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#1762231 - 09/30/11 09:50 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
gdguarino Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/20/07
Posts: 317
Loc: New York City
Our band has not been playing quite as much as we used to, but it's been a pretty good month. I'm about to have the kind of weekend that used to be fairly commonplace. We've got a fish restaurant tonight, a Classic Car show tomorrow afternoon and a Catholic Church Dinner Dance tomorrow night.

The Summer schedule came off almost without a hitch. No torrential downpours, no deaf sound men, no squadrons of dragonflies, no chubby naked guys dancing and climbing suburban roofs (see upthread for that one). Good news for the band; bad news for Let's Talk Weddings.

Oh, there were the usual electrical difficulties, and there was the one time the speakers caught fire (upthread again), but other than that a fairly humdrum Summer. Our sax played acquired a wireless system for his tenor. That required a mixer, and the mixer bequeathed a reverb unit, so I've gotten some entertainment watching a sax player struggle with the complications of technology for the first time.

We did a high school reunion the other night. Class of 1961. I'm sure many of them have high-school age grandchildren by now. They were well behaved and their speeches were remarkably brief. One of the organizers bought a button-making machine. He made buttons out of their old graduation photos for them to wear. A nice touch, I thought. Interesting hairdos too.

They did however take an impossibly long time in the buffet line. It was positively glacial, taking nearly an hour to serve 150 people. For buffet professionals like us, it was excruciating.

The menu was very standard chafing-dish fare, yet they dawdled and scrutinized each of the offerings as if the affair was in some faraway land whose cuisine consisted mostly of insects. That must have been one awfully slow cafeteria back in 1961.

Wish me luck for the weekend. Maybe a lobster will get loose, or a '57 BelAir will collide with the Batmobile, or someone will put a little too much Vodka in the Church basement punch.
_________________________
Greg Guarino

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Piano & Music Accessories
#1762575 - 09/30/11 09:06 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
thanks Sandy.. smile

Greg, buffet professional, 1961 is a LONG time ago. If a lobster got loose, i would catch it and eat it. I've never had a lobster. I had an opportunity once, but it was alive and I was supposed to select 'it'. .. which made me kind of in the mood for steak.

I come across oldsters who obviously have nothing to do and are oblivious to everyone else's sense of urgency. Forgive me if you are a dawdler.. I am not that angry about it really. I do love old people.

I was waiting with my son, who is getting driver's lessons from me to air up a tire on the car. the man at the free air pump was carefully checking the pressure on all his tires.. none of them needed filling and his knees were BAD. I can just hear him telling Myna.. 'honey, I am going to go up and air up the tires'.

i am playing sunday for my herr director. she is perfect so it will go well. I always mess with her because the organist is supposed to be 'in charge'. just a little.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1762721 - 10/01/11 06:59 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: apple*]
gdguarino Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/20/07
Posts: 317
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: apple*
thanks Sandy.. smile
Greg, buffet professional, 1961 is a LONG time ago.


Yes, the cafeteria line is probably nearly finished by now...
_________________________
Greg Guarino

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#1762793 - 10/01/11 10:15 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
I4Future Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/02/11
Posts: 104
Loc: Youngsville, LA
Today is my first wedding gig. I wouldn't say I am nervous, not really in the mood for it though. What do you guys do to "pump" yourself up to deal with all the chaos and get into a musician mind set?
_________________________
Science is performed by answering many small questions. Mountains are made from many smaller stones, books are comprised of many pages, discovery is a process of many small events.

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#1762884 - 10/01/11 01:51 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
listen to some rousing postludes if you are playing the actual wedding..

i don't think the guests really listen too much at the after parties. at least not to me.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

Top
#1763377 - 10/02/11 01:13 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
I am back. I have many things to report—weddings galore, Piano Girl tours, etc. Tomorrow is a holiday here in Germany (Reunification Day—celebrating the fall of the wall), and I will have time to sit down and file a report. There are some weddings going on, but no one hired me to play.

I have missed all of you!
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#1763844 - 10/03/11 10:00 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
I've certainly missed you Robin.. it's been like months! I'm looking for to your reports. I am posting the following.. it is not a piano thread but hay (as they say in Kansas).

I had the best day yesterday.

As you all know, years ago in the first part of the 80s i was a chefette. I wanted to be a restaurateur and my 'mentor' of sorts said i needed to learn to cook. I went and begged for a job at a local privately owned, well respected, creative, lebanese and continental restaurant. I cut tons of onions my first day and then moved up to work with David. At the time he was only 17 and was essentially running this very complicated traditional (think Julia Child and Jacque Pepin) kitchen. Within days, I was up and running with him.. we got tons of work done in our ten hours. The chef ( Don Pepe) who used to cook for Ari and Jackie Onassis said he was going to quit.. Well we said no problem - went to the owner and the next day Don Pepe was really gone. He later went to prison for dealing coke).

http://www.kcoriginals.com/chefs.asp?chefid=31

We had a blast - we had 7 specials, a soup, quiche, fish entree - etc.. 4 desserts, 4 master sauces, 25 menu items at least for lunch and 30 for dinner.. the kitchen was small and we had the run of it. I was 22 at the time and David was 17, - we were never romantically involved but as close as a married couple almost. We worked 10 hours a day, often 6 days a week non stop.. year after year. I quit do to a violent issue with another cook rather suddenly after 6 years and only saw David occasionally after that. I stayed in restaurants.. cooking at other places, managing and waitressing.. but never matched the fun or knowledge of that place (Nabil's).

