Monday, May 11, 2009

Playing Outside

Yesterday the Players performed outside for the annual hospice butterfly release fund raiser, this year down at the Locust Grove campus of Germanna. The weather was sparkling clear and the temp right at 70 degrees, with a nice breeze that was an occasional bluster and clothes pins were needed to hold the music. Every so often there's low wind noise on the recording even though I'd put a foam cover over the mics.

Among the things learned was why Handel scored things so high in the ranges of the instruments in his outdoor music. The bourrée and minuet we did in the original keys went fairly well. Summer Is Icumin In and Dindirìn, dindirìn which I'd put in keys easy for the band instruments didn't go as well, mainly to my not being able to play the flute cleanly with good projecting tone. Indoors they sound fine, but outdoors the lower pitches just didn't carry. I also didn't figure out until halfway through the flute pieces that turning just a bit to one side kept the wind from interfering with my air stream.

I played horn on two minuets and two hymns and that went OK. We did four spirituals with me on banjo and they went very well. Playing with the Dixies, and the two recent sessions with Dave have all helped me refine the strumming. I was doing my regular moving with the music (only sit when playing the horn) and had a number of children dancing and a few adults swaying with the rhythms. Sang without amplification which reduced tonal nuance, but makes things a lot easier on the roadie side of things.

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