March 16, 2010

The Carleton show

I say before each performance: the day will come, the day will go. I say this because I’m not immune to the nerves and anxieties that many people suffer when facing public speaking or even standing up and stating their name in New Age-y support groups. I say this because, should it be a failed or uneasy  performance, the failure will fade into a small shadow that floats up occasionally to remind me of my fallibility (I know this because I’ve fallen many times and had a near miss on Sunday due to a faulty positioning of a shoe heel on a chair – I am simply not meant for heels, yet refuse to give them up).

The day came. The day went.  All my attention to my superstitious routines seemed to have worked. After changing my strings on Saturday, every scrap of string debris was gathered and discarded. My greatest superstition is that all the leftovers from a string change must go at the same time.  That is, if I find a string end, or a used string or a wrapper on the floor after I have made the trip to the garbage can, a sudden anxiety strikes me. It takes some time to let this go, if, in fact, it ever does go.

My other superstition involves eyeliner, but is is too complicated to relate here and/or too silly.

The day came. The day went. Soundcheck – setting up the sound system to best amplify the sound in the room and for the folks on stage –  was a breeze. Usually it takes more time, mostly because my waffling and still not really knowing what I’m listening for. I use language like: Ummm…it sounds muddy.  Or: it sounds bright. Muddy and bright are the only terms I have at my disposal. Well, not so. I do know: too loud and not loud enough. I rely on those around me to assure me that things sound ok, that nothing more can be done, that I should stop talking anytime now.

As an aside, there was an instance recently in which a sound man lost his way with the sound equipment and it resulted in A Big Snit. Not from our side of the microphones, I’m obliged to add. A Big Snit is not desirable at a soundcheck. We took the high road, even after he screamed “This is ridiculous. I’m starting all over”. Of course, that meant we were starting all over, too. Also undesirable.

Back to the Carleton (to which, if you’re anywhere near Halifax, you must go). Without burdening you with the details of each song and every interaction, I can say it went well. I believe this was because of the generous audience (the wine, perhaps? the Guinness?) and the great sound. My accompanist, Jamie Robinson, smoothed things out, too.

Just wanted to report: no Big Snits; no lost strings; no eyeliner slip-ups. With the exception of the slight shoe/chair rung mishap, the day came and the day went. And it was a good day.


One Response to “The Carleton show”
  1. Jane Greening

    It was a great show – and it wasn’t just the Guinness.