After almost 30 years I dropped by David's own restaurant.. it is in a town (weston, missouri) and had the best time catching up. we talked for hours while my family enjoyed the apple festival. (oddly). I'll take my family there soon for brunch. He is gray now and just a bit paunchy around the waist. He said.. I can't believe you are not cooking.. you were one of the best cooks i ever met.. made me feel good. I miss him and the team we were.

He said.." I am no Nabil, I'll never be rich, .. but I never screwed anybody"... and Nabil was notorious in that respect.

I might make something tonite with this special sauce (steak diane sauce) we made with a traditional European brown master sauce, green peppercorns, sour cream, burgundy.. it was so good... maybe tonite.

I also found the best clothing shop I've ever seen. It was owned by a Chinese woman.. she and her sister designed all the clothes and had them made in India and China. Her shop is the only place they are sold. I bought a jacket off the sales rack. Many are made with cotton, quilted in stripes with bright vegetable, hand made dyes from India.. omg.. they were gorgeous. Once i am up and driving in a week or 2, I am going to drive up there and take photos. She doesn't have a website and clothing is not mass produced. I am so writing Vogue.. They are uniquely stylish, practical, gorgeous and artistic.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1763951 - 10/03/11 01:20 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
Notes and Words

What started out to be a pretty relaxed summer turned into a whirlwind of craziness, both good and bad. I played a lot of weddings this year, most of them stress-free and elegant—the kind of gigs where the piano is good, the event planner minds her own clipboard, and you don’t have to beg for food or wine—it just magically appears at exactly the right moment.

I think I left off right before I was scheduled to play the Japanese-German nuptial dinner in a big Baroque castle nor far from here. I don’t like the pianos at this place and often turn down work there because I just can’t stand playing a K-mart piano in a place that charges 18€ for a piece of cake. Been there, done that. Anyway, the client, father of the groom, had one of my CDs (not THAT one Clef), and insisted on renting a nice piano for the evening. At my suggestion he also hired my husband’s jazz trio for after dinner music, so it was a double header for the Goldsby family.

There were several translators involved since the bride’s family spoke no German (and little English). So all the speeches were long and painfully translated into Japanese. There was a bit of bowing going on, and one gift exchange ceremony between the parents that took about two months.

I was told by the groom’s father that the Japanese bride’s favorite song was “Fly Me to the Moon.” (say this with a Japanese accent—it’s funny) I played it (quite nicely) but she didn’t seem to recognize the melody. But this could have been because she was stuffed into a wedding dress with a corset so tight that it may well have cut off blood circulation to her brain. Her feet were the size of my fists. I have never seen such tiny feet. And she was incredibly beautiful, like a human hand-painted teacup. The white dress had a mile long train on it, which her dear mother had to deal with every time the poor girl got up to do anything. I know this, because they were right next to the piano, and there were several incidents that almost caused the three of us to be smothered to death in white organza. (“Death by Organza” could be an excellent title for a book)

The bride and groom were in their early twenties. I got the feeling that the groom’s father was not so happy. The Japanese mother of the bride got up and played a dirge-like piano solo that was very beautiful but the most depressing thing you’ve ever heard. People seemed sad. But the flowers and the clothes were nice. I can’t imagine what the whole thing cost. I bowed and said thank you in Japanese and got out of there before I tripped on the bride’s train and caused an international incident.

I passed the music baton to John and his jazz trio. They started with a waltz version of “Fly Me to the Moon,” and the bride smiled and got up to dance. So maybe it was just my version (in four) that she didn’t recognize. Or maybe she had loosened her corset by that point.

**
Speaking of my husband, he is, as we speak, playing on the Museum Mile in Bonn, with the WDR Big Band, a popular singer here named Wolfgang Niedecken (he’s like the German Springsteen), and a 1000 (!) member choir. They’ll be doing a jazz big band and choir version of the Beethoven Ode to Joy, which sounds like a recipe for disaster if you ask me. The idea of all those singers is frightening. I hope he makes it home okay. It is Reunification Day in Germany, which calls for big outdoor festivals, copious amounts of beer, about a ton of Bratwurst, and lots of singers.

