WATCH NOW: 2016 Montreal International Violin Competition

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Emily Grossman

Dream Sequence # 3.14

March 15, 2008 at 2:41 AM

Distracted by the store fronts and sale signs, I didn't notice the time. It wasn't until 9:30 that I remembered that the reason for the downtown Anchorage setting was symphony rehearsal, not shopping. If I hurried, I could make the last half hour. Fat snowflakes illuminated beneath the streetlights. I wondered if they'd pay me for the full rehearsal or part. Or none at all. And where was my seat?

Mid-rehearsal, my stand partner excitedly waved me over to sit by him in the back of the section. He told me I hadn't missed much. Most of the music had been cut anyway, down to practically nothing. Some people were very upset about this, but I didn't mind. We took crayons and colored in the margins.

Here's our cue. The two of us inconspicuously made our way on horseback to the rear of the orchestra, where the singers stood. It was our job to create the frozen water for the story, using harmonics and tremolo. I thought we sounded pretty effective, all blue and frosty, but when we returned to our seats, some know-it-all lady toward the front of our section scoffed at our technique: you don't know how to do a proper tremolo at all! Blah, lady, I'm sick of your narrow-minded school of tremolo. You can cite your professors and technical treaties all you like; my tremolo came from the snowflakes.

As I exited the PAC, I came across some policemen who were searching the streets for a maniac on the loose. The hustling horde rounded the corner, disappearing before I could even tell them that I'd just spied the maniac in a tunnel behind me. (He was easily identifiable by the manner in which he traveled: upside down, on the ceiling, like a cockroach.) I tried to slip away unnoticed, but he saw me and proceeded to trail me around corners and through various buildings. Hemmed in, hanging from a window curtain in a schoolroom, it finally occurred to me that this so-called maniac was not dangerous, just simple-minded, like a child. All he really wanted was silly putty. Luckily, I had a stash. I spent the rest of the night throwing balls of silly putty from my perch, there on the window treatments.

Purple. Purple silly putty.

From Drew Lecher
Posted on March 16, 2008 at 5:02 AM
Every trembling violinist knows that tremelo of ice, tremelo di ghiaccio, is totally different then tremelo di sporcizia — where was that "colleague" trained???

I honestly thought she was going to be the detested maniac, but…:-)

From Emily Grossman
Posted on March 16, 2008 at 8:51 AM
Are you serious about those Italian adjectives? Like textbook serious? I love it!

The maniac is in fact myself, a polarized version in need of balance--hence the purple.

From Drew Lecher
Posted on March 16, 2008 at 5:31 PM
Tremelo di ghiaccio would be a legit phrase with your idea of icy character and the other, tremelo di sporcizia, is tremelo of dirt is my response to the lady that didn't like your tremelo in the story:-)
From Stephen Brivati
Posted on March 17, 2008 at 12:46 AM
vot happened to tremolo di prugne?

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