Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Today is one of those days where I've been expecting awfulness but (so far) it's going pretty well. Which is a nice change, frankly. I haven't been sleeping much (two nights ago I was up until 4 for absolutely no good reason, at which point Skip yakked up a giant hairball and I swore a lot and woke up grumpy and late the next morning), and today I had an urgent trip to the farmer's maket planned followed by a 9 AM rehearsal for a piece by Scelsi.
Scelsi was this crazy Italian hippie composer. He spent a bunch of time wandering around India after converting to some sort of religion; in his way of thinking, the artist was only a medium for a higher power to create art with. Because of this, he wouldn't let his picture be shown with his work, and he instead chose to be represented by a circle with a line under it. He would improvise wildly and then have other people listen to and transcribe his improvisations. He wrote crazy music that involves quarter-tones (so that there are pitches between each of the normal twelve tones we use in Western music) and what we call "extended technique," aka stuff we don't normally do on our instruments. The last piece I played by him made me want to die for the first several rehearsals, so I was a little worried about this morning even having done as much prep work as I could and listening to my recording and everything else. But surprisingly, it went much better than I would have anticipated, and I actually quite enjoyed myself. The music will sound great, it will be fun and inspiring to play and (most importantly) I get to play cymbal and tam during one of the movements. This involves running across the stage and praying I don't trip or drop anything, but it's worth it. It's going to be a badass concert.

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