**

More later!
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#1764480 - 10/04/11 10:18 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
I wonder if the music was for 'the moon my heart'. I can just imagine that tiny bride.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1764544 - 10/04/11 12:12 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
"...They’ll be doing a jazz big band and choir version of the Beethoven Ode to Joy, which sounds like a recipe for disaster if you ask me...."

A recipe for disaster. God help me; I can just see the matron of honor squabbling with the caterer. Cut to "Long Line Outside the Ladies Room Door," with further squabbles breaking out.

This is why I stopped watching "Bridezillas."
_________________________
Clef


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#1765688 - 10/06/11 08:12 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
Jim Fariss and his wife Sandy (they are two of the esteemed Piano World members who visited Germany along with Frank B back in June) showed up at Schloss Lerbach last weekend with Jim’s mother and cousin. This isn’t a wedding story, but it almost is, because Jim and Sandy had celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary in June, and Jim, being a hopeless romantic, wanted to extend the party by planning a little surprise for Sandy.

Lucky Sandy! Jim seems to be one of those unusual men who spends every waking moment dreaming up surprises for his wife. In Hamburg, for instance, he had an anniversary cake made for the big day. Made to order bakery cakes in Germany are completely over the top and quite delicious. From what I saw of the video, this one was no exception. Jim also delivered an anniversary speech in German (an act of courage that deserves a healthy dose of praise) and celebrated along with the entire PW tour group. Sandy had no clue that he had planned this—in fact, she thought he had forgotten their anniversary.

Fast forward to September 25th, the day the Fariss party showed up at Lerbach for the Sunday Champagne Lunch. Jim had sent me email ahead of time, asking if I would be willing to play “Your Song,” for Sandy. He wanted to sing to her. As a surprise.

You all know from previous posts here (or maybe you’ve forgotten) that “Your Song” is a wedding favorite. You might also recall that I have never quite figured out the chords to the bridge part . . . “and you can tell everybody, what is that chord?” I have listened to the record, looked at Elton’s sheet music, and even consulted with my jazz guy husband (the Chord Doctor) and it still sounds wrong. Whatever, I agreed to play it for Jim and Sandy. Anything for love. And at least they didn't ask for Titanic.

On the big day, they brought me a cake from Yorkshire and I played background music for their lunch of pumpkin soup and pasta with chanterelle mushrooms and white chocolate mousse upside down cake with raspberries and copious amounts of champagne. It was a glorious day and the restaurant, which spreads out onto the rose terrace in nice weather, was full.

After lunch we went upstairs to the grand piano in the main hall, with the idea that I would just play a song or two for them so they could hear the nice acoustics in the lobby (this is where I play on Friday and Saturday evenings). I played a little mood music while Jim waxed poetic about Sandy. Then he pointed at me and we started “Your Song.” The guy can sing! Go, Jim, go. “It’s a little bit funny, this feeling inside . . .” Poor Sandy burst into tears, while Jim’s mother and cousin lurked around the piano and took photos. I tried not to cry, attempted to hold it together and play the right chords (even though I still don’t know what the right chords are), and marveled at the miracle of true love.

Afterwards, Jim said to me, “Well, we really got her, didn’t we?”

I’ll say. It was one of those rare Piano Girl moments, when I got the feeling that what I do counts.

Thanks, Jim.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#1765863 - 10/06/11 02:07 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
yeah.. hurray for Jim. I'm not jealous of Sandy... sigh
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

Top
#1767004 - 10/08/11 07:41 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
That is lovely, Robin. Not that I don't appreciate the color that comes with people ramming the piano with a giant wheelchair, or the unfortunate consequences when garden weddings meet wasps... but it is these really beautiful moments that make it possible to put up with, well, all those others. And I have really missed you, so it's great to hear your voice again here.

My neighbor is celebrating his retirement next month by getting married. I'm going (at least to the ceremony), for it was not the kind of invitation I could wiggle out of. He told me, "I was trying to think of the one word that describes our relationship..." Well, I was off to the races, thinking of one-word descriptions for many other such cases; descriptions I was not about to share with him. "...and the one word I came up with was, 'Home.'"

And indeed, my neighbor is registered at Home Depot: both modest and practical. It's a full-on wedding, though. Gowns and dress-up, the works. No mention of a pianist, but we'll see.

************************************

Strep Nose is what the doc called it. Compare to Strep Throat. I've had that, and it was no good. Fever, nose as red as an old drunk, swollen up, killing me. Antibiotics to take, and more to apply topically.

I can't put my finger on it, but I have the feeling I've gone too far this time. What can I say; when you're sick, you watch a lot of TV. When you watch a lot of TV, sick things happen. Maybe you'll tell me what you think, Robin. I really think it sounds completely typical for one of my posts:

************************************

And “Today in Wedding History:”

One wife, seven babies (six by girlfriends), and a rabbi summing it up, saying: "This is not a player, or a womanizer; this is a man who hates women, plays them off against each other, and uses them; a man of very low character."

