Thursday, April 12, 2007

Fiddling on Saturday

Jim, who heads the fiddling group, called today looking for fiddlers for a just-scheduled performance on Saturday, as part of the local National Day of Climate Action activities sponsored by Step It Up 2007.

"Sure," I said, "Can I play the cello?" (I have always played fiddle at performances.)

"I don't know," he said, "Can you play the cello?" (I am hoping he was making a joke.)

"Better than the fiddle," I said.

"Sure," he said, "it looks great--I can't hear you, but it looks great." (I was sitting next to him at the last session! But at least I know my cello playing is not disruptive, and I am pleased to think what I am doing looks great. Among the things I worry about is whether I "look like a cellist." I do think others heard me, as they commented on my playing, esp. Ashokan Farewell, which sounds great on the cello.)

"Besides," he added, "I need all the people I can get for this event."

"OK, I'll be there."

"Dress warmly," he said, "and bring a chair."

This is one disadvantage of playing the cello in a fiddle group: being seated. The fiddlers stand while playing, and they move around easily, occasionally leaning in to sing. They often play outside, with no stage, as they will on Saturday. Maybe I can find a movable stool, or learn to play the cello standing up, like Rushad Eggleston.

Obviously, this requires some adjustment to my goal to learn to play lots of tunes and musically appropriate accompaniment by June 9. My planned two months of preparation time is now only two days. On the other hand, it is only a 30-minute performance, and I think I can look and even sound like a cellist for 30 minutes.

Our participation in the event is canceled, by the way, if it rains. It's about climate, not about weather.

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