Thursday, 24 June 2010

The Globe has started to feel like routine now, just in time for another tech week to get us all on our toes again starting next Tuesday. Yesterday a pervasive gloom made me think I need to adjust my mentality about playing cues. I've decided to think of them more as sound cues than as music, and somehow today was not only easier but I was much cheerier about the whole thing. It doesn't mean that I play everything soullessly - a pretty Welsh ditty that doesn't sound nostalgic just isn't right. But as a musician I'm just as interested in the space between people and music as I am in the music itself, I'm interested in how music changes depending on expectation, acoustic, personality. Some stories, like the Creation I played on Sunday, one tells more or less the same way every time, like The Night Before Christmas - they're too good the way they are to mess with, and are anyway so fixed to a time and place that you don't need to alter them to fit a situation. Other stories where there is a bit of room for interpretation, like in 16th-century music or in folk music, the story-teller's personality comes through just as much as the text. In theatre music there's no room for any of that stuff - there could be in some theatre of course, but not in this case. We're not telling a story, we're just adding a few pictures to spark the imaginations of the audience. We try to make them polished bits of ear-candy, but the relationship of the music to the audience is distant, of the music to the musicians is irrelevant, and of the music to the actors is, well, fixed in tech week as much as possible. Rather than be crushed by the creative wasteland which is playing fanfares one after the other, I'll just help Shakespeare tell his story - with this perspective in mind I approached my job with a new perspective today and it made all the difference in the world. Without wanting to put too much pressure on it, I do hope to feel like a proper musician again on Sunday, when I'll play with I Fedeli at a castle in Belgium . Num num num.

Prince Henry in a reckless moment in the tavern scene finished playing recorder (he's not bad at all) and threw it into the audience. Guess what - no one caught it. It got picked off the ground and thrown back with half a mouthpiece - the other had splintered off and stage management couldn't find it again when they searched the yard at intermission. Ow.

We had an 8:30 am call today - oh for the days when I could press the rule that anyone who called a rehearsal before 10 had to bring croissants! It makes getting up for rehearsal at 2 pm tomorrow seem utterly civilized...until I remember that the rehearsal is in Cologne. Arse. My Eurostart leaves St. Pancras tomorrow at 6.20, so I'll have to be out the door by 4.30 or so. This is getting familiar.

Having forgotten to book a TGV ticket exactly 90 days before and shelling out an extra 45 euros just a few days after this key deadline, I've been ruthless in booking trains the past few days. 15 quid from Aberdeen to London direct, and two Eurostar tickets with connecting TGV in the fall (UK: Autumn) for as cheaply as they come - or just over the price of a flight. The extra cost is worth it though: I'll be able to take all my instruments home without trusting them to baggage handlers, and can maybe even accomplish something on the train rides, not to mention avoid making my carbon footprint even worse than it already is. Now to figure out exactly when I'll need to get my trip in on the West Highland line while my laundry (UK: washing) dries on the line outside enough to pack.

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