And the press is saying about the same thing, but I couldn't resist.

Twenty fans were turning,
They were turning,
Twenty fans were turning,
One in every room...


It's so hard to keep up with the Michael Jackson Death Trial --- even with wall-to-wall television coverage, including one cable channel wholly dedicated to it. The parade of witnesses so far, has included: (1) an ambush of attorneys, (2) a drove of doctors, with a few bodyguards and ambulance drivers thrown in, and (3) a posse of prostitutes. Whoops--- on advice of counsel, make that a posse parade of strippers exotic dancers Albert-Einstein-level geniuses, from a Houston, Texas strip joint pole-dance parlor Gentlemens' Club. Still off-stage, (4) the many mothers of his seven children, including court testimony from his current live-in, an "actress," and the concurrent spare girlfriend, with whom he was chatting on the phone as his famous patient coded, unnoticed. Then, (5) a choir of compounding pharmacists, singing in the witness box. Yes, singing: a seedy song with chorus after chorus of powerful narcotics, surgical anesthetics, skin-bleaching crèmes of which the public was to know nothing, tranquilizers in staggeringly large wholesale quantities, and shipped to his girlfriend the “actress’s” apartment which he told the pharmacist was the address of his medical offices. He could go to jail for that alone, but wouldn’t you know, the cable channel played a clip of the elephant, which Jackson maintained at Neverland. Enough drugs to kill an elephant--- who could miss that. And finally, (6) a fandango of toxicologists and coroner's investigators, whose testimony did nothing but vex the defense counsel grievously.

Oh h e l l. No matter how I try to put it, I can't make it come out any better than low comedy, so low it makes Anna Nicole look like a tower of talent and a model of Miss Manners genteel deportment. But somehow it's hauntingly familiar... and just possibly, Miss Mona said it all, and said it first:

It's just a little bitty [censored]-ant country place,
Nothing much to see,
No drinking allowed, we get a nice, quiet crowd,
Plain as it can be.

Yes, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, except that 'Best Little Whorehouse's' cast could sing, dance, and act, and respond to simple questions in plain English. The “actress” turned in the worst performance of the lot; evidently she thought she was auditioning for a future part, and, judging by her determined smirk, punctuated by dodgy simpers now and then, and direct refusals to answer what she was asked, it seemed she figured she was a lot smarter than the lady lawyer who was questioning her. Her court-inappropriate outfit of six-inch pumps and plunging neckline (no bra, of course; nipples, of course) was received coldly by a jury of wives; they were not simpering back at her, and even stopped taking notes. As a sidebar, I recall a scene from Gone With the Wind in which Mammy furiously scolded Scarlett, “An’ you take off dat dress right now--- I has tole you an' tole you; you know you cain’t show yo’ bosom befo’ six o-clock.” The young “actress” needed a fashion advisor, for her testimony was well south of lunchtime in California, let alone the cocktail hour. In fact, the Jackson family was plainly heard to remark, “She don’t look like she’s no 29 years old.” “No, she sure don’t. She looks older.” This is a very dirty thing to say in L.A., where a lot of things are tolerated, but not that.

And as for pimps:
That something you don't need
To get your daily business done.
Keep those leeches and bloodsuckers off my back roads,
I know how to use a gun.


Dr. Murray's credentials do not include Board certification, which did not surprise me greatly when I heard the testimony about his method of giving CPR: with one hand, with the patient on a soft bed, and dithering back and forth, out loud, about whether he should give mouth-to-mouth. He decided, "But I have to, he's a friend." No, no Board cert for that, not even a Red Cross cert. For the benefit of those who may be unfamiliar with the procedure, (1) you use (and need) both hands for chest compressions, (2) the patient must be on a hard surface, such as a floor, and (3) respiration support is mandatory if you expect them to live, and (4) it doesn't matter whether the patient is your friend or not. In the end, only one in five CPR patients will make it; it is a desperate measure... but there is that one in five, and if you do your best, they can have their chance.

The verb form of "to arrest" means different things to a doctor and to a policeman. When Michael Jackson 'arrested,' Dr. Murray didn't notice because he was talking to his girlfriend on the phone (not the current live-in with baby number seven; a different one). But it could hardly matter, for the patient was already dead as a doornail, and all the CPR in the world couldn’t bring him back--- even if you did it right--- by the time Dr. Murray noticed.

Dr. Murray’s defense team is saying Jackson dosed himself to death, “playing possum” until the good and innocent doctor was out of the room, chatting on his cell with his new squeeze. He then rose up out of bed, drank a fatal dose of Propofol (a drug administered only by IV, in a hospital or a staffed and equipped clinic; it is ineffective by mouth), and dropped dead (back in bed). It somehow slipped the doctor’s mind (three or four times) to inform the paramedics and ER docs, when they asked him what drugs Jackson had been given. “Oh, nothing; just a little tranquilizer.”

