Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Moose Cat

Only three other people showed up for last night's rehearsal. Not too surprising, I guess, it was -26F last night... way too cold to go out unless you absolutely had to. I went anyway. It was fun. There were three violins including the conductor, along with my cello. We sight-read a bunch of new pieces that we'll be working on this season, and then we played through several others that we'd been working on last fall. Although several of the pieces were quite challenging - one is the Ashokan Farewell, it was really fun to push myself. Maybe it was because it was so informal, I felt relaxed and confident, and at times I was able to listen to the whole sound. The hour and a half flew by all too quickly. It's the first time I felt as if I generally held my own in one of these sessions, without having to do a lot of restarts.

After so much attention these past few weeks to the Pachelbel Rant on YouTube (I'm not even going to bother linking it), the conductor pulled out - you guessed it - Pachelbel's Kanon. We'll be playing this in our May concert. Good thing I've been working on my lower D-Major scale recently. Being the lone cello, I'm supposed to play my eight " special" notes louder than normal, with confidence!

This morning, a young moose was browsing along the base of the house beneath the deck, nibbling on the exposed grass (usually they awkwardly kneel down with their front legs to get at the grass). All of a sudden, something apparently spooked the moose, making it leap to its feet and turn to run off, instead it banged right into the deck post - hard - shaking the whole house, before stumbling out into the snow in the yard. The cat, who normally sits in the sewing room window in the mornings - right where the moose had been kneeling - must have seen and heard the commotion: eyes wide, ears pinned back, he fled in a panic, running - no, flying - up the stairs across the living room and up into the loft where he dove under the easy chair for the rest of the day. Right now, I suspect he is no longer quite as curious about the outdoors. (The moose was OK; it bedded down with its mother next to the workshop for most of the day - too cold to do much else, I guess.)

Here's a cat actually meeting a moose (this was taken in Anchorage, I think).


Wow, that moose has some hefty shoulders! I've never seen a moose in the wild. Around here it's just deer, bunnies, raccoons, possums, and skunks.

I can't believe you get to play P's Canon! I actually think it would be fun to keep playing the same 8 notes. The first couple times, anyway.
... wish it looked and felt a little more like winter here, instead of this bizarre "spring in January" thing. (but not wishing for 26 below!)

We played Pachelbel's Canon for our Holiday Concert this past December. I found it relaxing to play something where I could remain in first position.

Ashokan Farewell has been one of my favorites since 1990 when I first heard it on Ken Burns Civil War series. At first I thought it was written just for that, but later found out that it was originally written for Ungar's fiddle camp in Ashokan, NY.
Will you play it in 1st position? Or will you go for some big honkin' drunk-as-a-skunk vibrato on those Ds and Gs?
I'd think I'd have to be drunk to even attempt vibrato! So I guess it's first position for me...

(When does vibrato normally come up in the Suzuki series?)
I'm in Suzuki book 4 now, and I haven't seen any mention of vibrato yet. My teacher is giving me some exersices for it.
We played AF as a cello quartet at my SummerKeys week this past summer. Carrickp, whom you may recognize from Cello Chat, brought the arrangement in his extensive library. Very pretty tune, which I heard for the first time there. I got elected to play the first part, which spent a fair amount of time in thumb position, but only as high as C above mid-string A harmonic, as I recall. We elected to perform it all pizzicato - it sounded better that way ~g~.
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