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Ailsa

Posts: 2277
Joined: Apr. 17 2007
From: South East England

**Advanced Challenge Entries** 

PLEASE do not comment on this page until the judges have given their scores and remarks and the winner has been announced.

Hola familia. There are 7 entries in all. Please enjoy listening to them and appreciate the hard work that has gone into every one but.......

PLEASE do not comment on this page until the judges have given their scores and remarks and the winner has been announced.

Judges - please give one score for each entry, out of a maximum of 30

Thank you.

1/7 Starfruit

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 1 2009 15:15:00
 
Ailsa

Posts: 2277
Joined: Apr. 17 2007
From: South East England

RE: **Advanced Challenge Entries** (in reply to Ailsa

2/7 Strawberry


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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 1 2009 15:17:17
 
Ailsa

Posts: 2277
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From: South East England

RE: **Advanced Challenge Entries** (in reply to Ailsa

3/7 Kumquat


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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 1 2009 15:19:07
 
Ailsa

Posts: 2277
Joined: Apr. 17 2007
From: South East England

RE: **Advanced Challenge Entries** (in reply to Ailsa

4/7 Grapes


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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 1 2009 15:21:10
 
Ailsa

Posts: 2277
Joined: Apr. 17 2007
From: South East England

RE: **Advanced Challenge Entries** (in reply to Ailsa

5/7 Lychee


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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 1 2009 15:22:58
 
Ailsa

Posts: 2277
Joined: Apr. 17 2007
From: South East England

RE: **Advanced Challenge Entries** (in reply to Ailsa

6/7 Satsuma


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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 1 2009 15:24:30
 
Ailsa

Posts: 2277
Joined: Apr. 17 2007
From: South East England

RE: **Advanced Challenge Entries** (in reply to Ailsa

7/7 Honeydew


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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 1 2009 15:26:23
 
Arash

Posts: 4409
Joined: Aug. 9 2006
From: Iran (living in Germany)

RE: **Advanced Challenge Entries** (in reply to Ailsa

1/7 Starfruit:

Total: 30

Comment: Tomatito himself, although clean recording quality you didn't add Reverb
and such things to stay fair, excellent in all aspects and also played very relaxed,
i couldn't find anything to complain about

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2/7 Strawberry:

Total: 23

Comment: A little cheap recording quality, so i had to focus more and
"compensate" it. Crisp and Nice Rasgueos, some problems with fast parts (@1.31, etc.),
picados and compas in some parts. Overall Very good.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

3/7 Kumquat:

Total: 27

Comment: Crisp, Nice and powerful Rasgueos, very good Technique,
some minor problems with fast parts to be perfect, but overall excellent

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

4/7 Grapes:

Total: 24

Comment: In this recording i had to be careful not to be overly influenced
by the good recording quality. Specially liked the Thumb Sound/Technique, Picado,
Rasgueos and Aire. But i missed the relaxed way of playing it a little bit.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

5/7 Lychee:

Total: 18

Comment: Some extra points for Aire ;-) , Powerfull playing and good technique, but sometimes
too powerfull, i missed the Tomatito-softness in many parts

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

6/7 Satsuma:

Total: 10

Comment: This piece was a bit too advanced for you i guess, specially the difficult parts you had some
problems, but thanks for participating

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

7/7 Honeydew:

Total: 9

Comment: Sorry, but i simply don't accept these improvisations you did with this piece (specially at the end).
For me, what you did ruins the feeling in this Alegrias.
Keep in mind that this was not a composition challenge. Some little variations ok and
acceptable, but not like this. This piece should remain "La Ardila"-Alegrias from Tomatito!
So i had to give very low Aire points.
But i liked the Power in your playing and your thumb sound.
However this was also a bit too advanced for you.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Let me tell you that all of you guys did a great job. This is a really hard piece. I mean we are talking about Tomatito.
And please don't be me mad at me for some honest opinion.
You all are far better than me but i like to be honest in such challenges. Specially when we are talking
about these nice prices.

Ole Everyone!!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 2 2009 7:16:32
 
Ron.M

Posts: 7051
Joined: Jul. 7 2003
From: Scotland

RE: **Advanced Challenge Entries** (in reply to Ailsa

OK..., after a lot of very critical consideration, here are my votes.

