That is how a student of mine, a camper in my Theory I class at the Manhattan School of Music Summer Camp described the music of Nuriya. And he couldn't have been more dead on!
I mentioned a few posts back that I recently finished a rather large time consuming music prep project. This project was for the above singer named Nuriya. She's got a show coming up later this week and after spending a month recopying and editing her music, I can easily give a very high recommendation to go hear this great singer and dancer perform!
A little about Nuriya...
Natalie Michan [Nuriya] is an artist who recognizes music as a manifestation of the transcendent. She sees in music, the power to unite the world and its people. Drawing on her Middle-Eastern and Latin heritage, and inspired by the vitality of the many places she has lived, she has woven a vibrant musical tapestry of her journeys.
Natalie's formal music training began when she was a young teen with several years of opera study. She then made a transition into the jazz world and studied with Jane Getz. Shortly afterward, Natalie went on to attend The New School University's Jazz Conservatory in New York City. During this time she decided to further explore both her Latin and Middle-Eastern roots and traveled to Cuba and Israel to deepen her musical knowledge of these cultures. In Cuba she studied folkloric Afro-Cuban music and dance wtih Grammy nominated rumberos, Los Munequitos de Matanzas. While in Israel she was taken under the wing of BBC Radio 3 winning Yair Dalal to study Oriental music. She has appeared on recordings with such artists as the Pharcyde, Maurice el Medioni, Henri "Scars" Struck Works for film, as well as others.
My involvement with her upcoming show dealt entirely in the printed music. Like many vocalists, she writes all of her songs, but hires an arranger to write the horn parts. Her arranger then gives her an approximate condensed score which she passed along to me to recopy and reconcile with the recording. This proved to be a fun but surprisingly challenging assignment!
To begin with, the project contained 8 songs, so sheer volume made this a time consuming project. Her songs follow the typical verse/chorus/bridge format, but with lots of variation so cut and paste or even repeats were pretty much out of the question. But the real challenge came when reconciling the arranger's score to the recording. Three of the songs were new, but the other five had been played many times before and recorded. After numerous rehearsals and performances, much of the written form, and in some cases melodic and harmonic material had morphed into something new. Nuriya preferred the recordings to the original scores so there was a lot of listening and re-listening that needed to be done to figure out exactly what was to be properly notated. Luckily I had help in the form of my partner and BCM staff transcriber/arranger Joseph Perez who is much faster with the transcribing than I am!
After finally getting the correct material down the rest of the process was the same as usual, cleaning parts and what not which is a remarkably faster task now a-days thanks to Sibelius 6's magnetic layout!
The final step in this preparation included something I had never done for a client before: printing! Ack! Printing is so time consuming and tedious! Especially because BCM is now making our default page size 9x12 for a single page or landscaped 12x18 parts for charts 2 pages or more so the page folds booklet style and opened looks like this:
Printing on 70 lb 12 x18 opaque paper gives the music a nice professional look, makes for easier page turns and my favorite part is no taping!! I fully plan to convert of all of the BCJO's charts to this paper size once funding presents itself.
This was a big job, but an enjoyable one, and I can't wait to check the show this week. You should too- the music is fun and refreshing, and the musicians are top notch! Check it out:
Hope to see ya there!