Tuesday, December 23, 2008


The recording session.... it didn't go well. Son Jon had new digital-recording software but wasn't expert at using it; took a long time to set it up and get it balanced properly. Plugging in his laptop to AC caused a hum in the recording so we went on battery. The battery kept going low and Jon would plug it in and we'd wait 10 or 20 minutes for enough charge to hopefully record one number, which would get flubbed up by one or the other of us and have to be aborted.

I was nervous being recorded, after months of preparation and anticipation, on the one day available to do it, with just enough battery for one try ("THIS IS IT!!!"), made goofs and we kept having to redo, after waiting again for the battery to charge. We'd get a good one, listen to the result, decide the piano was too strong or the cello not strong enough, readjust the settings, recharge the battery, do it again, I'd miss a few notes and get lost.... frustration added to the goof-up tendency, and we were both getting tired, which also caused compromised performance.

I should say "we all" -- Jon was wonderful but I think he was getting tired and frustrated too. Jon had custody of Abbie and Sarah that day; he'd brought Abbie (almost 6) with him and left Sarah (7 months) with Grandpa, my husband Steve. Abbie, bless her young heart, was an angel: sat absolutely silent on the sofa with coloring books for 3 solid hours, waiting till between recordings to tiptoe to the bathroom, or to tap her dad on the shoulder and whisper something to him.

Then Steve, alone at Jon's house with baby Sarah, called.... "When are you going to be done?" Apparently Sarah was not being as cooperative as Abbie. This did not help my growing agitation. Finally I said, "OK, we're going to have to do this some other time. But can we try just one more time for "The Swan?" Just in case God-knows-what happens, that is the one I really want to have recorded. So we did "The Swan" again. And it went PERFECTLY. And I was so relieved. Until Jon said, "The battery quit just before the end." I asked, "How much was cut?" He said, "All of it. If you don't stop the recording before the computer turns off you lose all of it." ~Sigh~

Well, we're going to be there overnight on the way back to Winchester from Ohio. There will be no rush to get back to Winchester, just spending the night and then hitching up in the morning and heading for New Orleans. So on the 27th we are going to give it another go. Maybe this was a good dry run. Next time I won't have stage fright (although I play well, I do make mistakes and I have never played for anything or anyone except my own pleasure in my own living room). Hopefully Jon will have the battery charged. It won't be his day to have his daughters. We'll all have had a break, and it will go well.

It will go well.

If not.... it'll have to wait till next October after I finish hiking. I can't fly to Maryland from New Orleans to make a recording. And she can't fly with her cello to N.O. to record in our little camper, there's not enough free space anywhere to draw the bow, being as how we already have a piano in there.

And who has the money for a flight, anyway?

It will go well on the 27th. It will go well.

Send us your vibes.


Downhillnut said...

Often bad rehearsals make for amazing performances. Consider this attempt a rehearsal. After all what else could possibly go wrong! Um, maybe I shouldn't say that out loud...

Sending good vibes for the 27th :)

From Here to There said...

Oh Ellie I'm so sorry! I will be sending positive vibes that tomorrow's goes well!

Nope, haven't been snowshoeing yet - the month has been too busy, or the weather not cooperating! Rain is called for tomorrow :(