I honestly feel I can't really divide up my points on Rhythm, Technique and Aire for playing at this level, so I'm just going to give a total points score out of 30 each one based on how much I enjoyed the piece.

I made a point of not checking who all the final contestants were and I listened through the entries in sequence several times over and taking a break in between to allow my ear to "reset".

This made my opinions genuinely shift around a lot as to which piece I enjoyed more... but I've tried to remain as objective as I could in the difficult task of awarding points to such excellent players.

Anyway....


Starfruit: 30

This was perfection IMO.
Beautifully lyrical and effortless playing.
Great use of subtle dynamics and phrasing nuances.
Also that light, practically euphoric aire of Alegrias, like walking through a field flowers on a bright summer's morning.

Just simply excellent.


Strawberry: 25

Nice tone, movement and feel about this piece, but I felt a little bit of difficulty in a couple of the picado parts here and there.

I'm not sure, but I feel there could have maybe been an edit at 2:02?

Excellent playing, but maybe not with the same top-level mastery of control in some of the other entries.

Great job!



Kumquait: 30

I loved the drive and exhuberation of this one.
A very natural, truly Flamenco sounding entry with great rasgueados and ease with the rhythm.
Bright and positive with no "attitude" and carrying that little germ of sorrow that really defines good Flamenco and is difficult to portray with just the guitar alone.

Brilliant playing.



Grapes: 30

Another excellent interpretation with a confident virtuoso performance.
Could not expect any more from a great Flamenco guitarist in Concert.
Tone production and control and mastery.
Top level playing all round.

Just brilliant.


Lychee: 30

I liked the "live" sound of this entry.
Great guitar control and expression and a great "gutsy" feel.
I liked the dynamics how the phrasing built up to create a feeling of excitement.
Perfect baile accomp style.
Strong and professional performance and natural sound of actually being there.

Loved it!

Satsuma: 24

I felt this was a more introspective piece of playing and not really a Concert Hall performance in comparison to some of the others.
Excellent smooth playing, perhaps with the technique being a bit "cloudy" in places in contrast to the confident and clear styles of some others.
Great job though.


Honeydew: 24

I wasn't too keen on the muted rasgueados as the beginning and the fade out a little on the cheesy side, but it also shows a sense of confident innovation and personalisation which I like, so I'm not sure.
Again, I found the technique a bit soft in places and not really at top performance level, though there were flashes of brilliance here and there and I have been to lots of concerts where the playing is nowhere as good as this.

Great!


So that's it folks!


I'm sorry that I can't be more dicriminating in awarding points, but that is my true and honest judgement of everything I have heard.

In general the entries for this Advanced Challenge have TRULY amazed me by the very, very high standard of playing and all I can say is that it really is a privilege to share the same Forum with you.

My hat is off to you all!

cheers,

Ron
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 2 2009 11:29:13
 
gj Michelob

Posts: 1531
Joined: Nov. 7 2008
From: New York City/San Francisco

RE: **Advanced Challenge Entries** (in reply to Ailsa

To explain my methodology, I listened to Tomatito playing La Ardila –on youtube- before opening each file to which I juxtaposed it . My grading curve peaks at his rendition. I judged based on 30 points, with Tomatito holding the highest available score of 30. All entries are outstanding examples of fine musicianship, and have enjoyed listening to each one. Some show more originality than others in choice of style, emphasis and variations, while other meticulously follow the score and Tomatito’s lead. I resolved to neither penalize nor reward originality as opposed to closeness to the score. Ultimately, I followed this scale: if hard pressed to choose, which –other, adding to the Tomatito- would I download on my iPod?

My choice:
n. 4 GRAPES with 30 points.
Awesome, entertaining, passionately “into-it”. It brings out each single melody without neglecting any of the voices Tomatito had authored. Even the most obvious scales never sound banal, but are exquisite ornaments. This was as large and confident as Madrid, capital and opulent. A brilliant and jovial performance, as one should expect from Alegrias. It reminded me of Ricardo’s style, meticulously balanced on each note, measured in his passion, as if holding an exuberant Andalusian marching elegantly into a sun-drenched Corrida. I am downloading this into my iPod.

