Transcript: Clarinet and Accordion | Dec 12, 2019

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and striped lavender tie.

A caption on screen reads "Clarinet and accordion. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says I SAW THIS DUO PERFORM
AT A CONFERENCE IN KINGSTON
EARLIER THIS YEAR AND
IMMEDIATELY THOUGHT, WOW, THAT
IS DIFFERENT.
MICHAEL BRIDGE... THAT'S HIM ON
THE RIGHT... HE PLAYS THE ACCORDION...

Michael is in his thirties, clean-shaven, with short brown hair. He's wearing a green leopard print blazer and a white shirt.

Steve continues AND KORNEL WOLAK...
HE'S ON THE LEFT... HE PLAYS THE
CLARINET, AND TOGETHER THEY MAKE
MUSIC AS YOU'VE NEVER HEARD IT BEFORE.

Kornel is in his early forties, with short brown hair and a stubble. He's wearing a blue suit and shirt, and holds a clarinet in his left hand.

Steve continues SO LET'S WELCOME BRIDGE + WOLAK TO TVO AND LEARN SOME MORE.
HELLO, GUYS.
GREAT TO SEE YOU AGAIN.

Kornel says HELLO, GOOD EVENING.

Steve says LET'S TELL A BIT OF
YOUR STORY HERE.
HOW DID YOU END UP PICKING UP
THAT INSTRUMENT IN THE FIRST
PLACE, HOW MANY YEARS AGO?

Kornel says OH, I WOULDN'T LIKE TO REVEAL
THAT BECAUSE THAT WOULD
DEFINITELY PUT ME...

Steve says I KNOW, KORNEL,
YOU'RE IN YOUR 40s.
SO, OKAY.

The caption changes to "Kornel Wolak. Queen's University."

Kornel says WELL, AFTER HAVING THAT
STATED, YOU KNOW, I PICKED UP
THIS INSTRUMENT WHEN I WAS 11 OR 12.

Steve says AND HOW COME?

The caption changes to "A dynamic duo."

Kornel says HOW COME?
BECAUSE I STOPPED BEING INSPIRED
TO PLAY PIANO ANYMORE.
I STARTED ON THE PIANO BACK IN
POLAND.
HOWEVER, AT SOME POINT, LONG
HOURS OF PRACTICE WERE NOT
INSPIRING ENOUGH.
I SAID, YOU KNOW, IF I NEED TO
HAVE A SECONDARY INSTRUMENT, I
WILL PICK THE CLARINET.
AND I DID.
THERE WAS ONLY ONE TEACHER IN MY
SCHOOL, IT WAS A VERY SMALL
SCHOOL, AND THE BEGINNINGS WERE
VERY, VERY ROUGH.
AT THE BEGINNING, I WAS NOT VERY
HAPPY PLAYING THE CLARINET, BUT
THEN I HAD ANOTHER TEACHER WHO
ACTUALLY WAS INCREDIBLY
INSPIRING AND WHO TAUGHT ME A
LESSON FOR LIFE, WHICH IS HOW
IMPORTANT IS THE RIGHT PEDAGOGY.
SO HALF OF MY HEART IS IN
PERFORMING, AND THE OTHER HALF
IS IN PEDAGOGY, AND I NEVER... I
NEVER AVOID TEACHING YOUNG
PEOPLE, INSPIRING THEM IN THE
COUNTRY.

Steve says YOU'RE TEACHING AT
QUEEN'S NOW.

Kornel says YES, I AM THE ASSISTANT
CLARINET PROFESSOR AT QUEEN'S
UNIVERSITY IN KINGSTON WHERE I
HAVE A CLARINET STUDIO.

Steve says MICHAEL, HOW DID YOU
END UP... WELL, THE ACCORDION
YOU PICKED UP ORIGINALLY WAS NOT
LIKE THAT.

