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#2165532 - 10/13/13 05:05 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
The planning process for last weekend's wedding got off to a good start. The banquet coordinator at the castle called to ask for recommendations for a string quartet. I gave her several names—I am the official Artistic Director at the castle and serve as a sort of clearing house for any kind of music happening there. I don't take any money from the musicians for doing this—it's enough reward knowing that deserving artists are getting the gigs, plus, you know, I don't want to be known as an agent. My life is complicated enough as it is. Anyway, the string quartets were all too expensive for this particular couple, who had only invited 14 people and wanted a low budget alternative. So I booked myself, because even though I'm a little pricey, I'm still cheaper than four people with bows.

The groom called me and said that I should play the ceremony—processional, solo piece, recessional—and that I should select appropriate material. He said he trusted me to choose the "perfect music." I loved this guy. No weird requests, no temper tantrums. The guy was super cool and easy to deal with.

Well. I should have known. The bride sent me an email one day (one day!) before the wedding and asked me to play (I kid you not) THE NUTCRACKER SUITE.

Keep in mind this was to be a 20 minute civil ceremony for 14 people. In October.

I wrote back and said I would be glad to work in a few nutcrackery themes, but playing the entire Nutcracker piano score would be ill-advised (I didn't mention that it would take me nine months to learn it). I came up with a little tinka-tinka ethereal arrangement of the Dance of Sugar Plum Fairies as an intro to something I could actually play and she was thrilled.

Take away lesson from this story—a classical fake book can be a wedding pianist's best friend in situations like this.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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Piano & Music Accessories
#2166161 - 10/14/13 03:31 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 1520
I recently added this tune to my party gigs and they are really working well (using the "rodeo" left hand):

"L-O-V-E" (in F) Nat King Cole, Hello Dolly, (and Mack The Knife)

Any songs come to mind that are very similar in energy?

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#2166186 - 10/14/13 04:14 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21398
Loc: Oakland
Similar to energy to "Mack the Knife," a song about a womanizing murderer? How about "September Song," a song of a dirty old tyrant trying to convince the only independently-thinking young woman around that she would be better off with him than someone her age? Kurt Weill is fun! Beautiful melodies, horrifying subjects!
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2166633 - 10/15/13 11:36 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: BDB]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3187
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: BDB
Similar to energy to "Mack the Knife," a song about a womanizing murderer? How about "September Song," a song of a dirty old tyrant trying to convince the only independently-thinking young woman around that she would be better off with him than someone her age? Kurt Weill is fun! Beautiful melodies, horrifying subjects!


Barnacle Bill is another song with a rousing melody, and lyrics about an abusive dominating boyfriend and an enabling girl. Even the cleaned up version is pretty bad.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#2166656 - 10/15/13 12:45 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 shall suggest "Barnacle Bill" to my next bride to be, especially if she requests The Nutcracker Suite first. It would be a nice alternative.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#2166904 - 10/15/13 11:03 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4414
Loc: San Jose, CA
I say, play "Barnacle Bill," and tell the bride that it IS "The Nutcracker..." though I assure you, the bride will dare say nothing; you will only be given away if the guests get carried away and begin to sing it, right in church. And after all, it is a classic in its own way, and it might really go over at the wedding rehearsal dinner. Who else but Bix Beiderbecke, Hoagy Carmichael, and even the debonaire Louis Jordan (remember him from "Gigi?" ---speaking of courtship and weddings, with a Colette spin), anyway, who else but these greats have recorded it. Bix was said to have been astounded when the recording company actually pressed the disk and released it, and I'm sure he was not the only one. But all was overlooked because of his smoking cornet solo, and so it shall be in your case.

If you're pressed on the matter, remind the person--- probably the matron of honor--- that many hit songs have been "borrowed" from the classics, with the serial numbers filed off. Mention the Shirelles, and add that the Czar of Russia, himself, walked bareheaded in the rain, following Tchaikovksy's funeral cortege. You don't see that every day. Refer this person to the autograph manuscript, order a round of White Russians for everyone in a loud voice, and you will hear no more about it.

I've been invited to a party celebrating my real estate agent's son's wedding. She is unwitting, of course, knowing nothing of my insurgency regarding weddings and marriage. I've been giving some trifling thought to a new number titled, "The Gravy Boat Regatta," or maybe, "Regatta of the Gravy Boats." All this talk of Barnacle Bill has put me in a maritime mood... or, at least, in the mood for a sailor.
_________________________
Clef


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#2167237 - 10/16/13 02:57 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Jeff Clef]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3187
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Jeff Clef
Mention the Shirelles, and add that the Czar of Russia, himself, walked bareheaded in the rain, following Tchaikovksy's funeral cortege. You don't see that every day. Refer this person to the autograph manuscript, order a round of White Russians for everyone in a loud voice, and you will hear no more about it.


