Sunday, July 27, 2008

Slow Entertainment

We held a fundraiser for our newly formed orchestra Friday night. We screened the film, Radio Cape Cod, which is set in Woods Hole (here on Cape Cod), and the director, Andrew Silver, and his son Julian Silver (both appear in the film) came to the screening to introduce the film and answer questions about it. Among other things, the film promotes slow food and a gentler, more laid back lifestyle. In addition to being the opposite of fast food, slow food is an actual movement, promoting natural foods, local foods, sustainable agriculture, and taking time to enjoy cooking and eating.

Our orchestra, which rehearses in an auditorium that used to be a research center for renewable energy, organic agriculture, aquaculture, and housing alternatives, seemed a likely choice for showing this particular film. We added a string quartet prior to the screening, and a brass quartet afterward, and lots of reasonably nutritious foods to munch on. It was a very nice evening of, as one of our members put it, slow entertainment, with lots of time for socializing, and a very community feel to it all.

Time will tell if we can play music together (I do think we can), but clearly we can throw a party.

Monday, July 21, 2008

A little touch of elegance at the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival. This is taken from the top of the hill. The main stage is behind me. Other performance tents, the food and craft vendor are in front, down the hill, surrounded by a sea of tents, campers, RVs, and cars. It is a weekend jam-packed with all sorts of bluegrass music, and even a few cellos.

I wrote about it a little on my other blog (, but will probably add another word or two here, when I find a minute!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

First Orchestra Rehearsal

Our new orchestra met for the first time last night. We had a good turnout of about 33 people, including 9 cellists, violins, violas, a bassoon, a bass clarinet, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, several trumpets, French horn, and possibly others. We should perhaps change our name to the mostly all cello orchestra.

We played "Sonate 2 da Chiesa" by Corelli and the Rosamunde Overture by Schubert. Both of these are free scores we found online. We were uncertain how many people would show up, and what instruments they would bring, but the random assemblage of players seems to be working out well.

I chanced to meet a young woman visiting from Scotland, a cellist, and invited her to join us (luckily, I have two cellos). She is a great musician, and it was a treat to sit next to her. On my other side was the bassoon player, also a strong player. I didn't get every note, but I played better with their help.

We were pleased with the turnout, with our conductor, and with the beautiful music we produced. It's a good thing, a community orchestra!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Things have been so busy...

This must be my longest lapse in writing. Here it is July 12, and I am making my first blog entry of the month. And my last cello photo was of cello in May. Work has been hectic; I haven't been practicing. I have a slightly less busy week this week, although we have our first orchestra meeting on Monday night, and I am leaving Friday for the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival in Oak Hill, New York.

I usually spend Wednesday through Sunday at the festival, but this year I am going a little later, but should still be able to enjoy two full days of music. There should be one cellist, at least, Ben Sollee, in The Sparrow Quartet. And me. I am bringing a rental cello and some violins and a viola to offer an "instrument petting zoo" in the kids bluegrass academy. This will be my fourth year doing this; it's fun, and the kids are very enthusiastic.

It is not that I am a huge bluegrass fan, but I enjoy this annual immersion in it, and I am looking forward to meeting my friend Doris there, to play a few fiddle tunes together, and to catch up on all that has happened since last year.