About this blog title

I cannot tell you how many times I have shown up at events with a couple of cameras around my neck, a gadget bag full of odds & ends and a lighting kit and have been asked that question. If it happened once every few years, that would be one thing. But it happens a LOT. It's like getting pulled over by the police and he's standing there with uniform, gun, flashing lights and asking him "Are you a cop?" I would love to come back with a witty reply, such as "No, I am Jesus. Don't you recognize my beard?" However, I cannot be that rude.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Day 333: Guitar At The Art Council's Dinner

This evening I played guitar at the North Country Arts Council membership dinner which was held at the Black River Valley Club in Watertown, NY. The playing went well. It was the first public playing opportunity I have had since some time in December before Christmas.

I must say that 15 years or so ago I was never comfortable playing in front of people. I did it a lot, but it was always stressful. Well, it still can be stressful today, but not like back then. In fact, I am beginning to desire it and getting a real satisfaction from it. Among the pieces I played were Here, There, and Everywhere, Eleanor Rigby,  All My loving, Octopus's Garden, all by the Beatles and arranged by Australian guitarist JoeWashington. I played Fernando Sor etudes # 2 & 5 from Andres Segovia's grouping of 20 Sor studies. Also,  Somewhere My Love (theme from the movie Dr. Zhivago) and Blue Moon, both arranged for guitar by Laurindo Almeda. I played a wonderful arrangement by Larry Beekman of Elton John's  Your Song, Chet Atkin's arrangement of Mr. Bojangles, & Miguel Llobet's transcription of  Enrique Granados' Spanish Dance #5. Another piece was Don MaClean's Vincent (Starry, Starry Night), as arranged by John Knowles. Now then, I have not rehearsed the piece in quite a few months, and thogh I love it, and LOVE Knowle's arrangement, I never truly have gotten it don "pat." That is to say, flawlesly committed to memory. So there was one point in the execution where I  began to fumble and just abandoned the accompanying notes and playe 2 or 3 bars of melody only. No Problem, that saved the day & I was able to cruise to the end of the piece.  There were also a couple of easy etudes by Francisco Tarrega as well as his great composition Recuerdos de la Alhambra. His Recuerdos...   is a famous piece. Sometimes I play it as an 8th note study, omitting the tremolo. Most folks in these situations do not know the piece, or if they do, do not notice that I have played it wthout the tremolo. Now, an afficianado of the istrument would pick up on it immediately. However, I played the piece as writen, with tremolo. How well did I do? I really do not know. All the feed back I got from those in attendence was positive. It was a rather noisy event because I was playing during cocktail hour. Thus a lot of chatter going on. (When everyone was seated I counted at least ten tables with 8 people each seated at them, thus, 80 folks in the room).
With all of those people it was difficult for me to asses my playing because I could not hear myself as adequately as I would have liked. I was playing through the Fishman Solo Amp with no monitor. The guitar was my Guild MARK V Classical from 1984 or '85. It has Indian Rosewood back & amp; sides, Spruce top.
It has a transducer mounted on to the heel of the neck inside the guitar body. I do not remember the make, but believe it may be a Dean Markley.  I assume the projection was good based upon the limited feedback from those I spoke with.  The bottom line is that I was happy with what I did, I got some attention, and was not stricken with debilitating stage fright. I came home to the Better Half, drank down most of a bottle of Cabernet Sauvigon wine and am now informing you about my recent events.

\So, for the most part I have had a terrific day, people seemed to enjoy my music, had a nice dinner with people from the Art's Council, spent some quality tgime with the Better half on my arrival home, drank up some nice wine, and once again, at the end of the day as I prepare to head upstairs to bed I am reminded of how wonderful my life is. I thank thee Lord, I thank thee. Good night.

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