Can't help it, that reminds me of the old movie Heartbreakers, where Sigourney Weaver and Jennifer Love Hewitt play con women seducing and swindling rich guys. Sigourney is impersonating a Russion rich lady at a family gathering, but is in trouble when they want her to sing a traditional Russian folk song and she doesn't know any.

She saves the day by singing the Beatles hit "Back in the USSR" to the accompaniment of a dozen mandolins. Priceless!
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#2167885 - 10/17/13 09:54 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Monica K. Online   blank

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17771
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Just came across a review of a book that seems tailor-made for this thread: Weddings/365, a book devoted to celebrity wedding facts.

It includes lots of gossip entertaining trivia, e.g., that Nancy Reagan was three months pregnant when she walked down the aisle, and Heather Mills' engagement ring went flying out a hotel window prior to her marriage to Paul McCartney; they claimed they were playing "ring toss," but the turbulent and fairly short marriage that followed suggests otherwise.

_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#2167934 - 10/18/13 12:42 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'll have to check out that book, Monica! Celebrity Ring Toss and Pregnant Reagans are both topics that could be put to great use here. And you know there are some music stories in there.

Clef, I just love the idea of the Barnacle Bill/Tchaikovsky switch and bait.

Tim, I think I have to see that movie—faking your way through a Russian folk song by singing "Back in the USSR" as a wedding song? Wish I had written that screenplay!
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#2168246 - 10/18/13 06:44 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
The Wind Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/28/13
Posts: 468
Originally Posted By: Piano Girl RMG


Well. I should have known. The bride sent me an email one day (one day!) before the wedding and asked me to play (I kid you not) THE NUTCRACKER SUITE.



There's so many good stories about people requesting the oddest or most difficult songs. I think for people who are non-musicians they don't realize how hard it is to actually learn music. They expect you to be some kind of musical jukebox who knows everything.

Any other strange requests during gigs or for weddings?

I usually have a set list when I play or know the standards (I play jazz and pop) so I don't have people asking me for really hard stuff.

What bugs me is people coming up and talking to me while I am in the middle of the song and expect me to keep playing while carrying a conversation.

I read a good quote somewhere "I take requests, but only written on a hundred dollar bill!" works for me...

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#2168422 - 10/19/13 09:28 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4414
Loc: San Jose, CA
"..."I take requests, but only written on a hundred dollar bill!"..."

They say inflation is not the problem it was, but I know my money doesn't buy what it used to. Until now, Greg's Formula For Requests, "Write it on a twenty," was the gold standard here at LTW, but with fiat currency there is no true price ceiling on anything. I suppose the real solution is to 'not hear' the person who is trying to butt into your set. Close your eyes, lean into the keyboard, and discover a sfortzando passage in the score. A sudden and fairly forceful run into the highest treble may dislodge an intruder who has perched on the piano bench, as long as you don't wait long enough for them to get comfortable and snuggle up. Oh, that we played a bowed instrument for these times. There's a hazard even a drunk can recognize, and if they don't, well, too bad.


Edited by Jeff Clef (10/19/13 08:38 PM)
_________________________
Clef


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#2171568 - 10/25/13 12:02 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Jeff Clef]
gdguarino Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/20/07
Posts: 317
Loc: New York City
I'm not sure when Let's Talk Weddings outgrew its original boundaries, but I think it was pretty early on. I don't know what a "view" is exactly, but 1,227,942 sounds like a generous quantity of most anything, so whatever the common thread might be, it must be a good one.

It's the power of a good story, I think.

In what seems like a short time my parents have gone from being completely independent at an advanced age to needing a lot of help. I bring them dinner four or five nights a week. It's as much about the visit as it is the dinner.

I told them a story tonight; They seem to enjoy that, so I do it a lot these days. This one was peripherally related to being a musician.

When I was twelve or thirteen my friends Danny and Vinny got it in their heads that we should form a band. Danny had had a handful of guitar lessons and Vinny had a set of drums with cardboard heads.

We all lived on the same block. Danny was the newcomer, having moved in when we were six years old. Vinny, as best I could tell, had sprung directly from the ground under his parents' house.

