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Patty Rutins

October 26, 2005 at 8:43 PM

Symphonie Fantastique! That pretty much describes it. The Sage City Symphony is attempting it, and you know, it's not half bad. Probably not half good, either, yet, but we'll whip it into some semblance of shape in a couple of weeks. But gosh, what fun it is to play!

We've got a guest conductor this time, too, who's just so nice to work with. The piece is his specialty, though the orchestra is new to him -- and like any community orchestra, we've got our quirks. He's really handling us so very gently and yet still getting some lovely music out of us.

In other news, our regular conductor is now dealing with a lovely newborn girl, Talia Teadora, born Oct. 15th. Congratulations, Michael and Andrea! Of course the requisite photos were sent around by email, and she really is a beautiful girl. All of us are looking forward to seeing her in person.

Had a good time playing the Buhrmaster Barn Benefit a couple of weeks ago. We were one of three bands, and we were augmented by two wonderful fiddlers, David Kaynor and Maura McNamara.

Unfortunately the sound equipment didn't really behave, so I was stuck with a standing mic instead of the one that hooks onto my violin; there was suddenly noise and of course my gizmo is the first thing to get blamed. However, there was also noise when my gizmo was nowhere near the sound board. As a computer programmer, I apply logic to this situation and I conclude that my gizmo had nothing to do with the noise. Really, I just need to find a good alternative to sound equipment! :)

I'm starting to explore the possibilities for making a wireless mic for the fiddle, now. However, I'm not sure what the specs for the commercial wireless systems are yet. Trying to be cheap, I've been looking at those wireless transmitters that allow you to tune your radio to receive the signal, but I'm not sure if that's how the pro ones work, too. Apparently the signal quality really isn't great.

However, the music and dancing is always fun. The Flying Garbanzos, a wonderful band from just over the border in North Adams, MA, always plays interesting music; they had a medieval german tune which had an unusual rhythm to it such that it didn't work with the dance, but somehow it really did work just beautifully. Very cool. Jane's Gang was the third band, and she's just really great to listen to. She's very musical, and the band backs her up so well. In order to accomplish that kind of balance, they all have to be excellent musicians.

Trying to set up a place to record myself without too much extra house noise. I've determined that I really need to record myself in order to get the most out of my practicing.

I had a voice teacher several years ago who insisted that I record our lessons. It really made a big difference -- even if I only listened to it once during the week, it was really helpful to hear how I really sounded and what differences we accomplished with her suggestions.

So I think I need to record my practicing -- maybe with some commentary to remind myself of what I'm doing or changing -- in order to figure out a little better what works and what doesn't.

I need to get my bow rehaired. I'm also going to change strings in the next day or so, as the orchestra concert is in a couple of weeks.

I heard a friend give a recital a couple of weeks ago as well, on a beautiful Ovington violin. I think it might be the one that I borrowed last year from him, but I think she must play it better because it sounded so brilliant in her hands. I'm pretty sure he uses vision strings on his instruments (Geoffrey, that is) and after hearing her, I'm considering trying them again. Last time I had them on my instrument they sounded really rather harsh; I heard that brightness in the concert but it was a brilliance rather than a harshness. So maybe I'll try them.

My recording studio will be useful for that. :)

From Jim W. Miller
Posted on October 27, 2005 at 3:47 AM
Re: your pickup creation, I'm afraid it hath
gone down the wrong engineering path
You think you'll save money
but sorry, honey
actually, you'll take a bath

Engineering hours made those things things work
dead spots, bandwidth, many a quirk
intensive design
lots of bench time
and of course a bean counting clerk

Your best bet is ebay the net cost is zero
if you sell it again, not give it the heave-ho
you might make a profit
nothing to scoff at
think of it as money in limbo

You're welcome to think what I say is tacky
if you have no regard for the troops in khahi
but for your sake
don't make this mistake -
quit playing and become a sparky

From Patty Rutins
Posted on October 28, 2005 at 8:47 PM
Ah Jim!

Where would I be without you?
Your advice has struck you-know-who
square on in the heart
for I don't have the part
I need for my whacha-ma-doodo.

But my budget is smaller than nano
And my skill is mainly in plans, oh
my execution has flaws:
the static in my cat's paws
will make my contraptions go blamm-o!

So relying on my sparks is a mistake;
your suggestion really takes the cake!
Pounding the ground?
I'm nowhere to be found!
I'm fiddling up a Storm with me mates!

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