Saturday, June 2, 2007

Last night's performance, another concert, and a recital

Last night's concert went very, very well. I did not record it; if I had, I might have been disappointed with the result; you might have been appalled. But, for me, last night was a personal best.

I was still nervous when I arrived at the community hall, but as the musicians arrived and began to warm up, I relaxede. This was a big concert for me, not a "background music" event. I was feeling a bit like an impostor, but knew I had to perform in this concert, ready or not, to be ready for next week's bluegrass festival.

We had more then 20 musicians, energizing us as we crowded onto the stage. Boldly, I took one of the chairs located at the center back of the stage and moved it to the front, placing myself at the left front of the stage, so I could see our leader and the audience. The other seated musicians, a mountain dulcimer player and a string bass player, remained in the back. When I played fiddle, I cautiously remained in the back too, but as a seated player, I don't want to get lost behind all those standing people.

I also wanted people to see the cello, perhaps to connect with others who enjoy playing fiddle music on the cello.

I played melody on only a handful of tunes, but I felt that my accompaniment had improved dramatically. I played quiet pizzacato a little, but most of the time I adopted an energetic bowed style, even playing in the chops-and-grooves style, as taught by folk/bluegrass/improvisational cellist Rushad Eggleston. I learned to do this at fiddle camp with Rushad two summers ago, but haven't used it since (the traditional fiddlers at camp didn't like it) and didn't expect to be able to do it.

I played following the advice of our Town Band director: "Play out. If you are going to make a mistake, make a good one," rather than the advice given in classical music environments: "Air bow if you don't know what you're doing." In this fiddling setting, playing out works better than air bowing.

I enjoyed being part of last night's music festival, joining numerous other local amateur and semi-professional bands, filling up the town, inside and out, with music. The fiddlers went across the street to a restaurant after our performance, where most people took out instruments and fiddled through dinner. I did not play cello there, as space was limited. I do have a "mini-cello," an octave mandolin strung and tuned as a mandola (like a cello an octave up). I should learn to play it for just such occasions.

Another concert tonight, classical music, but this time I am reviewing the concert, not performing. Ah, the irony, that a mediocre (but enthusiastic) amateur will review the professionals. I should practice.

Tomorrow, my cello quintet plays two pieces (one classical, one folk) in a recital of the quintet teacher's students (all adult beginners).


Alexander said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Maricello said...

Alexander, I have removed your post because it is simply an advertisement for your book and has nothing to do with my post or the purpose of this blog.