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And the winner of the 2021 EDDIE LANG CHALLENGE is...

Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
edited May 19 in Eddie Lang Club Posts: 1,655

.........................................drum roll...................................



........VIC WONG!



Congratulations to Vic!

I just e-mailed Vic the code to redeem his $100 djangobooks.com gift certificate.

Vic has agreed to answer a few questions about himself and his music, and I plan to post them once I receive his responses.

*************************

They used to have an expression in Montreal about arthouse cinema films (remember those? now gone the way of the dodo!)

... anyway, these films were said to be watched by "happyfew" audiences...

... so thanks to all my "happyfew" online friends at djangobooks.com who got on board with this idea.

I may never meet most of you in real life, but I appreciate your friendship, even if it is a long-distance relationship!

Will

Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
MichaelHorowitzBucorudolfochrist
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Comments

  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,655

    Three of our voters sent in comments about the submissions, which I am pasting in below...


    Comment one

    My vote goes to nº 7, Real contestant.

    Motive: 1 and 3 seemed to fit the idiom and were fresh sounding. 2 was clever and fun. 

    All 3 of the contestant's entries brought musical surprises to the listener.


    Comment two


    My ears liked the lines of Langin the Blues #2 and Dimmu Burger. Extra points to Langin the Blues for putting that tinny, low-fi speaker sound so that one gets my vote. Langin the Blues #2

    I will say that I think real contestant #2 gets the originality vote for imagining what Eddie would have sounded like had he not taken Bing's advice and thus lived to be inspired or perhaps influenced by Jimi Hendrix. The opening percussive sound is reminiscent of the intro to CSNY's "Wooden Ships" and the body of this short composition reminded me of not only Jimi Hendrix, but the solo to "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." It was in a category by itself. Maybe a ~70yo Eddie wouldn't have been so inspired, but it was a fun entry nonetheless!


    Comment three

    My favourites were 1) Langin’ the Blues, 2) Dimmu Burger and 3) Emmett Ray

    Nice work, gents!

    littlemarkBuco
    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

    Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
  • edited May 19 Posts: 3,293

    Awesome, congratulations Vic!

    I knew Vic was gonna take it. I'm @real contestant, #7 (thanks for the vote of confidence whoever it was and the honorable mention regarding originality!). I'm happy with what I put out but moreso I was super impressed with everyone really. I had a hard time voting (I voted langin #3). It was much more similar to each other than I ever expected, in a good way. Really cool to think about how it seems we all worked and were tuned to the same frequency during the process.

    billyshakesBill Da Costa Williams
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Altamira M10
    Posts: 556

    Congrats to Vic! Nice effort.

  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,655

    EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH VIC WONG

    Congratulations, Vic. What are you going to do with that big prize money?


    Golly, I don't know yet. Acquire yet another acoustic guitar pickup to join the others in a drawer full of them? Buy roughly three fancy picks? Or maybe put it towards a nice hard case so I don't have a heart attack every time I fly with a guitar. The possibilities are endless!


    Vic, tell us a little bit about yourself... where do you live? Roughly how old are you? 


    I live in deceptively-sunny-often-quite-chilly San Francisco. Roughly, I'm in my 30s. More specifically, I'm about to exit my 30s :)


    What kind of musical training do you have?


    Most of my jazz training has come from being very inefficiently self-taught, transcribing, and getting my butt kicked playing gigs with people better than me for the past 20 or so years. Further back, I began on classical violin through public schools, then discovered rock and roll and my aunt's Sears guitar in the closet. That was the end of violin, though I wish I had heard Grappelli then. I can't bear to hear myself on a violin now.


    Do you play other instruments besides acoustic guitar?


    I love all stringed instruments. I play the double bass, ukulele, tenor banjo, and most recently the 8-string electric lap steel where I've been getting really into country jazz and hawaiian music. 


    Describe the events leading up to your interest in Django, Eddie Lang, (and possibly other pioneers of jazz guitar...?)