“Leeches and bloodsuckers” does seem to well characterize Jackson’s retinue. So remarks everyone who has seen them in action. One and all cared only about what they could squeeze out of him. One wonders if he had a single real friend in all the world--- well, maybe Elizabeth Taylor. At least Dr. Murray had occasion to experience ‘arrest’ in the law enforcement sense in due course. Although “the mills of the gods grind slow,” indeed, I expect they will grind up his medical license for good, and I think it more likely than not that he will spend some time as the guest of the California Department of Corrections. Worse yet, all the leeches and bloodsuckers will be thrown out of work now that Jackson is dead. I wonder what their resumes will say about their previous “job.”
_________________________
Clef


P.S.--- I hope the lines quoted in dialect (if you can call it that) from Gone With the Wind and the comments, clearly audible to members of the press and others in the audience, which Jackson family members made in the observers' section during a court recess, do not get readers too excited. Margaret Mitchell won a Pulitzer Prize for writing the scene, McMillan made big money for publishing it, and Hattie McDaniels won an Oscar for bringing it to life on the screen. So I'm not inclined to rewrite it.

As for the Jacksons, well, that's what they said.
_________________________
Clef


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#1767208 - 10/09/11 07:43 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
strep nowe? strep nose? smells like a fishy answer/disease to me.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1767219 - 10/09/11 08:51 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
Well, I had never heard of it either--- not for noses, anyway. But my primary care doc at the HMO is an infectious disease specialist. (Actually, the treatment was prescribed by the Urgent Care doc at the HMO, and my Primary followed up with an office visit.) The swelling and reddening had started to spread beyond the nose to the area around the eyes, and that was just _a_bit_much_ for me. But the treatment walked it back fairly soon.

Hey, apple--- getting your driver's license back this week, right? Let's open some champagne. There must be a wedding somewhere.
_________________________
Clef


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#1767707 - 10/10/11 02:18 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
There was a Chinese wedding for ninety guests at the castle yesterday. I peeked in the dining room before I left and there were HUGE bottles of Remy Martin on every table. They had Chinese musicians coming in for the evening, so I did not get the gig, sorry to say. But if the guests drank all of that RM I'm sure it was one heck of a party. I wonder if Chinese musicians take requests. I wonder if they have a clip board lady shouting orders at them.

It has been a decidedly Asian summer at the German castle, at least in terms of weddings.

I played a wedding lunch on Saturday. It was all very nice and straight ahead. I played for two hours and then a comedian showed up (sort of unusual for a wedding reception). I went home for a few hours then returned to play my steady Saturday night cocktail hour and the wedding people were still lurking about, lounging in the lobby and doing a little shuffle dance around the piano. As far as I know there was no Remy Martin involved.

Clef, that nose thing sounds just awful. But I am glad you haven't lost your warped and brilliant sense of humor. The courtroom drama post is a classic.

I'm headed out of town this week, to do my Piano Girl program at (get this) Steinway Haus in Vienna. That's on Wednesday. The host of the event is taking me to hear the Vienna Philharmonic playing Mozart on Wednesday. I am very excited! I've been on a big tour over the last month (one of the reasons I've been out of touch here), and I have to file a report about it when I return. It has been funny going back and forth from my crazy wedding/cocktail piano jobs to these big concert situations. Somehow the big deal gigs make me appreciate the little background music jobs even more.

Photos from the Hamburg concert at the US Consulate are HERE

Karolina Strassmayer, my Austrian jazz saxophone pal, has coached me about what to order in the Viennese cafés.

Everyone stay healthy!
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#1768071 - 10/10/11 03:18 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
piRround Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 318
Loc: Yarmouth, Maine
Great pictures, what a wonderfully posh place! Loved the American flag tablecloth in the "champagne" room.

My lowly (and much maligned in the digital piano forum) Casio PX330 is going to be played at a Midcoast Symphony concert next week! I'm so excited and I'm not even going to be playing it!! One of the pieces featured is the Piano Concerto No. 1 in A minor by Grieg and another is the Thieving Magpie Overture by Rossini. Not being familiar with either, apparently one of them has a part for a celesta and, this being a volunteer orchestra, they don't have a celesta. I'm friends with the principal trumpet fellow and he asked if they could borrow my keyboard solely for the celesta sound. I can't wait to go to hear my piano being played well for a change!
_________________________
Sandy


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#1768683 - 10/11/11 12:56 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: piRround]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3170
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: piRround
another is the Thieving Magpie Overture by Rossini. Not being familiar with either, apparently one of them has a part for a celesta and, this being a volunteer orchestra, they don't have a celesta.


One of my favorites, and you probably know it too, depending on your age. You may have heard it a zillion times on Bugs Bunny.

This is one of those interesting cycles.

