Clark Media Productions

The Virtual Trombonist

The Virtual Trombonist is a place for me to share my love of music, trombone, and music technology.  Subscribe to my email list for late breaking blog posts, videos, and educational content!

Vlog: Articulation Clarity

Hi everyone!  Things have been kind of nuts this year!  Hence, not too many videos.  I was discussing this subject with my dad, Jimmy Clark, the other day, and had some thoughts that I wanted to get out!  

For those that haven't checked in for a while, go to Clark Media Productions to see what I've been up to for much of this past year, in addition to my regular duties with "The President's Own", U.S. Marine Band.  It's been a fun year!

If you have any thoughts on the video, I'd love to hear them!  Chime in with your comments below or on the Youtube channel.

Summer, and a very personal recording project

29 year ago, I spent the first of 3 unforgettable summers at the National Music Camp at Interlochen, Michigan.  That summer, I met a young trumpet player that completely knocked me out with his positive attitude, musicianship, fearlessness, and friendship.  I seem to find large projects to take on in the summer, these days.  With my boys home from school, and many hours spent parenting, and learning how to be a better father and husband (and that is an ONGOING thing!), I have taken to the example set by an author whose book I read a couple of years ago, Jocko Willink, and I find myself getting up many mornings (not all, still working on it) at 0430 to get a couple of hours of work in before the house stirs itself awake and the needs of my young ones overtake my own.  

Many of you are very familiar with Valor Brass, and the work this fabulous group of musicians has done over the past 13 years.  Our recording, Inaugural, in 2014, really changed a lot of things in life for me.  It was the first time I had really been an integral part of a creative process to make something lasting, throughout every stage of the process.  Specifically, the process of recording an album, and seeing it through to completion, absolutely fascinated me.  Our audio engineer, Ed Kelly, really captured what I felt was the true essence of our quintet.  That was the beginning of my interest in recording, and my exploration of that art, and what I could bring to my own recordings.  Needless to say, I took to it with a lot of focus and motivation, and began looking for every way that I could learn more about it, and put my skills into practice.

This June that trumpet player, Jack Sutte, and I reunited in Cleveland, to record two complete etude books, written by a young composer in Texas, Nathan Ost.  Jack and I have remained in constant contact since that summer of 1988, rooming together at Curtis, and again in New York while we worked on our masters degrees at Juilliard.  Jack has spent the last 18 years as 2nd trumpet of the Cleveland Orchestra, and continues to push the bounds of new music as a trumpet soloist and with his brass trio, Factory Seconds, in his spare time.  

The three days of recording we had in June were just fantastic.  Jack has the ability to get to the heart of a piece of music like few people I have ever known, and he showed up to the sessions ready to make music.  Juggling a tough week of work performing the complete West Side Story film score in evening concerts, we recorded, during the day, all 42 of Nathan’s etudes at Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory, where Jack is a faculty member.  I am very excited about the recording, and the fantastic musicianship it portrays.  I hope you’ll take a listen.  

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Nathan Ost has written two collections of etudes that I have no doubt will become a well-used and familiar resource to trumpet players around the world.  Modeled after the characteristic studies of Arban, and lyrical studies of Bordogni, his Lyrical Studies and Characteristic Studies are a fresh and interesting musical approach to developing technical facility, but most of all, musicianship.  I am so glad I had the opportunity to put Jack’s playing to “tape” and give budding trumpet players a beautiful reference with which to explore these new compositions.  

Nathan has a great deal going on his website... If you buy either book in PDF delivery format, you receive the recordings of Jack playing all the etudes, for free!  Cheers!

As you may now suspect, producing personal, musical recordings is a passion of mine.  Check out clarkmediaproductions.com for more examples of what I’ve been up to lately.

New solo recording and Happy Thanksgiving!

Hi everyone!

Phew!  Man, has it been a busy fall!  I apparently dropped off the face of the earth when it came to the blog here, but it has been in my thoughts constantly!  I just haven't had many spare moments to create something new!  This past week, I finally had a little time to make a new recording.

I've always enjoyed playing Leonard Bernstein's Elegy for Mippy, so I decided to use the piece to work on my recording chops.  I wanted to make a solo recording that was both musically satisfying and sonically satisfying to my ears, as well.  I like solo recordings that have a good combination of up-close presence, but that also capture a little space as well.  That's what I was going for, I'd be curious to know if anyone has any thoughts on what I achieved!  As always, leave your comments below, and I will do my best to answer in a timely way.  

I hope everyone is having a great fall, and that your Thanksgiving was filled with good friends, family, and thanks.  

Cheers!  

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