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#2044396 - 03/07/13 08:44 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4417
Loc: San Jose, CA
"...Think of it as the Vampire-Bride song...."

Well, six brides...

The upside of the slow season: more time to write. A time will come when the occasional light rain of royalty checks will offer some nice variety to the weather report. In fact, the weather in Las Vegas--- that ram-jet of matrimony--- may someday prove to be more acceptable to the elderly wedding pianist than that of another winter in Saxony.

Then again, if the rain is brisk enough, the service is better in Monaco.
_________________________
Clef


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Piano & Music Accessories
#2045267 - 03/08/13 09:18 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
My daughter's choir concert was on Wednesday night. There is nothing, and I mean nothing, more glorious than the sound of 45 teenagers singing together. 500 people showed up to cheer them on, many of them kids supporting their friends. Warmed my heart, it did.

I have two things to mention which seem related to me, albeit in an odd way.

Our group is, well, re-grouping these days. Our leader left for warmer climes about six months ago. We have been put in the unfamiliar position of actually needing to rehearse. We have a new vocalist and we're trying to work in some new material as well.

We've been having these rehearsals at a semi-legendary place that most of us have been to on and off for the past thirty years. It's called Roxy Rehearsals and it's in an industrial area in Queens, NY. It occupies the top floor of a triangular building; there's a body shop underneath it whose decor is probably a little nicer.

There's no rhyme or reason to the layout of the place; it's a rabbit warren of oddly-shaped rooms, hallways and storage nooks. Even the floor is on many different levels, and covered with mismatched bits of ancient low-pile carpet. The walls of the waiting room are wallpapered with music magazine covers dating back to when the place opened, lacquered over to preserve them.

No one alive has any idea how the place was built, or what is inside the walls, except what can be seen from outside the building through the windows. There are of course no windows visible from the inside. Nor is there much light to speak of.

There are five "studios", A,B,C,D and E. There's also a bathroom - "Studio P", of course - whose walls display the inked wisdom of the patrons.

I mention the place for two reasons. The first is that we have just found out that it is closing down. It feels like the end of an era, several eras actually. I think that a nicer place wouldn't evoke the same sadness. Those walls are landmarks, man.

The second reason has to do with what my daughter has come to think of when she hears "rehearsal hall". She and 45 members of her school choir have been rehearsing for a concert at Carnegie Hall. This will be their second time performing there.

Last year they were one of three school choirs chosen to perform three new choral works with the Orchestra of St. Luke's. The kids were treated like adults, professionals even. The music was impossibly complicated, both harmonically (one piece called for a tone cluster consisting of the eight notes of the A minor scale) and rhythmically (another piece was littered with time signatures, some changing in successive measures). Despite the difficulty, they were expected to perform it accurately, no "handicap" was allowed for their age.

This year the project is La Pasion Segun San Marcos.

http://www.carnegiehall.org/Calendar/201...arning-Project/

They have been rehearsing for several months, sometimes at the DiMenna Center, a place that is the precise negation of Roxy Rehearsals. I went to one rehearsal in the "big" room; a room designed to accommodate a full orchestra. It has a thirty foot ceiling and something like 15000 hardwood slats on the walls and ceiling.

The "kids" are again expected to master some very difficult music of an entirely different variety. The piece incorporates musical styles from around Latin America: Samba, Salsa, Bata, Sambareggae and more. To help them "feel" the rhythms, they had a "creative work retreat" that took most of a Saturday. The day involved stomping, clapping and playing a wide variety of percussion instruments.

At the rehearsal I attended, they were polishing the tougher parts. The voices sounded ethereal at one moment, then combative, mournful and joyous. These kids have been given a great challenge, and have risen to it.

The show is this coming Sunday and it promises to be wonderful. I can scarcely believe that Amy has been given an opportunity like this. Besides the singing, there will be costumes, dance steps, coordinated rhythmic clapping, and foot stomping.

They will be joined by the Schola Cantorum de Venezuela, a music troupe that has just flown in in the last few days to rehearse.