Kornel says NOT QUITE.
MY FIRST WAS SMALLER, ONLY 12
BUTTONS ON THE LEFT HAND.
ACTUALLY MY MOM BOUGHT IT AT A
GARAGE SALE ON A WHIM FOR 5 dollars IN
CALGARY WHEN I WAS FIVE YEARS
OLD AND A FAMILY FRIEND WAS MY
FIRST TEACHER.
AND THEN AFTER THAT, JUST ONE
THING LED TO ANOTHER.
I GOT A VERY GOOD TEACHER IN
CALGARY, AS KORNEL WAS SAYING,
WE WERE BOTH BLESSED TO HAVE
VERY GOOD TEACHERS FROM A YOUNG
AGE, ME FROM ABOUT 7 ONWARDS ON
ACCORDION AND THEN I STARTED
PERFORMING AND COMPETING
INTERNATIONALLY, AND THEN WANTED
TO GO FURTHER WITH THE ACCORDION
AND TO PLAY IT AND TREAT IT
MERELY AS A FOLK INSTRUMENT.
WE CALL IT CONCERT MUSIC BECAUSE
IT INCLUDES CLASSICAL AND
BAROQUE MUSIC, BUT IT ALSO
INCLUDES SOME FOLK INSPIRATIONS
AND SOME WORLD MUSIC
INSPIRATIONS, AND THAT ALL COMES
TOGETHER IN A CONCERT ACCORDION
OR IN THIS CASE A DIGITAL
CONCERT ACCORDION WHICH ALLOW
YOU TO PLAY LITERALLY ANYTHING.

Steve says THIS THING SOUNDS
PRETTY DIFFERENTLY FROM ANYTHING
I HEARD PLAYED ON THE LAWRENCE
WELK SHOW.
I WANT TO BRING IT UP.
WHEN I WAS A KID, IF YOU PLAYED
THE ACCORDION, YOU WERE A SUPER
NERD.
NO ONE EVER THOUGHT IT WAS COOL
TO PLAY THE ACCORDION.
HOW DID YOU GET OVER THAT NOTION
THAT WHAT I AM DOING IS COOL AND
NOT NERDY.

The caption changes to "Michael Bridge. University of Toronto Doctoral Candidate."

A close-up shot shows a brown accordion sitting next to Michael's chair.

The caption changes again to "Michael Bridge, @_MichaelBridge."

Michael says I WAS TOO YOUNG.
I WAS TOO YOUNG TO ACTUALLY KNOW
THAT SOMETHING WAS SUPPOSED TO
BE NOT COOL.
I WAS IMMUNE TO THAT JUST
THROUGH BEING YOUNG.
I DON'T KNOW, I THINK THE
STEREOTYPES ABOUT ACCORDION HAVE
CHANGED A LOT IN NORTH AMERICA
SINCE THE 1960s WHEN IT BECAME
UNCOOL TO PLAY IT, AND NOW
ANYONE UNDER, LIKE, PRESENT-DAY
AGE 40, I WOULD SAY IS A BLANK
SLATE AND IS OPEN TO LEARNING
ABOUT THE INSTRUMENT, AND
PARTICULARLY WITH THE DIGITAL
ACCORDION.
IT'S ONE OF THE MOST VERSATILE
INSTRUMENTS IN THE WORLD.
ROLAND CALLS IT THE MOST
ADVANCED SYNTHESIZER IN THE
WORLD.
SO IT'S A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
INSTRUMENT TO WHAT ANYBODY
EXPECTS.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Steve says WHAT ABOUT WEIRD AL
YANKOVIC. WAS HE AN INFLUENCE?

Michael says I CERTAINLY KNOW ABOUT WHAT
HE DOES. I LOVE IT AND I LOVE
HIS COMEDY AND HIS PARODY WORK.
OF COURSE HE'S BIG ON THE SCENE.
WHAT WE'RE DOING IS IN A
DIFFERENT VEIN.

Steve says IT SURE IS.
WE'LL SEE IT IN A FEW MOMENTS.
KORNEL, I WANT TO KNOW HOW THIS
ACT FIRST GOT TOGETHER, THOUGH.

Kornel says AS THIS ACT IS STILL UNDER
CONSTRUCTION.
WE STILL LEARN ABOUT EACH OTHER,
ACTUALLY.
I JUST LEARNED THAT MICHAEL ONLY
LEARNED 12 BUTTONS ON HIS ACCORDION.

Michael says I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE OTHERS DO.

Kornel says THAT REALLY IS REVEALING.

Steve says YOU'RE FROM POLAND
ORIGINALLY AND YOU'RE FROM...

Michael says CALGARY.

Steve says YOU'RE FROM CALGARY ORIGINALLY.
HOW DID THIS TANDEM GET TOGETHER?

