January 24, 2009


current sounds: harp plucking, cello arpeggios, snare drum, stopped horn. in the hallway, the harpist stops the orchestra manager and says, "we have to talk about enharmonics." the clarinetist twists the neck onto his bass clarinet. the percussionist has to play eleven instruments for this show, and that's if you only count the timpani as one instrument instead of 5.

it's Saturday morning; I've been here since 8:30. it's our second day of orchestra rehearsal for the Britten, which opens in 13 days. the orchestra is small, and the conductor is sweetly self-sufficient. the parts required little work, and so I'm spared the giant anxiety attack I usually go through at each of the first three readings. I don't even have to follow along in the score. instead, I'm quietly marking symphony parts; next to me, the orchestra manager is eating a McDonalds apple pie and shuffling paperwork. on tired mornings like this, with these 13 people who individually greet me as they arrive, and ask me how I am, I don't care how many jobs I have to work to make ends meet, or how exhausted I am at the end of a show run: I am one of the lucky ones.

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