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Gorean Roleplay => Tuchuk Wagon Camp => MTC OOC => Topic started by: Medi on December 18, 2017, 01:03:37 AM

Title: An unusual Gig...*S*
Post by: Medi on December 18, 2017, 01:03:37 AM
...I just need to share this event in my life...I am sorry if I offend anyone...

I am a very good amateur classical musician, I am a cellist, and at my peak could play all Major Symphonies.  But, I mostly love chamber music.  We had a string quartet, and we got a lot of wedding gigs, they were fun, and we got paid well...and sometimes we got to eat with the guests.  One gig was not a wedding, but it was memorable.  Our First Violinist was in charge, she would set up the gigs, and we would show up.  *S*  She was older than us...and we just did what she told us to do.
I drove us up into the Sierra Foothills...and we played for a 'Pond Consecration'.  It was a very large Estate, and I parked the SUV where they told me, and we unloaded our instruments and music.  They told us to leave the cases behind, so we walked behind the guide, holding our 'children' (instruments) in one hand, and our music in the other.  (BTW...we were all dressed in 'Concert Black').  He led us to a large pond, and pointed at a raft in the middle, and said..."You will play there,"  and walked away.  We all looked at our First Violinist, and she pointed at a small rowboat, and said..."They will get us there."  She was right...they took us one by one to the raft, and we set up.

The gig was unusual...there were 16 young women in white robes standing around the pond, and sometimes singing as we played.  The violist and I were almost falling off the raft...we were trying to concentrate...but it was hard...but we played well and kept silent.  There were long breaks as they did things we didn't understand, and the Second Violinist saw that there was wine in flagons around the pond.  He would wade off...the pond wasn't deep...and bring one back to us and we would share.  We finished the ceremony, and they brought us all back and let us enjoy the Feast with them.  They were very nice people.

That was an unusual gig...*S*
Title: Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
Post by: RAGNAR on December 18, 2017, 05:17:38 PM
I would have checked out the fishing were it me. But then, percussionists ARE a breed unto themselves.  ;D 8)
Title: Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
Post by: Medi on December 18, 2017, 06:18:44 PM
...Now, now, now, Rags...don't get me started on percussionists!... ;D...During a rehearsal with a very good community orchestra, one of the percussionists just couldn't get the castanets right in one of the 'Carmen' movements.  The Conductor stopped us all, and worked with him for 5 minutes...that is a LONG time during a rehearsal.  The cellist sitting next to me...who was English and was my private tutor...leaned to me and whispered...in a lovely English Accent..."A percussionist WITHOUT A SENSE OF RHYTYM?  He has NO reason to BE ALIVE!"  I started laughing, and got a MAJOR LEAGUE GLARE from the Conductor.  I did apologize to the Conductor at the break, and he just said..."OK".  I didn't tell him why I laughed.   :o  But, I do admire the percussion section.  During the halftime at a concert, I went to the snare drummer, and asked him..."How the HELL do you keep the beat so steady?"  We had performed 'Bolero'.  He just winked at me, and said, "That is a secret we drummers keep to ourselves." 
Title: Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
Post by: RAGNAR on December 18, 2017, 10:24:18 PM
He just winked at me, and said, "That is a secret we drummers keep to ourselves."