n. 3 KUMQUAT with 27 points
Afflicted by the poor quality of the recording, K still manages a lovely, deep and sentimental performance. It is accurate, brilliant and “together”, flowing beautifully into some impressively rich rasgueos. ‘liked it and listened to it few times with pleasure.

n. 1 STARFRUIT with 25 points
It is clean and accurate, quite gently performed. It is almost as if a classically trained hand delivered this methodical, orderly and disciplined rendition. And perhaps it is why I found it somehow a bit flat for want of heart, not lacking in Tomatitio’s work.

n. 2 STRAWBERRY with 20 points
It indulged a somehow slower pace, yet the hand felt insecure, or not effortlessly flowing at times. Deep and introspective, more than the Alegrias would need.

n. 5 LYCHEE with 18 points
Originally introduced by a festive beginning, the performance is intermittingly rushed. A dash of chaos clouded a few notes, yet it was colorful, as the beginning would lead you to expect.

n. 6 SATSUMA with 10 points
An insecure performance, maybe even struggling at times (?). Some parts sing well, but are fogged by an assortment of uncertainties which flawed the general pleasure.

n.7 HONEYDEW with 10 points
Confident but significantly departing from the original score, heavier than any, almost “metal” at times. The musician tries hard to bring character to the piece, and nearly adulterates its nature. A different kind of work, in the end, although interestingly original; a touch too dark, perhaps even aggressive.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 2 2009 13:09:27
 
Doitsujin

Posts: 5063
Joined: Apr. 10 2005
 

RE: **Advanced Challenge Entries** (in reply to Ailsa

Because it gets too complicated, please let us stick to the "one category" system. 30 is the best rating 0 the lowest. Ron is right, 10 points would be to crude. So, 30 points maximum as also Florian nicely showed. Thats the last word to that subject. Sorry for the bad managing...

Arash already voted thats no problem, your maximum rating is 30 points. So you dont need to change anything.
For the comparison to tomatito you did the right thing. The challenge is to mainly to play la ardila with the reference Tomatito. And minor changes in the composition are allowed but not own falsetas. So, go on with that rating you should also include technics, feeling and sense for rythm. Than combine the final opinion in the 30 points you can give.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 2 2009 13:36:09
 
kozz

Posts: 1766
Joined: Feb. 26 2009
From: Eindhoven NL

RE: **Advanced Challenge Entries** (in reply to Ailsa

Well done everyone!
I am still listening and its great to hear the different interpretations...
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 2 2009 14:05:25
Guest

RE: **Advanced Challenge Entries** (in reply to kozz

wow all of them were great. the ones that werent 100% perfect more than made up for it in other aspects. it sounds like a very demanding peice that also takes a lot of stamina to actually get to the end...quite an impressive standard. i really enjoyed hearing all the different little ways people do the same falsetas.


EDIT-oh **** not meant to comment. sorry, delete this if you want.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 2 2009 23:35:13
 
Ailsa

Posts: 2277
Joined: Apr. 17 2007
From: South East England

RE: **Advanced Challenge Entries** (in reply to Guest

quote:

PLEASE do not comment on this page until the judges have given their scores and remarks and the winner has been announced.

Hola familia. There are 7 entries in all. Please enjoy listening to them and appreciate the hard work that has gone into every one but.......

PLEASE do not comment on this page until the judges have given their scores and remarks and the winner has been announced.


Hi guys - this is the thread for judges only - keep off

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 2 2009 23:38:26
 
XXX

Posts: 4400
Joined: Apr. 14 2005
 

RE: **Advanced Challenge Entries** (in reply to Ailsa

Ok first off hats off to all entries, they are all good in their way! A low score doesnt mean i disliked it! The recordings were the hardest part regarding the scoring. Some recordings were low in volume and clarity. Hard to judge.


Lychee - 30
This made me grin the whole piece trough. I loved the interpretations, compas stretches and dragging beats.
Totally controlled in every second, and yet VERY dynamic. The ending could have been worked out better, and at 2:39 a little bit rushing, but i decided to not take a point away, since Tomatito himself also does mistakes in the videos, and if he is 30 points, i cant give lower to this. Hope you understand

Cant wait to see the video of this one



Grapes - 26
Again very good technique, interpretation, and a nice ending! Olé

Starfruit - 25
Good tone and nice ending! For my taste a bit too "light" maybe. But it could be also the recording. Im really unsure if the recording makes you sound softer than you maybe are.



