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#1293951 - 10/26/09 11:02 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17746
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Originally Posted By: Piano Girl RMG
Last year I bought a pair of leopard high heels. Yeow!


If ever a sentence demanded an accompanying photo, this one surely does! grin

[...and now I'm wondering how on earth you manage to pedal in high heels? confused ]
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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Piano & Music Accessories
#1294212 - 10/26/09 04:23 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
gdguarino Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/20/07
Posts: 317
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Piano Girl RMG
Greg, your set-up sounds like that computer game: King of Parking. I think maybe this is why I play solo piano.

Jeff, I am now working on my limbo medley. Why is that word so funny? Just saying it makes me laugh.

Since we have long since abandoned any discernible boundary around this thread, I feel no shame about the following:

"Limbo" also has a theological meaning, which makes me think of Purgatory, which in turn reminds me of our drummer (many drummers, actually). The connection in his brain between thought and speech is frequently unfiltered and instantaneous.

To wit: We were playing at a dinner-dance in a Catholic Church cafegymatorium. It was the dead of winter, if memory serves. The load-in area was covered in a sheet of ice that was at once lumpy and as smooth as glass. One wrong move carrying a trap case and a drummer might be off to meet his maker. Perhaps that was on his mind.

The parish priest came over to our table during a break. He was the true Central Casting article, with the map of Donegal practically drawn on his face. He told us we were doing a good job and asked if there was anything he could do for us.

"Could you get them to re-open Purgatory Father?", asked the drummer, "I was really counting on that."

I have since looked it up. I'm not sure where he got the idea that the Church had abandoned the idea of Purgatory, but it was as clear a window as you could ask for into his personality nonetheless.

So there you have it: Limbo, Purgatory, Drummer, Priest, Google, with Piano World thrown in for good measure. That's not even an ellipse, is it?
_________________________
Greg Guarino

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#1294251 - 10/26/09 05:15 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: TimR]
gdguarino Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/20/07
Posts: 317
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: TimR
Originally Posted By: Jeff Clef
"I'll have you know I played all of Radetzky on one breath!"

I'll have to confess I don't know that composer, but I don't doubt you could do it, Tim. I'd be interested to learn about Radetzky, if you want to say a few words. Is it wedding music? I love brass; used to play Bb cornet myself, years ago.


I was down in Munich for Oktoberfest (yeah, the real one!) and walking past a beer tent I heard a familiar tune. Inside was a typical German large oompah band, probably about 20 to 25 pieces and largely conical brass.

Music has an entirely different effect on us when it's played live. I'm sure that I had either grimaced or rolled my eyes whenever I accidentally landed on Oom-Pah style music on the car radio. But seeing bands much as you describe at the Munich Oktoberfest gave me an entirely new perspective. The enormous beer hall whose translucent roof was painted with fluffy clouds, dirndl-clad waitresses of generous proportions handling 4 glass steins in each hand, a whole ox on a spit, the lederhosen even; all of it contributed to a new understanding. This is fun. Polkas were obviously written with enjoyment as the driving force.

Now I can even hear the "fun" on recordings. Travel is good for that.


Edited by gdguarino (10/26/09 05:18 PM)
_________________________
Greg Guarino

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#1294372 - 10/26/09 08:31 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: gdguarino]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4414
Loc: San Jose, CA
I guess I should order some of your CDs to get a better idea, lest I stray beyond all bounds (assuming I enjoy the charity of still being on the right side). Barnes lists one only: An NPR Christmas Collection with Marian McPartland and Friends, with only one number out of the three-disc box set, performed by Robin. It is Magic in the Night. But, sometimes they "forget" works that are still in release. Some of the technical books on piano, for example, can only be ordered direct from the publisher. Or try finding a bio on Scriabin.

If we wanted to order Going Rogue, however... we could get it by the crate.

Thanks anyway to that one; I'm still working my way through Bach's On the True Art, and Famous Pianists and Their Technique. And a few about Chopin.