Kornel says IT'S INTERESTING.
IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED THROUGH
MICHAEL'S ACCORDION PROFESSOR
FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO,
MR. JOSEPH MACEROLLO, WHO I MET
THROUGH QUARTETTO GELATO WHERE
I WAS A MEMBER.
I WAS PLAYING WITH JOE QUITE A
BIT.
JOE AT ONE POINT SAID, KORNEL, I
HAVE GRANDCHILDREN.
I HAVE FAMILY.
I WANT TO TAKE CARE OF THEM,
SPEND MORE TIME WITH THEM.
HOWEVER, I HAVE THIS HOT-HEADED
STUDENT.

Steve says HOT-HEADED.

Kornel says QUITE APPROPRIATE FOR THE
KIND OF SHOW YOU WANT TO BE
DOING AND WHY DON'T YOU GUYS GET
TOGETHER?
AND THAT WAS...

Michael says FIRST YEAR UNDERGRADUATE.

Steve says HOW LONG AGO WAS THAT?

Michael says THAT WILL BE NINE YEARS.

Steve says NINE YEARS AGO.
HERE'S THE NEXT QUESTION THEN:
IT'S THE BRIDGE AND WOLAK DUO.
YOU'RE OLDER.
YOU'RE A PROFESSOR.
HE'S NOT.
SO WHY DOES HE GET FIRST BILLING?

Michael says BECAUSE I HAVE MORE BUTTONS.

Steve says YOU HAVE MORE BUTTONS.

[LAUGHTER]

Kornel says HE PRESSES MORE BUTTONS.
THIS WILL BE VERY REVEALING
ABOUT THE TWO OF US, THIS SHORT
STORY, HOW DEMOCRATIC WE ARE AND
HOW MUCH WE TRUST IN ONE
ANOTHER.

Michael says AND BLIND LUCK.

Kornel says AND BLIND LUCK.
SO ON MY TOUR OF CHINA SOME
MONTHS AGO, PROBABLY LAST YEAR
AT THIS TIME.

Michael says IT WAS.

Kornel says WE HAD TO FINALLY DECIDE ON
THE NAME THAT WE WILL BE USING
FOR PUBLICITY AND FOR ALL THE
MEDIA AND SO ON, AND FOR OUR
RECORDINGS.
AND WE HAD TO DECIDE RIGHT AWAY.
AND I CALLED MICHAEL'S CELL
PHONE, IT TURNS OUT HE'S
SOMEWHERE IN THE U.S. ON TOUR OR
SOMETHING.
I SAID, MICHAEL, WE HAVE TO
DECIDE RIGHT NOW.
AND WE HAD A SHORTLIST OF ABOUT
A HUNDRED NAMES.

Steve says THAT'S A SHORTLIST.

Kornel says THAT WAS A SHORTLIST.
AND MICHAEL SAYS, HOW ARE WE
GOING TO DO IT?
I SAID, MICHAEL, DO YOU HAVE A
COIN OVER THERE?
HE SAID SURE I DO.
I SAID WHY DON'T YOU TOSS IT AND
PICK ONE SIDE.
IF IT PICKS ON THE ONE YOU
CHOSE...
THEN I PUT MY FULL TRUST INTO
MICHAEL'S TOSSING ABILITIES.

Michael says OF COURSE WE KNOW IN THE END
THAT LUCK GOT IT RIGHT.

Steve says LET ME SPEND A
MOMENT HERE JUST LOOKING AT
YOUR... WHAT DO YOU CALL THAT AGAIN?
DIGITAL ACCORDION?

Michael says YES.

Steve says BECAUSE THERE ARE NO
PIANO KEYS ON IT WHICH IS WHAT
MOST PEOPLE WOULD KNOW.

Michael says YES.

Steve says OKAY, GO.
EXPLAIN.
HOW IS THAT THING?