Kumquat - 21
Good rasg, especially at 1:36, good aire or feeling (however one wants to call it) too! Some little mistakes in the middle part. A few days or weeks more and you have it like Tomatito IMO.



Strawberry - 17
Picado and pull offs sometimes too fast for you, but still very impressive since the piece is very hard!

Satsuma - 15
There is no ending in this one? I liked the compas and aire, though. Sounded like you were unsure at 1:36.



Honeydew - 10
I liked your interpretation, little cheeky ornaments, but i cant rate this higher as you "left" the piece too much. Since this is a competiton which is based on a certain piece, i have to be fair, although i liked your upload.



Olé to all! You were all great!


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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 3 2009 0:43:55
 
cathulu

Posts: 950
Joined: Dec. 15 2006
From: Vancouver, Canukistan

RE: **Advanced Challenge Entries** (in reply to Ailsa

Here are my results. I am so very impressed by all of you and envious of you abilities. I found it difficult to determine the ranking of performances, each has their own style and sound. But ranking I must do, and I tried to be as objective as possible.

Starfruit
Time = 3:37
Score = 28

very nice and enjoyable playing. Nice consistent note values. very romantic style in a way. I think this could do with a little more dynamic contrast, maybe you are let down by your recording apparatus in that front. Great!

Strawberry
Time = 3:36
Score = 26

Again very well played. I thought around the 2:00 minute mark area there was a tiny bit of a struggle, which was true for many - a difficult falseta to pull off well.

Kumquat
Time = 3:32
Score = 26

Very well played. Ditto around the 2:00 minute mark.

Grapes
Time = 3:31
Score = 30

Brought a smile to my face! Very well played. Confident. Nice lyrical touches. What else to say?

Lychee
Time = 2:58
Score = 22

Interesting approach, I like that interplay between yourself and the dancer, but I am not sure if that worked to your advantage or not - could you have played better without it is what I wonder... I thought that at times you were on top of the rhythm rather than in it - hard to describe. You play with a lot of confidence! Perhaps your score could be higher with another go around. You are missing approximatetly 30 seconds of the performance.

Satsuma
Time = 2:53
Score = 20

Same comment regarding the rhythm at times. You also are missing more than 30 seconds. Your playing could be more consistent and stronger, a little more confident. Very good nevertheless!

Honeydew
Time = 3:49
Score = 28

Nice and confident. Very nice playing - it grows on me! You play the opening falseta a little different, slightly different accents - putting your own stamp on the piece. I say yours was an interesting interpretation.

OK, I now read the stuff here and I find I perhaps should have docked Honeydew for interpretation, and not keeping more to the piece. Nevertheless, I will leave my score as is... sorry if you object.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 3 2009 20:40:55
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5780
Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: **Advanced Challenge Entries** (in reply to XXX

Here you have my results:

Starfruit: 28

Strawberry: 23

Kumquat: 26

Grapes: 28

Lychee: 25

Satsuma: 20

Honeydew: 20

Thnks for the playing guys. The level is esxtremely good

Anders

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 4 2009 8:14:23
 
takitaka

 

Posts: 55
Joined: Apr. 13 2008
 

RE: **Advanced Challenge Entries** (in reply to Anders Eliasson

Hi guys sorry for the delay!

STARFRUIT: 24 Dragging rhythmically ,tempo alittle too fast lacking dynamics
Nice rasgueados .WELL DONE !

STRAWBERRY: 20 Picado alittle messy tempo too fast for your technique
some good moments .WELL DONE



KUMQUAT : 23 Playing on top of the beat feels too urgent .
WELL DONE!

GRAPES : 29 Pretty much Bob on .Good use of vibrato .The only one to get
the b FLAT hammer /pull correct !EXELLENT WORK

LYCHEE: 27 GREAT VIBE !Played with big balls (maybe too big ) Great work
WELL DONE !

SATSUMA: 20 Great effort but alittle too fast for your technique at present
Nice work !

HONEYDEW:20 A bit of a jazz vibe going on here lots of different notes kind
of sounds busked ! lacking dynamics ,vibrato etc as are most
of the other entries . Good job.