Naturally, I applaud anyone who takes the stage in leopard pumps. "Accessories make the ensemble," they say, "or break it." I hardly need say, no one can "do" Eartha; she was strictly a limited edition--- "is," I should say. Though I believe she's retired from performing, there's still plenty of sizzle in her recordings.

Maybe Madonna's pallid cover of Santa Baby amounts to a cautionary tale for other performers, and even she didn't dare touch I Want to Be Evil, I Want to be Bad. That knack of being sultry, and yet comical, is very rare.

Anyway, I'm sure a performer who can go on with the show despite "a major problem with wasps" doesn't need my help to choose material that works.


Edited by Jeff Clef (10/26/09 08:33 PM)
_________________________
Clef


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#1295213 - 10/28/09 01:48 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Jeff Clef]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
My CDs (physical copies) are all at Amazon, Jeff. Or maybe your nearest funeral home gift shop.

I am still amazed that "Magic in the Night" landed on Marian McPartland's Xmas recording. The producer had me record it at the end of the session we did for my show with her. I would have preferred to play one of my minor key Celtic dirges, but she already had too many of those and asked for something light and fast. Magic in the Night is from a children's holiday fairy play (with a giant rabbit) that I wrote for German public radio. It is being produced live this season, at, you guessed it, the castle where I play regularly. Fairies, brides, giant rabbits, we have it all there.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#1296373 - 10/29/09 11:34 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
rustyfingers Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 788
Loc: Massachusetts
That, I would like to see. Maybe not all in the same event though.

Little Bunny Foo Foo suddenly comes to mind!
_________________________
If I had ever learnt, I should have been a great proficient.

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#1296521 - 10/30/09 09:20 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: gdguarino]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
Originally Posted By: gdguarino


The parish priest came over to our table during a break. He was the true Central Casting article, with the map of Donegal practically drawn on his face. He told us we were doing a good job and asked if there was anything he could do for us.

"Could you get them to re-open Purgatory Father?", asked the drummer, "I was really counting on that."

that is too funny.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1297461 - 10/31/09 09:59 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: apple*]
Brian Taylor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/07/08
Posts: 72
Loc: Etobicoke (Toronto) ON
A wedding story unlike any other:

An Italian Catholic service organist/cantor, Luigi, who is both a friend and a colleague, has a very far-flung network of contacts and frequently asks me to sub for him when he has more in a day than he can handle. Italians, by the way, are quite devoted to their departed family members, and usually ask that a memorial Mass be offered for one or another of their deceased, especially the month after the funeral, and annually thereafter, if not more frequently. Music is not compulsory, but is most often requested.

Such was the case, one Friday night last summer. Luigi had me go to a church for a 7:30 memorial Mass, to be sung in Italian. As usual, I went to the sacristy, where the priest vests for Mass, to speak with him to confirm last-minute details. No change from the arrangements with Luigi. Fine by me.

I went to the back of the church and up to the choir loft, set up my microphone and turned on the organ and sound system. I had decided to use a new-to-me hymn for the first time, so, while awaiting the bell that announces the beginning of the Mass, I looked through the words to make my pronunciation more secure. I had done memorial Masses in this church many times before, and I was completely at ease with the priest and with what was expected of me.

Several years earlier, having seen a photocopy, I had obtained from its Italian publisher an original printing of a Mass for the Dead, which I use for both funeral Masses and memorial Masses. It begins with an antiphon before and after a brief exerpt from a psalm. The antiphon, roughly translated, goes like this:

"Eternal rest give to them, Lord:
and [let] shine on them everlasting light."

Exactly what one would expect to begin a Mass for the Dead.

The bell rang and I played and sang the antiphon and psalm, in Italian, as usual, during the entrance procession of the priest and servers. When I conclude this music, the priest has reached his place at the altar and begins the Mass. However, instead of starting the Mass in Italian as I expected, he switched to English and welcomed the congregation to the marriage of two of the parishoners, which was to be celebrated at this Mass.