Back when children's cartoons had decent orchestral backing, Rossini and Wagner were able to make most of their income from commercial work.

Now the orchestras have been replaced by digital simulations (thankfully much better than they used to be - I used to cringe at the brass sounds on the children's shows). And to make the circle complete, you're going to do one of the symphonic works on your digital piano.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#1770300 - 10/14/11 05:35 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
Returned yesterday evening from Vienna, where I presented my Piano Girl program at Steinway Haus. What a city! If you're headed to Europe, don't miss a chance to see it—I was truly knocked out by everything—the architecture, the culture, the food. Instead of giving me flowers at the end of the performance, I was presented with tickets to hear the Vienna Symphony playing Mozart and Mahler at the Musik Verein. Doesn't get much better than that.

Looking forward to playing two weddings at the castle this weekend. I got email from the pianist who played at the Chinese Remy Martin wedding last week. I'm hoping for stories from him, but he may be too discreet.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#1770804 - 10/14/11 10:36 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
Clearly, they wanted to do something special for you, Robin--- and quite right. Still, I think it is ok to say it with flowers after a wonderful performance... that is, as long as one says it loudly enough. Our local solo piano concert series sometimes thanks a performer with a bouquet, but I have more than once thought the offering was embarrassingly small. You know what I'm saying. And, dreadfully cheap and common flowers besides. Could they not even go to Costco, or the Farmer's Market, and get something big enough to be seen from the stage?

I was seriously considering bringing suitable flowers myself; after all, we had Valentina Lisitsa and Garrick Ohlsson in a single season, and I wanted to crawl under the seat when I saw those grocery-store chrysanthemums. I suppose touring artists just leave them for the maids at the hotel anyway--- now there's a case where tickets for a special concert would make it into the luggage. But, the series did not fare so well in succeeding seasons; I don't know what happened, but the musical fare and the neighborhood where the hall is located both went downhill. Maybe the opera stole all the customers (and benefactors).

Maybe the better artists decided to go for return engagements in places where they were thanked with velvety red rose petals, or bouquets of orchids. All right, fine--- give them opera tickets. A local zillionaire invested four million smackers in the last opera performance... and you could see (and hear) every penny of it.

And Today In Wedding History:

Nothing. In October, the only bridal gowns are worn on Halloween. But I'm keeping my eyes open for especially juicy examples.
_________________________
Clef


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#1770938 - 10/15/11 08:25 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
I love flowers. One of the fringe benefits of my castle gig is that on Sundays I often get the spit back flowers from whatever event has taken place on Saturday night. Often these events are weddings. So I will play the wedding on Saturday, scope out the flora and then make nice-nioce with the banquet manager on the next day. I have come home with some spectacular bouquets. I have also ended up with a few things that would more appropriate at a funeral. But whatever, I take the flowers and then come home and turn them into "art." I took a course on how to make a nice bouquet, so I'm pretty good at it, but basically I prefer a couple of white long-stemmed roses in a clear glass vase.

Sometimes I have to be sneaky because it's never a good idea to have the event planner from the Saturday wedding catch the pianist (on Sunday) stuffing the bride's discarded floral arrangements into her Mazda. But my banquet guy works with me. And I know the secret passageways.

In Hamburg I was driving around with the presenter of the Consulate gig before the show, so I ended up going with her to pick out my own flowers and then acting surprised when she gave them to me after the show.

The Germans are generally really good with the flower thing. We'll see what happens tonight. Orchids would be swell. They last at least ten days.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#1771198 - 10/15/11 06:16 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
And, orchids truly show that the giver spent sincere thought in considering what an artist really wants... in keeping with how special the performer's gift is. The language of flowers is very explicit. A gas station bouquet says, "I am cheap, horrible, and too uncaring and insensitive to be ashamed of what I am doing in front of the whole house, many of whom I am humiliating and offending."

It would make a nice little scene in a movie. The audience applauds, the artist bows, the impresario offers the bouquet from the gas station. The artist ignores the impresario, and bows again to the audience. The impresario insists, and the artist, without a look or a word, hurls the flowers into the wings and takes his seat for the encore.

We are fortunate in California to be able to grow several orchid species as a garden flower. They are very easy, minding their own business in a favorable sheltered spot, yet when they bloom they are as spectacular as any variety from the hothouse. This is somewhat like the pianist who practices in private, unseen all the year, then bursts into performance.

Princess Charlotte of Monaco has been in my thoughts, in this season of wedding dearth. Hers is quite a story--- maybe two stories, or even three. She'll have to cook a little longer, but I will quote the last paragraph from the Wiki article...