A phenomenal amount of hard work has gone in to producing
these submissions and i take my sombrero of to all concerned
Thankyou .
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 5 2009 5:01:29
 
Ron.M

Posts: 7051
Joined: Jul. 7 2003
From: Scotland

RE: **Advanced Challenge Entries** (in reply to Ailsa

Ailsa,

When is the judging deadline up?

cheers,

Ron
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 7 2009 1:51:04
 
Ailsa

Posts: 2277
Joined: Apr. 17 2007
From: South East England

RE: **Advanced Challenge Entries** (in reply to Ron.M

Midnight UK time Tuesday evening.

Hemeolaman is back on Tuesday, and hopefully now Jason is back he will have time to judge. I think Grisha may be too busy - I know he wanted to do it, but.....

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 7 2009 2:06:33
 
JasonMcGuire

Posts: 1141
Joined: Apr. 10 2007
 

RE: **Advanced Challenge Entries** (in reply to Ailsa

Starfruit:
23

You need to work a lot on your arpeggio technique. There is not enough snap. Arpeggio technique is often overlooked and it is crucial. It is worst here when you have a picado melody at the top of an arpeggio. Also your ligado technique needs refinement in regards to controlling rhythm. Work on ligados slow, loud and perfectly in rhythm. They get rushed a bit here and there on this performance. Thumb sounds good except for the ligado technique issues mentioned before. Next comment is really where you lost the most points..... rasgueado and compas playing. These are by far the weakest points in this performance. This is flamenco. Rasgueado should be among the first things mastered. You have to dig into those strings more. Extend the fingers more in rasgueado. Practice amii slow and loud and fully extend each finger as it is flicked out from the back of the thumb. If you are not flicking from the thumb start doing it. If you are flicking from the palm of the hand change that. There is a lot of potential and a lot of finesse and some great subtleties, but you have some more work ahead of you. I liked the dry honest recording and I can tell that you have a good solid understanding of rhythm. Its just a matter of getting your fingers to follow your brain better. Rhythmic drilling on the above mentioned techniques should do the trick.

Strawberry:
19
Bad rhythm in the middle. Rasgueados are not crisp enough and it sounds like one finger is weak. Do what I mentioned for Starfruit. Falsetas are cool but learning to strum compas is really something that needs to be solidified before amassing a collection of falsetas. Ligados are messy too. Basically all the things I mentioned for Starfruit apply to you but in even heavier doses. You can do it, but technique is what is going to get you where you need to be. Trust me it won't make you a "cold" player although some people will accuse you of it. Technique is essential. Imagine you have intense feelings for someone and you want to give them a letter or a poem describing those feelings, except for there is a big problem you can't spell and you don't know grammar. How can you get your feelings across without technique. Technique is THE VEHICLE THAT DELIVERS YOUR MESSAGE TO THE AUDIENCE. Get to work. Work on tremolo slow and loud as a practice exercise. If you play Recuerdos de la Alhambra in its entirety at half speed with flamenco tremolo and only the dynamic of FORTISSIMO 5 days a week for the next 2 months, you will be much better at many things. Play it with a metronome and play it like a sixteenth note sextuplet with a pause on the second sixteenth note. Remember.....Half speed. It is as much a meditative exercise as a technique exercise. Focus. Once you discover what this will do for your playing, you will likely continue to use it beyond the 2 months I suggest.

Kumquat:
26
Better arpeggios!Nice rasguedos and ligados. A little rushing here and there, but you are sounding pretty flamenco. Shaky in the middle section. You know what I am talking about:). It sounds like you don't like that section. Too bad. You have to get to where you play convincingly even things you don't like. All in all you have some solid technique. Work a little more on controlling rhythm and you will be doing great. Keep working technique, all I have mentioned for the other entries if you don't already. I applaud your obvious realization of the importance of rasgueado. Picado is cool, it takes a lot of work to develop and people get hung up on it and everything, but it is things like rasgueado and alzapua that is "where the rubber meets the road". This is where you will show how flamenco you are. I sense a hunger to play in this performance. That is what I admire in a player. Cultivate it and let that hunger carry you to where this music needs to take you. Keep your technique sharp for the discoveries you encounter along the road.