You have no idea how I felt at that moment, having just finished the music to begin the Mass for the Dead. Completely startled, I looked down into the church and saw that, between the time I had left the priest in the sacristy at the front of the church, and the ringing of the bell to start the Mass, there had been put in place two prie-dieus and chairs for the man and the woman who were now situated at the head of the main aisle, and who, now obviously, were about to marry. They were dressed in very ordinary casual street clothes -- no bridal gown, no suit on the groom, let alone a tux, and not even a tie. And the bride was very obviously pregnant. Well, I thought, that explains that.

I hadn't brought my wedding music book with me. I was able to switch to English readily enough for the standard parts of the Mass (e.g., Kyrie, Sanctus, Agnus Dei). I went diving into a cupboard and came up with an old hymnal with which I was familiar, and was able to sing a psalm and Gospel acclamation suitable for the occasion.

After the Gospel is read at a wedding Mass, the wedding ceremony proper takes place. The priest began by apologizing to the couple and to the entire congregation for not having informed the organist that this was to be a wedding Mass. It turns out that their wedding Mass was originally to have been at 8:15, but at the very last moment they asked if they could celebrate their marriage within the 7:30 Mass.

During the Offertory, the old hymnal provided me with a good wedding prayer/hymn for the newly married couple, and a good Communion hymn. I chose a fairly martial-type hymn for the recessional, and that was that.

Afterwards, I sought out the couple to extend my own apologies, but they were both rather bemused by the whole thing, and told me not to worry about it. The next day, I called Luigi, and when he got past his incredulity, we had quite a good laugh together.

I doubt I shall ever again begin a wedding Mass with a prayer from the Mass for the Dead, but for these two at least, it might not have been all that inappropriate a prayer for the beginning of their married life.


Edited by Brian Taylor (10/31/09 10:16 PM)
Edit Reason: corrected spelling error

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#1297608 - 11/01/09 08:49 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Brian Taylor]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
Wonderful story, Brian! I'm wondering if the other way around might have been worse. What if you played wedding music for a funeral?

I am in the middle of three completely different projects right now: a children's musical (in German), a comedy Piano Girl show (in English), and a serious solo piano concert (two language narration), and I keep having nightmares that I confuse one with the other—that I play the rabbit-fairy music for the serious candlelight concert, or that I'm playing a serious concert for a room for of kids (who start throwing stuff at me) or that I tell jokes in English and the German audience stares at me like I have a lettuce leaf on my head.

Your story is living proof that this can indeed happen.

Thanks for sharing this with us. BTW, you're an excellent writer!
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#1297971 - 11/01/09 09:45 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Brian Taylor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/07/08
Posts: 72
Loc: Etobicoke (Toronto) ON
I have certainly experienced the actuality of sneaking a wedding into what was presented to me as a Mass for the Dead. The other way around? -- how could you sneak a funeral into a wedding? (I'm not anxious to find out, really....) I think I would just take out a box of Smith Brothers and stop the coffin.

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#1297983 - 11/01/09 10:22 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
gdguarino Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/20/07
Posts: 317
Loc: New York City
We played a wedding of sorts last night; actually a 50th anniversary with a renewal of vows. The couple appeared to be happy and in good health. Nice, but little story fodder.

The place is worthy of mention, though. It's a yacht club. Does that paint a picture for you? An imposing Victorian building with a widow's walk, perhaps? 40 foot twin-engine pleasure crafts and cigarette boats? We've played at places like that, but in our experience, "yacht club" is a title that can cover a wide range of possibilities. All of them are near water, to be sure, and all have a number of floating vessels tied up nearby. Beyond that, almost any configuration is possible.

The place last night was surely built in stages. My best guess in that the first stage was an equipment box with a rusty padlock. Then a shed, then a bar, etc. It's a small place, one story with a party room, a bar and a kitchen. Different parts of the building are at slightly different levels, requiring small ramps. The "yachts" would be more accurately called "boats".

