The concert went well, although I’m frustrated with my many errors. More about that a little later. First, about the venue: I had never been in the Museum of Anthropology, and although I had seen pictures and even some movie scenes, I was really not prepared for the grandeur of the place. The main hall, where we set up our instruments, was a huge space, housing several enormous pieces of aboriginal art. The building was entirely glass on one side, behind us, looking out on the Pacific. Near the end of our dress rehearsal, the sun appeared for one of those salmon-pink Vancouver sunsets.
A few hours later, at the concert, we got a large crowd and they were attentive and applauded enthusiastically. They sat on the floor near us (as we were) as well as in seats a little further back. They ranged from young kids to seniors. In many ways, it was one of the best concert venues and crowds I’ve seen in years. As to the performances, it was all a bit ragged, but the drama of the pieces all worked well. Some of the best moments were our endings, which all seemed to come off well. In some ways, that’s the best an amateur ‘community’ ensemble can get to.
As to how I did, well, I played far better in rehearsals (and there were many of them). Part of the problem is that by the time the time of the concert arrived, my back was so sore from all the rehearsing, loading of instruments on the truck the night before and unloading that day, that I was in a fair amount of pain. It was enough pain that I had trouble concentrating. I’m not making excuses, but I have to admit that for the first time, I actually ran into a physical limitation in performing. That’s something that I don’t remember happening before. The body changes in the years between 30 and 45. I’ve also never been a percussionist, and that is demanding physically; probably harder on the back than the piano or conducting. I’m not going to give this up quite yet, but I’ll take it as a warning. I’m almost recovered now, so I know the damage wasn’t permanent. Just some aching muscles from too much concentrated activity. I believe we’ll try and record the pieces of the concert. I’d look forward to that, as I know I can do better.
The Olympic Medal Count
Today the news reported that Canada has won a record number of medals, and should be assured of at least 20 before the end of the games. That means they are tied for 3rd in the world. They’re only 1 behind the US. These days, when I hear people chanting ‘USA, USA!’ it almost seems like a joke — just another example of the jingoistic, self-centered country I fled. I also love the idea of the underdog winning (is that an American trait as well?). Will I be out there chanting ‘Canada, Canada!’? Probably not, but I can’t help feeling a little pride that my newly adopted country is showing the world that they can also produce great athletes. Let’s hope another doping scandal doesn’t sour the whole thing, as it did years ago.