Well... we could tell you, but then we would have to kill you.  ;)
Title: Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
Post by: Medi on December 19, 2017, 12:53:31 AM
...When we moved to a new town when we were newlyweds, I looked for an orchestra to join.  There was one pretty good one, we went to a concert, and I was impressed.  I contacted the Office afterwards, told them I was a cellist, and asked if I could audition.  They allowed me...and I did my best...and felt happy when I finished.  The Conductor came to me as I was packing up, and said, "The cello section is full, but we can use you in the percussion."  I had played a Hindemith Sonata for them...it was very rhythmic. I just said...'OK'.  I had taken a basic percussion course at the Conservatory...I figured..."No Problemo"  Well, I learned a lot more than I expected.  They had me set up the 'Kitchen' before each concert and rehearsal.  Hauling around drums and stands and getting the music in the right place was difficult...I got scolded more than once for an improper setup.  Of course I got the easiest assignments...I would count 79 measures rest before pounding on a drum...and then wait 63 measures for my next part.  They trusted me with a triangle...once...and took it away and I went back to my drum.  Triangles can be heard over the rest of the Orchestra.  Once they looked at me when they were assigning the cymbal part...and gave it to a HS kid...I went back to my drum.  I figured at the end of the season they would smile, and say..."Here are tickets for next season...and we always appreciate contributions."  But, it worked out well...a cellist was retiring and I sat outside chair, second stand, for the next few years.  Of course, the percussion leader would sometimes call out during a rehearsal..."We need help, send the Cellist."  I would just smile at Him, and resist the urge to 'flip Him off'.  It was a fun experience!
Title: Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
Post by: RAGNAR on December 19, 2017, 05:42:40 PM
LOL *Facepalms*
Title: Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
Post by: siren{RgR} on December 19, 2017, 08:22:21 PM
That sounds so cool!  Would have loved to see it.
Title: Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
Post by: Medi on December 20, 2017, 12:43:41 AM
...It was a fun and interesting event, siren.  We were taken by surprise, but we really enjoyed it.   ;)  The Owner was an elderly Hollywood Movie Producer, I can't remember his name, but he was nice.  :D  He shook our hands, and smiled when we arrived...and then left to attend his guests.  As I described, he had an assistant watch over us, so we knew where to go, and the assistant did insist that we stay for the Feast, and so we did.  We ate the same as the Owners and all of the guests...and drank if we wanted.  (I was the driver, so I just had one glass of REALLY good white wine.)  It was a lot of fun, they actually had a pig and most of a steer rotating on two spits at different fire pits, and we all enjoyed standing in line, holding a plate, and telling the carvers what we wanted.  We chose to sit at a table where several of the young 'Pond Maidens' were sitting, and had a great time.  They said that what had happened was a 'Druid Thing', and that they had been rehearsed by the woman who had selected the music. They explained more of what some of the events meant, and we were impressed.  When we were done eating, the assistant came over and handed our First Violinist an envelope.  It had the check for the gig...and a fair amount of cash... :D  She divided the cash equally among us, and kept the check.   ;D  It was her practice to deposit the check for a gig...and after it cleared...would keep 5% for herself as an Administrative Fee...and the remainder would be equally split between the four of us.  Again, a nice gig... :)
Title: Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
Post by: Medi on December 20, 2017, 11:34:12 PM
...Rags, playing Bolero.... ::)

Title: Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
Post by: RAGNAR on December 21, 2017, 05:45:53 PM

Forgot one...

"Who brought the beer?"
Title: Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
Post by: Medi on December 22, 2017, 12:58:08 PM
...A tuba is the same as a string bass...I learned once.  I was playing cello in the pit orchestra for a Musical, it was a community production, although we all did get paid.  The Musical was 'Kiss Me Kate'.  I was the only cellist, and sat at the back of the pit, and the string bass player was cramped up behind me.  It was a long run, 8 weeks, and we all had fun...although I did have ONE REALLY BAD OUT OF  TUNE NOTE!... :P  I flipped off the keyboardest as I cooled down...he was laughing so hard...and so was the Conductor...I didn't flip off the Conductor...A Conductor is the 'Ubar of the Orchestra'.  Anyway, the Conductor came to me after the 4th week, and said, "We need a string bass for next week, Harvey has something going on."  I was a bit of a 'Concert Promoter' then, and he knew that I knew a lot of musicians.  I told him, "No Problemo", I knew 8 string bass players...I was sure one would be available.  Well, I was WRONG! :o  They all had other committments, and the players they suggested also were unavailable.  I was miserable...I didn't want to have to call the Conductor and say..."I failed". I then got a BRILLIANT IDEA!  I called a tubist I knew, and he said, "Sure".  The LOOK on the Conductors face was PRICELESS when he saw a tubist sitting at the string bass seat.  I just held up my hands, and whispered..."Best I could do"... ::)...This was a performance, not a rehearsal... :o   But, as I knew, it went very well.  The tubist fit very well with us, and the performance was nice.  The Conductor shook the tubists hands with his...I think the Conductor had had a 'near death' experience.  He told the tubist..."You can join us any time."  Later, the Conductor told me..."Don't you EVER substitute instruments again without GETTING MY PERMISSION!" >:(  But then he laughed, patted my shoulder, and said..."Good job!"   :)  I still, to this day, think it was a BRILLIANT IDEA!   ;D
Title: Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
Post by: RAGNAR on December 22, 2017, 06:36:46 PM
I would have gotten him a gorilla costume to wear just for shock value. *EG*
Title: Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
Post by: Medi on December 23, 2017, 02:03:39 AM
...I think that is a GREAT SUGGESTION Rags!  I will do so if I ever get the opportunity again. ;D  I will rent the costume, and tell the tubist that wearing it is part of the gig...I will wear a 'Tinkerbell' costume when he arrives so he doesn't think I have gone insane.  I can just IMAGINE what the Conductor would think, entering the pit, and seeing me in a 'Tinkerbell' costume, and a man in a Gorilla costume sitting holding a Tuba where there should be a string bass...I would just stand, and ask him..."AHHHHHHHHHHH.....AHHHHHHHHHHHHH...What was the assignment again?  I forgot."   ::)
Title: Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
Post by: RAGNAR on December 23, 2017, 07:50:36 AM

