Tag Archives: bssb

stuff & nonsense

i brought home the glass bong that i made in the previous post, and now have two glasses in the annealer, waiting for me to pick them up. 8)

the fremont phil has a gig on friday, which is tomorrow. i’m probably going up to b’ham to visit with kenyth on saturday. maybe coming back saturday, maybe sunday… haven’t decided yet.

saturday is also frank zappa day, and international talk-like-a-pirate day. a week from saturday is festa italiana for the BSSB. the thursday after that (which is the first of october), snake suspenderz has a gig at the chateau retirement center. maybe they’ll remember to pay us this time.

there’s a video that goes here, but it’s taking forever to upload, so i’ll put it in later.

this is so cool!

i’ve knowingly been around this building for 45 years, but i’ve never actually been inside the Women’s University Club in seattle, until yesterday, when the ballard sedentary sousa band played there. it’s been there for 90 years, or thereabouts, and has been the venue for many a ‘hoity-toity’ event presented by the rich, upper-class women of seattle… and now it has also been the venue in which the BSSB has played, which either means that their standards are slipping, or that the BSSB has moved up the ladder, in our social circles, by several rungs… πŸ˜‰

but the photo below is not that… it is about 3 blocks away, right next door to the building i lived in (according to the handy-dandy chart of when things happened) between 1996 and 1997, at terry and east union

seriously, this is one of my favourite places in the entire city, and i would live there again in a cold second, given the opportunity… there’s nothing like waking up in the morning, walking a few blocks, and being able to eat breakfast at the pike place market before starting your day… 😎

when i got to the women’s university club, i played, as i was expected to do, but i then learned about the fact that, in 1927, John Philip Sousa had actually been a guest of the women’s university club, and they had his signature in their guest book! so, of course, i had to take a picture of it…

150729 John Philip Sousa autograph

of course, because of the fact that i took it with my cell-phone, it’s kind of blurry, but hey… it’s a real piece of history, that i’m a part of, because we actually got to sign the very same guest book! πŸ˜€

new antique music by somebody else…

once again, i would like to offer my utmost gratitude to my wife, who made it possible for me to own the awesome music notation software called Sibelius. it has made processes like this take so much less time than doing the same thing “by hand”… and it’s not something that i have to imagine, as i have actually done projects like this “by hand” in the past, and it was so tedious and drawn-out over, literally, months, that i no longer do such projects… conversely, this project in it’s entirety, took 5 weeks to go from “a gleam in my eye” to having finished parts and a recording… and 4 weeks and 5 days of that were waiting for the score to arrive from the publisher. 😎

so, there’s this march in honor of Joyce’s 71st New York Regiment written in 1881 by Thornton Barnes Boyer, which we’ve been trying to play with the Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band for several years now, and getting nowhere… primarily because of the fact that there are several different “arrangements” of it scattered across the 35-odd musicians in the band, which have several differences which, while not major, definitely mean that playing it as an ensemble is a lot more difficult. and that’s not to mention that it is in the key of E♭ minor (six flats, for those of you who may not know), which, for a community band with players of all abilities, is asking a bit too much…

but that may or may not be the issue, as i discovered at a recent BSSB rehearsal that, in fact, there are two different “arrangements” of Joyce’s 71st NY Regiment March just in the trombone section, and that they are enough different that playing the two of them and expecting it to sound even reasonably coherent was impossible, as one of them had the “Trio” in an entirely different key all together.

a little bit of research revealed the fact that there are several different “arrangements”, which include adding harmony and ornamentation to the trio, changing the key of the trio to the relative major, and changing the location of the “Da Capo”, all of which were made long after the original composer, TB Boyer, had passed on, and nobody could decide which of the many different arrangements was “best”. one thing that they all agreed on, however, was that the original piece had been published by J.W.Pepper.

