rambling & fam story

This morning I skipped my morning blogging and went right to working on the drum part for “Dead Man’s Pants.” Yesterday I got hold of Roman the Drummer and Nate the Bass Player.  They agreed to a rehearsal tomorrow. Whew. The drums, bass and myself will hold together many of the pieces on my upcoming gig. These guys are good players, but I would like to tighten it up for this gig a bit. The only way to do this is to rehearse with them. So I’m very grateful for tomorrow’s rehearsal.

Roman the Drummer explained to me what he would like in the drum parts. He is a literate musicians so I can write out stuff. But at the same time the drum part is largely improvised at the drummer’s discretion. As I prepared the scores for the other instruments I didn’t bother writing out drum parts except in a few cases. So prepping the part for him now is taking a bit of time. Especially on “Dead Man’s Pants.”

But I just finished it and emailed it to him. So that’s good.

I am also making gig books for these two players. I print out their parts and put them in three ring binders in the order of the performance. I often do this kind of thing for myself. It saves all kinds of bother and worry. I’m not planning to do this for the other five musicians (2 saxes and 3 strings). But I think it might be helpful to have it for tomorrow’s rehearsal.

I emailed the part to Roman the Drummer anyway because it’s kind of involved and I think it’s only professional to give him a glance before rehearsal.

I am now done with my Cecchetti Ballet Dance camp.  I had two classes yesterday and they went well. I was late for the first one. But I think the teacher started a minute or two early, since I was just timing it to get there right on time. I, of course, apologized.  My maxim: “To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late.”

I am thinking of taking the money from this and adding it to the money from a recent wedding and shopping for a practice PA or a mic. Rehearsing with instruments can drown out the voice. I would like to be able to practice with a bit of vocal amplification. Thinking of stopping by the local music and store and seeing what they have on hand.  It would be good to have it for tomorrow’s run through with Roman the Drummer and Nate the Bass Player.

That’s exactly the kind of situation where a bit of amplification for the singer (me) would help. I am planning to take my acoustic with a pick up and little amp. Maybe I’ll buy a practice mic and use that amp. We’ll see.

Soon I will be able to get back to working on the harpsichord. I have high hopes I will have it working in time for the August gig. If not then, soon after that anyway.

This afternoon I have to drive up above the lake and give my piano student his lesson. Then a rehearsal with Jordan the sax player. We will be working on Sunday’s music as well as other stuff.  I am looking forward to working on the Bach sonata with him today.

I’ll close with what I think is sort of a telling anecdote from my Dad’s writings. It’s from his little bio of his older brother David.

“David was coming of age. In his teenage years, he could hardly wait to get behind the wheel of the family Chevrolet.

It was about this time that David’s mother [SJ note: This would be my Dad’s Mother, my Grandmother, Dorothy Jenkins]  decided she was going to learn to drive the family car. She began studying how the stick shift coordinated with the clutch and accelerator. There was no driver’s education available back then, and one learned however one could. Father [SJ note: Ben Jenkins] was not altogether patient nor in sympathy with what she wanted to do. And of course, David was in competition for learning the skills his mother was trying to master. He appointed himself as adviser to his mother’s new venture, critic of every mistake she made.

The learning proceeded painfully for mother, but finally when our father was out of town traveling by train, she decided the time had come to demonstrate her prowess. She believed she had about mastered the Chevy. It was her goal to drive the car to meet Ben at the railroad station. Consequently on the day of Dad’s return she put the three of us boys in the car and drove us all down to the station.

Once in town, the traffic panicked mother. Amid the insensitive laughter of all three boys, she lost her coordination in shifting gears. She was utterly embarrassed. The car proceed down the street through traffic, bucking and leaping like a wild bronco. Somehow, with a face red with humiliation, she met the train and Dad drove us home.

That was the last time our mother tried to drive an automobile.

Paul Jenkins, Family Pacesetter: stories of David Benjamin Jenkins

my grandmother, Dorothy Jenkins. This was taken at my first wedding in 1970.
my grandmother, Dorothy Jenkins. This was taken at my first wedding in 1970.

I find this little story sort of sad. Stupid automobiles are such an American symbol of freedom and independence. I have known other women of my grandmother’s generation who were held prisoner by the fact that they weren’t drivers.  Sigh.

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