Grapes:
27
Nice but rasgueados are not clean enough in comparison to all other techniques. Soild rhythm throughout. Good stuff. Arpeggios near the end, you know the pretty tone clusters. Not clean enough. They should sparkle, but they seemed like you didn't care much for them. Tomate would make each note important. You made 90% of the notes important. You have the ability to play this better... I can tell that. Do everything I have mentioned above and stay ahead of the pack, but most of all begin to divulge more and more of YOU in your music. Not just clean playing. I need to hear more of the hunger that I hear in Kumquat. Be vulnerable, be pi$$ed off, be sweet.... be more of who YOU really are. When you do that you will gain the ability inspire even those who don't play the guitar..... Very good work...... Get hungry. Reflect on the people that have created this music. What was it like to live that way? What if you as a guitarist were responsible for feeding a huge extended family? What if it became your one means of survival as well as this entire huge family? Wouldn't there be an urgency? Wouldn't there be a vulnerability that would transfer itself into "electricity" in your performance? A friend mentioned to me something that has stayed with me for a long time. He said... "You know what is missing in the young flamencos these days?"....."They aren't hungry".... "We were hungry and that drove us to play and sing from a place that was very real." It doesn't have to be a hunger for food. There are many things to hunger for. Inject your music with whatever it is you hunger for and it will in turn fulfill you regardless of whether the music is your own or someone elses. Congrats on the wonderful performance.

Lychee:
26
Cool. Rushed in some places, but played with abandon. I love the ambient noise of the other people in the room. The end was a bit weird though. The technique is there and there is a distinct voice. But at the end it kind of peetered out. Never peeter out at the end. That is the last impression you leave. I sense a wildness in your playing. I like it. Get more wild. Flamenco is very much an art of extremes. Be extreme. You are doing great.

Satsuma:
18
Shaky rhythm. You need a lot more technique to pull this off. Read all other comments. They apply to you. The most important thing for you at this point is getting you hands to play in rhythm better. Perhaps your mind is hearing things properly but your hands aren't cooperating. If thats the case technique is what you need. If your mind is not interpreting the rhythm correctly then go back to the fundamentals of rhythm and discover what half notes, quarter notes, triplets, sixteenth are and more importantly HOW they sound. Believe it or not they aren't really negotiable in a palo like Alegrias. Rhythm is not where you want to show your individuality. That would be better expressed with dynamics and tone production. Rhythm is the biggest thing on your plate right now. Not compas. Rhythm in general. You can overcome these issues, but it will require you to take steps back that perhaps you thought you already knew or didn't need to know. This is a bold attempt. I commend you for that.

Honeydew:
19
Out of compas in the tapado intro......Ouch. Right off the bat a problem. I hope it gets better. Rasgueados are strong but uneven rhythmically....The phrasing of the first falseta was a little too "jazz" for me. You need more left hand technique. Rhythm is shaky.....But I like how you dig into the strings and pull notes out of the instrument. I love to hear strings slap against the frets sometimes. Refine your rhythm and you have something. If you don't others with have a tough time jumping onboard with you. At least the people you want to jump on board. Pedro Cortes always told me to "try as best you can to work with good artists. Better ones than yourself if possible. That will keep you growing. If you work with people with bad compas you will suffer and it will infect you like a sickness." Like Satsuma you need to go back to fundamentals and get your hands to cooperate with the rest of you after you can interpret rhythm better. You also need to pull more thud out of your golpes. They arent warm enough. Think kick drum, not wood block.


Well, in summing up... I would like to thank all of the participants for the entries. It is great to listen and try and connect with not only a score for each but also an idea of what can be done to reach the goals each of you must have in you hearts. Please don't take my criticism the wrong way. I have written what I have to encourage each of you. This is an advanced challenge and the personal stakes are higher, so I didn't hold back on what I think each of you needs to do. None of the performances are "ready for prime time". A couple are close. At this point all of you must have realized how difficult this art form is just in trying to play this composition of Tomatito's. Now imagine being able to play like him AND knowing how to accompany cante for ALL palos and be able to improvise falsetas in each of those palos. To me, this is what determines when a player as "arrived". The beauty of it is..... we can all only hope to get close to that goal. A few may actually reach it, but even those can improve and become better. The rest of us have something spend our lives reaching for and that is a blessing as well.

