Author Topic: An unusual Gig...*S*  (Read 425 times)

Offline RAGNAR

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Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2017, 05:35:49 PM »
LOL

Offline Medi

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Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
« Reply #16 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.   ::)
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Offline RAGNAR

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Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
« Reply #17 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.

Offline Medi

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Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
« Reply #18 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*
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Offline RAGNAR

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Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
« Reply #19 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

Offline Medi

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Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
« Reply #20 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
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Offline RAGNAR

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Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2018, 05:58:36 PM »
LOL

Offline Medi

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Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2018, 01:28:05 PM »
...I will NEVER EVER PLAY THE 1812 OVERTURE OUTDOORS AGAIN!

...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.    ::)
Izee' Greyeagle
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Offline RAGNAR

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Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
« Reply #23 on: January 16, 2018, 06:07:46 PM »
So you were ready for a cigarette?


JFDL

Offline Medi

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Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
« Reply #24 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

https://youtu.be/0F5k70xwGSk
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Offline RAGNAR

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Re: An unusual Gig...*S*
« Reply #25 on: January 17, 2018, 05:56:12 PM »
Hey, when i is time to kick, kick like you mean it!!!!!   ;D