Thursday, March 20, 2014

the snail and the cuckoo / the stjepan and the luka

It came time for me to sight-read. Olya's daughters were joyfully and unquietly jumping on the trampoline; she rose from her stool and strode over to the sliding glass door to shush them. I turned to today's piece, called "The Snail and the Cuckoo," and took note of the usual suspects: key and time signature, tempo,  dynamics and accidentals (I love sight-reading, you see, because the first time is always the freshest).

Live stream (requiring excess ellipses): Time to deliver! 1-2-3, 1-2-3, nice and walky. Peculiar choice of notes, though, and wonky meter shifts... Oi, a tie! Forgot to hold it. A stifled stumble, and a giggle... from Olya. A giggle? My stoic teacher never lets slip a stray sound... No matter, proceed. Here's a crescendo... Grow, grow, carry it to the edge of doom... A snort, from Olya. Do I really sound that awful??

I bear the snail and cuckoo out to the end, enduring the poorly stifled shouts of laughter from over my shoulder. At times, I join in, my titters swelling to forte as well. Olya dabs her eyes with a tissue as I slump on the bench, mystified.

"What was so funny?" 
"Ha, uh hah! F-f-floating about w-without any form, hee hee, like gormless... Globs!" 
"Oh, so... the snail and the cuckoo." 
"Hee hee! I can't take it! I haven't laughed like this all year!" 

True, the notes plodded along pointlessly, and were scattered across the staff like spilt rice. This made my teacher laugh like a maniac. She went on to describe a concert from her youth, during which she laughed so hard that she had to leave. Until today, I only knew of music's power to move. Now I know of its power to move dignified matrons onto the carpet, where they roll. One day I'll get the joke.  

Now, on another, far cooler note, I share with you two treats from the 2Cellos: their newest upload, and an old gem that Julianne showed me :). These sorts of sounds spill off of the stage.


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