Best part of the whole thing that is
I do enjoy a good tune up.
… and then Night Swimming starts.
Usually shut my PS3 down right after it’s done
Immediately thought of that as well
Bit of a tangent, but I find the politics of orchestras fascinating. I know a guy who’s a professional musician in quite a big one, some of the shit he tells me when we have a pint is juicy. Basically hyper-competitive, hugely political environments, massive stress meaning lots of people drink heavily and smash the drugs. Lots of touring meaning loads of shagging, affairs and infighting. Quite a lot of hierarchical bullying, etc.
Genuinely one of my favourite sounds. Super relaxing.
Those poor poor viola players
Saying the conductor doesn’t do anything used to be a surefire way of getting some oddly precious lurker to lunge in two-footed on here. Simpler times.
The first time I played in a proper good orchestra, this bit gave me chills. I hadn’t really thought about it beforehand, and most of my playing was in brass bands where they all warm up backstage and totally differently.
Tuning up strings sound into Sibelius’ Finlandia with the Hallé – genuine music ‘career’ highlight.
I think the only orchestra I’ve seen was one Deep Purple was playing with about 10 years ago, or thereabouts.
That was depressing, in so much as Purple were playing in an arena but they could have played a theatre and still had empty seats there. I’m tempted to say there were more on the stage than in the audience, but of course there wasn’t. It just felt like it.
Why do they tune up just before performance. Why not do it back stage?
Different temperature/humidity on stage.
Big fan of this, and could happily listen to an orchestra tuning for much much longer than it usually takes them. Such anticipation and excitement in that sound, feels like it focuses and prepares the audience and the room as well as the instruments.
An ex of mine once got genuinely angry with me for saying I enjoyed the sound of the orchestra tuning up. I guess because it wasn’t the ‘real’ music of the night? Bizarre.
I ended up chatting with a guy who played in a major symphony orchestra while having a pint in Wetherspoons during Edinburgh Festival one year, got a bit of insight into that sort of thing.
I asked what they were playing that evening, he couldn’t remember what the piece was called. He only had about eight bars to play in this 50 minute symphony tbf. Serious boozing to be done on the coach from Edinburgh back to Glasgow though apparently.
There’s basically 3 kinds of musician
Those that do conducting
Those that haven’t tried conducting
Those that tried it and went ‘what the fuck, this is impossible’
‘Play one the conductor knows’ might be a fun thing to shout at an orchestra
I used to work with an MD who was an amazing viola player, and he’d also done a bunch of conducting when he was younger. Never, ever played in a tighter band, he could signal and direct in such an incredible way even though he was playing too.
(I’m type three on your list btw, I just … I just can’t)
This applies in all situations