Monday, February 27, 2012
An Affair to Remember
For the past two weeks the Capt and I have been working toward getting ready for a big event yesterday. The occasion was "An Affair to Remember," an art exhibition for which the Capt volunteered to supply live music, i.e. us.
He also signed up to show about ten of his watercolors and oils, some of which had not yet been painted! Only one of which was properly framed. He turned out three oils in about ten days, and one was still not completely dry when we hung them at the exhibit.
He arranged to have mats and glass cut for his watercolors, and had our friend Charlie make some frames. But with only hours to go before the show, we picked up the matting and glass and found they were all the wrong size! So he had to quickly hire Charlie to make new frames the right size.
Also, since we had to fill a three-hour exhibit with music, it was necessary for us to dig up several songs we hadn't done in years, rearrange them and get them up to performance standards in about three days.
A recipe for disaster! But somehow we got through it and it was indeed for us an affair to remember. The Capt even sold one of his paintings.
The exhibit was held in a large empty brick-walled room, reminiscent of a warehouse. We were expected to provide "only background music," but at least a dozen people came up to us and asked us to crank it up, so we did. Nobody complained we were too loud.
We played in front of a huge window and the late afternoon sun, combined with the body heat of hundreds of people, made it feel like a Mexican summer, so I unwisely shed the lightweight vest I had worn over my tanktop.
A tsunami of sound bounced off the walls, as a thousand people elbowed their way through the door over the three hours. A great test of our ability to soldier on through any kind of distraction and stay on the beat.
It was exhilarating, exhausting and instructive. We came away with a few lessons learned...
1) The bass and drum tracks on our iPad system are not reliable. Sometime between rehearsals and the show, some of the songs changed tempo and added verses, creating extra havoc. We'll have to test each song an hour before the show, preferably after we've set up. Or find another system.
2) One thing we did right, and probably will do again. Since we have two big speakers, we set one up outside, and friends told us we actually sounded better out there, without the echoing background of umpteen conversations.
3) Next time we have pictures framed, we will pay to have the entire job done at the shop, so there will be no miscommunications.
4) We didn't have any business cards with us! Duh!
5) Never again will I wear a spaghetti-strap spandex top onstage without a shirt over it, no matter how hot it gets, unless I have spent at least six months at the gym.