There are a great many stories that I could tell about that fledgling band experience, but tonight's offering was about the "Professional Four-Color Stage Lighting".

I should add here that this was a very different era. We were in each other's houses all the time. No prior arrangements were needed. Whoever was in the house at mealtime was served and whatever set of adults were about were your parents, to be obeyed to exactly the same degree as the pair that lived in your house. So when I told this story I didn't need to add in any character development for my parents; Danny, who figures prominently, was closer to being a relative than a neighbor.

Although the band would eventually play a number of paying gigs, at this stage we were limited to our own basements. We'd occasionally announce a private show for the neighborhood kids, usually in Danny's house.

We decided that something was lacking. Clearly it wasn't talent; we were every bit as good as twelve-year-olds in a basement could hope to be. But the presentation was less than it could be. We decided we needed Professional Stage Lights.

Of course, this was also an era in which asking our Parents' Collective to buy us Professional Stage Lights would have met with - at best - a bemused stare. Luckily each of our houses came complete with a garage full of odd leftovers from household projects.

After some rooting around, we had all of the components you need for Professional Stage Lighting: eight ceramic light sockets with exposed screw terminals, two electrical boxes, a roll of zip cord, some leftover pieces of 60's era wood wall paneling, sundry outlets and switches, eight colored light bulbs and, oh yeah, twenty feet of aluminum foil.

We somehow managed to cut the paneling into pieces about 8" x 40". This must have been the only wood we could find, because it was no mean trick to make a wedge-shaped half-box out of stuff this thin. If memory serves, we held it together with little metal corner braces. We somehow managed to cut triangular pieces of some other kind of wood to make the end pieces.

[As I write this I wonder how we managed to make it to adulthood.]

Next came the aluminum foil. The bulbs we had were the of the standard "bulb" shape, which would have squandered most of the light on the rest of the room rather than the band. So we applied the foil, among the more conductive materials known, to the inside surfaces of the wedge-boxes we had made.

We then wired up the ceramic sockets, running a separate piece of wire to each. We wanted to be able to turn the colors on and off separately. We then screwed the sockets to the boxes with the 3/8" long brackets they came with.

In retrospect, against all odds we (and our guardian angels, I presume) managed to wire that much up without creating any short-circuits. Danny and I knew at least twice as much about electricity as the average twelve-year-old, which might be impressive if the average twelve-year-old knew anything at all. Our background consisted of the fact that I had hooked a bulb up to a big chunky lantern battery once and Danny's Dad was a plumber.

Now we had to build the Professional Control Box. We screwed together two double-gang electrical boxes and installed the four switches ad the four outlets. The air was thick with trepidation; we could see that pretty soon we'd be plugging this whole mess into a wall outlet.

For reasons that I can't explain, we decided to route all of the wires from the "switch" half of our Control Box to the "outlet" half through one hole. And we didn't leave much slack. It took us an unreasonably long time to get it all hooked up.

The moment of truth had arrived. We plugged our Control Box into the wall. And ...

Another note about the Sixties. Modern houses these days have a host of circuits, each with a resettable breaker. There's one for the refrigerator, one for the microwave, one for the South side of the spare bedroom, one for the North side etc. There might be thirty or forty of them in a good-sized house.

Our houses back then had only a few circuits, and there was no logical system that determined what appliances, lights and outlets would be served by each one, rather a crazy-quilt of random devices spread around the house. And there were fuses rather than circuit breakers. Blowing one meant finding and unscrewing the bad one - in the dark - and hoping you had a replacement.

As the tines of the plug just entered the outlet there was a loud pop! But for a brief flash of bluish light from inside the Control Box, we were in the dark, . We were lucky that Danny's Dad was a plumber who had taught his son how to change a fuse, and we were doubly lucky that he and the rest of the family were not at home.

[My parents were chuckling at this point, but my Mom had a touch of retroactive worry for the twelve-year-old me on her face]

Undaunted by this setback, and secure in the knowledge that Danny had located two more spare fuses, we opened up the box and tinkered with it some more.

The spark seemed a little more orange this time, but otherwise the results were similar. Danny put in another spare fuse.

More surgery ensued. Would the third time be the charm?

By this point Danny had become quite expert at changing the fuse, but it was the last one. I remember suggesting that perhaps we should call it a day. There'd be heck to pay if Danny's parents came home to a 20% non-functional house, and the shared-parent arrangement meant that I wouldn't escape unscathed either.

Nevertheless, we gave it another try. This time the light came from the bulbs, in all their Blue, Green, Yellow and Red glory, not to mention every other permutation we could think of. We must have spent an hour playing with the switches and seeing how cool we looked in the light.

