Music Videos from Cool Violin Purse - un No. 16

Maggie O'Connor Talks about Filming Music Videos

Violin Purse Owner, Maggie O'Connor, answers Violettes questions about the filming Music Videos of the spectacular Mark O'Connor Fiddle Duos with Mark O'Connor. They are filmed by Mark's son and mandolin player, Forrest O'Connor.

Maggie owns the pictured Violin Purse, which she wears to greet the audience after shows performing around the world. See this LINK for Photos of Maggie in her travels with her violin purse. Note that Violettes loves special order designs. We also create other kinds of Music Art including small quilt hangings and wall hangings such as the String Band on Barn Door piece featured HERE.

Violettes:  I hope Mark was holding a toy fiddle on the skate board! Spectacular Music Art!
1.  Violettes:  How many takes were necessary for your new music videos with Mark from your new CD "Duo", or does Forrest have several cameras set up from different angles?

music videos, Maggie, Mark and Forrest OConnor Maggie, Mark and Forrest O'Connor

Maggie O'Connor:  Forrest did such a fabulous job; we filmed seven music videos in three days, all in the New York City area believe it or not! He has a lot of experience with music videos and has such an eye for filming. We just had one camera, and we did at least 10 takes playing all the way through every piece, with different camera angles. The rest involved “b-roll"¹ of the environments we were filming in and anything that caught Forrest’s eye (one of my favorites being a swan that made a cameo appearance in “College Hornpipe”), as well as a few shots to evoke a mini plot in some of the videos. For example, in “Libertango” there is a scene where Mark gives me a flower and another where I give him a hat. There is also a fun scene with Mark on a skateboard and me on a mechanical bull in “Fiddlin’ Around.” There are fun things like that in all of the seven videos. You can find them on Mark’s Youtube channel.

2.  Violettes:  I have tried to make a simple music video. It was too hard to have the Tempo exactly the same with the good recording and the video (with the non-professional equipment). Do you use a metronome when filming or can the speed be tweaked ever so slightly in the production studio, or are you guys just that perfect!?

Music videos, Violin Purse, Maggie O'Connor Mark and Maggie O'Connor CD "Duo"

Maggie O'Connor:  We actually carried a boom box around with us to every location and played along with our own "Duo" recording, in which these videos correlate with.  We practiced along with the boom box for a week or so before we even started the video sessions to get our visual performances matched to the recording as close as we could.  It was always a factor during the filming process as to where we placed the boom box so it wouldn’t get into the shot, but we needed it close enough to us so that we could still hear it to play along with. It was imperative that Mark and I basically made no mistakes on the violin during the video shoot so that we would have as many options for footage as possible once Forrest began the editing process.

3.  Violettes:  Do you choose the clothes yourself, or is there a designer involved? And, is Mark going to write more duos for videos, or arrange some existing pieces?

Maggie O'Connor:  We did choose the clothes ourselves! Mark helped me pick my outfits and I helped him with his. We put a lot of thought into every film regarding the look and general feel we wanted to go for, and it actually took almost longer getting ready for each video than it did to shoot it! We have seven beautiful music videos to go with our “Duo” CD project. Every piece on the “Duo” CD, except the bonus track “Tiger Rag,” is actually from the O’Connor Method, a music book series Mark has written for students to learn to play the violin from the very beginning going all the way to the advanced levels using American music, from longstanding classics to his own compositions. Duos play a prominent role in the series, even in the beginning books, and become more advanced in Book IV and Book V.  On our album “Duo,” six of the arrangements are from Book IV and seven are from Book V, so students can actually learn the music we are performing. Many are from various highlights in Mark’s career and he has taken part in arranging all of them along with composing many. The seven music videos feature music from the upcoming Book V, which will be released soon. “F.C.’s Jig” short for “Fiddle Concerto’s Jig” is Mark’s duet arrangement of his first violin concerto. The duet version was originally arranged for him on violin and Yo-Yo Ma on the cello. For the O’Connor Method Book V duet, Yo-Yo’s part was adapted for violin, the part I play in the music video. I love playing every duet, each has a new set of techniques and musical language and represents the best American string playing has to offer.

4.  Violettes:  You guys are traveling so much. Just haw many hours of practice are you able to fit in while traveling? How many are you needing when you are not traveling?

Maggie O'Connor:  It is not so much about how many hours we practice, but how we practice. To give some numbers though, when I practice I usually do it in 20-30min intervals thorough the day when we are not traveling, and it all depends on what I need to accomplish. Sometimes I pick the hardest sections of the duos we perform to work on, and sometimes Mark and I will just run through repertoire together. Sometimes we have longer practice sessions but always take a break every hour. I usually don’t practice on a travel day, but I do have plenty of time to “mental practice” when I need to. So much of it at this point is learning new repertoire for me, so just working on the memorization part is something I can do when I am sitting on the plane.

5. Violettes:  Are there other projects coming that we don't know about yet?

Maggie O'Connor:  We have some camps and workshops in the works, as well as the O’Connor Family Band! The O’Connor Family Band consists of Mark, myself, Forrest, Kate Lee, and our fabulous side men Geoff Saunders and Joe Smart. Read more about us at O'Connor Family Band and follow us on facebook! We are currently booking for 2016 and are also planning to record an album together early next year. With all of that, there will likely be some music videos on the way too.

1. B-roll is the extra footage captured to enrich the story you're telling and to have greater flexibility when editing.

Other Links:     O'Connor Method   Maggie O'Connor Website

Duo CD Links:  Get Physical Copy Here  or Get on iTunes 

Music Videos: F.C.'s Jig,  College Hornpipe,  Libertango,  Fiddlin' Around,  Appalachia Waltz,  Jerusalem's Ridge,  Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

Gifts for Musicians Purchase Gifts for Musicians  from Violettes by Becky


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