Tuesday, 30 August 2011

New Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal concert hall.

 A while ago I was invited to the new Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal concert hall, on behalf of MSO. They intended this concert to showcase and preview the material that they will play for students in High School and Elementary.

The played Peter and the Wolf by Prokofiev, and Carnival des Animaux by Camille St Saens. I don't partciularly like Prokofiev, but it was nice to hear the parts of Carnival. I was wishing that they were did more meaty material, but of course, the concert was meant to showcase music they'd play for young students.

A conductor friend of mine, Debi, took some pictures of the new concert hall. Here are two of them.

The front of the hall.
The Orchestre wasn't full.

The pipe organ close up.
Can't wait to hear how it sounds.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

The new season coming.

It's official; time to be overwhelmed. Season hasn't even started yet. That's not a good sign. Uh-oh.

I had a good look at the material for Orchestre Symphonique de L'Isle today, and realized how much work it will be playing for them this season. I am feeling confused about whether I should play with them this season, simply because of the material and amount of dedication.

The other group I play full-time in, Quebec Wind Ensemble; their material isn't nearly as difficult and time consuming. I like this because it means I can do other gigs, and not need to practice that material very often, and in some cases, ever. However, on another end, this has many downsides. It means that the material doesn't challenge me enough, and that I will not become technically proficient as fast as I would like to.

The first concert of OSI's does not have very hard material. Paul Dukas, Camille Saint Saens, Carl Maria von Weber, and Dvorak's ninth. I won't need to worry about the Dukas and Saint Saens, but Dvorak's ninth is a beast in some parts. I'm thinking that I'll do the first concert, and see if I want to do the Mahler, Tchaikovsky and the material afterwards.

Currently, my poor bass is in the shop. Usually, during season, I'm so busy that I can't bring it to the shop and have a check up. Fortunately, I have the time now, and it is at a luthier's getting seams repaired, an endpin switch (the one I received cracked after a few months, so it is being replaced for free), and I'm refining the length of my laborie endpin. I also need to get my bow rehaired, and have the fingerboard planed, but that will come in September. Hopefully, that will happen in September.

The last few bars of Dvorak's Ninth,
"New World Symphony".

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

A story from my travels.

I have had many interesting conversations with people on the metro about my instrument. This includes children's comments, adults, hobos, construction workers, drunks, fellow musicians, and more. Some of the stories are ridiculous, and some of them are cute. Here are some of the things that people have said to me before.

A middle aged man on the metro: "Hey, I bet that if you put that into a dryer, you'd get a Suzuki violin!".
My reply: "Would you get a double bass if you put it into a washer?"

Random guy on the street: "Whoa man, that's a big cello!"

A bus driver from Chateauguay (never travel there with a double bass - WARNING): "You know, I may have to charge you double for that, eh?"
My reply: I tap the case hard enough to hit the wood. "Why? There isn't another body in there."

And my favourite so far, on the way back from an Orchestre Symphonique de L'isle practice,

Young girl, probably 6 or 7: "Look Mommy, a double bass!"
Her mother: "No, that's a cello!"
Me: Walking away and smiling.

Taken around December,
A concert I played in for

Evangel Pentecostal Church.

Audition Material.

Hello all,

I'm finally starting to receive audition material for this season coming. I have received my audition material for the Quebec Wind Band for this coming season, and am surprised at how easy it is. Two simple etudes, and 3 scales. Nothing to worry about.

I'm debating whether I should join Orchestre Symphonique de L'isle this season as well. They are playing some frighteningly good material (including Stravinsky!), that I am tempted to join in on. On the other hand, there are some other groups I'd love to play with, but the material isn't as daunting. Unfortunately, I'm finding that my limit of groups per season is usually 3 orchestras. I'm hoping to change one of those orchestras for jazz groups instead, but alas, my jazz chops are not up to par just yet.

An older picture, maybe 2-3 years?

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Start of the blog.

This marks the start of my blog, and perhaps a kicker in my professional career.

At the request of many friends, I have started this blog. Many of my friends remarked on the funny things that happen to me while I'm on the Metro (subway), bus, walking down the street, or during other times, whilst carrying my double bass. Fortunately, this coincides with season starting in September, and the reason that I want to kick off my career professionally, as I built up a contact base last year. I hope you enjoy the blog, and maybe we'll see each other at a gig one day.

A newer picture,
from the first concert with Quebec Wind Band.