Monday, September 10, 2007


Autumn lasts only two weeks

Orchestra rehearsal tonight... we'll be playing several pieces that we'd been working on since last winter, along with several new ones. We have at least two performances scheduled for the fall. The first is the "Evening of Classics" concert fundraiser for the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra in early October. For our part, we'll probably play two or three pieces. Then our Cellocracy trio will play (assuming we pass our audition). In early December we'll play a couple pieces as part of the KPO's annual Christmas concert.

I pulled out one of those new pieces to work on this week, which requires going into 4th position six or seven times and 2nd position a few times. This is the first piece our group has done that requires shifting for the cellos (some have required a few extensions). Although I just began working on 4th position a few months ago, I think I'll be ready.

The biggest trouble is our lack of constancy. Several of our members show up only sporadically - sometimes some of them do have a legitimate excuse. I guess we need them bad enough to have to welcome them back in each time. Still, it makes it hard to rehearse (at least for me) when we can't hear the entire sound, and then all of a sudden at our dress rehearsal with a full complement plus a few ringers, our sound is so different. Still, I'm glad to be playing music, and I'll take what I can get.

Cellocracy has rehearsed twice in the last few weeks, and we'll meet again Wednesday. I've worked on our three pieces quite a bit on my own; I've played them so many times that I'm starting to find nuances in bowing and articulation that I had not been able to pay attention to before. My staccato has come a long way, since our three cello trios use it a lot. I'm still not comfortable yet, the staccato notes on the A string don't sound quite as solid as on the rest of the strings.

It is interesting to watch our sound beginning to coalesce and to find us responding to each other's playing. I think we'll do well at our next "audition".

The season's change has begun. Aaargh!

Several cool mornings last week followed by a couple days of rain this weekend seemed to trigger it. This morning the aspens were showing their new colors. Their leaves turn from their summer lime-green to an intense, brighter-than-sunlight, yellow. It's as if they absorbed too much sun during the long summer days and now they try to give some of that light back. This change happens overnight; although not all of the trees change at the same time; some will wait a week or so before they give in. The willows and birch turn a brownish yellow; we hardly see any red or orange leaves. Although we do get some red from the dead fireweed and some orange from the grasses as they die out. After two such weeks Autumn is all over, the trees are bare and we await the snows.

Yes, sometimes we just have to take what we can get in order to play with a group. It's really worth it though, for the emotional experience as well as the learning experience.

How fortunate that the aspens brighten your landscape with some additional "sunlight" now. I think Emily has a photo up of the fireweed.
Emily's pic shows the end of the fireweed. In mid-July, a bright pink bloom opens near the base of these plants, and throughout August, the blooms "climb" up the stalks. By September, the flower petals are gone and we're left with those bright red stems. Here's a pic (third picture down) that I posted earlier of Mt. Redoubt with field of fireweed in mid-bloom in the foreground.
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