It’s almost impossible to believe.
Tomorrow night, by this time, there will have been a.) a Full Moon; b.) an eclipse; c.) a visible comet ; and, d.) the realization of the intended performance of the Erie Chamber Orchestra’s piano trio, formerly titled “Strange Bedfellows.”
Strange. A few hours past 48 ago, a very strange thing happened, indeed.
Right in the middle of dress rehearsal, without a cross word ever spoken, without an evil eye, without any confrontation whatsoever, one member of the trio walked out.
Doing the math, that left us two: myself and one other musician, aghast and agape, respectively.
This was never done. No professional did this. Certainly, in my nearly 60 years, 30 of which having been spent as a Union card carrying pro, this had never happened. Nobody bailed at the dress rehearsal – and, got away with it.
Maybe the impending Full Moon, maybe the alignment of the planets and our star sun, maybe the schedule of the comet. Maybe the Almighty God. Somebody found Julie.
Julie was the kind of phenom who entered a room without even a peep of apparent genius. She dressed for comfort. Easy going, a bit chatty; carrying a bottle of water – and, her viola.
Julie had never seen our music before in her life. Most chamber musicians hadn’t. There are only nine works of music at IMSLP for oboe, viola, and piano – and, we were performing three of them.
As of tonight, Julie has now seen every note. Three hours of steamrolling accomplishing the entire rehearsal task, as I write this she is likely home, nursing a sprained ankle, seated at the music, tightening up the last loose end. And, tomorrow, by this time, she will have triumphed over an unprecedented adversity.
Power is an awesome force. Sometimes it is grasped after, with the last functional breath. And, sometimes, it descends upon a scene like soft rain. Tomorrow, by this time, in the eclipsed light of the Full Moon, comet streaking by, The Most Recent Piano Trio will have taken its place in a much smaller history. The power, on this serendipitous night, will have made its subtle and profound shift in the favor of three specks in the universe – three women, committed to making live music.
At this moment, the gift awaits.
What: “The Most Recent Piano Trio”: Hilary Philipp, oboe; Julie Von Volkenburg, viola; Yours truly, piano. Performing works by Charles Martin Loeffler; Felix White; and, August Klughardt. Cee Williams, and Dr. Gregory Brown, featured poets.
When: Friday, February 10, 2017
What time: 7:30 pm.
Where: Luther Memorial Church, Erie PA.
Extra parking in the West 11th lot.
Here is a YouTube link to our videotaped performance. Though I utilized the mute pedal at frequent intervals and the lid was down, the audio quality reflects the fact that we are performing in a church, and you will note reverb. I wish I were beautiful, but my nose is strong and my jaw is weak and I talk like a biddy and that is just the way it is; however, our oboeist and violist are both lovely, so if you do feast your ears, you may cast your eyes upon them for a truly satisfying experience. We didn’t compose this music, but we are certainly among the most fortunate for having had the opportunity to perform it for you.
*Update: Do we suspect, also, that either YouTube “adjusted” the volume whenever the music became quiet, i.e. effectively neutralizing all dynamic fluctations (the videographer calls this “compression”), or that the videocam had a built in “adjuster”? Sigh.
© Ruth Ann Scanzillo 2/9/17
The sight of her, and the hearing of her, and the discovery that, though she plagiarizes from others the White House, no less, is “100% likely” to be confirming her as Secretary of Education, reminds me of the kind of [female] I once knew.
Perhaps you have also known such an one.
- Posture: Nose in the air, yet always a condescending smile toward those who can act as servile or subordinate;
- Attitude: Hostile, and two faced, toward those who threaten power of position, and/ or possess innate qualities which cannot be bought (i.e., talent, intelligence, etc.)
- Backstory: Descending from money, generally inherited rather than earned;
- Social Behavior: Moves within those whose code: ” You have it. I have it. They t.h.i.n.k they have it.” (“it” being money, i.e. “class.”) dictates their social circle, which is extremely tight, populated by their own blood, others of perceived similar social class, and a handful who are effusively encouraged to come/brought in to entertain, usually because of their blatant, if charming, idiocy. (Starlings are, on occasion, carefully selected, but can be dispensed with as fleetingly as a moment on the toilet.) Energy is spent selecting the finest garments and accessories, and twisting ones ankles from side to side in the seated position to demonstrate superior footwear.
I suppose I have taken this moment away from the gruel of my woodshedding at the piano, today, to bring these observations to the general public.
If you are in support of Betsy DeVos, and her ilk, none of these observations will make a dent in either your opinion or position; if you are not, perhaps I bring you a moment, in kind, of welcome levity. We are not, in fact, all alike, and we certainly are not all equal.
Vive la difference!
Play on, thou minstrels – play on!