Michael says HOW LONG DO YOU HAVE?
THIS IS WHAT'S CALLED A
CHROMATIC KEYBOARD.
IT'S A DIFFERENT LAYOUT OF THE
BUTTONS.
IT MEANS I HAVE MORE RANGE IN
LESS SPACE.
SO I SWITCHED TO THIS WHEN I WAS
16.
I STARTED WITH THE PIANO
KEYBOARD.
I SAW AT THAT POINT CLASSICAL
MUSIC THAT PEOPLE WERE PLAYING
ON ACCORDION AROUND THE WORLD
AND I REALIZED THAT I WAS
PLAYING ON WHAT I THOUGHT WAS A
MORE LIMITED INSTRUMENT.
SO I RELEARNED MY ALPHABET, SO
TO SPEAK.
IT WOULD BE LIKE IF YOU WOKE UP
ONE MORNING AND SOMEBODY MOVED
ALL THE KEYS AROUND ON YOUR
COMPUTER.
YOU HAVE THE TECHNIQUE TO DO IT,
BUT EVERYTHING IS IN THE WRONG
SPOT.

Steve says SO THERE'S NO MIDDLE
C ON THAT THING.

Michael says THERE IS.
THIS ONE RIGHT THERE.

He points at one of dozens of buttons and continues
BUT YOU WOULDN'T KNOW IT BY
LOOKING AT IT.

Steve says YOU WOULD NOT.
CAN I ASK HOW MUCH THAT COSTS?

Michael says THESE WOULD RUN SURPRISINGLY
CHEAP FOR WHAT IT DOES.
THIS WOULD BE UNDER 10,000
CANADIAN.
HOWEVER, THAT'S JUST FOR THE
SHELL.
THEN THE PROGRAMMING INSIDE,
WHICH IS WHAT MAKES IT VERY
UNIQUE AND WHAT I'VE SPENT CLOSE
TO A DECADE NOW WORKING ON IN
TERMS OF REFINING MY SONG ON
THIS INSTRUMENT IS ALL
CUSTOMIZED.
SO EVERYONE WHO HAS THIS
INSTRUMENT SOUNDS COMPLETELY
DIFFERENT.

Steve says GENTLEMEN, I THINK
YOU SHOULD TAKE US TO CHURCH NOW.

Kornel says TO CHURCH.

Steve says BY THAT I MEAN, IT'S
TIME THAT WE HEARD YOU PLAY.
AND JUST TO SORT OF SET THIS UP,
IT WILL SOUND LIKE WE'RE IN
CHURCH OFF THE TOP.
BUT THEN I URGE EVERYBODY TO
STICK AROUND BECAUSE WE DON'T
END UP IN CHURCH BY THE TIME
THIS SONG IS OVER.
DO YOU WANT TO TELL US WHAT THIS
IS CALLED?

Kornel says I THINK I KNOW WHICH SONG
YOU'RE REFERRING TO.
MICHAEL... TAKE A WILD GUESS.

Michael says SOUNDS LIKE A LITTLE THING
WE'VE DONE CALLED ROCK BACH,
WHICH WAS THE TITLE OF OUR FIRST
ALBUM AND IT SORT OF REPRESENTED
WHAT WE WERE STARTING TO DO WITH
CLASSICAL MUSIC, WHICH IS TO
STEAL IT AND THEN COMPLETELY
REDESIGN IT.
I MEAN, ACCORDION WASN'T
INVENTED IN THE BAROQUE ERA WHEN
BACH WAS AROUND.
CLARINET WAS IN AN EARLY
FORMATIVE STAGE, NOTHING LIKE
WHAT IT IS NOW.
SO WE'VE DONE A VERSION THAT WE
HOPE BACH WOULD LIKE FOR THE
21ST CENTURY.
EVERYTHING YOU'LL HEAR IS
100 PERCENT LIVE.
THERE'S NO BACKGROUND MUSIC.
ALL THE SOUND WE MAKE BETWEEN
THE TWO OF US.
AND...

Kornel says THE SONG IS GREAT BECAUSE IT
CAN REALLY FEATURE MOST OF THE
FEATURES THAT MICHAEL IS USING
ON THE DIGITAL ACCORDION AND IT
ALSO PREFACE SOME OF MY
TECHNIQUE TO THE VERY LIMIT.

Steve says GENTLEMEN, THE STAGE IS YOURS.

Michael starts to play.

(Sounds like quiet church music)

Michael stops playing the accordion and mimics the act of pulling from a rope in the air.

(BELLS TOLL)

He grins at Kornel, who then plays the clarinet.
Michael joins in and the calm melody gains a faster tempo.
Again Michael stops playing and pretends to pull a rope, and bells toll.
The duo starts playing faster and other instruments sound in the background, creating a mix of classical music and rock and roll.

