Sunday, November 07, 2004

No Mp3s in this post... move along...

But since this is a music weblog and I am also a musician (once professional now an amateur), I thought this might be of some interest ...

So, I'm playing in the pit orchestra for a show these days. The "pit" is actually in a back room where we are mic'ed and watch the show via TV monitors.

Here's two snaps of my set-up:

The drumset belongs to the company and I'd like to replace the snare head so I can get a better sound for the brush work but it's servicable.

We have two drummers and switch off parts. This is the percussion corner. I designed the set-up (with my partner's help). There's a set of large roto-toms that act as surrogate for timpani. A bell set covers the glockenspiel and (using soft mallets) the vibraphone. Unfortunately, I couldn't fit the xylophone into the space so the conductor covers those parts on a synthesizer. You can't see all the auxillary percussion but on the left bottom you can see the "laptop" conga which is great for saving space. There's also a bell tree (handheld), claves, woodblocks, sandpaper blocks, wind chimes and even a "hotel bell" for the climatic ending (it's supposed to mimic a typewriter bell). During the latin piece, I've enlisted a sax player to play maracas. This is a blast playing although the schedule is harrowing especially with a day job. I'm playing four times this weekend, for instance. The show ends 22 November.

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