Sunday, 18 March 2012

No Perceptible Waves

OK I got a gig (Yeh!). I had to sing O'Canada (: not an Irish tune although it was St. Patrick's Day). I chose not to sing in Rap style although I felt like it. Now that there is danger from the government of Canada visa—vis erosion of rights and the privatization/incorporation of essential services et al, my enthusiasm for the traditional way of singing Oh Canada has been modified. Normally it's straight ahead—Oh Canada, Our Home and ..... with an appropriate gusto... True Patriot Love in all our sons.. (politically corrections needed there? re: female soldier fatalities and all). Let me say that this gig was part of a larger gig i.e. I was there 6+ hours doing solo piano background in two different places in the hotel—doin' it for the money yeah but also I had fun.

Back to Oh Canada. One of the requirements for this (well-paying, what a change) gig was that I had to "lead" the assembled ATCO (speaking of privatization) workers in the singing of OH Canada while playing the piano. Now when I sing it I felt like emphasizing: The True North Strong and FREE !! ..... We stand on GUARD (in a different way than before) for Thee. .... Glorius (yes) and FREE...... So it has a different meaning than before.

Once that "task" was done. I got to play a refurbished Kawai, which isn't too bad. I heard that since the piano was so old—I've been playing gigs there on this same piano on and off for close to 40 years (it was new then), that they're going to sell it and of course NOT going to replace it. We will now hear the (not so) dulcet tones of electric pianos — ones that pianists (Keyboardists) have to buy, bring, and set up. So that is a big loss right there. As for the Kawai grand ("old") it had just been tuned by a fine tuner (Josh S.C.) and really it's very good, especially in the "business" area of the piano. The bass was not as fine as the mid—treble but it is a relatively small grand piano. There is still plenty Plenty of beauty in it and I had a many a spiritual experience on that gig. It was fun to play material one knows well—There's always a discovery waiting for you especially when you just have to take a chance and revel in the acoustic piano experience on a gig like this. So like most people in a situation like this, I learned a thing or two about upwardly mobile capacity at the piano. So it was fun.

But that gave me an idea: To see if I could buy (what they think is a clunker) this piano... store it... and work out a deal that it could be set up at a gig somewhere on some special occasion and it could be played there... cartage is not the only cost but perhaps I could get a break on the tuning. There may be ways for that to happen. That would be exciting to play a small venue like the Blue Chair, Noala or even Jeffreys it might not make so much money but it would be worth it to give one's all on an "accoustic" piano in places like that. A person could build something on that perhaps. Playing music on piano is the funnest !!

Now I'm playing dinner music but it's not an intimate dinning alla Sabor Dinning but a bigger hall...people are farther away. I still tried to hold down the horses and play jazzy classical hotel style but as impulse would have it, free rein ravished the musical picture now and then.... Sometimes I looked up to see if I'd gotten away with it but no one gave me a dirty look so away I went. The thing is that in this particular setting they're definitely not there for you the piano player. They're there paying their dues at a company awards ceremony. The conversation is flat out. They are talking fairly loud and it's a steady stream of vocal noise. There isn't much opportunity to blend in and surge or hold a thought a little longer while someone laughs (See my blog "Tip See"), there are no perceptible waves of conversation—it's just one big Roaring Wave. So I appear largely useless to them, so therefor I try to become useful to myself in that case and get involved with the music—somebody might be listening, I hope, and that stretching out is good for me and good for anyone who happens to be listening (a faint hope in that crowd). It comes down to expressing that little edge of rebellion (which keeps my heart beating) even if it's hardly discernible it's still in operation and that's the important thing. I did get acknowledgement from the M.C. with a nice applause—they didn't ask for my CD's or anything :) and two personal compliments given at the end with some heartfelt conviction. I think people are shy, (Canadians) and sometimes I like it that way. Don't ask me to play AC/DC (who I admire: That scream/sing voice the crazy dancing guitar man: but, I don't know any of their tunes). I could play Kurt Cobain a little but I think that's on everyones list. Anyways I will refer to T. Monk's list of behavioral hipness ideas that's floating out there in FB land and apply it to all my activities, Yeah !!

1 comment:

  1. MF was in town that day, and wanted to go see you play. I told him we'd have to crash the ATCO party. Maybe we should have...

    That's a crazy idea about the piano.. Maybe crazy ideas are sometimes good ideas. Didn't Glenn Gould take his piano everywhere he went?