BARTOK DUOS by Florian Rago
How was the reaction to your latest CD 'Solo Violin'
The reception to 'Solo Violin' has been great; it's sold at all live events and is now present on all streaming platforms. It is a great physical memento for the audiences to take home from the concerts and it makes it all worth while.
Why Bartok Duos
After having recorded very much a virtuoso 'statement' CD the natural follow up would be similarly challenging repertoire. However, I decided that it could be interesting to do something completely different and so the Bartok duo recordings came about.
How long did this CD 'Bartok Duos' take to make from start to finish and reheat was the process like
The workflow for this recording was quite a challenge to teach myself with the primary hurdle being having a synchronicity and musicality between the parts despite them being played at different times. I did not want to simply record with a metronome and not capture the rhythmic subtleties. This meant I had to have a precise musical map of how I would play so I programmed a metronome for every track to incorporate these musical details. I would then play one part with the metronome and play the second part with the first part, through headphones, without the metronome.
How did you find collaborating with yourself
Listening to your own recordings can be tough sometimes, playing with them is something else! When you play it is easy to think how you want it to sound and demand from any collaborator support and vice versa. When you have the other performer as yourself you have to really reflect on what you are putting down on record for you to play with. There is no musical discussion with another person or exchange of ideas which leads the self collaboration to become a highly humbling process as you learn what you want from the other you and have to integrate it with yourself.
What's your favourite part of the recording process
Knowing that it's done! But seriously, recording is a totally different process to performing. In performance there is a certain give in trying new things which will inevitably have positive but also negative outcomes, performing can be a pioneering process. With recording that give is not there, it is highly unforgiving and as I do the tracks in one take, often I will repeat many times each time solidifying a previous idea into the recording until a complete outcome has been achieved.
What plans do you have for getting the album out there
It all starts here on the website with this interview. Because it can never be performed live, I plan to make a few videos with select tunes and post them on the website and on my Facebook page to raise awareness. Here you can find links to the CD and I hope to be able to share some tunes for free in the future.
Any upcoming recording projects
Currently working on recording hundreds (!) of very short pieces, mainly from folkish origins but also from composers of the time. There are compilations of these short tunes that people used to make for players to derive pleasure from playing a simple tune and I include myself in having that pleasure. The simplicity lends itself to going really in depth with all the details and without the technical difficulty associated with the virtuoso repertoire, suddenly all of this spare technique can be channeled into the simplest of melodies.