Anyone interested in hearing the performance can catch it on WQXR radio online.

http://www.carnegiehall.org/Pages/WQXR-Broadcasts/

Amy's final dress rehearsal will be tomorrow evening at Carnegie Hall itself. There's quite a chasm between Roxy and Carnegie Hall. But hey, she's my daughter, so I'll shrug off the terrible unfairness of it all.
_________________________
Greg Guarino

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#2047067 - 03/12/13 04:19 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4417
Loc: San Jose, CA
I have been reading about singularities, Greg. I say reading, not understanding, for it requires much more math than I command. All the same, it is interesting. One construct suggests that the collapse of one universe creates the formation of the next, which avoids the singularity with its troublesome infinities of dimensions and its graphs which run off the page.

So. Not only was your post interesting, but also somewhat comforting, since the collapse of the Roxy Rehearsals universe was balanced (in a way) by the rise of the lovely new rehearsal space you told us about. I wondered why, since the demographic is hardly vanishing (the opposite, if anything). But, some black holes which lack an event horizon are thought to evaporate. So, go figure. I also wondered if Roxy Rehearsals was connected in any with with the New York movie palace impresario, Samuel_Roxy_Rothafel
Roxy_Theatre_New_York_City

Maybe and maybe not. There seem to be a lot of Roxies in the performing arts world. My beautiful Basenji bitch was named Roxie, and my neighbor liked the name (and the doggie) so much that her child named his bitch Roxie Junior.

Such musings probably mean I should be practicing more. But anyway, thanks for your note, and congratulations on your daughter's wonderful success. My musings and curiosity also led me to examine the websites http://alfred.com and http://halleonard.com (the publisher, or distributor anyway, of Robin's last book). To my surprise--- to judge by the website anyway--- Alfred would appear by far to be the larger house, a hundred mouseclicks later. And, it seems that between them there are at least twenty books currently in print devoted to wedding music for solo keyboard, never mind the ensembles. Could be thirty, in fact. It could lead one to doubt that the widely-heralded discussions of the woes of marriage, and the demand for piano music (and, I suppose, pianos to play them on) really amount to all that. Let us just say, there is still a market out there. People have put their money where their mouth is, and what is food for commerce is also food for thought.

The dispute about singularities is even hotter, but I did glean this valuable thought from one of the web pages [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renormalization ] which told of them, and it makes a good last word on the whole pack of questions:

Quoting Bertrand Russell's postscript to the third volume of his Autobiography, The Final Tears, 1944-1967 (George Allen and Unwin, Ltd., London 1969) p.221: "In the modern world, if communities are unhappy, it is often because they have ignorances, habits, beliefs, and passions, which are dearer to them than happiness or even life. I find many men in our dangerous age who seem to be in love with misery and death, and who grow angry when hopes are suggested to them. They think hope is irrational and that, in sitting down to lazy despair, they are merely facing facts."

Though I like this comment on the matter, (from the cited site) just as well:

"Dirac's criticism [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Dirac ] was the most persistent.[6] As late as 1975, he was saying:[7] "Most physicists are very satisfied with the situation. They say: 'Quantum electrodynamics is a good theory and we do not have to worry about it any more.' I must say that I am very dissatisfied with the situation, because this so-called 'good theory' does involve neglecting infinities which appear in its equations, neglecting them in an arbitrary way. This is just not sensible mathematics. Sensible mathematics involves neglecting a quantity when it is small - not neglecting it just because it is infinitely great and you do not want it!"


Edited by Jeff Clef (03/12/13 04:30 PM)
_________________________
Clef


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#2048029 - 03/14/13 03:46 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
Wow, Clef, you have a very big brain, that's all I can say.

Greg, I am thrilled for your daughter and so happy for you. Parents with singing children are the happiest parents of all.

And I like Clef's theory about the collapse of Roxy being balanced by the construction of the new rehearsal space. There is hope.

I should have some wedding news by the end of the weekend. I am playing for the Bride from Dubai on Friday afternoon. She has an orchestra or something booked for the actual wedding on Saturday, I have been hired to play for the guests as they are checking into the castle. But I will be there on Saturday playing my steady gig so I should get to see some of the hoopla.