I WANT PICS!!!!!  ;D
Title: Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
Post by: Medi on December 26, 2017, 02:07:58 PM
...Once, in a pit orchestra in a Musical, we did play a trick on the Conductor.  We all wore 'sleeping attire'.  Some of the guys looked really bad...unshaven...hair all mussed...wearing pajama bottoms and a bathrobe.   :o  We women did different things...some had curlers in their hair...and fluffy bathrobes.  Some of us wore sexy sleepwear...of course we wore the robes that go with those...we didn't want to offend anyone who looked into the Pit.   8)  The Conductor just looked at us after he entered, and said..."OK, now remember that cut at measure 87 in the 8th piece."  I did hear him mutter, as he walked out of the pit at the end of the performance..."I wonder if Pizza Hut is hiring...I bet I could be a Manager..." ::)
Title: Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
Post by: RAGNAR on December 26, 2017, 05:35:49 PM
Title: Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
Post by: Medi on January 04, 2018, 01:09:57 PM
...Why it is important TO COUNT RESTS!!!!    ???

I was once sitting second chair, 1st stand, in the cello section at Conservatory.  I always hated sitting inside chair, I would actually prefer to sit outside chair, 2nd stand.  Why????  Because the inside chair turns the pages of the music!   :-[  I would have to stop playing a few measures before the page turn, and look at the Principal and wait for her to nod...turn the page...and then do my best to get back into the piece as quickly as possible.   :o  I was Principal in several community orchestras after I graduated...and once had a stand partner who didn't like turning pages.  She was a young woman, who thought she should be Principal, and was a real pain in the butt.  A couple times, during a performance, I would lightly kick her ankle when she wasn't getting ready to turn the page.  A few times, during a rehearsal, she wouldn't turn the page soon enough...and the 1st stand of cellos would be silent for several measures!   >:(

Anyway, back to the Concert.  We were performing works composed by Master Degree Composition Students, it was required that they compose an orchestral work.  Some were really very pleasant, very lyrical, and fun to play.  Others were 'Modern', and difficult to play and understand.  One was especially difficult, both technically...and it just didn't make sense...and was long.  I was sitting 2nd chair, and it was my duty to turn pages, and I did so.  During the difficult work I did well...except for counting measures of rest.  We cellos had one very long section where we rested for 64 measures.  I stopped counting the measures...I was tired...and figured that the Principal was counting them.  About half way, she leaned to me, and asked, "What measure are we in?"  I whispered back, "Hell if I know, I stopped counting when the rest started."  :P  She gave a me a brief glare... >:(  and gestured to the Conductor.  He nodded, and cued us in...giving us PLENTY of warning.  When the concert was over, I went into a stall in the Ladies Restroom...and laughed my ass off.  Of course, after that experience, I always counted measures, no matter where I was sitting in the section.   ::)
Title: Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
Post by: RAGNAR on January 04, 2018, 05:42:49 PM
We would just flip a coin or something to see who would count measures and such while the rest of us did whatever came to mind. We always behaved, just sometimes we behaved badly.  ;D

Gotta love percussion.

At times we cut up so much even the conductor was laughing while trying to do their job.
Title: Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
Post by: Medi on January 12, 2018, 02:35:47 PM
...Another thing I learned in the percussion section... :P...I was a cellist, thrust in the section, as I described above.  After the first couple rehearsals, the section Leader took me aside, and said, "The Conductor told me that you have a good sense of rhythym, but your beats are behind the rest of us."  I got a bit defensive, and said..."I can count measures very well...I have LEAD the cello section many times!"  He laughed, and said, "I watched you during measures 129 to 218...you are bringing the stick down on the beat...but the stick lands AFTER the beat.  Maybe it works with the cello, you can pull your bow or drop it on the beat...BUT PERCUSSION IS DIFFERENT!  You have to time when the damn stick arrives!" I just nodded, and walked away...totally confused.  I spent a lot of time afterwards, practicing on a small wood board I had bought, with a metranome...sometimes striking the board reading my part, while listening to the recording of the piece we were going to perform.  Percussion is different from the Strings...*LOL*
Title: Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
Post by: RAGNAR on January 12, 2018, 05:41:16 PM
Percussion is to strike.

