Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Feature instrument: The recorder

photo: wikipedia

Whenever a band uses an unusual instrument like a saw or incorporates a banjo into their usual straightforward-rock lexicon, blogs take notice. They almost always lavish praise on the band for their uniqueness or musicality. But sometimes taking a pre-tuned instrument prone to squeaks and squeals and making it work for you is more of a feat than learning a more strange or complex instrument. Think of how good woodblocks sound in indie dance music. These three artists take a plastic, rudimentary instrument, and elevate it from a third grade music class instrument to a college radio instrument.

  • Oxford Collapse's "Molasses." They don't reproduce the recorder solo live, unfortunately. They also opened for GbV before. Coincidence?
  • Swedish expatriate Jens Lekman's "Into Eternity." When I saw him last fall, he found a local cellist, but must not have known I was available to play the recorder intro to this song. I actually did learn it, partly knowing his affinity for female accompaniment, partly because I am that nerdy.

Ranging from an F on the treble staff to a shrill high G four ledger lines above the staff, the recorder is ready tuned, inexpensive, and closer to my heart for making three songs more interesting.

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