"...Late in life she went to college, obtaining a degree in social work. After her son assumed the throne, Princess Charlotte moved to live at Le Marchais, the Grimaldi estate outside of Paris. Despite the objections of her children who feared for her safety, she turned the estate into a rehabilitation centre for ex-convicts. She lived at the estate with her lover, a noted French former jewel thief named René Girier and nicknamed "René la Canne" (René the Cane)."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlotte_of_Monaco

...and from the article about her father, Prince Louis II of Monaco:

"...A political crisis loomed for the Prince because without any other heir, the throne of Monaco would pass to his first cousin Wilhelm, the duke of Urach, a German nobleman who was a son of Prince Albert's aunt, Princess Florestine of Monaco. To ensure this did not happen, in 1911 a law was passed recognizing his illegitimate daughter, Charlotte, as Louis's acknowledged heir, and making her part of the sovereign family. This law was later held to be invalid under the 1882 statutes. Thus another law was passed in 1918 modifying the statutes to allow the adoption of an heir, with succession rights. Charlotte was formally adopted by Louis in 1919, and became Charlotte Louise Juliette Grimaldi, Princess of Monaco, and Duchess of Valentinois..."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_II,_Prince_of_Monaco

These little snips are far from doing justice to the story. But, then. If you think your wedding was hard to arrange, what about Charlotte's. The Legislature had to pass laws twice, and that's no easy job.


Edited by Jeff Clef (10/15/11 06:17 PM)
_________________________
Clef


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#1771226 - 10/15/11 07:06 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21306
Loc: Oakland
Would the proper wedding song for her be Gershwin's "She's the Illegitimate Daughter of an Illegitimate Son of an Illegitimate Nephew of Napoleon"?
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#1771392 - 10/16/11 02:15 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
rustyfingers Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 788
Loc: Massachusetts
Just popped in to catch up on one of my favorite threads.

I have two little stories to share: one my own, and one borrowed.

My sister got married three weeks ago. Legally. This is a big deal, for there aren't too many states in the US where she could. She lives in Washington state. She and and her fiancee and my niece came across the country to visit us in Massachusetts to make it really legal.

Of course, they picked the wedding date based on the calendar (the equinox) rather than the convenience of the hostess (that would be me) who was supposed to be on a business trip that week. But I figured out how to make it work (they arrived on Sunday, I took the week off of work, except Wednesday, when I had to fly to Washington DC for a board meeting). The wedding would be Friday evening.

Here's the musical part. My sister had asked my 10 year old son, monkeyfingers, to play guitar at the wedding. She also wanted my daughter, choochiefingers, and my niece to sing (they are both 13). The song was Free in You by the Indigo Girls.

OK, so it's kind of low pressure, since the only people at the wedding would be immediate family--8 people if you include the minister. But monkeyfingers is really kind of a beginner. He's been taking lessons with an absolutely fabulous flamenco guitarist for a few years, but frankly is finally just getting his chords down. So I was interested to see how this would all develop.

Jon, the teacher, spent one lesson about 6 weeks in advance working out the chords. And then we went on vacation and Jon got married and life happened and they skipped four lessons.

And I nagged--"You have to practice for your aunt's wedding." "Yeah, yeah, mom, I will." "When?"

So what do you do when what you are doing isn't working? You try something else. I backed off.

Our guests arrived. The kids had almost a week to get it together. But the brides were in the house during the rehearsals, and they were pretty anxious about what they were hearing, especially my sister, who is cursed with the perfect pitch our dad had.

I teeter from being ticked off at my son for not having prepared to being annoyed with my sis for being too demanding. I'm also stressed that my house is a wreck, though nobody else cares about that.

In the meantime, we're closely watching the weather forecast, because the ceremony is to be held on a tiny little island on the pond behind Town Hall where there is no shelter and which gets really muddy in the rain. And I'm trying to decide whether or not to tell the brides that on our last recon mission to the island, my husband saw a huge rat.

Back at the house, the song starts to come together. Except that monkeyfingers has never learned the bridge. Whenever they get to it, he stops playing. His aunt asks him what's going on. And he says he doesn't know it. And she asks him to please learn it. And he says he will. But he doesn't.

I know it will work out. How will it? It's a mystery.

The wedding day arrives. The forecast is for heavy rain. And that's exactly what we get. All day. I call the party rental place to see if we can arrange for a tent. It's way beyond the budget. I call a friend to borrow one of those pop-up canopies. She's at work, like most normal people.

The brides make an executive decision, really the only one possible, to move the ceremony. To the screen porch of my house. Which hasn't been painted since it was added to the "new" garage in 1955, long before our occupancy. The screen porch is our kids playroom, and it is full of Little Tykes plastic--a kitchen and tool bench and vanity and ballet bar-- and toy bins and trampolines and train sets from their toddler days.

So, on their very special day, the two brides and I and my husband clear out all the junk, vacuum the ancient indoor/outdoor carpet, get a bucket and scrub down the dusty railings, and make a sacred wedding venue. In about 2 hours.

The flowers arrive. The heart shaped tart arrives. The minister arrives. The brides are still getting degrimed. Everybody's a little edgy.

