Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Nerd Roadie

My mom's string quartet is playing a concert for a group of Mormon lawyers this Friday. At last week's rehearsal, the pianist said, "Leighton, would you mind..."

I thought I knew where this was going and responded that I would be happy to turn pages for her during the concert.

She finished her thought with, "...talking about our piece before we play it?"

At the last concert, I was put in charge of researching each piece of music and giving a little synopsis before it was played. This is actually something that I enjoy doing. I get to read about the composer's lives and what was going on in the world when the music was written, which usually unravels the piece enough for me to advise the audience what to listen for, in an attempt to make the music more interesting. The problem is that I like writing little essays to be printed in the program; I do not like having to present this information to the audience. A few reasons why not:

1) I can spot glazed expressions and I know that most people are not paying attention.
2) I am presenting too much information for it to be absorbed audibly. People should be able to read it on their own time.
3) Since I also have the job of turning pages for the pianist, everyone has to wait for me to walk to the piano and sit down after I have spoken before the next piece of music can begin.
4) Did I mention it's humiliating? Since I also have to carry stands and instruments, I end up looking like the ultimate nerd roadie.

At the last concert, I told the audience that Schumann had originally studied law, and that the movement they were about to hear sounded like a case that was being argued and pleaded by a lawyer in court. No one in the audience cared, but the musicians behind me went ape shit, and now I am pretty sure I have to read that synopsis at every concert for the rest of my life, especially Friday's concert for the Mormon lawyers. In return for presenting my insight to a group of bored people, I am getting a free dinner. I am being forced to intellectually put out for a steak. I am a cheap Classical music prostitute being pimped out by a Mormon pianist.


Anonymous donger said...

Schumann is gangsta.

8:12 PM  
Blogger Patrick said...

Exchange the audience of Mormon lawyers for college students, the musicians for graduate students and faculty, and you're teaching a section at UCLA. The humiliation, pay, and looks of boredom are about the same. But we don't get free dinners.


1:34 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Yeah, but what kind of steak are we talking about? I mean, if it's a ten-ounce dry-aged medium-rare filet, then you might be getting a good deal here.

On the other hand, these are Mormons, so you most definitely won't be getting a glass of a full-bodied zinfandel to go along with the meat. I now see that you've got a real moral dilemma here.

6:12 AM  

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