It was a conversation between three friends at the Open Road.
A week or so before, at the WindSync concert, they’d saved seats in the balcony, for another friend and I. We guessed we’d each be coming in late from a Maundy Thursday service. I was the last to arrive, skulking in to the eerie shadowed intonation of “Under The Earth”, just before the intermission. I’d missed most of the first half.
It was a strange world indeed. To me, it was a summation of an almost inexplicable evening. So I asked my two friends what they thought. And here is the ensuing conversation, over coffee and tea.
B: What I appreciated about them (WindSync) was their spontaneity. Even though I recognize that really they are so super rehearsed. They are professionals. But it came across as spontaneous. And I know that it was Chamber music, and there has to be this interaction because there’s not conductor there. So they have to interact at a personal level. And they did it so beautifully.
And you know what I loved. I loved the fact that they were formally dressed. They’re playing as professionals and they’re not coming out in their torn jeans. I loved the fact that they were dressed as though they were playing in an orchestra.
M: And they each had their own style of clothing. I liked that too. I enjoyed looking at the women’s dresses. Because they were so different and suited each of the personalities.
M: And then I would say. I’ll just go along with what you’re saying B. What I loved about what you said (B) is that they were having a conversation with one another as they were playing.
B: The eye contact, the movement.
M: The interplay. Their bodies moved with the instruments. They weren’t just standing stock still. There was a dance of the music and the instruments and the people. I loved that
B: And they were very funny. I mean there were moments that were really funny, amusing. So there was this sense that they loved it. And we loved it in return. There really was this sense that they loved what they were doing.
Rex: It wasn’t like in the old days, when they sat down in a formation.
M: Right. And I love what B just said that “they loved it and we loved it in return.”
B: And you know what I appreciate too. Was the fact that they took the time and apparently did a really super job of interacting with the school children earlier that morning. That’s wonderful.
They love their art form and they want to share it. And that came across. Didn’t you think so?
M: Absolutely. I thought it came across beautifully. Their love.
Rex: And the last thing I expected was the clarinet player to come out in shades. And being able to dance like that. Like he was some guy from the 50’s.
M: Right. In the rock and roll part. That was awesome.
Rex: And how do you mix that in with Under the Earth and all the rest of it. There were so many different things that they were coming at us with.
B: The pieces that they chose were, as you say, so different. And then ending with the Americana.
Rex: And the style of the playing. The horn. And I know a something about the horn. And you realize, it takes a certain kind of (French) horn player to mix with those instruments.
B: I didn’t know that.
Rex: Yeah. I mean a wood quintet sound is different sound than somebody playing in Hollywood. Than somebody playing in Mahler’s Fifth.
M: She was able to blend with them (the other instruments)
Rex: I would look at it as saying that it was a very specific kind of horn playing, for that particular role.
B: They’re clearly, very very talented. Because one of them actually arranged a piece. And that takes expertise.
Rex: One of them arranged a piece?
M: Yes, the bassoon player arranged one of the pieces. I can’t remember which one.
B: Let’s look at the program and see if we recognize which one. It might even be mentioned in the notes. (looking at the program notes). Do they say it in the notes?
Rex: It was probably one of the ones I missed.
M: (looking at the program notes). Oh yeah. That was cool. The Back in Time. The chanting players. (Talking to Rex, who missed this part due to Maundy Thursday). Oh that was so interesting. They were actually singing tones, while different instruments played. They would take turns singing the tones. That was so cool. I loved that. And then the Peruvian dance. But this last part right before the intermission. The pieces right before the intermission, were so…. I hate to use the word interesting because its so bland. They were so… varied. It was all by the same person, right? It was by the same composer. Just re-reading the program notes, reminded me of their (WindSync’s) diversity.
I loved that they explained everything. Each person in the group had a chance to speak to us.
B: Yes. They even arranged it, because they probably realized that they would be called back to do a final piece. Right. And then she had her chance. Because i was disappointed when the concert had ended, and we hadn’t actually heard her voice.
Rex: The French horn player you mean?
M: Right the French Horn player. Because there was the English Horn player too. And they each spoke with their different personalities. Again it didn’t seem scripted or rehearsed. It may have been, but it didn’t seem that way. It seemed very natural.
Rex: In a way they gave us a vision into something really new.
B: For me, yeah. I hadn’t heard that kind of quintet in chamber music before. I hadn’t heard that kind of music played. It was really really good.
M: (back to the bassoon player’s rearrangement). I think it was the second piece they played. Dietrich (trying to pronounce Buxtehude).
B: How do you say it?
B: How about that?!
M: I think it was (that piece) because originally it was composed for Organ.
And then in the notes it mentions that to the composer, the number seven was associated with Advent and the Christmas season. Seven is mentioned many times in the Bible as a Divine number. So he (Buxtehude) had the number seven in the whole piece.
That’s in the notes, which seem to be pretty complete, so you (Rex) can check it out later.
What else do I want to say? I don’t think I have anything else. What about you?
B: Not really. It was a lovely evening. It was really fun being with friends.
M: Yeah. It was really lovely and fun being with friends.