Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Day: 10 Jan 07

It was the day. 10 Jan 07. A Wednesday. The day of the concert, A Journey Through Time.

My favourite item of all was Passacaglia (Duo for Violin and Viola) by Halvorsen. I think the duo played fantastically well. I wished I could be a part of the audience to listen to them from the audience's seats. I was listening to the duo from the backstage as I decided that I should just keep a watch over the fragile double basses that were being left backstage.

I also like Emily's Suicidal Tendencies played by a strings quartet as opposed to the midi version. It was quite an experience playing it. I particularly like playing her beginning and ending sections. Even though the notes looked so easy, it had been a challenge to keep playing the notes sustained, with free bowing, and still maintain a bleak character. If you don't know me, I have a liking for music that sounds bleak. Does life bring any hope to look forward to? I wish it does, but sometimes I felt as if I have no absolute clue. The world at times feels dark.

As for our double bass quartet's item, I think the Tchaikovsky's Neopolitanian Dance (from "Swan Lake") and I. Berlin's Ragtime went alright generally. J.S. Bach's Minuett solo part seriously need more improvement. While I didn't play the solo part, I felt I had to bear some of the responsibility because afterall, the double bass quartet is not a one-man show but a result of a team's effort. Perhaps I could have been stricter and demand more effort from that soloist? I don't know. I can only learn to work on motivating the soloist to put in the necessary effort to play the music.

Anyway, my favourite among the three works that the double bass quartet had played was Ragtime. My parts for Ragtime was relatively much easier than that in Neopolitanian Dance. Furthermore, I like the arrangement of Ragtime. Everyone in the quartet could have a chance to do a solo in this work. Ragtime has been a work that I could simply enjoy and have fun! I hope the members of the audience have enjoyed swinging to the rhythms.

My apologies for those who wish to listen to a recording of the concert. The thing is that I did not record the concert at all. Anyway, my orchestra's conductor has done a recording of the concert and he has so kindly agreed to give me a copy of the recording on DVD. If I could manage to get help to put up the recording of the double bass ensemble for the 10 Jan 07 concert online, I shall consider doing so.

So meantime, while some of you may have seen one of our rehearsals' clips, you can still listen to a full (unedited) version of our double bass ensemble's rendition of Ragtime. This is especially for the benefit of those who would like to be there at the concert, but could not do so for one reason or another. We did play much better for the concert compared to the rehearsal that we had recorded.

I. Berlin, Ragtime (Double Bass Quartet)
Rehearsal (28 Dec 06)

Oh, by the way, 10 January happens to be the birthday of our double bass tutor, GM. For those of you who have attended the concert, I hope you won't mind our double bass ensemble do some not-so-conventional stuff on stage. I actually hope you might in some way have enjoyed the less formal tone and fun-loving-nature of our "special item". We wore party-hats on the scrolls of each of our double basses to play a Happy Birthday song on stage for our tutor. Happy Birthday!

Here's a sample of a party hat on the scroll for you folks to see.

But I suppose, the audience won't get to see what had went on behind the stage. Where stage management is concern, I think the stage crew and our dear Vice President who has put in a lot of effort in coordinating the concert has done a pretty commendable job. Well done folks.

The only thing that made my heart sank, and freaked out today was the transport. Imagine being told that the lorry would arrive at 3.30 p.m. to transport the double basses to the concert venue. 4.00 p.m., the lorry wasn't here. 4.30 p.m., it wasn't either! Finally, at 4.45 p.m., it came. Then, we (three of the double bassists) found out that the transport company has not been told about the hire-request. It looks like there are still rooms for the communication channels to be improved.

From the perspective of a performer, all I want is to reach the concert venue on time to start setting up and get ready to rehearse. Rehearsal was to start at 4 p.m. sharp, so you could imagine how heavy my heart while waiting for the lorry. Anyway, I shall be thankful that the transport company had been most obliging to attend to our organiser's last-minute hire-request and sent a lorry down to help us resolve our predicament. We almost wanted to hire four taxis to take us down to the concert venue.

On the brighter note, I take this chance to thank those who have sent their well-wishes for this concert. I think it has been a successful one generally speaking.

I have to thank Eastcoastlife for attending the concert despite her busy schedules. I greatly appreciate her support and presence, and have henceforth wrote a post specially dedicated to her. I hope that she has managed to enjoy listening to whatever she has managed to catch of the concert.

After the concert, it was lovely to go for supper with Emily, XM and QH. It has been a while since I have had the chance to catch up with QH. Thanks QH for coming to support the concert and for helping us get the birthday cake.

And if you have missed our concert or if you have enjoyed our concert tonight, do check out our upcoming concert on 16 Mar 07, 7.30 p.m.. Tickets at $10 (excludes Sistics Charges). There is a 20% Early Bird Discount for those who order the tickets by 15 Jan 07.


Simple American said...

Bravo! Bravo! *applauds*

Come on and hear.
Come on and hear.
Come on and hear Alexander's ragtime band...
*stop singing*

I think Irving Berlin is smiling at your performance. Y'all looked so cute. Would have never thought of a double bass quartet playing this song. You have opened my mind in a most delightful way.

Still coughing hor? Poor girl.

Ed said...

"Ragtime" sounded awesome!

oceanskies79 said...

SA: Oh, SA, i have never heard how the original instrumentation of Ragtime should sound.... But I am glad that you like our rendition of the Ragtime. Hopefully you can win a trip for two persons or more to Singapore.

Ed: Thank you very much. Thanks for visiting. Ah, if I am not wrong, you are one of the ex-orchestra members who wrote me a hello-email? I hope this post keeps you updated of happenings in the orchestra. :)

eastcoastlife said...

Congrats for a wonderful performance! I enjoy the concert very much.

M said...

Very very nice rendition. Would have been awesome hearing it live. Recordings can only do so much eh....

Bravassimo! ... and I don't mean the dessert.

rene said...

Congratulations on a successful concert!