Radio spot gig, Skyping with Grandma L, going to the park, picking up Hazel, school year clothes

Tonight I participated in doing a radio spot with one of the orchestras of which I am a member. The room in which we played (and then did a bit more recording) is exceptionally dry. One of the people with whom we were working reminded us to really play out, to imagine being in a large concert hall, because in that environment people tend to start playing down, closing in a bit. After our spot we re-recorded a few things, after which we got to go into the sound room to hear parts of what we’d done. The difference was extraordinary, because they’d added some reverb, something you’d expect to hear in an old European church, perhaps. It was mind-boggling. It transformed the Bartok pizzes we’d been doing into the sonic equivalent of close-up, slowed down footage of a raindrop hitting the pavement. (Ok, so the footage I found was a water drop falling into a glass of water. It’s late. That’s what you get. I also just spent a while trying to find footage on YouTube of a Bartok pizz, but I think I shall now desist, as it’s even later.)


We did Mozart, Vivaldi, Grieg, and a modern piece we premiered last year. There were only 11 of us, but in that room with those sound engineers we sounded like a much bigger group. It’s been a while since I’ve been in a recording studio, and I enjoyed it, though it can also be somewhat nerve-wracking. There’s a moment in one of the slower movements of the modern piece in which I have some glissandi (sliding) in combination with quarter tone notes (that means, notes that are slightly lower or higher than we’re used to hearing in the traditional repertoire). In a moment of my solo in that movement my slide was, let’s say, broader than I’d intended. But it worked. It’s nice when something you don’t plan works out that way, definitely preferable to the alternative, particularly on the radio.

After our work there, most of us went out for drinks and nibbles, and conversation that ranged quite wildly from inanities to profundities, something that is probably typical for a bunch of musicians out at a bar at night. It was wonderful to have the chance to get to know some of them better, and just to spend some time being non-parental and laughing at ridiculous things.


This morning I had another long chunk of time with Emily and Joanna. We spent some time Skyping with my mom. She read to the girls, who were very intent and engaged. At one point they went and got out the pinwheels (you know, like these) and, after sticking them in my face and saying, “Blow!”, started putting them in front of the laptop screen for Grandma L to blow. Being only 2 years old, they couldn’t understand why that wasn’t possible. Oh, and Emily said Grandma for the first time today. Another high point of the conversation was when she did her toddler evil laugh (not something I can replicate) and my mom got to hear it.

Later on, I took them to our neighborhood park. On the way Joanna pointed to the lion jacket (part of a Halloween costume) and said, “Yeah! yeah! yeah!”, so I put it on her, at which point Emily decided she really wanted to wear it. Luckily, we still have a tiger jacket from a Halloween costume we got when Hazel was a year old. I ran and got it, and got to take a miniature lion and tiger with me to the park. Ted said that we should really acquire a bear costume for Hazel so we can have the set, and march around saying, “Oh, my!” constantly. Well, he suggested the bear costume. I’m the one who’s likely to devolve into marching and chanting, truth be told.

After nap, our friend A came over, and we walked to Hazel’s school to pick her up. She was thrilled to see both of us waiting for her, and ran happily over to us.

So, the big room she’s in is enormous. Storytime at the end of the day involved the usual big chair and a circle of kids on the floor listening. Additionally, the teacher reading the book was using a microphone. Mind continuously blown. I have a feeling that is going to be the case for at least another 15 years, and I should just get used to it. I am an old codger. I already knew that, but having a kid in kindergarten is reconfirming that fact for me.

This afternoon after Ted got home I sat in the comfy chair with Hazel and showed her some dresses from the Hannah Andersson site I thought she might like. In honor of her new school adventure I got her five dressed and five pairs of leggings. I gave her a choice between a few pink options (she could pick one, and she did) and several non-pink options. I think both of us are happy with what she chose.

Then I spent a huge amount of time trying to find a backpack for her that wasn’t pink and wasn’t camouflage. *sigh* We did find something, a ladybug backpack somewhat similar to one we bought her when she was really little, and that sadly got lost when she was about the twins’ age.

Then I stressed about not having practiced before my gig, and then I went off to my gig. And there’s that circle completed. 🙂

Tomorrow morning I need to practice piano with Hazel, but other than her lesson there’s nothing on the calendar. I’m looking forward to a mostly unscheduled day. I need to practice for our next concert (two weeks away), but other than that I think we’ll be able to hang out at the park and have some chill family time. That will be good.

Have a good weekend, everyone!


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