Thursday, April 19, 2012
The best Tuesday morning ever!
Here is how you know you are working with a real pro.
You show up at 8:30 to the university recital hall (which is set up for the announcement of the new university president in a scant hour.) You are there to record a video (which you have a general idea about.) Once on stage, you pull out two Muramatsu flutes for you and your colleague to play (neither of us had touched them prior to this.) You both choose a duet, sight read it, and record it in one take. You high five each other, and then chat about the experience for the rest of the video. It's all over by 8:55.
That's Nina Perlove for you.
I have long admired her online videos, her skill, and teaching abilities. I first met her 3 years ago on a mid-western tour I was doing: showing flutes and teaching masterclasses. We had a great deal of fun. This year, as I was setting up another such tour, we planned the event described above. The announcement of the university president was an unanticipated event, so our carefully scheduled 1.5 hours in the hall to shoot two videos was not going to happen. With the press clamoring to get into the hall, we knew we had to get in and get out. Fast.
So, at 9:00 we began shooting the second video. It was finished at 9:25, went to have coffee before the masterclass I was to teach.
All this before lunch. We musicians know how to pack in a day!
Nina and I had only ever played a duet before: Kuhlau for a video we did on the previous trip. So we did have some knowledge of each others playing. But in retrospect, a great number of things went well that may not have!! We each listened to the others playing and picked up on style, articulation, when the other had the more important part and so on, all completely unspoken. Was it necessity? Yup. Was it because we both have done extensive playing? Of course. Were the flutes we played for the event without ever touching them before outstanding instruments? You bet!* But I also think it is because Nina is a fine musician, our values lined up musically, and we both were there to have fun and make music.
Can't think of a better way to spend a Tuesday morning!!
*A mid-western phrase I picked up on this trip.