Thursday, December 04, 2008

Waxing Nostalgic Again

Sometimes I miss playing in a band. I don't mean a rock band or even a garage band; I am nowhere near cool enough for that. ;) No, I'm talking high school band, wherein FarmerMeg & I were the badasses of the flute section. (Not to brag, but we totally were.) Pep band was fun, though we froze our fingers off at the football games. Marching band was also fun, though we sweated our way through long hours of parade practice. What I'm missing most right now though is plain old symphonic band, with everyone working together to create something beautiful.

Probably I have kind of a skewed perspective, ten years on. I know there was plenty of frustration, as well as tons of repetition, trying to get everyone to care enough to concentrate and pull it all together. I remember a couple of concerts where it was obvious we didn't really have a particular piece down and probably had no business subjecting our audience (i.e. devoted parents) to it; I remember being embarrassed about that. But by & large my memories are fond. The satisfaction of finally bringing all the musical components together, knowing we rocked the hell out of a tricky piece of music, was totally worth all the rest of it.

Tuesday I was making my way through the special features for the second X-Files movie, and of course there was a part about recording the film's score. Mark Snow, the composer, was leading the orchestra through a piece of rather moving background music while the movie flickered along on the recording studio wall. What a freaking cool job that must be. Stressful as hell for sure, what with the long hours and yet limited amount of time to perfect each piece of music, but so cool. Even in my heyday, when I was a pretty respectable floutist if I do say so myself, I was nowhere near good enough to be in an orchestra of that caliber. But if I were better, I could see myself wanting that job. Not necessarily to make a career out of it, but just to say, I was part of a film score orchestra once.

Maybe someday I'll get my fluting chops back, find a community orchestra to join. It would be fun to be part of a band again. I'll just tack that on to my wish list, along with finding a way to ride horses regularly again, getting back on my snowboard, and re-learning the bagpipes.

(Unrelated to my band nostalgia but a cool part of the movie special features, there was a separate recording session with a smaller "effects" orchestra, capturing crashes and splats and the like. This pianist was creating some incredible distortions of his instrument by laying silly putty across the strings or slipping coins between them. Sounded like a synthesizer, but it was a standard grand piano. I had no idea you could make a piano sound like that. Super cool.)

3 comments:

MC Squared said...

With a community orchestra, you would think everyone would care about the music too, so it could be much better than anything you remember. I hope you can find a way to make it happen.

heather170 said...

I miss band too. I miss Mr. Hegdahl. Of course, I was rocking out in the percussion section. ;)

susan said...

MC^2 - A good point!

Heather - Yeah, you kicked ass with those tri toms. :)