I took a left turn a couple of weeks ago and ended up doing a MODELING JOB at a fancy-pants boutique not far from the castle where I play. For those of you who don't know me, I am 55 years old, so it's kind of an unusual time to start modeling. Anyway, I mainly took the gig because I knew I would be able to write about it. The essay features Tempest Storm (the stripper), high heels, and Heather McCartney. Clef, this has your name on it. Here's the link:

A Catwalk Down Memory Lane
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#2048307 - 03/14/13 04:42 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17778
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Love the story, Robin. My favorite line was "I am, in fact—gasp—a Medium." laugh But I have to ask: How old was Tempest Storm in the photo you included? (And here I'm hoping that the answer isn't "84", because that just wouldn't be fair...)
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#2048522 - 03/15/13 03:04 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
Monica, that photo of Tempest Storm was taken ten years ago, so Tempest was 74. I just saw a recent video of her (2012) and it was very funny—her voice sounded quite elderly, kind of shaky and thin, but she still had the big red hair, the boobs, and the sequined dress. She was pushing her new line of jeans, of all things—which had the back end cut out of them—they were ass-less jeans. And this is what she is marketing at age 84. "Ladies," she said, "You need to show off your figures." I guess that's one way to do it.

A side note: My dad actually played for Tempest back in the early sixties when she was on the Burlesque circuit. What a job—he played six shows a day and got to play dirty drums for all the strippers. That was back when Burlesque was still very clean-cut. Tempest wasn't a bump and grind rhythmic kid of dancer—but she was very good with that floating thing she did. Watch one of her videos and then try to walk like that—it's not easy!

Off I go to meet the Bride from Dubai.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#2048526 - 03/15/13 03:20 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21577
Loc: Oakland
Gee, it looks like we missed Tease-O-Rama last year at Bimbo's. But burlesque is alive and well in the Bay Area, I guess! I wish they would use the piano for it, though.

You can hear and see my work there here.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2048598 - 03/15/13 07:35 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
Cool, BDB!!! Piano sounds quite nice.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#2049036 - 03/16/13 07:55 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4417
Loc: San Jose, CA
Indeed, you interest me with your story about Miss Tempest Storm. Isn't there a saying that goes, "It's not how much you show a man, it's how you don't show it to him." I suspect she is one of those women who could take the stage dressed in a gunny sack, and no one would notice anything except the way she walked and moved.

And you had lessons from this woman--- what wonderful good fortune for a performer. For it is true--- too true--- that props and costumes will turn against you at the worst possible moment. I think of a large meeting (and a long one), at which the parliamentarian took the podium with a FEARFULLY LARGE pile of notes, to explain some tedious point. BUT, what do you know, someone opened an outside door and a mighty wind blew the whole stack across the stage and into the audience.

Now, if Tempest Storm had been up there, all would have been well. (Actually, from our point of view at the back of the house, all was well anyway, for we were having a laugh riot.)(It was the same group where, a disgruntled candidate who lost an election, stormed out that same door, chucking a folding chair at the audience who--- for some reason--- didn't vote for him. And again, if only Tempest had been there, such an unseemly thing would never have gotten off the runway.)(And I don't know what she would have done, but she would have done better.)

So, I think you should hook up with Tempest Storm, to give lessons to brides about the art of Stage Presence. I would dare to say, she also probably knows the art of getting the musicians on her side and treating them right, and some mothers-in-law should be getting a lesson or two as well. With her knowledge of costumes, she would revolutionize that perennial horror, the bridesmaids' dress, and they would be such as would cover up any tattoos, which are not a good look for a wedding. Talk about a place that is ripe for rebellion.

I look into my crystal ball. It is a wedding in the future. The best man and all the groomsmen are Elvis impersonators. The bridesmaids and matron of honor are all Tempest Storm. But the groom is buff and studly, handsome, funny, charming, and ardent, and the bride is Ann Miller (minus 65 years). Sparks fly from her tap shoes, for the aisle is tiled, and she could be dressed in a gunny sack and no one would notice anything except the way she moved. The wedding pictures come out, too--- they are eye-popping, even though the bridesmaids outfits are not so bold as to feature a plunging ass neckline. Chances are better than you think that some of them have tattoos back there, and we're having none of that at this wedding.

