Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Equipment failure

Steven, in his post this past Monday titled "Zoe Keating's Celloscapes" -- which was quite wonderful, by the way, but I can't directly link it because, somehow or another, his accompanying pictures and such 'bleed over' (the only way I have to describe it) and my 'direct link thingamabop' just won't work -- talks about a cellist who has quite clearly integrated and assimilated 'modern' technology into her performances and recordings.

BTW, here's the link to Steven's site. You'll have to scroll down to his September 8th post, OK? Sorry about that. (And, please do listen to the recordings -- in particular, the first one, which jogged my memory banks from 'way back when', when I was performing and had an 'equipment failure'.)

This was in Columbus, Ohio. It was a Saturday afternoon. I was scheduled to play a concert that evening on my Bb clarinet.

Everything was all set to go. My gown was all picked out, my hair was washed and at the ready, and I decided to take out the Bb and play a few notes.

Much to my horror, I discovered that the entire lower register was missing! (For those of you who know absolutely nothing about 'registers', let me just tell you that this is a most serious circumstance! There is absolutely no way that a concert can be played missing an entire register!!)

What to do? What to do? What to do? FInally (darned near a miracle, in my opinion!), we located a high school band director who was willing to come over and take a look at my instrument. He adjusted a few things here and there, and got all but one or two keys back.

I played the concert (missing the one or two keys) and no one seemed (or, if they did, they didn't say anything!) to notice the difference.

Getting back, tho, to Steven's post and the cellist ... ... I really am quite fond of the cello's sound. Played well, it "sings" with a poignancy that is rarely equaled.

I kept listening for that in Zoe's music, but I didn't hear it. Nevertheless, I greatly admire her proficiency with the medium that she has chosen both to perform and record her original works.


Craig Peihopa said...

Equipment failure is a real difficulty and streser. I had that happen to me a couple of weeks ago photographing our Prime minister, one of my cameras, the main one had the internal mirror just drop, rendering the camera useless. I discreetly grabbed the other one and kept going, but your heart just stops for a moment.

steven said...

hi goldenrod, thanks for the mention. i don't know why the images and videos "bleed" over on your page but i noticed that on my own page there was an "equipment failure" as one of the videos bled over there. hmmmmm. my daughter was looking at clarinet for band (she's in grade 7). she opted for flute instead. hey that's what i played! perhaps she'll learn how to read music AND play the flute. something i never quite pulled together!!

Goldenrod said...

Craig, now I know why photographers carry so danged much equipment around with them. Quick thinking!

My granddaughter started out on the flute, Steven, but opted for the clarinet instead. Just the opposite of your daughter! :)

It's interesting that you say you never quite got the hang of sight-reading when you played the flute. I would think that's fairly unusual.

More commonly found among singers. There's an old 'insider' musician's joke that goes, "Singers have resonance where their sight-reading skills should be."