Saturday, July 30, 2011

My Mohican Concert Band

Thursday evening we presented a great concert in Shepard Park on the shore of Lake George in the Village of Lake George.  The crowd was the largest I have ever seen there, in front of the bandshell for the concert and behind it for the fireworks which followed.  Actually, it is not a bandshell, but a pavillion so that watching the band you can look through over the heads of the musicians to the lake and all of the boats out there with a background of mountains and greenery.  Fortunately, the steamboat that passes has a whistle tuned to a good enough Bb.

Director Ray Durkee brought together the local Galloway Pipe and Drum group with the band, to perform as the finale an arrangement of the Gael and Gigue from the film Last of the Mohicans.  Wow.  Lots of drums. From very soft to very loud and very full chords and of course, drones from I think eight bagpipes.

We were concerned about the decibels from the bagpipes, but outdoors this was not much of a problem.  My issue is that sitting in the middle of the band, I don’t hear much of anything except the brass behind me and to my left.  This is the dark side of the reason I play in the band – there is nothing like being part of a group making richly textured and sounding music.  I wish we had a recording of this.  We have recordings of some of our indoor concerts, but they don’t quite seem to do justice to us. Or maybe we just seem better than we are?  I think we are pretty good.

There is that subjectivity again.  But you can’t beat live music, even when it is flawed.  A post on the perils of compressed mp3 and wma files and what they have done to our perceptions of music is needed.  And one on the Get Me Hi Club in Chicago where the bartenders wear teeshirts proclaiming “Bad sax is better than no sax at all.”

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