We fix garlands in the brides' and the girls' hair. We arrange the flowers and the altar. Everyone takes a deep breath.

The minister begins by saying that we hope one day all people everywhere will have this same right to be married. We all realize what this day is really about.

The ceremony is lovely. monkeyfingers begins to play. The tempo is s l o w. The girls sing. They sound beautiful. The bridge comes. monkeyfingers plays a flamenco rhythm on the strings with no chords. The girls sing a capella to the rhythm. At the verse he resumes playing the chords he knows. The girls are still on pitch.

The brides promise each other.

Then, by the power vested in the minister by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, she pronounces them married. And every one of us has tears in our eyes.

And nobody notices the peeling paint.


Edited by rustyfingers (10/16/11 04:43 AM)
_________________________
If I had ever learnt, I should have been a great proficient.

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#1771400 - 10/16/11 02:42 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
rustyfingers Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 788
Loc: Massachusetts
Here's a little something borrowed.

I was in London last week and was lucky enough to attend the Idina Menzel/Marvin Hamlisch concert at the Royal Albert Hall.

Idina, for those of you who don't know, was the original Elphaba in Wicked, was in the original cast of Rent, and has been making guest appearances as Rachel's Mom on the TV show Glee.

And the lady can sing.

And she tells a mean wedding musician story too.

Before she was "discovered", Idina was a wedding/bar mitzvah singer on Long Island.

She marveled at how popular the song "Saving All My Love for You" is as a bride and groom's special song. Especially since it is a song about infidelity.

She also said that once a bride's uncle collapsed on the dance floor. Idina was only 15 or 16 at the time, and didn't know what to do, so she was going to stop singing. But the clipboard lady came over to her and said "What are you doing? You can't stop! Keep singing!" So she did.

Until the bride came out and started screaming, "What are you DOING? Have you no HEART? Can't you see my uncle is sick! What is WRONG with you?"

At which point Idina said she decided to stuff her face at the dessert table.

I thought of you all. And the concert was amazing.



Edited by rustyfingers (10/16/11 03:30 AM)
_________________________
If I had ever learnt, I should have been a great proficient.

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#1771494 - 10/16/11 11:43 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
jotur Online   blank
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 5455
Loc: Santa Fe, NM
rustyfingers - I love it that monkeyfingers used the flamenco rhythm on the bridge! Necessity is the mother of creativity - you have no idea how many times I've done something like that. He has the soul of a true performer smile

And your sister will cherish that wedding in that venue with those musicians forever smile

Cathy
_________________________

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#1771668 - 10/16/11 04:46 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
"...But the clipboard lady came over to her and said "What are you doing? You can't stop! Keep singing!" So she did. Until the bride came out and started screaming, "What are you DOING? Have you no HEART? Can't you see my uncle is sick! What is WRONG with you?..."

I've been waiting for this choice morsel for some time--- I knew we'd get there (though I thought it would be Robin who threw the firecracker under the clipboard lady). "Godzilla Meets Mothra--- at the Reception." Sensational kick-off post, rustyfingers!

I suspect these little scenes play out all too often, but most are hushed up. Better to have these sparky little frictions with the hired help, who are dismissed, paid off, and discussed for years rather than with the kinfolk. And there lies the secret of why no one mentioned the housework--- necks would have been wrung and tongues pulled out on the spot. For there is always the unspoken threat: "You're right, dear, the place is a pig pen. Maybe we should move the wedding to your house."

It is the worst and most disgraceful bad manners a guest can have, if they criticize the hostesses' housekeeping to her face. I'm glad your inlaws made it under the limbo bar.

We always spot a million delinquencies when the guests start to arrive. But how welcome you make them feel is what they remember, as long as the bathrooms are presentable and the champagne is dry.

On the whole, I think you did very well with this one, rusty. And my best wishes to the brides.


Edited by Jeff Clef (10/16/11 04:50 PM)
_________________________
Clef


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#1772100 - 10/17/11 09:53 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
cheers to monkey fingers Rustyfingers. Nice little story
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1772597 - 10/18/11 12:17 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
Rusty, that is a charming story, and so nicely written! Thanks for posting. The rat, the flamenco plucking, the parent-child squabbles, the heart-shaped tart, the buckets of grimy water—I loved it all.

Oh dear, Idina worked on the LI wedding scene. There is not a working musician anywhere who has not been through some version of the collapsing uncle story. STOP THE MUSIC! PLAY,PLAY,PLAY!!! What's a musician to do? Take a break and head for the buffet. That's what I say. Idina's instincts were spot on. If I was poor Uncle Ed, lying on the dance floor, the last thing I would want to hear is a wedding band playing Smooth Operator (or anything at all by Sade).
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#1772599 - 10/18/11 12:19 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Piano Girl RMG Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Germany
PS: This weekend's flowers included dark red roses and bright orange dahlias. Sounds odd, but it worked!
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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