The people are friendly. It's a decent gig. But even in a small island neighborhood of modest houses, this is a very low-profile place. Which brings me, of course, to a story.

Several of our guys had trouble finding this small, poorly lit yacht club the first time we played there. To make matters worse, there's an ornate behemoth of a building practically next door. It's four stories tall and festooned with gables on all sides.

I gave that building a long look myself that first time, considering whether or not to pull into the semi-circular driveway. Something just didn't look right. I continued on, eventually finding a local walking a dog. She took me to the club.

Our guitarist did pull into the driveway. He grabbed a couple of things from his car and walked up the front staircase. As luck would have it, some sort of delivery person was coming out as he got to the door. Our guitarist held the door and walked in. He was a few steps into the grand hall inside when a young woman in a nightgown came out of another room, holding a baby.

"Er... is this the yacht club?"

"No. Next door."

That was several years ago. We've played there a half-dozen times since. Sensitive fellows that we are, we never miss an opportunity to remind him about it.
_________________________
Greg Guarino

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#1298704 - 11/03/09 07:47 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: gdguarino]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
This weekend I'm performing HERE COMES THAT BRIDE from Piano Girl, here in Germany. The piece was translated into German. I work with a German actress—I play myself (and the piano) and she plays all the other parts. Anyway, at rehearsal this morning—as I was banging out a ridiculous version of MY WAY and playing bullfight music for the bride's entrance, I found myself thinking of my colleagues here at PW and how much fun you all would have with this! Sometimes I think we're all working for the same bride. This show will be ridiculously funny—I just hope the audience gets it. There should be quite a few musicians in the audience, so that will help.

Greg, Yacht Clubs can be very scary. I used to play at the Nantucket Yacht Club. You can only imagine that scene.

I like those vow renewal weddings. Seems like people get it right the second time around. Love is lovelier, and so on.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#1298728 - 11/03/09 08:47 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4414
Loc: San Jose, CA
I have never actually been to a yacht club, but I have taken some very scary ladies to one in my cab; yuppie social climbers. Yes, they were climbing the social ladder trying to become yuppies on the back of their business: selling antique (or just old) telephones.

No editorial comment is necessary.

I will say a splashy wedding probably featured in their fantasies of the future. Mrs. Yacht Club Yuppie.
_________________________
Clef


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#1299413 - 11/04/09 12:10 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Jeff Clef]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
Well, it was bound to happen. I just read in the International Musician newspaper that Anne Roos (a Celtic harpist, no less) has written a book called The Musician's Guide to Brides. From the descriptions I read on-line, it sounds like an actual how-to, written from a serious perspective. Here's the publisher's blurb:

"Professional harpist Anne Roos draws upon her years of experience working with wedding planners and brides to guide the reader every step of the way to becoming a successful wedding musician. Readers will also get insider advice from internationally recognized wedding planning professionals, comprehensive worksheets, and checklists that provide all they need to know to plan their business and performances, and even sheet music arrangements of traditional wedding music. This is a must-have book for musicians and bands who want to keep their calendar full with high-paying wedding ceremonies and receptions."

Our PW Wedding Thread book would tell a different story; Limbo! (imagine that on Celtic harp) Classical music nervous breakdowns! Burger King theme songs! Warted people! Dancing dogs!

Congrats to Ms. Roos! I'm sure this book will provide a great service to those hoping to break into the wedding music field.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#1299416 - 11/04/09 12:16 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17746
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Hmmmm.... Robin, I think you need to get cracking on "The Musician's Guide to Bridezillas." The world doesn't need yet another serious wedding guide... but a book-length treatment of the stories being told in this thread would be a gift to anybody needing a laugh. heart
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#1299483 - 11/04/09 02:38 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Monica K.]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4414
Loc: San Jose, CA
Don't leave out the "Misadventure of the Wasp Nest" and the "Omen of the Service for the Dead" (Performed by Mistake, while the Preacher Pretended Not to Notice and the Bride Broke Out in a Rash).
_________________________
Clef


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#1299859 - 11/05/09 09:02 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Jeff Clef]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
Oh yes, "Omen of the Service for the Dead" is one of my favorites.

