Thursday, December 14, 2006


Trying out the electrocello

I went ahead and spent an hour or so trying out the new electrocello today. I like it!

It sure produces a different (but remarkable) new sound. Still, it's definitely a cello. The c-string and g-string sounded clean and vibrant even at low volume, but I had to increase the volume a bit to hear a similar effect with the d-string and the a-string. At lower volumes the a-string sounds... stringy(?) - probably has something to do with me spending too many years in a noisy work environment. I was very conscious when I missed a note; but it seemed to help me redirect my fingers to the right places. Yamaha's built-in reverb system (which eats batteries - by the way) has three reverb settings, which offer some cool opportunities for experimenting with sounds - leading me to spend too much time today fooling around with harmonics. I can see I'll be interested in a different type of music with this one.

The electrocello is heavy (7 lbs, 11 oz) with a somewhat thicker neck. That didn't seem to be a problem, though. Since I usually play with my eyes closed, with the knee extensions and chest and arm supports, it pretty much felt like I was playing a normal cello. With the headphones and the cable to the tuner and metronome, I did get tangled up a few times. I suppose I'll get used to that. One day they'll build wireless headphone setups into these things (and Ipods too). I'm not used to tuning without my computer's on-screen tuner. I hooked up the electronic tuner, but it was a bit awkward - it didn't read the c-string very well. This will push me to learn to tune by ear. The metronome mixed directly into the cello output made it easier to play along with it.

Tomorrow is the recital. I worked the piece over quite a bit today, both with my acoustic and the electrocello. We don't go on till the second half to the evening's program, leaving us more time to stand around getting nervous. Will I eventually reach a stage where I'll look forward to performances?

Nervousness is a good thing: it takes care ofthe necessary adrenaline. But too much nervousness is not good. I'm at a point where I look forward to getting on stage but am afraid at the same time. Afraid for all the things that can go wrong.
Wow, look at all the dials and knobs on that thing. I never considered that it would actually be heavier than a wood cello.

Good luck with your recital.
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