Siegfried's Call Artist Series video release: An Interview with Rachel Drehmann and David Cooper July 28 2015, 0 Comments
I recently had the opportunity to chat with Rachel Drehmann and David Cooper prior to the release of their video. Rachel was kind enough to answer between gigs and David squeezed it in a few hours before leaving on his honeymoon! I was fortunate enough to be at the performance, and they are as wonderful in person as they play on stage!
The concert, part of the Siegfried’s Call Artist Series, was entitled Falling Leaves, comprised of Rachel, David, and Anna Polonsky, piano. In addition to the concert last fall, a music video, produced by Siegfried's Call, was shot capturing their selection, So Lass uns Wandern - Brahms, in a very creative and unique visual experience. The music was recorded live, without edits, and set to the video.
"the music reflects the diversity we both have as players" -Drehmann
I know you met each other at a camp; and this was one of your first recitals together. Had you ever performed together prior to this?
RD: Yes, David and I met at BUTI and it was best buds at first sight! We've kept in touch over the years even though our lives and careers have taken different paths; we always pick up right where we left off. We would run into each other here and there but since our careers are different, it was never for a concert.
DC: So Rachel and I are best friends. I knew her at BUTI in Tanglewood when I was 17 and we were partners in crime out there!
When did you decide you wanted to do an entire recital together?
RD: I was in Dallas 3 years ago on tour with a band and we met up and had lunch before my show and talked about how we had to play horn duo recitals. We're friends, we both play horn, why not???
DC: We have stayed in touch over the years but this last year we were talking about coming up with an idea just to get back together and play again. We decided that we wanted to put a recital together. Little did I know Rachel would run with the idea and make it happen!
How did you select the repertoire?
RD: Good music is good music and since this would be our own project we both brought pieces that we wanted to play to read through. The Brahms songs fit so well since they really let us sing on our own and also together, which is always my favorite part. And then when we played in Texas, of course I had to arrange a George Strait song for us to play! But the music just reflects the diversity we both have as players.
DC: I have some wild brainstorming ideas so I had initially thought all pop music and do our own arrangements. So she started asking me about dates and I knew she was serious! I started putting together / throwing out some ideas of rep, and she gathered up her suggestions from friends. Then we found music for the Brahms and got together and read through some music in the Bow shop in New York where she works after hours!
What was your favorite selection at the recital?
RD: I loved everything we played. The Brahms songs make me smile every time, but the Arvo Part is so simple and beautiful. I think someone said they cried when they heard the Joni Mitchell arrangement.
"Rachel's laugh is contagious!" - Cooper
How did the Brahms come to be selected for the video?
RD: We both love Brahms and the songs are so beautiful, so it was an easy choice.
DC: We fell in love with the Brahms songs because it gave us some melodies to sing on the horn separately and together. We decided that we wanted to record the Brahms song because it was such a beautiful piece of music. We could each take turns playing, then come together at the end for beautiful interweaving of the melody and harmony.
Now, the video shoot was not only a live performance, but integrates some CGI effects. Your idea or did Scott have ideas about that? Or Cary, the videographer?
RD: We shot on location at the school and it was all Scott and Cary's vision.
What was your favorite part(s) of the shoot?
RD: My favorite part of the shoot was when David took my phone and shot a 2 minute video of himself lip-syncing and dancing to the music someone else was playing on a boom box in the hallway. We laughed a lot all day. (author's note: I wish THAT was a part of the video!)
DC: It was hard work to get the right take for the shoot and to stay in it the whole time. But, each time we saw the playback we knew that we were going to have a FANTASTIC final product! Also, we just have so much fun together we could be doing anything and we'd start laughing and have a blast! Rachel's laugh is contagious!
As of this interview, I haven’t seen the final product yet - what do you hope is accomplished by the release of the video?
RD: I hope people love it as much as we love playing together!
DC: We are totally looking forward to using this video to help promote our future upcoming duo recitals and masterclasses all over the country!
Do you think you will collaborate together on other projects? Anything in the works we can have a hint about?
RD: We are definitely going to collaborate on more projects. We're working on some college master classes and recitals, more arrangements, and a horn duo record could be in the future...
DC: Yes, we hopefully can release a CD of pop and classical stuff sometime in the future!
We are all excited to hear that there are some projects in the works from these two! Now, to see the video, please click the link and enjoy!
The Brahms song, So Lass uns Wandern is adapted for two horns and piano by Verne Reynolds. Recorded live without edits and shot on location at Siegfried's Call in Beacon NY Fall 2014.
Interview by Barbara Van Pelt, MM Music (horn) Hartt ('87)