“On the Sideroad: The Use of Passing Tones and Other Extra-modal Devices in the Improvised Taximia of Markos Vamvakaris’ 1930s Recordings”
by Paul Astin
SUMMARY: This presentation will center on an analysis of one or more improvisations of Markos Vamvakaris as played during a taxim on the bouzouki. Through transcription and performance of sections of this improvisation (on piano), I will seek to illustrate the importance of extra-modal tonality in the improvisation of gifted musicians such as Vamvakaris.
CV: For the past 12 years, Paul has worked
as a jazz pianist, performing mostly in the Los Angeles area. He has recorded a
collection of original compositions with saxophonist Ray Pizzi, a CD of
extemporaneous solo piano, and two jazz piano trio CDs. Paul holds a Bachelor¹s
Degree in Anthropology, and a Master¹s Degree in Latin American Studies. In
addition to music performance, Paul is an elementary school teacher. In 1998 he
developed a programme of keyboard instruction with young children emphasising improvisation
and performance. He received the BRAVO Award from the Los Angeles County
Performing Arts Center in 2001.