Our next basement "concert" was pretty much the best thing ever. That might also have been the first time we wore matching band outfits, but that's another story.

I did a search this evening. Of 1420 posts in this thread, 145 are mine, which would come as a great surprise to the kid who thought of writing "compositions", "essays" and "papers" as a chore.

But a "story"? That's something different. I imagine that there were people telling stories around a fire back as far as humans go. There's power in a story: family, friendship, surprise, humor, shared recognition and occasionally a bit of wisdom.

And now, a little entertainment for my Mom and Dad. Sometimes they join in. Tonight my Mom recounted the one about Uncle Rocco, the lentils and the pressure cooker. We've all heard it a hundred times, but it loses nothing in the repetition.

A good story is like that. Let's have some more.
_________________________
Greg Guarino

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#2172521 - 10/26/13 09:02 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Monica K. Online   blank

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17771
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Greg, thank you for the wonderful laugh you gave me in your story. "We decided that something was lacking. Clearly it wasn't talent; we were every bit as good as twelve-year-olds in a basement could hope to be." grin

You have my sympathies regarding your parental issues. I've been there and done that, and I know that it's a tremendous investment of time and energy. In retrospect I don't begrudge a second I spent with my mother but instead feel tremendous guilt I didn't spend more. I have no doubt that your parents value greatly your company and reminiscences. You are a good son indeed. heart
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#2175163 - 11/01/13 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
What a great story, Greg! And I'm sure your parents enjoyed it just as much as we did. My dad is a storyteller himself, so most of our recent family time involves me listening to him instead of the other way around. Yes, I've heard some of his stories before, but I am grateful for the repeats.

How lucky we are (at our advanced age) to still have our parents around.

Ah, autumn leaves and NO BRIDES. The falling brides drift past my window . . . oh never mind.

I have an exciting (and somewhat frightening) schedule ahead of me over the next few months. Not a single wedding, but concerts in Hamburg, Rome, Berlin, Vienna, and here in Cologne. This is to celebrate the launch of my Christmas album. Between the recording itself and practicing for the tour I feel like it has been Christmas since last April. Shoot me now. Then I've got the fairy play happening (my musical for children), which involves me donning a Dolly Parton wig, gossamer wings, and lavender rubber boots for six performances for five year olds.

After all this I will be BEGGING for a bride, believe me.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#2175291 - 11/01/13 11:56 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Monica K. Online   blank

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17771
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
I hastened off to iTunes to order your album, Robin, but it won't be released here in the U.S. until Nov. 26th. So I had to satisfy myself with the samples. What a pleasant surprise to see "Leise rieselt der schnee" on the album! It immediately bought me back to sophomore year in high school, when we learned and sang that song, among others, in the original German.

I don't remember much German at all (I didn't stick with it long enough to become fluent), but for some strange reason I still remember, word for word, the German translation of "Where have all the flowers gone?", as well as this sad little poem:

Heute, nur heute, bin ich so schön;
Morgen, ach morgen, muss alles vergehn!
Nur diese stunde bist du noch mein;
Sterben, ach sterben, soll ich allein.

A rough translation suggests it is not completely out of place on a thread contemplating weddings, beautiful brides, and the nature of love and loss. It also suggests, perhaps, that my German teacher was depressed:

Today, only today, am I so beautiful.
Tomorrow, yes, tomorrow all things must pass.
For only this hour are you still mine.
I shall die, yes die, alone.
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

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#2175767 - 11/02/13 04:50 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
Oh wow, Monica, you know Leise rieselt der Schnee? It's such a pretty melody. Every Christmas I play it and my German audiences always go, "Ahhhhhhhhh." Which is why I decided to include it, never dreaming that a pianist in Kentucky would appreciate it as well.

November 26th (my birthday!) is indeed the release date. Or escape date.

Seems I can't escape wedding fever. Yesterday at the castle (while the joint was empty) there was a big photo shoot going on for the new wedding brochure. All the rooms were perfectly decorated, the tables were set, the flowers had been arranged. But no one was there except for a clipboard lady and a photographer. Had kind of a Stephen King vibe.

Which brings me back to Monica's German poem. I think it works for brides, but it also works quite nicely for the solo pianist. I have died a thousand deaths while sitting on the piano bench—but it's also the place I go to feel beautiful.

