Thursday, December 06, 2007

With my arm (I will slap thee.)

This week's conductor is annoying the crap out of me.

I'm at a gig out of townish, and you know how much I hate to complain (snort), but these are extraordinary circumstances.

He appears to have gone to the let-your-mouth-do-the-talking school of baton technique. He is constantly picking, giving advice while we are playing, after he's stopped us for the thirty second time in a comparatively polished sounding passage, before we play a note, as we're walking away, ALWAYS. And fyi, conductor-types: WE CANNOT ALL HEAR YOUR BRILLIANT COMMENTS WHILE WE ARE PLAYING. Also, and perhaps more importantly, NEVER choose speaking over showing if your beat suffers while you form the sentences. You are probably not as witty as you feel, though your condescention does indeed shine through.

In fact, he went to Juilliard. How do I know this? Because he stopped us in the middle of rehearsing to tell us, of course. We were apparently playing too loud for his taste- might have had something to do with his body being at the front edge of the podium so that his hand pattern came across as high and wide as an airbus, but what do I know? I guess reacting to what the conductor shows me is outdated.

It wouldn't be so bad if his advice was consistent. Or funny. Or made me not want to whip out my iPod and drown him out with something- Kenny G maybe? Celine Dion? A podcast of somebody taking a bandsaw to some marble while jackhammering steel i-beams??...

If you were this guy's wife, here's what you'd hear after dinner.

That pasta was fantastic, dear, reminds me of the time I ate at that famous place in New York with my famous friends. It was cooked just right. Except maybe it was a little gummy. Next time cook it longer but shorter. Make it shorter, but take up the same amount of time. As though it were set to a higher temperature, but without making that obvious to the diner. See? You just have to be with me on this.

In the face of this deluge of artistry, am I really to be judged unprofessional for getting the rolling-eyed giggles every time I look at my stand partner? I think not. But maybe so. It should be obvious. Just watch the conductor.

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