October 18, 2004
In Need of Xanax
Tomorrow afternoon, I’ll attend my first rehearsal of the new percussion piece. They’ve been rehearsing for a few weeks, but this will be the first time I’ll hear it. I should probably be more excited than I am. In fact, I’m really nervous. What if they don’t like it? Or worse, what if it’s too awkward to play?
I already heard that there were ensemble problems that resulted from my staging request. I wanted to space the six players around the back of the stage — four across the back, and two on the sides of the stage but towards the back. It would look cool, and would theoretically sound good (I wrote the parts to be “in stereo,” with some fun back-and-forth from left-to-right) — but as I feared, they can’t hear each other well enough from that distance to stay together. I spoke with the production coordinator at Juilliard about it, looking for a possible solution. Could I mike them and give the players monitors? No. Should I put the musicians in the pit? Well, I could, but half of the fun of having live musicians is actually seeing them — and having them physically on stage, surrounding the dancers, is just too cool of an image.
My current plan is to keep them as far upstage as possible, but squeeze them closer together, so instead of taking up the entire width of the stage, they’ll take up, say, half, or 3/4 of it. They’ll still have to arc a little on the ends so they can all see each other. I worry that maybe the stage isn’t deep enough for this, that the musicians will take up too much stage space that the dancers need to perform, but I’m going to figure it out for sure tomorrow. If everybody can fit on stage and the ensemble can stay together, this will be pretty sweet.
And it’ll help if the musicians can simply play the parts.
I’ve become very used to the synth recording, and it’s always surprising to hear real players for the first time. If it goes as it normally goes, it will be slightly less precise, but have a lot more UMPH. I’ll certainly keep you posted…
AJ and I had a great weekend. On Saturday, we went shopping for paint supplies, and she spent the evening making me a painting to place above my fireplace mantel. My ceilings are very high, and the wall above the mantel has always felt empty. I wanted something large. Some people suggested a mirror, but that seemed too obvious. AJ said she would try to make me a painting, and I was excited to see what she’d do.
We talked about colors, then went to Pearl Paints in Chinatown for materials. We picked out a huge 48″x48″ canvas and a few good colors. The end result is exactly what I wanted. First off, it looks huge. It also makes the entire apartment feel — I don’t know — grown up. I kind of have this whole 1950s thing happening in my living room (or, 1950s meets 2004 technology), and although I don’t know anything about art history (as opposed to AJ, who was an art history major), the painting feels very circa-1950 to me.
We ended the weekend with “Olive Garden At Home” for dinner last night: frozen Stouffer’s lasagna, Pillsbury bread sticks, iceberg lettuce with Wish Bone Italian dressing, and a glass of milk. What’s cozier than that?!