Sunday, December 16, 2007


Today was my last gig until after Christmas. A free week in the middle of December isn't part of a normal freelancer's lineup. Usually January and July tend to be the least active months, and December is packed with a whole raft of sell-out gigs (noisy faux-luxe office parties, blasphemous church gigs, frightening choir concerts) and a few good things like the Nutcracker or Messiah. In Japan they played a lot of Beethoven 9 around the end of the year, which always feels like an accomplishment.

The gig today was musically horrifying, but the other ringers were friendly and one violinist was also pregnant. We bonded after complaining that the long and cliched homily had us both wishing we could at least stand up and stretch a bit. I hate when the dungeon masters maestros make us stay up on stage for the message because invariably I have to yawn like thirty times or my eyes randomly decide to water or I accidentally get slain in the spirit. There's always the pesky question of who to hand the instrument to when you're about to be filled with the Holy Ghost and feel the need to flop around on the altar in ecstasy.

Lucky for me I didn't have to bother too much about the instrument today because I was playing violin. I have never studied anything but viola but I can play the wanna-be toy shrillness well enough to gig and to teach. For this gig (Christmas carols and a couple of those made-for-the-protties choral works by Rutter and Clydesdale) it was actually kind of fun. Viola parts in that genre are weepingly dull, so at least I got a few runs and a melody or two out of the deal. Plus I had to concentrate in order to play the right strings and avoid shifting out past my right ear, what with that darned imitation fingerboard being so short.

It's nice to have that vacation feeling early this year.

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