    Woody Allen's The Sweet and Lowdown got me interested in Django and someone hipped me to the Django's Legacy VHS documentary. Seeing modern musicians around the world in this genre blew my mind. Seeing Bireli Lagrene play live in a US tour around 2004 sealed the deal, I started learning to play the music right away. 


    Eddie Lang is more recent, like in the past couple of years. I feel like Gypsy Jazz is very informed by post-bebop music these days, which is certainly cool, but I've always leaned more towards the pretty old harmonies. The 1930s and 1920s were starting to sound very fresh and exciting to me in contrast. I got into old gaudy dance bands like Ray Noble Orchestra, vocal groups like the Ink Spots, wonderful singers like Annette Hanshaw and Al Bowlly, and people who were double-threats like virtuoso guitarist/vocalist Nick Lucas. I was finding that the more you dig deep into guitar, the more things lead back to Lang. His recordings of April Kisses, Jeannie I Dream of Lilac Time, I'll Never Be The Same, and Singin' the Blues made me realize I had a lot more to learn about early jazz guitar. His approach is so different and creative. There are endless mysteries to unlock.


    What are your future musical ambitions?


    Playing alone has become fashionable as of late, so I've been working a lot on chord melody. I made it a semi-weekly morning exercise and have posted about 125 "Morning Coffee Session" videos of those arrangements. It's ongoing, though slower these days, but I'm up to 125 videos which you can check out on my youtube playlist https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLp5-5eixp39c4fUjhDi2Kv8e-o5MX4mNp . I also recently put out a record of solo guitar, which is available on bandcamp https://vicwong.bandcamp.com/ 


    In the future, once we get moving again, I have an itch to finally get all these dang bands I already play in to actually record something: I'm looking at you The Cottontails, The Alcatraz Islanders, Project Pimento. And I want to record my own ensemble and 4-6 piece band arrangements. I figure after playing for 20 years it's about damned time!

    Bucobillyshakes
    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

    Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    edited May 19 Posts: 1,655

    Damn, Vic, if you are reading this... forgot to ask... tell us about your guitar/s!


    PS This is awesome!

    And your solo stuff really swings, yes indeedy!


    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

    Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
  • Posts: 56

    congrats to Vic! No surprise, I’m a huge fan of his work! I was Dimmu Burger and I had a huge smile reading that some folks enjoyed my entry, hope to see future challenges as this was super fun to work on!

    Bucobillyshakes
  • Posts: 152

    What a fun contest! Congratulations to Vic!

    I was Emmett Ray. I think I will incorporate my lock into my playing.


    Thanks to Will!

    billyshakesBuco
  • Bill Da Costa WilliamsBill Da Costa Williams Barreiro, Portugal✭✭✭ Mateos
    Posts: 402

    Yes, congrats Vic and thanks to Will - such a creative idea!

    (I was Shrivelup Andropov)

    BucorudolfochristbillyshakesLango-Django
  • Posts: 3,293

    One of the best things to happen on the forum so thank you, Will. And, when's the next one?

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • V-dubV-dub San Francisco, CA✭✭✭✭
    edited May 20 Posts: 293

    @Buco I loved your wild Hendrix/Classical/Whatever interpretations and I had a feeling that was you. I thought for sure that would take it for just being the most memorable. One could argue doing something extremely creative and unexpected is more in the spirit of Eddie Lang than aping his licks.

    Good to see you here @King_Cardboard ! Your submission was pure Eddie and definitely caught my ear / made me nervous about my prospects. I couldn't figure out who it could be. What a pleasant surprise!

    And to tell you about all my guitars would take way too long. But on the gypsy side of things I have a wonderful Sonora once owned by Hono Winterstein, a Craig Bumgarner I'll probably keep for the rest of my life, and a Lebreton II found in a random shop for a price none of you would have passed up (they definitely didn't know that they had). I've been loving a 1939 Gibson L-7 Archtop I recently acquired, and a soulful 30s Kalamazoo that I found out once belonged the the great Matt Munisteri!

    BucoLango-DjangoBill Da Costa Williams
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