Hey, I just saw we passed the 10,000 hits mark!
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#1299955 - 11/05/09 12:21 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
gdguarino Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/20/07
Posts: 317
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Piano Girl RMG
...that provide all they need to know...

Hmmm.

I'm sure that Ms. Roos has tried to be comprehensive, but "all they need to know" is much too optimistic a promise. The theme underlying practically all of these posts is that however prepared you may think you are, the unexpected is to be expected at these gigs.

I can't help but feel that as a harp player Ms. Roos may have a somewhat sanitized perspective. Great Aunt Concetta doesn't wince on every note and tell the harp player to "turn it down". No one asks the harp player for "I Will Survive" (a cheery wedding sentiment, if ever there was one) or "Love Shack". Very few people have an inebriated uncle or an allegedly precocious nine-year-old who plays the harp and "simply must" perform for the guests. Wannabe musicians don't pester the harp player about whether the harp is "Pre-CBS" or what brand of strings she uses. The harpist probably fits in the space she is asked to play in, and doesn't need electricity, or at least not enough to present a problem.

The harpist most certainly did not have to drag her harp up the icy outdoor steps of Antun's Old Country Manor every third Tuesday night to compete (unpaid) against three other harpists to get the gig in the first place. She doesn't have to read 22 multisyllabic names written on a Post-It Note at a Polish/Greek wedding. As she is most likely playing the ceremony, rather than the reception, she will generally be dealing with a less "lubricated" clientele, and may never see the inside of the kitchen.

This is not to say that she would be entirely insulated from the lunacy that accompanies a wedding -- it's much too pervasive a phenomenon -- but I'll bet she occupies a notably different world than I do.
_________________________
Greg Guarino

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#1300272 - 11/06/09 12:47 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: gdguarino]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
"The harpist most certainly did not have to drag her harp up the icy outdoor steps of Antun's Old Country Manor every third Tuesday night to compete (unpaid) against three other harpists to get the gig in the first place. She doesn't have to read 22 multisyllabic names written on a Post-It Note at a Polish/Greek wedding. As she is most likely playing the ceremony, rather than the reception, she will generally be dealing with a less "lubricated" clientele, and may never see the inside of the kitchen."

Greg, that's a really funny paragraph.

I suspect my world of weddings is more like Ms. Roos's than yours, but even though we wear ball gowns and sit in the corner doing the tinka-tinka thing we still have to deal with all kinds of wedding nonsense. Different, but equally crazy, I would say. Without the sound system and the stage and the other band members, acoustic soloists are unarmed, working without a net, facing the wedding planner and an army of mauve lace with nothing but a repertoire of quiet music to get us through some very long hours.

I'm thinking of working in a cocktail piano version of I WILL SURVIVE. That could be our group theme song, don't you think? It could even work on celtic harp.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#1300639 - 11/06/09 04:53 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
gdguarino Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/20/07
Posts: 317
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Piano Girl RMG

Greg, that's a really funny paragraph.

Truth is generally funnier than fiction, especially when filtered by selective memory. I'm sure I climbed those thirty steel steps dozens of times and in every season of the year, but I really cannot remember doing it in good weather. It could be a crystal blue day in June, but as my car approached the parking lot the sky would darken, the Earth's axis would tilt and a bolt of arctic air would rocket toward the catering hall, carrying sleet, ice and the odd penguin.
Originally Posted By: Piano Girl RMG

I suspect my world of weddings is more like Ms. Roos's than yours, but even though we wear ball gowns

Right there I detect a difference. Only one guy in the band ever wore a dress, and he was gone before I joined.
Originally Posted By: Piano Girl RMG

and sit in the corner doing the tinka-tinka thing we still have to deal with all kinds of wedding nonsense. Different, but equally crazy, I would say. Without the sound system and the stage and the other band members, acoustic soloists are unarmed, working without a net, facing the wedding planner and an army of mauve lace with nothing but a repertoire of quiet music to get us through some very long hours.

