Friday, November 16, 2007

"Fridays are Tough" or "Yay for Lunch!"

This morning was a struggle to get out of bed. I don't know if you've noticed this, but I've been quite busy recently and tired to the point of titling posts "tired." Also, I had lost my notebook, which was a great concern as it is full of important information, yet doesn't have my name on it. So I was worried, and tired, and *maybe* a bit cranky.

Then our tutor didn't show up. Which was terrible because it was supposed to be Pete Churchill who in addition to being one of the most amazing musicians in the world to work with, is also leaving the school after this term- so we were all really eager for his lesson. Alas, we suspect that he was never told that he had a lesson with us.

So this morning was crap. We sat like lumps in a windowless room and discussed an in house performance that we are going to do on Dec. 13th. I volunteered to play Poucha Dass because it is a great piece, and it will force me to actually practice (which is a good thing indeed.)

We thought that since we are supposed to be doing a performance, we might as well write something to perform rather than getting on stage and sitting like lumps the way we were doing. Nick and Jorge started up some samba rhythms and we practiced improvising over the chords that Nick was playing.

Man-oh-man was I not feeling it. Eventually I gave up and put the bass down and started doing some samba based body percussion with Jorge, but then my chest got all painful where I was slapping it so I tried singing along Kate and Caroline's little melody and yeah, still wasn't feeling it. Also, I was really worried about my notebook.

Lunch was a welcome, welcome break- since we had no tutor and were being good productive students anyway, we decided to take an hour and a half, which was perfect. (Okay, by the time we got back to work it was like two hours, but still.) A break and food and a bunch of emailing had made me feel much better so after lunch I bounded in to the room and played some riffs from Poucha Dass which spontaneously spouted a marvelous free improvisation that lasted over half an hour. It was totally clicking and grooving along and there is nothing better than that.

Emma had done some really neat electronics stuff during the free improv so we decided to record each of us to do some extended techniques on our instruments for her to sample. It was handy to hear what everyone else was coming up with too- since we had absolutely no guidance nor supervision we went a little nuts: playing the oboe into the tuba? Why not, it might sound cool! (It did, it was also LOUD)

When it was my turn I was thinking about doing some tapping on the side of the bass, but since we had a real live percussionist in the room I made Jorge come over and use the bass as a drum, and that sounded great so I tried to do a bass line at the same time.

I think we're on to something here. Kate got up and started dancing and that then was the starting point of our next free improvisation. (Um, the bass/drum- not the dancing. Though now that I think of it we could use her dancing....) Jorge and I need to work a bit more on it because as it is the bass is moving a bit too much for me to be able to be terribly in tune or accurate about what I'm doing- but I think with a little practice it could end up being kind of awesome. We could get Tara or Heather to do something with the bow as well...

So now we're all excited about our ideas for the Dec. 13 piece and hopefully we'll be able to convince Nathan to let us work on them and flesh them out into an actual structure during our creative ensemble classes on Thursdays.

I've been researching how to put audio files on to the blog, so if this all works out- I'll put the performance up online...nice, huh?


Mical said...

Hope the notebook reappears. When I was in early grade school, I would put my name on everything with a big SAVE underlined. Don't know if that helped! Thought you would be interested in knowing that we went with your mother to hear Matt Haimovitz play at the Tractor Tavern last evening. Started with one of Bach's suites for solo cello and then 2 contemporary pieces (one of which Matt had commissioned, Shadows by Lewis Spratlan), followed this with Jimmi Hendrick's rendition of Star Spangled Banner and another Bach piece as encore. The contemporary ones were not my choice (surprise, surprise), but interesting watching and being impressed with the range and quality/quantity of sound. Still I'm very envious of your attending a Trevor Pinnock concert!!!

Casitareina said...

I'm sorry I forgot to say about the notebook- a secret friend put it in my pidgeon hole. So the fact that my name wasn't on it was pretty key, how did they know who I was? I was much relieved though...