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Thread: Genghis Barbie

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    Senior Member Lunasong's Avatar
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    Default Genghis Barbie



    I saw them in concert last night on a college campus where they've been in residence this past week (my son, a horn player, has been hanging out with them).
    We arrived ten minutes before the concert and were surprised to find out the venue of about 180 seats was SOLD OUT! We were put on a wait list whilst the promoter (the Arts Series committee) set up more chairs and made arrangements for students to sit on the floor. We did get in; I have no doubt the room was over capacity...fire code anyone??

    Genghis Barbie consists of four personable women who play the horn very well! All have extensive music training and perform outside the group. They have adopted personas for the group, although they used their real names in group introductions:
    Velvet Barbie: Danielle Kulhmann
    Freedom Barbie: Alana Vegter
    Sunshine Barbie: Wei-ping Chou
    Attila the Horn: Rachel Drehmann

    They wore outfits similar to the picture above, but without the heels. Their patter between pieces was anecdotal and actually pretty funny and consisted of telling stories on one another and life as a performer and being on the road.
    Most of their arrangements were done by various family members of the group.

    The set list:
    Somebody to Love - Queen
    Without You - Mariah Carey, other artists
    Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us - Alison Krauss & Robert Plant
    God Only Knows - The Beach Boys
    Africa - Toto
    Im Herbst - Brahms
    Papa Don't Preach - Madonna

    Intermission

    Sweet Dreams are Made of This - Eurhythmics
    This Woman's Work - Kate Bush
    Hallelujah - Leonard Cohen
    Judas - Lady Gaga
    Can't Take My Eyes Off of You - Frankie Valli
    Take On Me - A-ha

    As you can tell, there is a heavy emphasis on familiar pop tunes, but the horn chops were solid and they were not afraid to take on various horn techniques such as extreme range, flutter tongue, lip trills, stopped horn, and, outside the horn, some excellent vocals as well.

    Genghis Barbie has 2 CDs out, a premier and a Christmas CD. They sold out of the premier CD even before the concert began (must've been selling it on campus) but also brought T-shirts to sell as swag for $15, a quite reasonable cost. They have another CD dropping sometime early this month.

    While on campus, they also participated in a forum co-sponsored by the Women and Gender Studies program.

    About the ensemble (from the program):
    Genghis Barbie is a French horn quartet that playfully describes itself as the "leading post post-feminist feminist all-female horn experience." In fact, they are a respected ensemble with impressive credentials--and a combined 24 years of conservatory training.

    Based in New York City, the ensemble was created to expand the musicians' range - both in terms of repertoire and audience. In addition to their busy New York City performing schedule, Genghis Barbie recently performed as Contributing Artists at the 2011 International Horn Society Symposium in San Francisco and performed Schumann's Konzertstuck with the Southern Methodist University Wind Ensemble. As educators, they have toured numerous universities, presenting workshops, masterclasses and lectures on musical entrepreneurship.
    Last edited by Lunasong; Feb-02-2013 at 16:17.
    "To be a musician is a curse. To NOT be one is even worse." Jack Daney

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    Senior Member OboeKnight's Avatar
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    That is awesome! Very interesting haha. I love horn, it is my favorite brass instrument. So cool to see these ladies tackling one of most challenging instruments with grace.

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    Yeah, anyone who plays the French horn by choice has my respect. I hope they do like Marie Luise Neunecker and have a plaster cast made of their teeth in case an accident knocks them out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OboeKnight View Post
    That is awesome! Very interesting haha. I love horn, it is my favorite brass instrument. So cool to see these ladies tackling one of most challenging instruments with grace.
    I thought the notes on the horn were difficult to pitch until I changed to oboe. Now a semitone of lip movement on the horn feels like about an octave on the oboe. When I try to play the horn now (very badly due to no practice for years) I split all the notes from below.

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    Senior Member OboeKnight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaws View Post
    I thought the notes on the horn were difficult to pitch until I changed to oboe. Now a semitone of lip movement on the horn feels like about an octave on the oboe. When I try to play the horn now (very badly due to no practice for years) I split all the notes from below.
    I've heard that horn is crazy hard. But when played well, it sure sounds amazing. My best friend "plays" horn in band...sooo bad haha. So I respect a good hornist.

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    Senior Member Lunasong's Avatar
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    I've been waiting for video from the show to post on YouTube...no luck.
    So I will post this cut.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYrcNLC8wMc
    The group said they played this (Take On Me by A-ha) @ a concert last year (maybe the IHS symposium?) and Hermann Baumann was in the front row. They were very nervous about playing in front of such a horn luminary, but Baumann jumped up after the song and yelled "YES!" The group joked that maybe it was the only piece on the set list that Baumann knew.
    "To be a musician is a curse. To NOT be one is even worse." Jack Daney

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