Friday, July 13, 2007

Oh, high school band

I played in IFTA's 'advanced wind ensemble' today, since their instrumentation amounts to 6 fl, 2 cl, 2 bc, 2 sax, 1 tpt, 1 trb, 1 perc. Poor things. Still they're doing their best. And I thought the conductor was doing a good job with them, though there was a little too much clapping and too little conducting for my taste. But I find that clapping is increasingly hard for me to follow as I become a more advanced player and also as I become more accustomed to playing in a really strong ensemble with a really strong principal. I'm not really used to playing principal, or leading the ensemble, anymore.

Plus the wind ensemble gets to play (a rather dramatically lightened version of) Pirates of the Caribbean. Which, incidentally, is notated very strangely, to my ears. The 'duh rest duh duh duh rest, duh rest duh duh duh rest" part, which to me sounds very strongly in 3/4, is actually written in 6/8. Which means that unless you have a strong ensemble to assert the counter-rhythm, the piece comes out sounding very different from the recording.


None of my Patty or Danna scrape reeds were working particularly well today in rehearsal, and I ended up playing on some older reeds which I'd made using my scrape, so today I made a few new ones in my style, using the .48 gouged cane. My scrape is rather in between Patty's and Danna's, I believe, with the strongly pronounced spine that Patty's scrape produces paired with the longer, more even proportions of Danna's scrape. It struck me how much more comfortable it was to scrape reeds my way...but then, I've been making reeds at least approximately that way for, oh, 5 years. We'll see how they turn out, though.

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