And on that philosophical note I shall begin my practice session for the day. Carol of the Bells. Tempo Tantrum.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#2180841 - 11/12/13 01:58 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 did get a call this week for a wedding, but the bride was looking for someone to play the organ—one of those big gorgeous European pipe organs in a huge cathedral. As you know if you've been reading through this thread, I have NO CLUE about playing the organ—she might as well have asked me to play the trombone. Part of me wanted to take the gig, because, you know, it would have been high comedy. But I passed. And when she said she would rent a piano for me to play, I encouraged her to go ahead and find an organist instead (probably the person on staff at the church)—what a shame it would be to have an instrument like that and not use it.

Maybe I'll get the reception gig.

37 jobs to go between now and January 1st. I played a concert at the US Consulate in Hamburg last week. This is the place where they have a security guard sitting next to the piano. Of all the gigs in the world where I could use a security guard, this is not one of them—I played for about 75 very nice American women in cute outfits. Not exactly a threatening environment.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#2180922 - 11/12/13 08:04 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3187
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Piano Girl RMG
Of all the gigs in the world where I could use a security guard, this is not one of them—I played for about 75 very nice American women in cute outfits. Not exactly a threatening environment.





Sometimes you get lucky at these. I was at one where they put a really delicious chocolate cake at each table - and I was the only one not on a diet. I may have skipped the main course that day!
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#2183198 - 11/16/13 03:23 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
Just booked a wedding on December 7th. Bride will be contacting me to "discuss" the music. Now I'm paranoid about this Nutcracker thing. Tis the season, you know.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#2183688 - 11/16/13 11:28 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
"Music hath charms to soothe the savage beast."

You're good at getting brides to choose what you want to play, Robin, and to think it was their idea all along. Send her your CD (no, not the special one--- not yet).

"It would be so lovely at your wedding, and so special. These are original compositions of mine, written especially for weddings. I don't offer them to just any bride, but I can tell they would be just right for you."

If she insists on having the score from "Carmen," topped off with "The Stripper," by Billy Rose... have a private word with the matron of honor. Or the father of the bride, if it comes to that.

You could throw in, "Oh, no one's played that at a wedding since the 1980's." And that means "No" to the disco ball, as well. To be honest, I don't know how you would dress up the bald truth: "That all may be very well at a nightclub, but..." Yet, I have confidence that you could put it across. I would go with the warm, yet slightly pitying smile, the mischievous twinkle, the slightly raised eyebrow. But I'm sure you can do better than me.

Let her torment the bridesmaids--- that is what they are there for. Just don't let her get the idea that you are one of that pack, and all will be well. Most, anyway.
_________________________
Clef


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#2183699 - 11/16/13 11:53 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21398
Loc: Oakland
I was tuning at the "Little Castle" in Berkeley yesterday, and someone was showing a couple around for what seemed to be a wedding, so perhaps big weddings are coming into style. I might have been tuning for a wedding. I do not know.

(The "Big Castle" is San Simeon, by the way.)
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2183744 - 11/17/13 04:22 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
Great advice, Clef!

Yes, Frau Lekkerbusch-Goldhammar, "The Stripper Theme" is a lovely choice, but the last time I played that at a wedding, the best man bitch-slapped the maid of honor, the mother of the groom disrobed down to her girdle, and the ring-bearer got so wound up he threw a plate of pesto dip at the bride and ruined 5000 dollars worth of Vera Wang silk. Of course, if that's the kind of party you want, then BY ALL MEANS, let's play The Stripper. Just make sure you have an alternate dress to put on after the number concludes.

Actually, I do send CDs (not THAT CD) to my brides, and it usually works like a charm. But you never know. That last Nutcracker request (18 hours before the wedding) came out of left field, AFTER the bride had already heard several of my recordings. Maybe something about the way I play made her think of Cossacks.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#2183773 - 11/17/13 06:27 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1195
Loc: London UK
What's in "Nutcracker" that can't be faked on piano easily enough? And if she wants "The Stripper", PLAY "The Stripper". What brings me out in a sweat is being asked for a specific classical piano solo which is beyond my technique. Or the Widor Toccata.

Sometimes I prepare a backing track and just play the tune, or flashy arpeggios. They never mind. They probably don't even notice. Even if it's a grand piano gig, I usually bring the little combo amp, some CDs and a wireless mic. If they can't stand a little silence during my break, at least it ensures the Muzak is appropriate. And I've quite often rescued a malfunctioning or just plain crappy hotel PA system for the speeches.

