Tuesday, 30 November 2010

I promised myself when I started this blog that I wouldn't use it for ranting. Rants, after all, are usually much more satisfying to write than to read. So I haven't posted the last few days because I didn't think I could hold back....now I'm going to try, but I guarantee that there will be a serious rantstravaganza in the next post or two - I'll at least try to make it funny and informative. Oh, the suspense.

Meanwhile, it's funny proposing programmes of Early Brass to conductors - a task crucial to this trip which I'm finally tackling these days - because even though in the 16th Century it was much more common to hear brass in the church and in the streets than strings, yet it's something of a specialty item in modern concerts. Oh, we did a brass programme last year, mustn't repeat ourselves. Our violin colleagues don't have this problem; no one says - oh, the last programme had violins, so let's do something different this time. No, no, violins every concert and it goes unquestioned, while we brass players have to wait around a year and a half between gigs from the same group. And they wonder why we try to charge more?

Last weekend, a visit to family in Kitchener and Toronto provided many delightful moments of all-engaging cuteness. My nephews are 1, 2 and 4 and I remember now how important it can be to have kids around in order to keep perspective on the world.

Now back to Diruta's 1593 treatise on organ playing. I'm writing a paper as part of Ph.D. applications and I decided, remembering back to the recording sessions 6 weeks ago, to investigate how using big loud metal organs as the usual accompaniment instrument in Italy in the 16th Century affects singing and playing. Remember that? I see that Il Transilvano is written in a dialogue style, like the Morely and many other treatises. Why don't we do this for academic papers anymore?

Oh, and Happy St. Andrew's Day to all Scots out there...you're probably asleep by now!

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