Listening Activity #4 - Take Us Away Hiromi!

February 10, 2018

How often are children exposed to contemporary female musicians? Many children in school study or play Bach, Beethoven, Gamelan music, Pop or Jazz, but rarely are female musicians (and not singers) highlighted. It is important especially for young girls, to see amazing female musicians performing, writing and producing their own music.
Although this was filmed at soundcheck, Hiromi Uehera plays her composition 'Take Me Away' with her trio with so much feeling and expression. Just like in my post about 2Cellos, playing with energy and expression not only adds the to sound, but to the visual too. Performances aren't just about how a musician sounds, but how a musician moves and interacts with the music, other performers and the crowd can have a big impact on how successful that performance was. Her facial expressions at 4:52 just show how happy and engrossed she is in the music.
Hiromi and her band create many different feels through their dynamics, time signatures and structure of the tune. She uses repetition a lot in her solo by repeating phrases that she clearly likes the rhythm or sound of. For example at 3:49 she repeats an A while she changes the chords in her left hand, creating tension that's finally released when she plays a D minor chord at 4:03. She finds a phrase that she likes at 4:42 and repeats it 4 times, even letting out a little noise of approval!

 

 

  • What are some of the things musicians do during soundcheck?

  • What surprised you about this piece?

  • Can you name 5 female musicians (non-singers)?

  • How does the piece fit with the title 'Take Me Away'?

  • What is the time signature from the beginning to 1:56?

  • Where is Hiromi from?

  • Even though she doesn't play it, why do you think she has a keyboard on top of the piano

     

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