The very cold life of a musician…. (Ulog #39)
Well, the last week I’ve been on tour and playing in some very nice theatres and concert halls… but this morning I left on an early train to try and get in time for a little job in The Netherlands, playing a cantata for a church service. Ahhh… the life of a freelancer, always mercenary, never knowing when the next job or paycheque will be coming from!
Haha… it’s not quite that bad, but if there is work and it fits, I generally take it. I like to see what is going on, and I’m happy to be playing regardless of the level! I often find there is much that players of different levels can learn different things from each other, if you only just care to look and listen!
However, the venue (whilst being a lovely cathedral with great acoustics!) is absolutely and thoroughly bone shockingly freezing! Outside it is about 3 degree Celcius (43578.5687194380138 degrees Fahrenheit), and I think it is probably about the same on the inside… or perhaps more generously, around 5 degrees Celcius!
The reason for this is that the cathedral is so big, that it isn’t worthwhile heating it. If they tried, it would be a giant waste of energy and being incredibly inefficient. Knowing the rational reason doesn’t help take the mind off the cold though….
To top it all off, the organ is around a quarter tone lower than usual (we tune to A=415 Hz). For the strings this is not too much of a problem, other than our strings are slack and the instruments can’t speak well. But for the winds, it is a complete nightmare!
On the plus side, it’s a pretty nice church that they have us playing in, and an absolutely beautiful Bach cantata. So, on that front, I’m pretty happy with things! My colleagues are quite able players, but the attitudes run the gamut from optimistic to thoroughly jaded…. In more difficult situations, I find that I’m more happy to have less battle-worn jaded colleagues. I don’t really find that that sort of attitude really makes anything better….