anyway!








Rob and John playing a duet with both instruments playing a rhythm in sync tricky stuff but a great sound when pulled-off by two maestros!