Frigolet Workshop 2006:
“Feel The Beat”
Caveat: This article is translated from a text that I wrote as a gleanings to the Jazzguitar Workshop 2006 and it is targeted at our English speaking participants. I did the translation by myself, so please excuse my less than perfect English.
The Jazz Guitar Workshop 2006 in the Abbeye St. Michel de Frigolet is over and, alas, no one regrets this more than Uli and myself. It was a wonderful experience for all the involved, the organizers, the tutors, the attendees with their companions, and last but not least the dog. In the relaxed atmosphere of the abbey venue we were followed the lessons of the tutors Bruce Forman and Uli Hoffmeier who taught with great affection.
For one week the attendees crowded the Bistro Relais de la Treille, some even coming their way from England and Norway. Accompanied by yummy Provencal treats they discussed the CMAR-lick, the tritone substitution or musical embellishment possibilities. They spent some lazy time at the bar during the day and checked new licks out during evening sessions. As Bruce Forman would put it: “You gotta feel the beat”.
The Frigolet Jazz Guitar Workshop 2006 will be remembered as an event which has never happened before in the history of the Archtop Jazz Guitar: The assembly undertook the first side by side comparison of 16", 17", and 18"-models in matters of loudness and acoustic projection took place. We tried to answer the well known question “is the 18" body of an acoustically built archtop is louder than a 16" or 17" body”? This is a typical discussion at bars all over the world following a Jazz guitar concert. Why not try to find this out thought Bruce Forman, Uli Hoffmeier and Stefan Sonntag? Nowhere else were the conditions for such a trial more suitable than in the courtyard of the Bistro Relais de la Treille.
Therefore a quasi-scientific survey was spontaneously installed on the course's last day. Uli Hoffmeier and Bruce Forman were playing the Sonntag models J16H Ballade, J17H Standard and J18H Augusta in turn under supervision of attendee Dr. Marcus Sleightholm from England. They played a sequence of licks and chordal passages in various positions on the fingerboard. The students were placed in front of the players in four rows at intervals of 3, 6, 9, and 15 meters serving as test listeners. After each lick the listeners were asked about their listening experience, which Dr. Marcus Sleightholm meticulously registered on his chart. The evaluation of this survey will soon be published on this website.
Say “Goodbye” to Frigolet! :-(
Regrettably the Frigolet era is over with the end of this workshop. The innkeepers Gilles and Brigitte Ribeaudeau, who turned out to be the good soul of the course and cared sacrificially for us will not run the Bistro until 2007 and the management of the abbey could not show us an outlook which gave us a basis for the planning of next year's course.
Say “Hello” to the Provence! :-)
These proceedings certainly caused deep frowns of sorrow on the foreheads of the organizers. How could such a fitting venue like the abbey of Frigolet be followed by a place at least as suitable? But for heaven's sake there is something like lucky coincidence: Accidentally, after an immediate and in situ search for a new venue, Uli Hoffmeier stumbled upon a hotel which seems to be nothing but perfect for our purposes. We will publish details on this website as soon as the negotiations with the hotel manager are done. On this note I only can hope that all members of the Workshop 2006 and even more will gather again next year from the 14th to the 20th of October 2007.