Melodica Men

This topic contains 14 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Gianluca Barbaro 2 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #10105

    Gianluca Barbaro
    Participant

    Shall we talk about how heavily edited and overdubbed their videos are, while pretending to be playing live?
    Have you ever noticed that? Is that ok with you?
    It makes me a little uncomfortable…
    gl

    #10106

    Alan Brinton
    Participant

    My reservations about them have to do with whether they are undermining the efforts of so many others to have the melodica taken seriously as a musical instrument. The over-production is part of the game in trying to become an Internet sensation. Musical values and authenticity are not first and foremost in what they’re tring to do. They are comic entertainers.

    #10108

    Luis melodion
    Participant

    I think the same, I do not think it is not valid to occupy the melodica as part of their entertainment but, although I admire their work and dedication perhaps, I think that lack of expressiveness or just lack of intention to occupy the instrument seriously is sad, I am very sorry that so many people are happy with “quick notes” and easy to identify melodies, music and melodica is much more than that. I agree with Alan, we trying to finish with that stigma of “melodica is a toy” or “melodica is not a formal instrument”, but it does not help much videos like these, where simple humor is more valuable than the possibilities of the instrument. My humble opinion.

    #10112

    Melodica-Me
    Participant

    I saw a video of them on the Gong Show, which I would not have done as it made them look really silly and all they really got from it was a cheap laugh. They actually are very good musicians, but they probably don’t consider the melodica as a serious instrument based on their videos. I would love to hear from them here on this forum. I know it takes a lot of work to put videos together and you always want to publish the best video you can, so editing and overdubs is not an issue with me, its all part of production and who really wants to hear bad notes or bad timing.
    Melodica-Me

    #10114

    Gianluca Barbaro
    Participant

    My problem with editing and overdubbing is not about error corrections: they added voices that no one is playing in the videos, and I suspect some midi/audio effects to achieve impossibile results for a melodica. But on the other hand, music has always been entertainment and only more rarely art. They are undoubtedly excellent musicians and arrangers, I just wish they conceded slightly less to showmanship but, hey, it’s their choice to make.

    A naive question (and maybe we should start another thread): in your opinion, what should we do and/or what things are still missing to improve the perception of the melodica as a “regular” instrument?

    #10115

    Frances Demoretcky
    Participant

    Hi, All, Your discussion of Melodica men resonates with me. I’ve been playing melodica @5 years now and have enjoyed exploring classical music for this instrument. I’m not a keyboard player so, especially in the beginning, I played a lot of slow pieces. But I discovered breathing to be an important issue associated with melodica playing. I don’t do circular breathing like some but I have been able to extend phrases with practice. Here’s an acoustic recording I did on a Yamaha P32-D of Spiegel im Spiegel by the Estonian composer Arvo Part originally for violin and piano. The piano part is a purchased backing track from the internet. The photos and video are by my friend Arlin.

    #10117
    Daren Banarsë
    Daren Banarsë
    Keymaster

    I suppose they’re taking a different angle from a lot of the members here, who struggle with the perception of the melodica as a novelty toy instrument.

    I think they’re fantastic musicians, who’ve put a lot of work into learning their craft, and into making arrangements of some quite complex orchestral works. I think their performances are expressive, and you can see that they both have experience of playing with orchestras. So, musically speaking, I couldn’t fault them.

    In regard to the comic element of the performances, I think it is a valid way of reaching a larger audience. People like to be entertained while listening to music. Is this so bad? I think it becomes a problem when it detracts from the music, but I’m not sure this is the case here. You could listen without watching, and you’d have some great performances.

    But back to Gianluca’s original point, “Shall we talk about how heavily edited and overdubbed their videos are, while pretending to be playing live?” I have noticed this, and it is an issue – should you be deceiving your audience? In the classical world (where these two guys actually come from), it might be less acceptable to do this. But on fun, youtube videos, does anybody mind? Probably not – its light hearted entertainment. I suspect though, that if they didn’t overdub and edit, we’d still have some impressive performances. I get the feeling that they’re trying to put out the very best they can.

    #10118

    Alan Brinton
    Participant

    Lovely, Frances. Who can hear this and say the melodica is just a toy? Yes, half the elementary school children in Japan carry a P-32 around in their backpack, but listen to this!

    The credibility of the melodica is important to all of us here at Melodica World. But I think the question of what is and what isn’t a real musical instrument is bogus.

    #10119

    Alan Brinton
    Participant

    And then there are those who say a P-38 isn’t a real can opener.

    #10126

    Joanna Funk
    Participant

    To be honest I didn’t realise the Melodica Men overdubbed their music. I just thought they were amazing musicians. So that’s kind of comforting to know. But they are still clearly amazing musicians. I suppose it’s difficult not to ride the wave of global internet fame…I wonder if kids (in the West) or even adults are actually buying melodicas because of them. What they do is great entertainment, but I don’t think it would inspire others to want to play a melodica.

    #10128

    Alan Brinton
    Participant

    They have a series of melodica lessons, which I’m sure are worth checking out, although the one on tuning your melodica is… well, let’s say cringeworthy.

    #10133

    Joanna Funk
    Participant

    Hi Alan. Yes. Dental floss to lift the reed, and a nail file to shave the edge? Well, that’s not so bad, if it works.

    #10135

    Kevin
    Participant

    “But back to Gianluca’s original point, “Shall we talk about how heavily edited and overdubbed their videos are, while pretending to be playing live?” I have noticed this, and it is an issue – should you be deceiving your audience? In the classical world (where these two guys actually come from), it might be less acceptable to do this.”

    Just so we aren’t misled about the classical world.
    I have a buddy who works as a recording engineer in the classical recording field.
    He spends far more time in front of the computer screen digitally editing than he ever does on the studio floor setting microphones.
    He spends hundreds of hours going over scores and listening to tracks taking out bum notes and adjusting tunings on single notes till the artist deems it’s perfect. Overdubbing replacing entire phrases sometimes.
    Removing breaths and mechanical instrument noises as well.
    It’s too such a degree you might as well listen to a sequencer play it back.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by  Kevin.
    #10138

    Alan Brinton
    Participant

    We’re at risk of having a philosophical discussion break out here. Your friend is, Plato would say, a cosmetician. His job is to make things appear to be what they are not. Uncharitably stated: he’s a professional liar. But music making is not what it used to be, even when it’s live. It can be confusing for those of us who are just trying to play our instrument, when our models are processed and cosmeticized.

    #10152

    Gianluca Barbaro
    Participant

    To me it is important to discriminate between studio AUDIO recordings (for albums) and video/live recordings. I must confirm that in ALL the studio recordings I took part in my life (not many but a few) the results where heavily edited, including an early music album (early music movement: authenticity in interpretation with reproduction of original instruments vs academic re-interpretation with modern instruments…) where entire sections where cloned, copy&pasted multiple times…
    But I have never modified a live video in my life, except for some equalization and some reverb maybe.
    A question: what about the Rhapsody in blue video:

    Is that initial glissando at all possible on melodicas? if not, that is an entire different kind of “editing”…

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