November 8, 2004
This afternoon, we’ll tech “Mass” as Juilliard. The rehearsals have been going well — at least as far as the playing goes. The problem last week was with the sound. The percussionists are on stage behind a scrim behind the dancers. Behind the musicians is another curtain. Behind that curtain: empty stage. Above the musicians: fly space.
As you might guess, it sounded awful. There was no definition in any of the drums. Everything was muted and mushy. The loud parts never got loud enough, and even worse, the quiet parts of the piece were so quiet that you couldn’t hear them over the sounds of the dancers. You could see that they were playing, but you couldn’t hear a note.
I “requested” that we amplify the musicians. Juilliard is against playing with amplified musicians, and I can respect that, but in this case, the piece just wasn’t working acoustically. The dance division had to get special permission from the office of Juilliard’s president, and then they had to determine if they could find the money to rent microphones and hire a sound technician to work during the performances. Long story short, everybody agreed that the piece needed to be amplified, and the dance division agreed to the rather obscene cost of doing so. That’s a huge relief, as I was terribly stressed about it last week.
It appears that my father will be driving from Ohio to NYC for this weekend’s performance. I haven’t seen him in quite a while, and it’ll be nice to have him there.
Gotta run — my coffee is ready!