Piano Hands

nine-letter word

...for awesome, that is

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Movie Music night
Piano Hands
Another blogging under the sky entry - don't worry, LJ-friends, it'll be over soon :)

Okay, so my mom and I come to SUTS every year. We've come every year since it started with the one afternoon of concerts when the ESO couldn't get the cannons, and Maestro David Hoyt had the audience pop paper bags on cue (well, mostly!) to simulate them. We only missed one concert series - it was in 2006, when I moved down to Boston to start school. Unfortunately, that was the weekend it had to be :(

Anyways, I've been coming to SUTS for that long, which means I've been coming since I was a little kid (I'm only 23). So I can't just make a big ol' generalization and say that people shouldn't be able to bring their kids into the park, because I came to the park, and SUTS, along with other ESO concerts throughout the year, were formative musical experiences for me. To say that that experience should be taken away would be hypocritical of me, at best, and just downright mean at worst. And I want to be neither of those things! So I propose a compromise: parents, by all means, bring your kids to the concerts. Kids need to have exposure to the arts, no question. But if they're restless and fidgety, as kids get sometimes - rightly so! - let them go run around behind the back sidewalk, in nobody's way. My brother and I got to do this with our friends when we attended the concerts as kids: we ended up coming and going to and from our blanket as we pleased throughout the concerts, and we were told that under no circumstances were we to block anybody's view. Since we had the chance to run around out of the way of people, the times when we were sitting down, we weren't whiny or fidgety or loud. Sure, I want kids to have exposure to arts: the next generation of artists and patrons of the arts has to start somewhere. But I paid for my ticket to sit on the grass, and the kiddies came in for free. Again, that's great! But as a paying customer, I don't want my concert experience to be marred or my view to be obscured by fidgety, comp-ticketed kiddies.

Next on the list: people, the amphitheatre is divided up into lawn chair seating and blanket seating for a very good reason! The ESO volunteers are awesome at policing the blanket side for chairs - as soon as one gets set up, somebody is over there telling them that they're not supposed to be there. That is awesome. We need rules so these things run smoothly. But I believe that the rules should be enforced just as strictly on the chair side. The best thing about the chair side (which is where my mom and I have been sitting since the first time it was just the two of us coming to the concerts, unaccompanied by my little brother and various friends) is just how many people you can pack into that section of grass just off the middle path if it's done right. We can park our lawn chairs right down in long rows beside other lawn chairs, and the view is just as good, if not better, than the view you get in the regular ticketed seats. The thing is, when people park blankets in this area, it takes up a lot more space than chairs would. There was a group of people for tonight's movie music concert who put a big blanket on a piece of prime real-estate on the chair side. If you were there, I'm sure you noticed this huge gap right along the edge of the path, about three rows of lawn chairs up. There were four people sitting on this blanket - a parent and three children under the age of ten. Without the blanket taking up that space, there could have been eight lawn chairs comfortable fitted in the same area. I bet I could have engineered it to fit ten, or maybe even twelve. That's just wrong! That's what the blanket side is for. Take your blanket out of the way so more people can enjoy the view from the comfort of their own lawn chairs. This was an act on par, in my mind, with not moving back past the back door of the park&ride bus, leaving standing-room space for about 20 people vacant at the back of the bus, while leaving people standing at the curb to wait 15 minutes for the next bus. Come on, let's show some courtesy. Okay, I'm all ranted out. Goodness, that was longer than I intended it to be! Sorry.

Okay, now back to the music. There is something so magical about movie music. It's something I can't quite put my finger on... hmm... maybe I should have taken that Intro to Film Scoring class while I had the chance! But these composers know just how to tug at your heartstrings in just the right way to suit the film. And the best film scores are the ones you don't even hear, because they're just so perfectly matched to the mood you're feeling. It's art, guys. Well, it's really all art. This is a festival of symphonic music, after all.

Guys, I am so thrilled that I got to see Kathleen Brett sing again! She is something else, let me tell you. Remember what I was saying about Maestro Bill Eddins last night, and how brilliant it is that he is such a versatile and flexible musician? One who is respected in the fields of both conducting and instrumental performing? And how rare that is? Kathleen Brett is another one of those cases. And before you say "wait, Erin, what the crap are you talking about? She sang in both concerts!" just hear me out for a second. Have you ever heard of an opera singer making a pop record? Or a popstar who gets a starring role in an opera production? Aside from a couple of exceptions... well... just this one I can think of off the top of my head, but I'm sure there are a couple more... they're very rare. It's because singing operatically and singing pop-tastically is really like playing two different instruments. You use your voice in such a different way for each one. Ms. Brett, of the stunningly beautiful voice I talked about earlier, showed us another reason why we should love her. She can do BOTH! And she's awesome at BOTH! And her voice is just so INCREDIBLE, in both genres! (Seriously brought to tears again tonight.) And she's hanging out in EDMONTON! Guys, let it never be said that we have a second-class arts community in this town. Nothing of the sort. Especially not when we've got such a solid orchestra to call our very own. I LOVE the ESO.

It's also really nice to see a shift starting in the ESO, in the staff and in the orchestra members. They're getting younger, and more open to technology! Who else has blogging under the sky? Who else has a twitter page, and it's very own hash-tag for the outdoor music festival? Orchestras - at least, the ones I've been familiar with, which are admittedly few - seem to be slow to embrace technology, like it's going to be a stain on their pristine image of artistic integrity. We can prove to them that it doesn't have to be so! Let's go, Edmonton! Let's keep blogging and tweeting (though, kindly without the cellphone/BlackBerry/iPhone sound effects during the music :) ) and showing the world you don't have to be a stuffed-shirt to enjoy orchestral music.

I'm sadly not going to make the Frank Sinatra show tomorrow, but I'll see you again on Monday! Sweet musical dreams to everyone.


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