Cheers,
J

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 7 2009 20:32:33
 
HemeolaMan

Posts: 1514
Joined: Jul. 13 2007
From: Chicago

RE: **Advanced Challenge Entries** (in reply to Ailsa

My judgments were based on the standard criteria, as well as the criteria that most adjudicators would use for university juries. However, I added the extra often overlooked dimension of: which one do I keep thinking about. To me, that is the real deciding factor. Records aren’t sold because of their likeness; they are sold because of their presentation. So, playing style and original inspiration that was additive and made the piece unique won points in my mind. Recording quality was irrelevant however.
Thank you all for your entries, I really enjoyed listening to them!

Star Fruit: 27pts. Feels somewhat forced and the picado is a tad sloppy. Lines are not as clear as could be. Work on groove. Good treatment of voices, although the bass could be more present, I find it lacking. Rajeo is brilliant. Super crisp, great tone. Mostly in good compas, a few sections are slightly off. Could use some more extreme dynamics, but very good nonetheless. I wish you had played with more power and groove you would’ve gotten more points.

Strawberry: 16pts. Forced stop-start feeling. Tempo problems. Compas not quite spot on. Good percussive tone though. Messy runs, messy ligado. Midway through almost completely dropped the compass, same at the end. Bass could be clearer. Good arpeggios. Overall good tone. Rajeo needs some quality time with a metronome.

Kumquat: 28 very crisp and well articulated. Good tone. I like how you brought out some of the lines that others seem to ignore. Good compas for the most part. Just enough “swing” to make it hit that groove. Spectacular rajeo! Clean, I like how you stop notes instead of ignoring the duration (bass especially). Well done on the hemeola. We need to get you some good recording gear ASAP!

Grapes: 30 (and more besides) oooooooooohhhhh! Grooooooooooove. Spot on. Nice little bluesy articulations in the head. Very very nice rajeo. Spot on and in the pocket with compass. Ligado perfect, tone perfect, voices are well balanced. Notes are all well treated with just the right amount of swagger and style. I enjoy that you bring out the subtlety in all the voices. Who are you? Very professional sound very polished performance, very well done.

Lychee: 22 well done on the energy and articulation. Good snap, wish this was a higher bit rate so I could hear better. Good separation of voices. Excellent dynamic treatment of lines. Compas could be a focus for the future of this piece. I like your rajeo, I think. A little more polish, a little more groove and a little more relaxation might bring this one up a few points.

Satsuma: 15 major tempo and compas problems right off the bat. Some parts are rushed some are flubbed. Tone is not very clear, could do with more punch. I feel like you could spend another month of serious study with this piece and have a great repertoire item. Listen more carefully to the groove of the recording, and you may find that your timing is kind of random. It doesn’t seem to sit together. Still, in all, a difficult piece and you played well.

Honeydew: 28 I like your groove and treatment. You made this piece yours. Importantly the improvisations were equally difficult technically and very well thought out. I enjoyed the lively freshness of this rendition! This is exciting, and your dynamics kick ass! I like your articulation; you brought out some excellent lines. You went balls to the walls on this one and took a risk, personally I feel that it was a great success. As a university trained classical guitarist I hate it when people are ticklers about “the score”. This improv attitude really meant that you knew the piece very well and owned it. Excellent work, thank you! Who are you?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 9 2009 10:04:14
 
Ailsa

Posts: 2277
Joined: Apr. 17 2007
From: South East England

RE: **Advanced Challenge Entries** (in reply to HemeolaMan

Here are the identities of the entrants in the Advanced challenge:

Starfruit – Duende (Henrik)
Strawberry – xirdneH_imiJ
Kumquat – Ricardo
Lychee – Doit
Grapes – ToddK
Honeydew – edgar884 (Gabe)
Satsuma – marrow3 (Richard)

The overall winner is ToddK with 254 points, all the more remarkable because of his recent substantial change in technique. Despite this his talent as a musician shone though to make him a worthy winner.

Following closely were other stars of the Foro, Duende with 240 and Ricardo with 234 points.

But there were no losers. xirdneH_imiJ has only just joined Advanced having recently won the Intermediate challenge. Marrow3 worked really hard to tackle such a complex piece. Doit posted a spirited rendition and Gabe as always was unique and creative.