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#2183888 - 11/17/13 12:10 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21398
Loc: Oakland
For more sophisticated groups, you might suggest the Dance of the Seven Veils, or less so, Take Back Your Mink as substitutes for The Stripper.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2183917 - 11/17/13 01:01 PM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: BDB]
Exalted Wombat Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 1195
Loc: London UK
I have been known to slip in "Get out and get under". And, if the bride shows any sign of enjoying her food, there are many subtle ways to introduce "Nellie the elephant". Gay weddings, after the obligatory "I am what I am" seem to enjoy "I'm just a gal who cain't say no". Also - and it took me a long time to realise why - they like to sing "Granada". The clue's in the final line.

I don't do a lot of civilian (i.e. non-theatrical) gigs, as you'll realise :-)

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#2184384 - 11/18/13 08:52 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
Take Back the Mink really would be perfect for the march down the aisle, as long as no one in the party has ever seen Guys and Dolls. Then again, a Guys-and-Dolls-themed wedding, complete with costumes, set pieces, and production numbers at the reception, would be special and rather fun (to some).

But let's get down. "My music, Fraulein Hoffstadt-Schmidt, is designed to create a mood, without distracting attention from the most important person: you. People may not even realize I'm playing until they start reaching for their hankies, or finding themselves breathless in some enchanted forest with snow silently falling. Now, I know you have so much to do; why, it must be overwhelming. Just leave this part to me. I will weave the perfect mood around you, like the most beautiful, gorgeous, Brugges lace--- that is the difference between hiring talent, and having a DJ blatting out beer hall polkas. It will make your wedding unique, tasteful, perfect, and one-of-a-kind."
_________________________
Clef


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#2186066 - 11/21/13 02:21 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 once performed a song in a Burlesque show called "Glamour Girl."

The lyric, burned into my brain still, went like this:

I just came here to tell you what I'm doin' is right.
A glamour girl wears mink all day and FOX all night . . .

Stripper tempo. Could work for a recessional. My costume for this number (30 years ago!) consisted of some scanty white satin panties and a white mink (real!) that looped around my neck and covered the parts of me that needed to be covered. Yes, Clef, I worked with Tempest on this.

I love your "suggestions to the bride," Clef. I should check into having this translated into German.
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

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#2186175 - 11/21/13 08:43 AM Re: Let's Talk Weddings [Re: Piano Girl RMG]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3187
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Piano Girl RMG
Stripper tempo. Could work for a recessional. My costume for this number (30 years ago!) consisted of some scanty white satin panties and a white mink (real!) that looped around my neck and covered the parts of me that needed to be covered.


I now have a visual image burned into my brain worse than an earworm. Even not thinking of a red firetruck is not helping.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#2187958 - 11/25/13 08:57 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
FYI: I did a video shoot this morning at the castle. This involved playing a few things from the new holiday CD in the main hall, but it also (sadly) involved standing outside and freezing my Piano Girl behind while attempting to chat. We did a lot of that walking/chatting thing that video journalists seem to be so fond of. This is difficult enough on a nice day, especially with a camera person walking backwards over cobblestones and other slippery surfaces, but today, in the cold, it was nasty.

The main part of this story is to tell you (mainly YOU, Clef) that the Ninja swans (Congo and Prince) were out and gliding around the pond, which was not frozen (unlike me). The swans, as soon as they saw me, got out of the water and positioned themselves on each side of me. They would not let the camera man (an Indonesian gentlemen with a bit of a bird phobia) anywhere near me. If he took one step in my direction they hissed and spread their wings and acted like, well, Ninja swans.

Gotta say, I felt honored by my swan bodyguards, even though I felt sorry for the camera guy. The Ninja swans are on my side. I may start holding my pre-wedding music discussions with brides down by the pond. "It's so romantic down there, Frau Hammerschmitz-Lippe. Surely you'll be inspired."
_________________________
Robin Meloy Goldsby
www.goldsby.de
Author of PIANO GIRL: A Memoir
RHYTHM: A Novel
RMG is a Steinway Artist

Top
#2188006 - 11/25/13 10:51 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
Inspired to what--- scream, run, jump in the duckpond?

I saw a pretty good wedding video where the swans got after the bride, at the ceremony. She screamed, ran... tripped on the wedding dress. And they were unkind enough to show it on TV... and I was unkind enough to laugh. Such is humor. Maybe the swan thought the bride was a canape'.

Now, maybe if a wedding planner wanted to have one of those 'little chats' with you, Lake Ninja would be just the place (yes, on one of those early spring days when there's still a fringe of ice on the pond). Or--- ok--- some brides.
_________________________
Clef


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