Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Emily Carr, "Old Tree at Dusk" (oil), 1936

Well, that went well! Monday night's rehearsal was good, but very intense. I still have some work to do this week to tidy things up in a couple of places, but I got through the whole thing fairly comfortably and that's a great relief.

I can laugh now, remembering what a nervous wreck I was when we did the partial preview with piano accompaniment last fall. It's great that we did that because it cracked the code for me. I became familiar with this composer's idiom, her own musical language.

Each composer has their own style, their preferred scheme of meters, rhythms, harmonic progressions, and melodies (or, sometimes, lack thereof). Once you crack it, it's like you've learned to speak their particular dialect and learning their work in future becomes much easier. I found the piece difficult to learn last fall, so much so that the composer built a lot of doubling into the chamber ensemble score, with the oboe or viola or piano often playing my line as I'm singing it. But we found that to be largely dispensible last night so she's taking a lot of it out now. It's okay - she says she's glad because it's always easier to take something out than it is to put it in at the last minute.

What a whirlwind! I can't believe we got through the whole score in a 2-hour rehearsal (union musicians), and with only minor bumps in the road - amazing, especially since everyone got their parts from the composer just in the last few days.

Still, it was INTENSE! It's incredible how much energy this work takes. People who aren't in the arts (or don't have someone close to them in the arts) often think we are all a bunch of lazy slackers who work a few measly hours here and there and then take extended naps and personal time. This society has some false underlying moral standard that says you have to be busy as a beaver for 8-14 hours every day, and if you're not you clearly have poor work ethics. It's so insidious that I even have to remind myself on days like this that I'm not slacking, I've just worked my @$$ off and I'm too f^#*ing tired to see straight or safely chew gum.

I'm making a pot of tea and then probably going back to bed for a couple of hours. Then I'm going to the doctor to have my ear checked out and probably get some antibiotics (blech!). I had some sinus problems and itchy runny eyes late last week, probably allergic not viral, but with the all excess fluid build up I developed an ear infection on Sunday night. Fortunately, both the nose and throat are fine, so my singing wasn't compromised (Whew!).

It was very painful for about 24 hours, and especially last night with all the loud noise both inside my head (when singing) and outside it: oboe, horn, viola, cello, piano, and lots of percussion rehearsing in a smallish studio makes for some serious loudness. I took Advil to get through the rehearsal and it helped a bit. Then, blessedly, the pain eased a lot last night around midnight while I was waiting for the adrenaline to dissipate. There's still pressure and a blocked feeling there so I want to have it checked out

If I feel well after seeing the doctor I'm going to treat myself to a visit to the SnB at The Purple Purl. I need to inhale some fiber fumes and be around warm and fuzzy string-loving people today. I'll try to keep the acquisition to a minimum (though I do get one day off month, I might want to save it for the DKC frolic later in April).


Carol said...

Fibre fumes will clear the sinuses right out! Excellent idea. if not, have you tried a salince sinus rinse. Not those wimpy sprays, a real rinse? You can get kits with a neti pot or a squirty-type bottle.

eusebius said...

Great job, MezzoDiva! It must feel great to have a successful runthrough of such a difficult work.

I am with you on the stereotypes about the arts. We are not slackers!!! Hope you are feeling better soon.