You cannot shy from it, hit that fucker like you mean it and you will not be late!!!!!  ;D
Title: Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
Post by: Medi on January 12, 2018, 08:47:43 PM
...*LOL*  The guy who played the xylaphone, who was off to the right side...said pretty much the same thing...I recall his words as being..."Hit the fucker as hard as you can...and be a bit early...it takes a bit of time for the stick to get to the hide!"  I leaned over and laughed my ass off.  *S*  I have played a lot of solos as Principal Cellist...the WORST is the William Tell Overture...you sit there...sweat dripping off when you finish...and just want to walk off of the stage...but then you get into the "Lone Ranger" Section...*LOL*  However, one of my most fond memories was when I was in the percussion section.  We were performing an arrangement of a movie score...and at one point...the percussion JUST HAMMERED the piece.  We rested for a bit during the piece as the strings took over.  The man beside me whispered..."Was it as good for you as it was for me?"  I was still breathing very heavily...and I whispered back..."You got a cigarette?"  We both looked down, grinning...neither of us smoked... :o
Title: Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
Post by: RAGNAR on January 13, 2018, 05:58:36 PM
Title: Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
Post by: Medi on January 16, 2018, 01:28:05 PM

...This piece is very hard to play, although we cellos JUST LOVE THE OPENING!  If done right, just four cellos start, it is a four part Hymn.  Usually, though, the Conductor will divide the entire section...one Conductor would ADD THE VIOLAS!!!!! >:(  One Orchestra I played in had a 'Pops Concert' in a large park as the first concert, and it was fun. Everyone, musicians and the audience, would arrive a few hours early, and picnic or BBQ  food, and share and sit and relax.  A few merchants would sell food, most of it grilled at the site.   :D  Once, I was there by myself, and I pigged out on what was being sold.   ;D 

The 1812 Overture was written by Tchaicovsky (sp) to celebrate the victory of the Russians over Napoleons Army.  In the last part, He uses tymphony to suggest cannon blasts as the Russians fire them off in triumph.  That isn't bad on the stage, but...a conductor had a BRILLIANT IDEA!  Since it was an outdoor concert, he arranged for LARGE CARBIDE CANNONS TO DO THE PART!  The cannons were setup right beside the raised stage where the cellos were.  We had rehearsed there the day before, but the cannons weren't fired.  We had a great concert, the 1812 was the last piece.  The music was fun, we had a number of singers, and we were all tired and relaxed as we got to the 1812.  We had performed popular songs, patriotic music, and easy, inspiring music.

It went fine in the 1st part...the Conductor went by the score...and I was happy...I played the 2nd cello part.  We were 'miked' and none of us four flubbed a note.  We got through the very difficult middle part, it portrays the actual battle...you can just imagine Men fighting...and dying.   :'(  We then moved into the 'Celebration' finish...and those GD CANNONS JOINED THE CONCERT!!!!!!!!!!!!  The violist sitting next to me would SCREAM as each one went off.  I will swear, to this day, that Pavane...my cello...would completely JUMP APART at each blast! He would get back together very quickly.  Well...maybe I exaggerate that part...but a string instrument is very delicate and a big hunk of lumber like a cello picks up any sound very well.  Always, while I was resting...I could feel him vibrating as other instruments played.   :)  But, when those damn cannon went off, he was jumping between my legs!

We got through the concert, the audience loved the piece...we musicians were a bit shaken as we stood...I kept stroking Pavanes' shoulder and whispering..."It is over...it is over...it is over!"  8)

It was quite a concert.    ::)
Title: Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
Post by: RAGNAR on January 16, 2018, 06:07:46 PM
So you were ready for a cigarette?

Title: Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
Post by: Medi on January 16, 2018, 06:18:15 PM
...About ready...had never smoked before, but heard it was a nice thing to do after such an experience... ::)

...Oh, here is Rags playing the 1812 Overture.  I walk up to him, my ears are totally deaf...I had forgotten to bring earplugs...I say, "Hi, I am Izee', I played the cello, what did you play?"  He responds...he hadn't worn earplugs...no one in the percussion section EVER does that..."Hello, Izee', I am Ragnar...I was 1st howitzer."   :o

Title: Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
Post by: RAGNAR on January 17, 2018, 05:56:12 PM
Hey, when i is time to kick, kick like you mean it!!!!!   ;D