Hope the Musician

Name: Hope Dundas
Primary Axes: Saxes -- alto/tenor/baritone/C Melody, and soprano when I'm lucky enough to lay my hands on one.
Secondary Axes: Piano/keyboard, guitar, frame drum, recorder, penny whistle, pretty much damn near anything I can get my hands on. Have been hankering to do more with penny whistle and learn flute & clarinet. And aching to get back into playing cello (see musical history, 6th grade).
Musical history: 5th grade, started playing recorder, as did everyone else under the sun. 6th grade, tried cello, loved it, but it was big and lheavy and lugging it around was annoying, so I decided to (brilliant that I was) take up sax instead. Immediately found myself playing tenor and baritone, which were heavier than the cello, and almost or more massive.
Been playing sax ever since - mainly classical in school concert/symphony bands, and then more refined wind ensembles (and the whole solo & ensemble festival, medals and all, blah blah) and jazz/fusion bands in later high school, when I became part of a CAPA (1), a specialized music program (basically like majoring in music, with theory, history, composing/arranging, and so forth).
Studied with Denise C. Fest (2), a student of Don Sinta (3) through high school, and then went on to the University of Michigan School of Music to study with The Man (Sinta) himself. Immediately realized that I was small and pitiful and talentless compared to the hordes of folks around me (4), and that I didn't really want to play the music they wanted me to play, with the sound that they dictated, etc blah. Oh, and I was probably having a small breakdown. So I negotiated with Sinta to leave the school and not take my final juried exam that semester, and I eventually weaned out of the School by the end of the year.
It was pretty much like a bad divorce, and I was estranged from my saxes for nigh unto 5 years, when I happened upon a composer in search of a sax for some recording. She and I played together & recorded a number of pieces (sorta eclectic classically influenced, quasi-jazzy stuff) and did some gigs about town, but our styles didn't really mesh well, so we eventually called it quits.
I've always yearned for a group of musicians to jam and perform with, an eclectic, open-minded group who cross genres & boundaries willy nilly, ranging from 'free jazz' style improv to rock to blues to new age/trance to celtic/traditional to folk to... you name it. ;) Never really found a group to jam with on a regular basis, though I've often taken part in random, free-form jams happening at conventions and on streetcorners.
My style is, well, eclectic (I seem to be overusing that word, *sigh*) - I'm basically classically trained, which means I have a more sweet, dark tone than what folks usually think of as sax (the bright/harsh/loud jazz/rock/blues sound) - I often use my classical mouthpiece when playing any style (that influences the tone), though I do have more 'traditional' metal mouthpieces that give the more 'jazzy' sound, too.
Most of the time, I do improv, either free form, to the (chord) changes of a tune in something like _The Real Book_, or along with other musicians, either live or on CD/tape. I also fiddle around with a little bit of composing, and am just starting to get into digital/electronic composing & using MIDI, etc.

(1) C.A.P.A = Creative and Performing Arts.

(2) Denise, are you out there? I'd love to catch up, so if you happen upon this, give me a holler at shadowriderhope@gmail.com. :)

(3) Don Sinta is probably the world's best living classical saxophonist. Unfortunately we really weren't meant to study together, at least not at that stage of my life...

(4) Including Timothy McAllister (who had studied with Sinta since he was a toddler or thereabouts, and apparently is now world-reknowned as a great classical saxophonist) and another guy who was the son of the King of Thailand's saxophonist (and the King of Thailand had given him this abso-fucking-lutely gorgeous sax as a gift). Needless to say, I was rather cowed, a little bit scared, and somewhat resentful of my meager saxes (Selmer USA models, which were pretty darn good in the small world of my high school, but everyone at the SoM had Selmer Paris S80s or Mark VI's. Basically, I had a Lincoln, and everyone else had Ferraris, Rolls-Royces, and Jaguars.

Back to Hope's Home

Copyright 2002, Flaming Paisley Productions.
Don't mess with my stuff (use without permission, yada yada) - 'nuff said?