Well done to you all. I can only aspire to be as good as you are. Thanks too to all the judges for their time and encouragement.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 9 2009 15:00:17
 
takitaka

 

Posts: 55
Joined: Apr. 13 2008
 

RE: **Advanced Challenge Entries** (in reply to Ailsa

Congratulations Todd! A well deserved win - great sound great playing !
Thanks .
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 9 2009 15:24:37
 
Florian

Posts: 9240
Joined: Jul. 14 2003
From: Adelaide/Australia

RE: **Advanced Challenge Entries** (in reply to Ailsa

Wow congratulations toddk !! incredible ! i dont take back anything about ever pestering you about the pick....i am glad i did it !

i am just amazed..

theres absoluteley nothing anyone can ever take away from you anymore...


congratulations to everyone !!

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Rest In Peace Ron, I will never ever forget you my friend.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 9 2009 15:29:09
 
edgar884

Posts: 1975
Joined: Nov. 16 2005
 

RE: **Advanced Challenge Entries** (in reply to Ailsa

I knew that was you Todd.

Your playing was outstanding and you deserve to win, crap did you do that with out
a pick.

I am so thankful for this contest, it has given me some great advice for my playing
and inspired me to go back to basics for a while and get some problems fixed.

I was so amazed by everybody.

Thanksssssss so much.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 9 2009 15:59:23
 
Arash

Posts: 4409
Joined: Aug. 9 2006
From: Iran (living in Germany)

RE: **Advanced Challenge Entries** (in reply to Ailsa

Congrats Todd!
That's really admirable what you did in such a short time.
I mean you switched from Pick to normal playing shortly before the challenge, then just wanted to give it a try just for fun, and now you won the challenge! Man, that's really insane. You must be really proud (and you should be). Man, you have the discipline of a Machine!
You must have been working really hard for this. I am really happy for you.

Hey, my guess (who is who) was 100% correct

And now that everything is over, i want to mention again that EVERYONE is a hero here imo.....and extremely good....you are all at such an unbelievably high level.......and Edgar, you made such huge improvements in your playing, i remember 1 year ago and NOW .....wow.... thats also very very admirable......

Ricardo , you dissapointed me LOL (j/k) ).....

Ole Everyone!!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 9 2009 16:01:16
 
cathulu

Posts: 950
Joined: Dec. 15 2006
From: Vancouver, Canukistan

RE: **Advanced Challenge Entries** (in reply to Ailsa

Well congrats on a job well done to Doit, Ailsa, those standing on the podium and the other entrants and everyone else that participated including the other judges!

I am surprised with only one result, and that is the winner's identity! I thought ToddK was Starfruit to be honest, given his recent change of technique. So ToddK, a well deserved win - maybe the legal stenograper stuff isn't going to be your calling in the long run.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 9 2009 16:02:28
 
gj Michelob

Posts: 1531
Joined: Nov. 7 2008
From: New York City/San Francisco

RE: **Advanced Challenge Entries** (in reply to gj Michelob

quote:

My choice:
n. 4 GRAPES with 30 points.
Awesome, entertaining, passionately “into-it”. It brings out each single melody without neglecting any of the voices Tomatito had authored. Even the most obvious scales never sound banal, but are exquisite ornaments. This was as large and confident as Madrid, capital and opulent. A brilliant and jovial performance, as one should expect from Alegrias. It reminded me of Ricardo’s style, meticulously balanced on each note, measured in his passion, as if holding an exuberant Andalusian marching elegantly into a sun-drenched Corrida. I am downloading this into my iPod.


Todd, I think I articulated my congratulations (above). Bravo. Your performance reminded me of Ricardo, and to me that is the ultimate compliment... too bad I didn't pay it to Ricardo himself....
[btw.: here's Ricardo sharing his performance on youtube, would love to see Tod's as well. Videos are absolutely faster and easier to access and enjoy


Regardless of any judgment, those who participated in this challenge are declared “advanced flamencos” on this forum, they are the top layer in this audience which is offering you all a STANDING OVATION !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

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gj Michelob
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 9 2009 17:44:19
 
at_leo_87

Posts: 3055
Joined: Aug. 30 2008
From: Boston, MA, U.S.A

RE: **Advanced Challenge Entries** (in reply to Ailsa

congrats tk! and great job everybody (including the organizers, doit and ailsa)!

doit, where did you record? at dance class?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 9 2009 19:56:01
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