There are plenty of other occasions for them. As Elvira, Mistress of the Dark used to say, "A little danger never hurt anyone."


Edited by Jeff Clef (03/16/13 05:56 PM)
_________________________
Clef


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#2049044 - 03/16/13 08:26 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1766
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
This is the most inaccurately labeled thread on the internet.

We should call it "The Piano World Writers' Showcase."
_________________________


"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins

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#2049348 - 03/16/13 09:07 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: ClsscLib]
gdguarino Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/20/07
Posts: 317
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: ClsscLib
This is the most inaccurately labeled thread on the internet.
We should call it "The Piano World Writers' Showcase."


I feel certain that a thread so labeled would have amassed about 9 hits rather than edging toward a million. Continuing, as always, On Topic:

My daughter is in Music Theory IV at school (High School). The class is at least as much Music History as Theory. Her teacher is something of a character and he likes to keep the class interesting. What theory I know I picked up by accident, so I ask her every day to teach me anything new that may have been taught. Fortspinnung was a recent concept.

She also recounts her teacher's antics and pedagogic devices. One day recently he played a number of pop songs that had classical influences. One of them was A Lover's Concerto by The Toys.

Our daughter has always liked stories - listening and telling - and that song is involved in one of mine. I will first note that to a 17 year old, 1965 (when the song was released) and 1725 (the date of the Minuet in G Major the song is based on) are both lost in the misty depths of history, and seem at about the same remove from the present. In fact, although I was alive and running amok in 1965, I hadn't really turned on the radio yet. I had never heard the song until shortly before the incident I'm about to recount.

Our band did an Oldies Benefit Dinner Dance a number of years back. They had two "name" acts to sing their signature songs, and us to get the people dancing for the rest of the evening. One of the "names" was Barbara Harris, formerly of The Toys. She was to sing A Lover's Concerto with a backing track, and then another song, with our band providing the backup; most of the band, that is, her husband was going to play bass.

There was also a DJ for the evening, and he was charged with playing the background track for Ms. Harris. We waited nearby. The track began. As soon as she started to sing it was obvious that her microphone was a little too loud, and the track too low. With hand signals, she asked the DJ to remedy the imbalance. In the 30 feet that it traveled from vocalist to DJ booth the message was somehow reversed.

Now the track was even lower, and her mike louder. She pulled it even further from her mouth and again tried to signal the DJ - this time with considerably more urgency - smiling bravely all the while.

The DJ was starting to have a frantic look. He could tell that something was wrong, but couldn't figure out exactly what. Again he lowered the track - this time to near-inaudibility.

I was standing behind my keyboard at this point, and decided to play the chords. Barbara's husband eyes got wide and he nodded his head rapidly as if to say "Yeah, do that". He slipped his bass over his shoulder and started in a couple of measures after I did. Our drummer, who had been sipping a beer in the vicinity, slid behind the drums with his customary nonchalance and we played the rest of the tune.

That's one benefit of picking up "theory" in the street, I guess. You're always prepared for an emergency smile
_________________________
Greg Guarino

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#2052001 - 03/21/13 02:40 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
Love, love, love this story, Greg. Especially how the DJ kept getting his signals crossed. Real musician to the rescue. Yeah. Score one for the keyboard player.

Oh, I agree, a writer's thread would go nowhere fast. But weddings? All roads lead to weddings, as we have discovered. And leave it to Mr. Big Brain, Clef, to come up with a way to tie my off topic stripper story into a wedding theme. Bridesmaids' dresses designed by Tempest Storm? If Tempest designs ass-less jeans imagine what she could do with a bridesmaid dress. They would float down the aisle, those bridesmaids, twirling their tassels. Oh, who the heck needs Vera Wang, anyway?

Okay, the Bride from Dubai turned out to be a very nice (and very pretty) young German woman who married into UAE royalty. I can't write too much about the wealth details, but let me just say that they had their favorite Ferrari flown to Germany on a separate cargo plane, so they would be able to take advantage of the German autobahns. That's my favorite fun fact. I would like to tell you that they were obnoxious and snobby and draped in inappropriate costumes featuring ostrich feathers, but the truth is that these people were classy, friendly, and very appreciative of my music. Gold star for the Dubai crowd.

