Master Class by Jacob Collier

“His fan base includes such luminaries as Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, Chick Corea, Steve Vai and Take 6, to name a few.”

Jacob Collier Official Website

It was an enriching master class gaining insight on how prodiguious Collier absorbs new music concepts and ideas each day, such as listening to two new albums everyday as he commutes to and back from school, experimenting with different grooves and harmonies in his music room, and having a never-ending inquisitive mind about music around the world. I am most amazed by his grasp of the physics of music and his application of it in his compositions.

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Accompanied for a vocal proficiency, which I had to sightread a piece with 5 sharps and 5 note chords on each hand, and I was asked the typical Berklee question, “Who do you usually listen to?” I’d usually answer with some artist/composer I like but it’s never with a great conviction that I’m completely floored by their works. Today after meeting #jacobcollier, this phrase comes into my mind – "the epitome of music". Every single concept of music I've heard in my life, he’s got them at the tip of his fingers. Never met someone who truly understands the Harmonic Series and use them in harmonisation; taking advantage of the physics of music to allow the ears to truly listen to something that’s scientifically and naturally beautiful. If there’s such a word as perfect rhythm (like perfect pitch), Collier composed a motif that sounds as good in 5/4, 6/4, 7/4 meter while keeping the tempo the same! Mastery over the voice box, piano, bass, drums and other instruments, he’s able to execute sick voicings and polyrhythms, microtones, and enriching it with ideas from world music, and yet, these concepts are not dead theories but he brought it to a level of fun and was able to articulate to us at the masterclass with such humility and charisma. Honoured to have been there at this 20-year-old prodigy’s session. #Genius is an understatement.

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Check out one of his videos and pay attention to the arrangement, groove, and harmonies. He is singing slightly behind the beat and uses chromaticism in the voicings.

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