I have to admit, I do appreciate being a sideman. When someone is bearing down on me with that almost-unhinged look, it's nice to be able to reply "Who's in charge? Why, that guy over there...".
_________________________
Greg Guarino

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#1300843 - 11/06/09 11:38 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: gdguarino]
gdguarino Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/20/07
Posts: 317
Loc: New York City
I've just had a flashback of what was likely the first wedding I ever played. I was probably 19 or 20. We were not a wedding band.

The catering hall was in Brooklyn, New York. The manager came up to us and gave us the names of all the members of the wedding party. The size of the paper and the creative penmanship made it look like it came off a prescription pad.

We assumed we were supposed to announce the people as they came in. Wrong. There was a "Welcome Song" that opened every party at this place. They were shocked that we didn't know it. The manager sang it to us as best she could. I can still remember it.


Here comes Uncle Phil
Walking down the aisle
Here comes Uncle Phil
Wearing a great big smile
Wish him well
Bring him in
Come and join the rest
Wish him all the very best


...or something very much like that. In each verse "Uncle Phil" would be replaced by the next name on the list. I came up with some sort of jaunty accompaniment and our guitarist was going to sing it.

It already sounds pretty goofy, right? Well, there were a lot of names on the list, so imagine the goofyness going on for a long time. We had more and more trouble keeping our composure as the parade went on. Add to that the fact that many of the names were not nearly as rhythmically fluid as "Uncle Phil". Try fitting "Doctor and Mrs. Marty Silverburg" into three shuffle eighth notes.

Many of the names were barely legible. Human memory is apparently aided by absurdity, because after thirty years I can still remember that one couple's names were "Vidgie and Joe", at least according to our guitarist. In retrospect, it was more likely "Vicki".

This thread is really awakening some long dormant brain cells.
_________________________
Greg Guarino

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#1300932 - 11/07/09 05:40 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: gdguarino]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
I like Vidgie and Joe. If they don't own a restaurant chain, they should.

Greg, my dad has played a lot of weddings where he has been given a loooooong list of guest names to mention. Dad (the jazz drummer) is also quite the comedian, so he works the names into the song THAT OLD GANG OF MINE and then insults everyone on the list, which, comedy being comedy, always manages to make people laugh. I've got him lurking on this thread, and I know I'll hear him laughing (all the way from Pittsburgh) when he reads your line about fitting "Dr. and Mrs. Marty Silverburg" into three shuffle eighth notes.

I do believe that Dr. and Mrs. Marty Silverburg, along with Vidgie and Joe, show up at every wedding. And Uncle Phil, he's always there, too, a little tipsy and boring everyone to tears with long speeches about the day the bride received her first tricycle.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#1301935 - 11/09/09 07:12 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
gdguarino Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/20/07
Posts: 317
Loc: New York City
Last night (Sunday), we played a...well I don't know what to call it. It was apparently a charity event, held at a church we played at once before. There was a concert of opera favorites in the church proper, followed by a not-quite-dinner featuring our decidedly different material.

The not-quite-dinner consisted of a table full of cheese and crackers, hors d'oeuvres served by a team of 11 year old boys from the parish and a twenty-foot array of every cake and pie in Brooklyn. I don't imagine the charity was for diabetes or cardiac health.

The priest, who some may remember from upthread, once again applied his flexible rhythmic sense to a song he came up to sing, "All of Me":

...Take my lips
I want to lose them
Take my arms
I'll never use them...