I played for the arrival of the guests in the lobby. Check-in music. But many of them sat by the piano and sipped coffee or tea. It was four hours of nice-ness. The wedding took place the following morning—so I didn't see that, but later that evening I played for the cocktail hour before the entire party (60 people) went into the gourmet restaurant for dinner. Again, no weirdness.

Too bad, right?

I can't get the idea of the Tempest Storm Bridesmaid Line out of my mind.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#2052064 - 03/21/13 05:26 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
ClsscLib Offline

Platinum Supporter until Jan 02 2013


Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 1766
Loc: Northern VA, U.S.
Originally Posted By: Piano Girl RMG


Oh, I agree, a writer's thread would go nowhere fast. But weddings? All roads lead to weddings, as we have discovered. And leave it to Mr. Big Brain, Clef, to come up with a way to tie my off topic stripper story into a wedding theme. Bridesmaids' dresses designed by Tempest Storm? If Tempest designs ass-less jeans imagine what she could do with a bridesmaid dress. They would float down the aisle, those bridesmaids, twirling their tassels. Oh, who the heck needs Vera Wang, anyway?



My point wasn't, of course, that this should be turned into a writer's thread, but that in fact it IS a writer's thread already. So many of you have such great stories and a real knack for telling them! I'm really impressed.
_________________________


"People may say I can't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

-- Florence Foster Jenkins

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#2052186 - 03/21/13 11:29 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4417
Loc: San Jose, CA
The bridesmaids doing the Tassel Dance as they float down the aisle. See, Robin can one-up any wedding fantasy, no matter how far removed. I wonder what the Tassel Wedding March would sound like. Would the Elvis groomsmen be playing it? What would they do when they got to the bride?
_________________________
Clef


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#2052355 - 03/22/13 09:12 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: gdguarino]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3206
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: gdguarino

I was standing behind my keyboard at this point, and decided to play the chords. Barbara's husband eyes got wide and he nodded his head rapidly as if to say "Yeah, do that". He slipped his bass over his shoulder and started in a couple of measures after I did. Our drummer, who had been sipping a beer in the vicinity, slid behind the drums with his customary nonchalance and we played the rest of the tune.


I'm not sure there is any high in life as rewarding as pulling that off in real time. It's why we do what we do, and why there IS live music.

I've always wished flash mobs could be spontaneous instead of rehearsed and planned!
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#2052872 - 03/23/13 09:43 AM 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
Love, love, love this story, Greg. Especially how the DJ kept getting his signals crossed.

In his defense I should add that the he was not the typical DJ. I don't know how often he works; he's a real music enthusiast with a trove of old seldom-heard recordings. At that moment the headlights were bright and he was the deer; I felt bad for him.

Originally Posted By: Piano Girl RMG
Real musician to the rescue. Yeah. Score one for the keyboard player.

To whatever degree my demi-career adds up to "Real Musician", I can chalk it up to things like that. My chops are nothing special, but if I've heard a tune, I can usually play it.

We played a dinner dance for a local civic association last night; their centennial. They asked that we do a set with one tune to represent each decade of the organization's existence, starting with the "teens" (the nineteen-teens, that is). We're pretty long in the tooth, but we still had to do some research, at both ends of the time range actually.

We were pretty skeptical of the idea at first, but it went over well. Our sax player had written a paragraph describing each song's history; nine pages of patter in all. His degree in English and retiree's spare time were put to good use.

Testimonial dinner-dances like this are frequently long on "testimony" and short on "dance", but these people danced the whole time, even during the "Decades" set.

There were a number of requests. Some we knew, and played. Some we didn't, and played anyway. "Mala Femmina" was among the latter. One of our singers speaks some Italian, and we have been vaguely aware that he knows some Italian songs, but we haven't made use of that resource before.

By way of introduction, he asked the audience "Do we have any Italians in the house?" On Long Island (NYC suburbs), the answer to that question is always "yes". I added "That's a shame, because we really don't know this song." It sounded pretty good though. Perhaps that's the aging musician's reward; experience has its benefits.