The caption changes to "Watch us anytime: tvo.org, Twitter: @theagenda, Facebook Live, YouTube."

As the piece ends, the musicians chuckle and bump fists.

Steve laughs and says WOW!
AND A LITTLE FIST PUMP TO BOOT.
THAT WAS ABSOLUTELY SENSATIONAL,
GUYS.
IT WAS DEFINITELY TO OUR LIKING.
WHAT DID WE JUST HEAR?

The caption changes to "Two busy guys."

Kornel says WE JUST HEARD THE PRELUDE TO
THE FIRST SOLO CELLO SUITE BY
JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH.

Steve says THIS WAS WRITTEN 400
SOME YEARS AGO?

Kornel says YES, FOR CELLO.

Michael says WHICH YOU DON'T SEE.

Steve says SOMEHOW YOU HAVE
REARRANGED THAT TO MAKE PERFECT
CLASSICAL AND ROCK 'N' ROLL
SENSE, OR WHAT?

Kornel says WELL, THERE'S A LOT OF
SLASHES THERE.

Michael says THE GENRE...

Steve says I THINK THAT'S WHY
IT CONNECTS SO WELL.
IT'S JUST INDEFINABLE.

Kornel says THAT'S THE AGE OF MODERN
MUSIC.
THE AGE OF THE NICHE IS GONE
WITH THE MAJOR RECORD LABELS
THAT HAD EVERYBODY IN ONE BOX OR
ANOTHER, AND WE'RE PROUD AND
HAPPY TO BE PART OF THE NEXT
GENERATION OF CONCERT PERFORMERS
WHO DON'T RESPECT BOUNDARIES AT ALL.

Steve says BUT WHERE DID YOU
GET THE NOTION TO TAKE A PIECE
WRITTEN FOR CELLO AND DECIDE
YOU'RE GOING TO REARRANGE IT FOR
TWO INSTRUMENTS THAT CLEARLY
BACH DID NOT HAVE IN MIND WHEN
HE WROTE THIS PIECE?

Kornel says ACTUALLY THE INSPIRATION
COMES FROM BACH HIMSELF.

Steve says HOW SO?

Kornel says BACH WAS A MASTER COMPOSER
AND MASTER BORROWER, SO TO SPEAK.
A LOT OF THE THEMES THAT BACH
HAS USED FOR HIS CONCERTO AND
FOR HIS OTHER PIECES, CHORAL AND
INSTRUMENTAL... NOT ONLY... WERE
BORROWED, EITHER FROM HIS OWN
PREVIOUS PIECES, HE REWROTE
HIMSELF, OR HE WOULD BORROW FROM
COMPOSERS THAT HE KNEW AND HE
WOULD DEFINITELY MAKE ALL THESE
BORROWINGS AND REMIX THEM AND
REINSTRUMENT THEM, AND HE WOULD
COME UP WITH NEW IDEAS.

Steve says I'VE GOT TO ASK JUST
A COUPLE OF TECHNIQUE QUESTIONS
HERE.
THAT'S A WORKOUT FOR YOU.
BY THE TIME YOU'RE FINISHED, I
DON'T KNOW IF YOU KNOW IT, YOUR
FACE IS VERY RED.

Kornel says WELL, THAT'S...

Steve says YOU ARE REALLY...
THERE'S A LOT OF AIR GOING
THROUGH YOU.

Kornel says IT'S BREATHTAKING.

Steve says IT IS BREATHTAKING.

Kornel says ACTUALLY, HERE'S A LITTLE
TECHNIQUE THAT I AM FORCED AND
ENCOURAGED AT THE SAME TIME TO
BE USING IN ORDER TO BE PLAYING
THOSE ARRANGEMENTS, WHICH IS
SOMETHING CALLED THE CIRCULAR BREATHING.

Steve says CAN YOU DO THAT?
WHERE YOU BLOW OUT AND BREATHE
IN AT THE SAME TIME?

Kornel says THAT'S WHAT I WAS DOING.
THIS IS WHY I DID NOT STOP.
THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I HAVE TO
GO THROUGH IN ORDER TO BE ABLE
TO ADHERE TO THE SAME PHRASING
AS REQUIRED FOR PIECES THAT WERE
COMPOSED FOR INSTRUMENTS THAT
HAD A DIFFERENT IDIOM, BECAUSE
VIOLIN OR CELLO IDIOM IS THAT
THE PLAYER DOESN'T HAVE TO STOP
FOR A BREATH IN ORDER TO KEEP
UP...

