Here’s my blog – in week 6 or is it 7, I always get muddled up at this time of the season must be my age…
What a week it’s been for the weather mainly hot and sunny, but also humid, and whilst the hot and sunny is great for everybody else, the humid bit is bad for me.
Why? Because I play the clarinet, and the clarinet uses a reed to vibrate, and reeds are designed by nature to absorb water so when it’s humid, a reed that has been playing perfectly suddenly gets that little bit thicker, just a tad, but it’s enough to make it feel like you’re trying to play on a cricket bat!
So you think to yourself should I do something and alter this reed but if I do and the weather changes again tomorrow, I might ruin it. Ahh, decisions, decisions…
I wonder if the string players have the same sorts of problems with their wooden instruments – I must ask them on Sunday…
Anyway, it’s been quite a long week because of the extra concert in Peasholm Park, not that I’m complaining, although I was quite worried that the weather was going to let us down and we would have a small, though steadfast, audience, prepared to brave the elements. But as it turned out, the weather was great, and I think the audience was bigger than any we had last season. And we were told that the sound was the best it has ever been, so thanks to Mark and his team from the Spa, as it was the first time they had ever done the sound for us at a Peasholm concert. So we finished the week on a high.
I always find it a little bizarre that the whole orchestra and the 3 Tenors have our 2 hour rehearsal in the afternoon then a bite to eat in the café (very nice it was too) then we all have to get changed in the back room of the café along with 4 chest freezers, the washing machine and tumble dryer, which were both running, and about 1000 cans of coke, Fanta, lemonade and anything else you can name! Ahh the glamour of being an artiste! It must be the strangest dressing room in the country, and it’s a good job we’re all friends!
In case you don’t know, I am also quite handy at repairing woodwind instruments and last weekend I had an emergency phone call from one of the muso’s up at the Stephen Joseph Theatre who was doing The Boy Who Fell into a Book.
His bass clarinet had just died and he got my number from a mutual friend – so in between the morning and evening concert, I went to the SJT with my bass clarinet for him to borrow and took his home to repair it. Luckily all he’d done is bend a couple of keys at the top of the instrument, which meant that nothing below them would work, but it wasn’t a big job to suss the problem and put it right. It only took a couple of hours.
I then phoned him up and told him his bass was ready and I would come back to the SJT so we could swap them over. He said ‘Actually your bass clarinet is really nice, you can hang on to mine for a bit longer of you like, to give it the whole thing a once over, just to be sure that there’s nothing else that needs looking at…’
Needless to say I declined his generous offer and now have my own bass back.
I enjoyed the gala on Thursday evening with Alison Hudson and Maria Bovino – Alison’s The Usherette and Maria’s Sally Gardens were my favourites. I also enjoyed it because the orchestra had quite a few numbers off, so it meant that my reeds lasted the night!
To finish off the week, we have had a lovely beach day with the family – I even swam in the North Sea and it was the warmest I have ever known! My brothers in law are visiting with children and tonight we are off to the Golden Grid and then the SeaFest Fireworks – hope to see you there!