Originally Posted By: Piano Girl RMG
If Tempest designs ass-less jeans imagine what she could do with a bridesmaid dress.

I can only hope that our band is "blessed" with the gig. We deserve it, and I'd finally have something to top "Fat Naked Party Guest on the Roof" (see upthread).

We would need to turn off our drummer's mike though...
_________________________
Greg Guarino

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#2056328 - 03/29/13 03:52 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
Ah, "Fat Naked Party Guest on the Roof." I think we may need to re-visit that story sometime soon.

This week's essay has nothing to do with strippers or weddings or ass-less jeans, but a lot to do with singers.

Say hello to Orville Rudolph, the Singin' Pauls, and Thelma the Thick-Headed Thief.

Monica, this one's for you.

Sing! Finding the Backbeat and Holding on Tight
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#2057246 - 03/31/13 08:12 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
gdguarino Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/20/07
Posts: 317
Loc: New York City
We found out that our daughter could sing a scant four or five years ago. As best I can remember, I had never heard her singing around the house before. She was slated to be in her middle-school talent show, a hastily thrown-together affair in which the skill level was highly variable. Almost anything a kid was brave enough to do was allowed in the show.

To say we were apprehensive would be a great understatement. Oh, everyone got applause - the kid whose magic trick went awry, the dancers with the extra left feet and all of the future American Idol comic-relief auditionees - but this was our daughter. We steeled ourselves for what we might hear.

She sang a song I had never heard before, appropriately titled "Brave". We lived and died line by line, as if we were watching her on a balance-beam or figure skates. Each bit of melody was a triple-toe loop or double twisting flip, for us anyway. We held our breath, waiting for the "dismount".

Somewhere in the middle we realized that she was doing pretty well, but didn't dare say so for fear of jinxing it.

Fast-forward (much, much too fast) four years. Amy had a solo with her school choir. The choir is very good and their teacher gives them challenging material. We go to these concerts expecting to hear music, which is about the highest praise I can imagine for a high-school recital.

A funny feeling came over me; I felt, well, relaxed. Four years removed from that white-knuckle evening in middle school, my biggest worry was that I'd botch the video. She'd be fine; we knew it. And she was.

She's still reticent to sing in front of us, privately anyway. But surround us with another 500 spectators and she'll be happy to sing all night.
_________________________
Greg Guarino

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#2057308 - 03/31/13 11:07 AM 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
Ah, "Fat Naked Party Guest on the Roof." I think we may need to re-visit that story sometime soon.


Almost too good to be true, isn't it? You could trim away any of the qualifiers and have plenty of meat left: A party guest on the roof, dressed, would already be a good story. A naked party guest, anywhere? Ditto. Put both together, slather on roll after roll of pale pink flesh for good measure and you have something truly special; a nuclear option you can keep at the ready for those occasions when musicians swap stories, trying to "top" each other.

For those who haven't read it yet, you can find it in this thread (where it is, of course, On Topic) in May of 2010. Search for "giant chubby infant", in quotes.
_________________________
Greg Guarino

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#2059702 - 04/05/13 09:23 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
Okay, so I played for a funeral service last week (the father of a friend). It was, you know, sad. These things are always so sad. But I felt good about providing music—it gave me a job to do and got my mind off myself and my own worries about losing loved ones. I was scheduled to play the Bach Air, Amazing Grace (with my daughter singing), and a German contemporary hymn (one of three chord things). An organist was hired to play the opening and closing pieces.

Fine.

We were in a chapel in a cemetery, quite possibly the coldest place I have ever played in. I wore a winter coat the entire time and only took my gloves off when the downbeat was approaching. I had been told not to play at the beginning—that the organist (who was being paid, unlike me) would do the music at the beginning. But people were entering the chapel, it was silent and cold and awful, and my friend looked at me with a tear-stained face and nodded at the piano—the international mourning sign for GET YOUR BUTT ON THE BENCH AND PLAY.

And so I did, thankful to have a repertoire of original music to fall back on. I did, at one point, play the Canon, because my friend had mentioned her father loved the piece. And right in the middle of it, the organist, who was in the back of the chapel playing a too-big-for-the-room pipe organ, joined in. It was the Pachelbel jam right there in the middle of the cemetery. He was quite good. I almost felt guilty about having fun, because, you know, it was a funeral. But the two instruments together, especially with those gorgeous pedal tones, sounded, well, heavenly.

