Sep. 26, 2012 - Issue #884: Strangelove
Marion Garver Fredrickson
Flutes aren't just for the symphony. The classical instrument has evolved, and can hold its own in jazz, pop, rock and even electronic music.
San Diego-based flautist Marion Garver Fredrickson, who also happens to be a former Edmontonian, says the first question she's asked when she says she plays the flute is whether she's in the symphony, but she admits that she didn't have the orchestral drive most of her classmates did in high school.
"It's kind of sad that people don't think, well, flute players play in rock bands, they play electronica, they teach," Fredrickson says. "They do so many things to make a living, but for some reason, people's minds automatically go to the symphony."
Aside from traditional concert flute, Fredrickson has a particular interest in low flutes, developed after a four-month trip to Europe, where she met Dutch flute maker Eva Kingma, who specializes in low flutes such as alto, bass, contrabass and contralto. The Kingma system also features special keys that allows the player to achieve quarter tones.
"You can play it a little more smoothly, more like a string, so you can do slides and things like that a little more easily," Fredrickson says, adding she owns each variety of low flute, joking the contrabass flute looks like a piece of plumbing, but has a warm, baritone sound she enjoys.
For her trip back to Edmonton, Fredrickson will be joining forces with electroacoustic musician and media artist Shawn Pinchbeck to create a unique electroacoustic performance titled (Un)plugged: Electro Meets Acoustic. The pair have been working together for more than 20 years, and recorded an album together called Resonance in 1995. Fredrickson says they'll be bringing back some older tunes from as well as some new collaborations.
Fredrickson says that the key to making a collaboration work is a good ear. "Especially the electronic person, if they're manipulating your sound while you're performing, you have to put your faith that they're gong to do something that you like," she explains. "A lot of the time it's more improvisational, so I kind of figure out an idea of what I can use and see what they do and react to what they do. It's kind of like jazz."
Sat, Sep 29 (8 pm)
(Un)plugged: Electro Meets Acoustic
Part of Alberta Culture Days
Harcourt House, $5 – $10
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