a tiny light bulb appeared over my head, as i realised that i actually own a 100-year-old musical instrument with the J.W.Pepper logo stamped on it, and i actually know where J.W.Pepper has a branch location in tukwilla…

so, i went to J.W.Pepper and asked if they still carried the original version of Joyce’s 71st NY Regiment March, not arranged by anyone, and, bob’s-yer-uncle, they have it. not only that, but they have a version of it that has been transcribed for modern instruments, which is really an issue when you realise that what constitutes a concert band has changed pretty dramatically in the past 120 years: no saxhorns, no helicons, no ophecleids, quinticlaves or clavitubes, no serpents, consistent woodwinds, a tuning note that is several cents higher than it was, etc., etc., etc…

however, they sold the publishing rights to some other company, which only prints copies on demand, so i had to wait until they printed a copy… just for meeeeee… 😊

i got it the other day, and entered it into the aforementioned, AWESOME MUSIC NOTATION SOFTWARE (which took all of 5 hours, stretched out over a couple of days) and transposed it down a half-step, into D minor, which only has one flat!

my impression is that it will be much easier to muddle our way through, now that we’ve all got the same arrangement, and it’s in a key that doesn’t twist our brains while we’re trying to learn it… 👍

and, because of the fact that the software also outputs in sound formats, i have been able to hear what it’s going to sound like (more or less) to make sure that all the parts are correct BEFORE i print them and hand them out to people!

Joyce’s 71st New York Regiment March

yesterday

yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away…

no, no… that’s not right…

yesterday i got up early enough to be in magnolia by 8:00 so that i could sit by the side of the road for three hours while i waited for the magnolia seafair parade to happen around me… with me as the tuba player in the SANCApators. because of the fact that i was the tuba player, there are no pictures — of me or anyone else — that i took, but i’m pretty sure there were pictures taken of me by other folks, because i wore my kilt, a rainbow tie-dyed shirt, my tall hat-of-many-buttons, and my steampunk goggles. carrying an enormous tuba in a parade, dressed in that costume, was definitely an experience… unfortunately it was an experience for everyone else, because i was too busy trying to play the parts and keep more-or-less in line with the six other members of the band… 😐

this is the second seafair related parade that i have participated in this year. i didn’t go to greenwood, because my car isn’t “finished” yet, but i’ve been in chinatown, magnolia, and, in a couple weeks, briar…

next weekend is august 9th, the day that will live in infamy… because i have three different gigs scheduled with three different bands, in three different cities…

i’ve got the festival of the river with the fighting instruments of karma; i’ve got the ballard locks gig with the ballard sedentary sousa band; AND i’ve got the huson’s garden party with the fremont philharmonic… ALL ON THE SAME DAY… πŸ˜›

i’m going to make the fighting instruments gig, because they are actually paying the chautaqua $10,000 to do the show, so the chautaqua wants to give them their money’s worth… i may be able to make the garden party, which starts at 7:00, if everything goes as planned and i am able to leave arlington by 6:00, and i encounter no traffic in everett or seattle…

… now i need a place to hide away, oh i believe in yesterday.

so, today is 4/20…

today, moe’s dad and his wife came to retrieve moe’s mom and her car from their visit with us this past week (it’s a long story: what it boils down to is that, despite the fact that she owns a very large, quite luxurious SUV, moe’s mom is afraid to, and refuses to drive on the freeway, or any place with which she’s not already familiar). they came up by train, i picked them up at the station, and they took off in moe’s mom’s car, whereupon they immediately proceded to get lost and ended up on the freeway going the wrong direction. allegedly they’re going to be back around 6:00 or so, with moe’s mom, and moe, who is at a dog trial today, which is why her parents are here. then they’re going to take the rabbit and go back to portland…

oh yeah… we found a pet rabbit in our front yard last week. it turned out to belong to our neighbour down the street, but they don’t want it any longer, so it’s going to portland with moe’s mom, and she’s allegedly going to give it to its new owner… i say allegedly because moe’s mom is in love with the rabbit and wants to take it home herself, despite the fact that her housemate (who is also her landlord) would have a fit…

i’ve got a BSSB rehearsal tuesday, and then a BSSB performance on saturday, i think… or maybe it’s sunday…

cannabis is legal! let’s keep it that way! 😎