Sunday, September 9, 2012

concerti recording done, can't sleep

It is already tomorrow but I cannot walk to my bed.  Not sure why, because I am well and truly tired.

The recording sessions started at yesterday at 11:00 a.m. and ended at 9:00 p.m..  We had a largely trouble-free day of recording lyrical modern music... the rain had stopped pounding by the late morning and the bright blue sunwashed sky came bursting out just in time for the dinner break.  We began the day with the brand new Michael Occhipinti piece --- so beautiful and written with a motive of 13 to reflect the sorrowful statistic that every 13 seconds someone dies of AIDS in Africa.  A big subject and we went a bit overtime in finishing the recording. This left only 25 minutes to record the Buhr duo and this time, Guy’s horn had a sticky valve, sounding so much like the sticking key that I had in the last sessions.   Then we recorded the first of the Lussier bassoon solo works (a very dramatic single movement work on a theme of sorrow Le Dernier Chant d’Ophélie) and then I stayed during the dinner break to record the unaccompanied intro and our conductor, Eric Paetkau, stayed with me.  

The evening session was entirely dedicated to Mathieu Lussier’s new Oddbird Concerto for bassoon... some parts were incredibly unexpectedly hard for me to play as exactly as I thought I could, yet we managed to find the lilt and groove and soaring quality of his music.  The theme of this work seems to be immolation and redemption... either way, it took the full 3 hours to capture 3 movements. The musicians were so engaged and our conductor never disconnected for a second.  Then it was all over... While I wrote  cheques and sorted out details, Guy and our conductor Eric Paetkau and our assistant Neil Bishop moved the big pews back into place.  Karen Moffat, our principal viola, packed up the snacks and gathered all of the coffee cups and empty water bottles.  Neil had sorted out all of the music according to my exacting orders and for the first time in my concerto-recording career, I was able to pack up music that we can just file on the library shelf, rather than trying to find another 4 hours to figure it all out.  A few of us went to a local place as sat for awhile, enjoying our continued connection.  I don't drink (I probably should learn how) but I enjoyed sitting down for the first time that the day.

Though I cannot sleep yet, I also am too tired to describe details... but it is so bloody interesting to do these projects, to feel the difference between recording and performing, to feel how much performing influences recording, to think ahead to more projects that would put in me in constant company of these glorious musicians (including composers and engineers) while we developed  shows that are really vibrant.

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