Steve says BUT I WATCHED YOU,
KORNEL, I WATCHED FOR THE
CIRCUMSTANCE MULTILATERAL
BREATHING AND I COULDN'T PICK IT
UP...

Kornel says IT WAS ME.
YOU COULDN'T TELL IT WAS THERE.
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

Steve says HOW ABOUT FOR YOU?
HOW MUCH DOES THAT THING WEIGH?

Michael says THIS IS RELATIVELY LIGHT FOR
ACCORDIONS, ABOUT 25 POUNDS.

Steve says HOW DO YOU NOT HAVE
BACK PROBLEMS OR ARTHRITIS IN
YOUR FINGERS.
YOU GOT A WORKOUT THERE TOO.

Michael says I HAVE TO BE VERY CAREFUL.
I WORK OUT A LOT.
YOGA, PRACTICES LIKE THAT.
A LOT OF STRETCHING.
A LOT OF SELF-CARE, BECAUSE IT
IS AMONG THE MORE PHYSICAL
INSTRUMENTS, AND PARTICULARLY
BEING ON THE ROAD AND SPENDING,
YOU KNOW, HOURS AT THE AIRPORT
OR HOURS IN THE CAR.
AND TO STILL GET UP EARLY AND
TRY TO GO TO THE GYM WHEN YOU'RE
ON THE ROAD AND TAKE YOUR WORK
WITH YOU ANYWHERE... IT'S ONE OF
THE HARDEST PARTS OF TOURING.

Steve says YOU CAN'T GET OUT OF
SHAPE OR YOU CAN'T PICK THAT
THING UP AND THE WHOLE THING IS OFF.

Michael says THE ACT OF PRACTISING ON IT
IS ACTUALLY A WORKOUT, TO A
CERTAIN DEGREE.

Steve says WE ESTABLISHED THAT
YOU'RE TEACHING AT QUEEN'S.
HAVE YOU FINISHED YOUR Ph.D. YET?

Michael says NO, I'M HALFWAY THROUGH MY
DOCTORATE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF
TORONTO.

Steve says IN...

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Michael says IN ACCORDION, WHICH IS THE
ONLY UNIVERSITY IN NORTH AMERICA
WHERE YOU CAN DO A DOCTORATE IN
ACCORDION, SO A TORONTO AND
ONTARIO DISTINCTION.

Steve says ISN'T THAT COOL?
IS ALL YOUR TRAINING FROM
EASTERN EUROPE ORIGINALLY?

Kornel says NO.
IT'S ACTUALLY QUITE VARIED.
I STARTED IN POLAND.
AND THEN I DID DO A LOT OF
COMMUTING TO STUDY WITH
PROFESSORS AT PARIS
CONSERVATORY, ALSO IN PRAGUE,
THEN I WENT TO NEW YORK AND
STUDIED THERE FOR AWHILE AND
THEN I ENDED UP DOING MY
MASTERS AND IN BLOOMINGTON, IN
THE U.S.

Steve says I DON'T KNOW I HAVE IT RIGHT.
THE FORMER ISRAELI POLITICIAN,
WASN'T HIS SON ONE OF YOUR TEACHERS?

Kornel says HE WAS MY PRIMARY TEACHERS
AND A MENTOR AS WELL, AND WE ARE
STILL IN TOUCH.
WE'RE VERY GOOD FRIENDS, NOW
PROFESSIONAL FRIENDS, AND A
WONDERFUL MAN, AND HE TAUGHT ME
SOME REAL GREAT FUNDAMENTALS OF
CLARINET PLAYING.
AND NOT ONLY THAT, BUT STYLE AND
TECHNIQUES AND SO ON AND SO ON.
AND AFTER THAT, NOT ONLY AFTER
THAT, IN 2005, I ARRIVED IN
TORONTO WHERE I WAS STUDYING FOR
TWO YEARS WITH PROFESSOR PINAS,
WHO IS THE PRINCIPAL CLARINETIST
OF TORONTO UNIVERSITY, AND THAT
WOULD BE MY EDUCATION IN A
NUTSHELL.
THERE WERE PLENTY OF MASTER
CLASSES AROUND THE WORLD AND
SUMMER COURSES AND SO ON AND SO
ON, BUT THESE ARE THE MAIN
UNIVERSITIES I ATTENDED.