I finished that piece, everyone was weeping, and I moved on to the next composition. And here is the part of the story I love. While I was playing my (I think) very moving arrangement of "Flying, Falling," an elderly woman wearing a wool felt cap with a feather shuffled over to the piano. She rapped on the piano leg with her cane—mind you, this is in front of fifty grief-stricken people—and said: "Do you take requests?"

There would have been all kind of clever answers to this (Clef, I bet you can think of a few), but, due to my years of work in various piano trenches, I resorted to polite-party-piano-girl instinct and actually smiled and said: "What do you have in mind?"

Really, sometimes I am like Pavlov's Cocktail Pianist. I should have put out a tip jar. Keep in mind, I was still playing, everyone could hear everything, all eyes were on me, and it was a friggin' funeral. I was next to the casket.

"MOZART! she shouted." Then she rapped on the piano leg again.

"Oh," I said. Mozart. "That's the organist's department. Go back and talk to him."

And so she did.

I can't help but think how much Apple would have loved this story.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#2060401 - 04/06/13 02:27 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
... an elderly woman wearing a wool felt cap with a feather shuffled over to the piano. She rapped on the piano leg with her cane—mind you, this is in front of fifty grief-stricken people—and said: "Do you take requests?"


"Certainly, but only from the deceased. I can wait if you like."
_________________________
Greg Guarino

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#2062257 - 04/10/13 03:02 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
Perfect, Greg!

A week after the service, after she had recovered a bit from the funeral, the daughter of the deceased (who had heard the whole "request" conversation) said to me: "You should have put a tip jar on the casket."

On another topic, on the same day as the funeral, I had to go directly from the cemetery to play my steady gig at the castle. Who walks in? The Swiss National Football Team (soccer, not American football). This was the Under 21 Team, so these guys were all 19, 20 years old. Guests of the hotel, they showed up for dinner after their game (they lost to the Germans), and were wearing bright red warm-up suits. I have a theory that only real athletes under the age of 25 should have a license to wear these things. Anyway, in spite of their defeat, all of them managed to smile and acknowledge me.

Nothing like a group of buff young men in athletic uniforms to cheer up a funeral-bedraggled Piano Girl. Right up there with the Fire Daddies, Clef.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

Top
#2062562 - 04/10/13 08:29 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4417
Loc: San Jose, CA
"...Nothing like a group of buff young men in athletic uniforms..."

Indeed. And no one is no more worthy of consoling, than a defeated sports team in red uniforms. Cheer them up, and remind them that they're champs.

Thank you so much for sparing a thought for me, Robin, when the competition was so stiff.
_________________________
Clef


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#2065990 - 04/17/13 12:14 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
You think the young men in the track suits looked good? Check out Sauna Guy in my new essay: Music for Naked People. It's a sequel to my original sauna story. There are no weddings happening at the moment, so I have to write about something. This will do for now.

Naked: The Musical

Next week I'm headed to Sweden for a concert. Should be fun! I've never been there. I will try to keep my clothes 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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#2074233 - 04/30/13 02:11 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17778
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Oh my. That story puts a completely different spin on the expression "Music to die for," doesn't it? eek

Robin, you deserve a medal for being willing to expose your physical self AND your musical self simultaneously. The only way it could've been harder is if they trundled the piano into the sauna (can anybody say 'string rust'?) and had you play naked and sweating all over the keys.
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#2075020 - 05/01/13 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
Monica, the concert thing will happen some time soon. They won't put a piano in the sauna, but in one of the relaxation areas outside. I have refused to play naked. A woman's behind, no matter how svelte, does not look great plopped on a piano bench. I'll wear a bathrobe with bling or a decorative caftan or something, but no naked playing for me.

People will recline on lounge beds around the piano. They will probably doze while I play. Playing for naked sleeping people—this seems like it could be the perfect gig.