We only needed to make one course correction this time, leaving 2 beats out of a measure shortly before the sax solo. Here's a tip for any of you who might occasionally accompany an amateur singer; make sure to insert an instrumental break into the song. Consider it a "reset" button; a chance to put things right before the singer goes off the rails entirely.

He's got a good voice and the song was a big hit. It helped liven up a Sunday evening affair, which is no small achievement.
_________________________
Greg Guarino

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#1302796 - 11/10/09 02:57 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: gdguarino]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
Last night my dad played at a Pittsburgh event called UKRAINIAN MAN OF THE YEAR. It was not a wedding, but it might as well have been.

I played a wedding over the weekend but it was perfect and easy and no one, not even the clipboard lady, was rude or obnoxious.

On Sunday night I read (along with another actress) the HERE COMES THAT BRIDE chapter from Piano Girl. No big deal, except I did it in German—a first for me.

I have another show on Thursday, and I'll have to play ALL OF ME for one part of the reading. Greg, I'll be thinking of the priest's lyrics!

Those 20 foot long cake buffets just make me crazy. I mean, I love a nice cupcake as much as the next guy, but too many baked goods on one table? Not good. When I worked at the Mariott Marquis in Manhattan they put the cake buffet ON the grand piano. Horrible. I could play a glissando and dip into the coconut icing all with one flick of the wrist.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#1302905 - 11/10/09 06:36 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4414
Loc: San Jose, CA
I remember the Marriott Letters: the place with the dummy in a tuxedo "playing" a PianoDisc. At least it didn't complain to the management about turning the piano into an oyster bar, and you know how those people love "no back-talk," even if it costs them an extra ten large (plus tux). I haven't stepped foot in a Marriott since, though I'm kind of "on the fence" about back-talk myself. Just the other day, I found myself telling a clerk in a store, "Mmmm, edgy--- I like that in a shopclerk." Shameful, I know... yet I don't feel too bad about it.

There used to be an airplane that flew back and forth over Myrtle Beach, S.C. trailing a sign urging beach-goers to, "Eat A Foot-Long Hot Dog!!" I'm sure I'm not the only one who felt the message might be, perhaps, deliberately ambiguous. Many people brag about eating a foot-long hotdog, but they are transparent liars in practically all cases. But there's nothing ambiguous about a twenty-foot-long cake, even in these times when Competitive Eating seems to be on its way to the Olympics.

I think I already explained how visualizing the doughnut around my waistline helped blunt my craving for the fattening breakfast treat, though I'm a fan of coconut icing. Vanity can save you from things that are a lot worse, if you have to take your pick of the Seven Deadly Sins. Still not enough? Visualize my mom living six years after a series of strokes, and still keeping up the compulsive overeating until she weighed close to 300 pounds. We're not talking about zipping up ballgowns here. She was lovely as a young woman; there was no sign of warning. So, now that my doc has started to nag pretty bad about taking off twenty pounds, I think of her. I do not think of twenty-foot-long cakes, or even foot-longs. Well... maybe once in awhile.

I have tried, really tried, to be good... about my attitude toward weddings. But it's so hard to be nice, when you're not. Still, I didn't post the last of the little morceaux. It was more of the same, except for the rat trap. Think your pedal technique is good enough to kick one into the wedding planner's path, just as you strike up a mambo rendering of Three Blind Mice? These subtle touches make all the difference; through them a performance rises to art.

Grieg has been getting my attention. Some of his Lyric Pieces strike me as lovely wedding music. They're moving enough harmonically to give the mother of the bride something to boo-hoo about shamelessly, yet rhythmically alive enough to give the father just the right piece to dance with the bride. Grieg was madly popular as a concert performer, in his day. Some of the critics looked down their noses, but the public loved him, his publisher treasured him, and every impresario was after him for bookings. No, it wasn't the get-down number that Love Shack is, but why go there in every set; even honeymooners take a breather. As I was saying, it's the subtleties. You might ask, "And how would you know?" but that's a subject for another post. I don't always throw gasoline on the bonfire. Not always.
_________________________
Clef


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#1302928 - 11/10/09 07:20 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Jeff Clef]
Don Camillo Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 3
I had a different role at weddings as a Presbyterian minister. Since I always loved "Marryin' Sam" in the Little Abner comic strips, who went all out for a "two dollar wedding," I always wanted to do a wedding for $2.

