Monday, 30 March 2009


Already, this turning up to practise thing is not going well. I managed to stay late on Wednesday evening, and that was all the extra practice I managed.

Of course, I have some excuses. On Thursday I was doing joinery until 9.30, then I had to put up shelves in my room, but ended up talking to my parents for an hour. On Friday, there was somebody already there, practising. On Saturday I spent too long talking, then too long at The Field preparing the potato bed for being dug over, and had to prepare dinner on my return; after dinner, I was a little too drunk to be driving to church. On Sunday, I went out for lunch with Brian, and when I arrived at church after that, Mr P, my organ teacher, was already there. As he had a recital that evening, I thought that it would be better not to bother him; I went to sleep in the car instead. No point in driving home and back again when I have a comfy car. I don't think that anyone noticed - the car park was nice and quiet, and I didn't have any car seat marks on my face (yes, I checked).

Naturally, this week will be different. I shall go there and get an hour in before Postgrad Group, and Wednesday will also be fruitful. I may actually manage to go there on Thursday after joinery (the threat of very little extra practice before my next lesson will, no doubt, give me a little extra inspiration).

Yesterday, I played for the first time before the service in the Motherchurch. It went well, considering. I think that I got faster as the piece went on; this is because I was told that I had 2 1/2 minutes, and had better get a move on. I was told to relax, as there was no hurry, towards the end, adding credence to my theory. I think it ended up a better speed than it started, though. Most of the notes were correct...

I was a lot less nervous than I expected. It helped that it is hard to see the congregation from the organ console. It also helped that I am getting to know that particular piece of music quite well now. I think that it will be harder next time, though - I shall not be playing a piece selected specifically because it looked easier than the other pieces, and was by somebody famous; I shall be playing a piece selected because I thought it sounded very pretty, and I could download the score for free.

This morning, I played for my first funeral. The St Isidore's organ is getting sicker and sicker, and it was certainly a challenge making it sound passable. I didn't quite manage to rise to the challenge (because I am not made of magic), but it was a reasonably good attempt. Because of the cracks in the soundboards (the wood containing the channels which take air to individual pipes), when enthusiastic chords are played some extra notes creep in intermittently. This makes the player sound really bad. There are also some notes missing - I couldn't play one of the pieces I wanted to play because there weren't enough notes. One of the stops is profoundly out of tune, too. I was really lucky that there were a lot of people there, as the loud stops were more in tune than the quiet ones. Of course, playing the loud ones with the quiet ones sounded dreadful both times (no, I do not learn especially quickly. Thank you for asking), but the second time round I came up with a back-up plan. All in all, I was happy with how it went. I need to get in touch with the guy who built the organ, though, and see if he is up for spending several hours poking it over Easter. It may be a lost cause, but if it were a lost cause which played in tune at least fewer people would notice.

And it has just occurred to me that I still have not prepared anything for Palm Sunday, nor for Easter Sunday. I shall have Anne in tow for part of that practice time - I haven't worked out what I will be doing with her while I practice. I might just leave her alone in the house with Red Dwarf and my phone number. If HWSNBN is there also, they can watch it together. It really is essential viewing, especially as some actual, real, new episodes of Red Dwarf will be showing over the Easter weekend - it's important to refresh the memory about what went on before.* The downside to this is that it means that my DVD collection is no longer complete.

*It is not even slightly important to refresh the memory. This isn't Harry Potter, or anything. But it is nice to refresh the memory. Red Dwarf is, at least, more child-friendly than some of what resides within the DVD collection.


Lisa Moon said...

Oh, my, a funeral! Would it not blend in well with the um, sort of appropriately down-tempo type of music one typically hears at a funeral (not that I've been to many, thankfully).

And my word, you're a spectacular woman of many talents! An Abi of all trades, perhaps even?

How many people play organ, do joinery and are in Postgrad to work on a doctorate?! Smart women are sooo sexy, especially if they're also a little 'nerdy'.

You're surely one sexy woman - and I mean that as a very sincere compliment!

PS My word verification is 'frica' which sounds rather like a rude swear to me, similar to what has been coming out of my mouth non-stop for the last two hours...

Abi said...

I don't think that people need to be reminded of death at a funeral - the imminent death of the organ doesn't exactly create the right sort of tone. As it were. Anyway, I was going for pretty, not very fast (well, down-tempo is one way of describing it! I think that I played it with an appropriate tempo, though), music - a gentle celebration of life.

I'm not actually working on a doctorate - I didn't get the funding, and have decided that it wouldn't help me to become an organ builder. It would give me some of the intellectual challenge so sadly lacking in my life at the moment, but might also kill me!

Alas, I am not a useful nerd - my knowledge frequently lacks sufficient depth to be truly useful. Half-hearted nerds are, to my mind, a little annoying - if a job's worth doing, it's worth doing properly! Also, I don't have glasses.

Thank you for the complement, though; much appreciated. :-D

Lisa Moon said...

You're quite right: nerdy isn't quite the right word. Perhaps bookish? Bookish is verrrry hot!

Blah on the doctorate - I hear it's a waste too often (like I'd know!). However, you did complete an MSc, I believe. Again, verrrry sexy! ;)

You just don't know it, which makes you all the more appealing!

Today the word verif. says 'dodat' so I think it's telling you (or me?!) to "do that!". Hmm, considering my latest blathering blog post, I'd really like to follow that obvious sign from the Universe! Yay!