Steve says JUST BEFORE I TELL
EVERYBODY WHERE YOU'RE GOING TO
BE PLAYING IN THE DAYS AHEAD,
LET ME ASK ONE LAST QUESTION.
YOU'RE A DUET HERE.
HE'S OLDER.
HE HAS MORE ACADEMIC
CREDENTIALS.
DO I ASSUME WHEN YOU TWO HAVE
DISAGREEMENTS ABOUT WHERE THINGS
GO, YOU DEFER TO HIM?

Kornel says NO, WE TOSS A COIN.

Michael says NOT AT ALL.
IN FACT, ONE OF THE REASONS WHY
OUR ACT HAS BEEN WORKING IS NOT
ONLY THAT WE WORK VERY WELL
TOGETHER ON A MUSICAL LEVEL,
WITH CREATIVE IDEAS AND SIMILAR
INTERESTS AND SIMILAR LOVES, BUT
ALSO FROM THE BUSINESS SIDE AND
FROM THE TOURING SIDE, BECAUSE
IT'S ALMOST LIKE A MARRIAGE, TO
BE ON THE ROAD WITH SOMEBODY FOR
A MONTH... NOT IN THAT WAY.

Kornel says A VERY STRAINING ONE.

Michael says BUT YOU'RE TOGETHER A LOT OF
THE TIME AND WE HAVE TO SHARE
RESPONSIBILITIES, BEING IN TOUCH
WITH ALL THE CONCERT PRESENTERS
THAT WE'RE GOING TO PLAY FOR
WHEN OUR MANAGEMENT IS SENT TO
US.
WE INTERACT IN MANY WAYS.
WE'RE ON THE PHONE MULTIPLE
TIMES A DAY EVERY DAY OF THE
YEAR.
SO IT'S ACTUALLY A VERY DYNAMIC
AND EXCITING ERA.

Steve says LET'S TELL EVERYBODY
WHERE YOU'RE GOING.
IF PEOPLE ARE WATCHING US
FROM NORTH BAY, ONTARIO.
WE SHOULD LET THEM KNOW, NEXT
MONTH, JANUARY 18TH, YOU'RE
GOING TO BE AT THE CAPITAL
CENTRE IN NORTH BAY.
AND ON FEBRUARY 2ND, YOU'RE IN
ORILLIA, IN CENTRAL ONTARIO, AT
THE ORILLIA OPERA HOUSE.
AND THEN IN MARCH, MARCH 1ST,
WRITE THIS DOWN IF YOU'RE IN
NEWMARKET OR ANY POINTS IN YORK
REGION, AT THE VISUAL PERFORMING
ARTS CENTRE IN NEWMARKET,
ONTARIO.
AND ONCE MARCH GETS GOING, YOU
GUYS ARE OFF TO THE MID WEST IN
THE UNITED STATES AND WE DON'T
SEE YOU FOR A LONG TIME.

Kornel says YEAH, THAT WILL BE A LONG
TOUR ACROSS THE MID WEST OF
AMERICA, AND WE WILL BE
PERFORMING OUR BACH TO BROADWAY
PROGRAM.
THAT'S WHAT WE WILL BE
FEATURING.

Steve says NOT BACK TO BROADWAY
BUT BACH.
I SAW YOU GUYS SEVERAL MONTHS
AGO FOR THE FIRST TIME.
I THOUGHT YOU WERE SENSATIONAL.
YOU DIDN'T DO ANYTHING HERE TO
DISSUADE ME FROM THAT OPINION.
I STILL HOLD IT. WE'RE SO GLAD
YOU COULD SPARE SOME TIME OFF
THE TOUR FOR US HERE AT TVO
TONIGHT. THANK YOU SO MUCH.

The caption changes to "Producer: Steve Paikin, @spaikin."

Michael says OUR PLEASURE.

Kornel says THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

The caption changes to "Subscribe to The Agenda Podcast: tvo.org/theagenda."

Steve says MICHAEL BRIDGE AND
KORNEL WOLAK, BRIDGE AND WOLAK,
AND THEY ARE GREAT.

Watch: Clarinet and Accordion