Just got back from Stockholm—what a fine city. And my audience there was so receptive! The ice had finally melted the day before I arrived. People were literally jumping for joy at the arrival of spring. Happy, happy.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

Top
#2075262 - 05/01/13 08:27 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Monica K.]
gdguarino Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/20/07
Posts: 317
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Monica K.
Oh my. That story puts a completely different spin on the expression "Music to die for," doesn't it? eek

We haven't had anyone die, but a number of the outdoor concerts we play have an ambulance waiting discreetly at the edge of the park just in case. That says something about the age of our audience I guess.
Quote:

The only way it could've been harder is if they trundled the piano into the sauna

Now I've got an image of a naked piano tuner tweaking in-between songs.
_________________________
Greg Guarino

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#2075703 - 05/02/13 08:39 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
If only the naked piano tuner were fat and dancing on the roof.

I had a suicide leaper while I was playing at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square (you work for seven years in Times Square and something like this is bound to happen). Luckily (for me), he jumped about a minute before I was scheduled to start playing, or I would have been traumatized for the rest of my life worrying that my music had caused the whole incident. The Poor Man jumped from the balcony (about 40 floors up) right into the granite piano-lounge. He missed the Yamaha, but landed just a few feet away. The intrepid F&B team quickly covered the area with a black tent (I had the feeling they were expecting something this—they seemed to be prepared) and then told me to start playing so that "the guests wouldn't notice."

All of this is documented in my Piano Girl book, in case you're craving more details.

I am writing this while listening to my husband running through some charts for a quartet gig this evening with Randy Brecker. The gig, I'm sorry to report, is at a bordello. Four times a year they present concerts there. Culture at the Cathouse or something like that. The nightclub, usually used for pole dancers and throngs of thonged women gyrating to Lady Marmelade-type songs, is actually a great place to hear jazz, if you can get past some of the "props" onstage. For instance, there is a glass shower stage right. And stage left there is a big red velvet sofa shaped like a penis.

The band, on their break, gets to eat dinner in the employee cafeteria, where many of the other "employees" are in kimonos. John says, as far as jazz gigs go, this one is pretty straight ahead.

I would love to go, but I have to attend a PTA meeting.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

Top
#2077486 - 05/05/13 03:38 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
Not one, but two weddings at the castle last night. The brides managed to avoid each other and there was no cake throwing, cat fighting, or clipboard flinging. One wedding was upstairs, close to my lobby piano, the other was downstairs in the French brasserie. I must report that, sadly, neither wedding party hired me, so I played for our regular guests, most of whom greeted me warmly, then raced to the terrace so they could enjoy the late spring evening (can't blame them). When the sun is shining in this part of Germany, music takes a back seat.

Wedding #1 had hired a string quartet from a local music conservatory. They sounded great but, man, were they ever loud! There were only 15 guests at the dinner, and the quartet played with great enthusiasm and without a break from 7 until 8:30. It was challenging in the lobby, because whenever the door to the salon opened to serve the soup course or whatever, I got a blast of frantic viola. Wedding #2 hired a DJ (boo-hiss), but he was far enough away that I didn't have to deal with him.

Best fashion siting of the evening: The bridesmaid for Wedding #1 sported a peach colored mini-dress with a see-through midriff section. We don't see many navles at the castle so this was exciting. Was it a dress or a bikini? It was quite a look, that much I can say, especially since the bride was in a very nice Gatsby-era gown. Perhaps Tempest Storm has indeed stepped to the plate and is now designing bridesmaid fashions. The bridemaid's dress (let's call it a Dressini) sure looked like something she might have conjured in her burlesque couture studio.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

Top
#2078777 - 05/07/13 11:20 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17778
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
"Dressini"??? I love it. On other women, that is; it would take a considerable amount of money (and alcohol, I suspect) to compel me to wear a dressini in public.

Robin is probably too modest to mention this herself, but I thought people here would like to know that Robin's latest album, "Magnolia," was officially released today. I wrote a review of it on amazon if you're interested:

Amazon listing for "Magnolia"

All the tracks on it are strong, but my favorites were the title track, "Magnolia," and a piece she co-wrote with her son, "Mirage," which contains echoes of Einaudi.

I hope you sell a million of them, Robin. thumb
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

Top
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