Eric Salazar

Making Music for Our Time

This is the website of Eric Salazar--Clarinetist, Chamber Musician, Teacher, and Innovator. Come see what Eric is up to on this site!

NUVO July 2016 Article

NUVO: The clarinet once held a very important position in American popular music, from New Orleans jazz and Dixieland performers like Sidney Bechet and Johnny Dodds, to Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw and all the big band music of the '30s and '40s. But after the big band era, the clarinet started fading from American popular music landscape. I'm curious what your thoughts are on the clarinet's role in contemporary music

Salazar: It's true that a lot of wind instruments have been on the decline since electronic instruments were invented. With one guitar and a bunch of foot pedals, the spectrum of sounds you can create is so versatile. That sort of made the acoustic instruments decline a bit. But the beauty of the acoustic instruments is that they rely on the player to produce a refined sounds, and that's unique to every player.

Actually the clarinet in Turkey is a huge pop instrument. The Turkish style of clarinet uses a lot of slides and glissandos and sounds much more like the human voice than the Western tradition of clarinet. The clarinet has always had a presence in orchestras since Mozart's time and people are still writing music for it. Contemporary classical music uses a lot of clarinet.

There's also a specific bass clarinetist named Michael Lowenstern who is one of my inspirations. He listened to a lot of funk when he was growing up, so he composes music that uses loop pedals and all sorts electronic stuff.

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