sylvansafekeepe: (Violins)
Just got back from a late-night cast and crew dinner at Chili's. Very interesting show tonight. We discovered that only three members of the violin section were able to make this performance. This by itself is problematic, since the score sort of needs a minimum of 4 violinists to play all of the notes on the page at times. What made it crazier for me was that I got promoted to principal second, with all the responsibilities it entailed. In this case, responsibilities included being the only person playing the second violin part. Oh, and I also had to do solo/duet stuff with our concertmistress. No, I hadn't looked at any of those parts before.

Oh, and tonight was the night they were taping the performance for the DVD.

It actually went remarkably well, considering. Minimal mistakes overall, although the cast seemed a bit nervous at times, probably due to the knowledge they were being filmed. Things worked out rather nicely for me in that, while I don't think I hit that many wrong notes anyway, I was seriously drowned out by our concertmistress's violin.

Those of you who know me and the type of violins I like to play may ask how this is possible. Yes, my violins tend to be loud. But this instrument is in a class of its own. I was talking to the owner about violins, and got to try hers out during intermission. Amazing projection, incredible resonance and cutting power, and ridiculous depth too. Easily the best instrument I've ever gotten to play in my life. It was made by Hiroshi Iizuka, a luthier who actually works in Narberth/Penn Valley.

I want him to make me one, even if he does mainly make violas and not violins.

There's a small problem, though: he has a three-year waiting list. Oh, and his instruments cost about $25k. This is what happens when you're a multiple-gold-medal winner at the Violin Society of America competition.

*sigh*

While I'm relatively happy with my instruments, getting the chance to play even better ones always makes me want to upgrade. I just need to figure out where to procure the money...

I don't really need two kidneys, right?
sylvansafekeepe: (SheldonDuck)
So, at Sweeney Todd rehearsal tonight, our conductor asked me if I could do her a favor. It seems that our drummer can't make two of the performances, and he has some fairly conspicuous parts that need to be played. Nothing difficult, more like atmospheric stuff that occasionally needs to show up in the musical numbers (knocking, banging a washtub, etc). These parts also occur when the violins aren't playing anything. And there's a space in the pit next to the violin section.

I'm sure you can see where this is going.

On one hand, I'm rather amused. I seem to be the de facto nominee for anything that needs to be done during this show (I was already nominated by the pit to fill in a minor role where the actor constantly forgets to show up on stage -- the role being that of a prisoner being sentenced to death. I apparently look like a career criminal). On the other hand, I can't wait for the first time someone decides to crack a drummer joke in my presence (ex, "What did the drummer get on his SATs?" "Drool.").

At least I don't need both hands to play the percussion parts. This will allow me to hold my violin between chin and shoulder, drop my hand to grab the mallet/drumstick, play the drum part, and return my hand to play the violin part in time.

I think this'll be fun. Although it's just a matter of time until I have to strap cymbals to my feet...

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sylvansafekeepe

October 2010

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