In a ministry to needy people in our community, I found a couple who had lived together for years, had children, but had never married because they could not afford a wedding. I offered to marry them in our lovely little country church for $2, and they took me up on the offer. I even talked my wife into playing the organ. She prepared about 15 minutes of music.

The bride was 45 minutes late to the wedding, with my wife madly improvising the whole time for a very restless congregation of about 40 of their friends. I was just about to call off the wedding and close up the church when she walked in.

That had a lot to do with my decision to stop doing weddings.

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#1303031 - 11/10/09 11:24 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Don Camillo]
gdguarino Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/20/07
Posts: 317
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Don Camillo
... I always loved "Marryin' Sam" in the Little Abner comic strips...


I played "Marryin' Sam" in my Junior High School school play, complete with a black suit and my very best Dogpatch accent. I can still remember one of my lines:

Daisy: (played by a girl acknowledged as the pinnacle of ninth-grade perfection)
"Look at me Sam, I'm plumb wasted away"

Sam: (who was told by our director to give Daisy a long, and longing, look up and down before delivering the line)
"Mebbe so, but what you got left over is more than mos' folks starts out with".
_________________________
Greg Guarino

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#1303099 - 11/11/09 07:28 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Jeff Clef]
gdguarino Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/20/07
Posts: 317
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Jeff Clef
just as you strike up a mambo rendering of Three Blind Mice

I can hear this in my head, with a coro of "Tres ratones ciegos" in harmony. It fits beautifully. O for a life of idle wealth; I'd have 20 pieces playing my arrangement on YouTube by week's end, and a link on PW.
_________________________
Greg Guarino

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#1303146 - 11/11/09 09:49 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: gdguarino]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
Don, I love your $2.00 wedding story. I would love to read your wife's take on that very long 45 minute set she played while waiting for the bride to show. Perhaps she did her own version of Three Blind Mice.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

Top
#1303164 - 11/11/09 10:29 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4414
Loc: San Jose, CA
"I can hear this in my head, with a coro of "Tres ratones ciegos" in harmony. It fits beautifully. O for a life of idle wealth; I'd have 20 pieces playing my arrangement..."

And that is why God invented MIDI, for musicians who want to dream big on a budget. When MIDI first came out I thought it was some kind of girdle or newfangled pantyhose, just hearing the name. But, no.

The sound of the trap being sprung could add some snap to the mixdown.

**********

After a quick Google, I realized it calls for a PS:


PS--- A very old tune, predating 1609 (when it was first published) with lyric made over to mock Mary Stuart's coercively authoritarian religious regime, Three Blind Mice has had a longer run than I could have imagined... and if you think a little tune about being blinded, gutted, and burned at the stake is going too far already, stay away from Mary Mary Quite Contrary. Talk about getting down. At least in those days, they had a pretty good idea of what pre-school children really like. Three Blind Mice has had treatments in "serious music," movie themes, and was sung by fans at baseball games to mock umpires (formerly three in number) until the League had to step in, in the name of sportsmanship. And now we have the Wedding Planner Mambo.

Its energy and persistence are such that it makes me suspect that it may be a facet of some archetype. Anyway, Happy Birthday, Three Blind Mice: you just may be around to celebrate another four hundred.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Blind_Mice
http://www.rhymes.org.uk/three_blind_mice.htm
http://www.rhymes.org.uk/mary_mary_quite_contrary.htm

"Triolets, villanelles, rondelles, rondeaux,"
That's the one; "Three Blind Mice" is a rondelle


Edited by Jeff Clef (11/11/09 11:51 AM)
_________________________
Clef


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