Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A week after the fact

The show went really well! We had divided up the room (essentially a giant rectangle) so that there was a backstage area on either side. On the left a space fro Meredith, Jo, and Imogen, and on the right behind the screen a space for the back projector, Becca with the computer, Jon, my bass and I, and most of the back end of the grand piano.

We started with "The Performer" which was Meredith with the inner monologue playing over the speakers. I couldn't see because I was backstage, but I could hear that she did an amazing job- beautiful playing and seemingly no evidence of the stage fright that the piece was all about. The applause went on for ages after her piece which meant that I had quite a bit of time to take deep breaths before walking on stage with my bass.

It was helpful that "The instrument" movement was all about my relationship with my bass because that meant that I couldn't look at the audience (I had to focus all my attention on the bass) and that meant that I could forget they were there to some extent. There was a little hiccup at the beginning when I couldn't find my mark where I was supposed to lay the bass down. Eventually after less wandering around in the desert than it felt like I found it and was able to lie down on the floor across from the bass and begin what I thought of as the bass ballet.

In rehearsals I had been rushing and not taking my time or even really remembering to breathe, but there is something about having an audience that heightens the whole thing so that even though I could tell that I was moving calmly and deliberately I was at the same time wondering if I had forgotten a large chunk of the choreography because the whole thing seemed to be over so quickly. To my great relief I neither dropped the bass, nor did I play the theme out of tune. Playing out of tune was a serious concern as I play that portion lying on my side, wrapped around the bass. It is not the most ergonomic playing position...

"The Score" began soon after my piece ended and I would let you know how it went except that in order to smooth out the transitions between the pieces I ended up staying on the stage, tucked behind my bass for the third and final movement. This means that instead of paying attention to what the trio were playing (I'm sure it was wonderful, and I certainly was happy with how the film turned out), I was mostly trying very hard not to twitch my hands or feet which were still visible.

Then at the end people applauded and applauded and we bowed twice and trailed out the way we had rehearsed only to start jumping up and down behind the screens that made the backstage. People were still applauding so we walked back out and bowed again and oh! I was grinning so much. It was an intense and well done performance. I was so proud of all of my collaborators (9 people by the end of things!) and I didn't stop bouncing around about it for days after.

Between the flowers from Latana's final recital, the flowers from the parents at school, and the flowers from this performance- the house is still filled with brightly colored blossoms. One of the perks of living in a house full of performing artists.

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