05. March 2009 · Comments Off on Go Read This · Categories: Links, Ramble, Symphony

Here’s a snippet:

But have you ever wondered what would happen if the whole orchestra just happened to take a break from warming up at the same time? This is what we refer to as the dreaded “Awkward Silence,” in which it is clearly not yet time for the concert to begin, and yet we have all, for one reason or another, ceased making noise, which has caused the audience to cease talking, and everyone just sort of sits there looking at each other, wondering what’s going on.

This is from an Inside the Classics blog entry and it’s a fun read. This silence thing really does happen on occasion, and it’s quite disconcerting (no pun intended, but there you go). Sam Bergman, the writer, is a violist with the Minnesota Orchestra. He and assistant conductor Sarah Hicks blog at Inside the Classics and they are currently on tour so they are blogging about that. (They really need to have links to their bios at the blog, but I sure didn’t find any.)

I’ll never forget an Opera San José performance we had in our former, much smaller hall. We were all warming up and of course the audience was chatting away as well. It was the typical before-concert buzz and noise, something I’m rather fond of. (Kind of like when I was a young child and my parents had people over; I loved to hear the chatting and sort of drift in and out of consciousness.) I realized I had water in my top octave, so I quickly blew through the vent to get it out. When I do that I blow deep from the bottom of my lungs, and I do make a very loud sound (I don’t know why, but I’ve never heard anyone else make the noise I make). I guess the audience and orchestra thought I was shushing them, because it was suddenly completely quiet.

Oh the power!

I did look up and say something like, “Keep talking!” or some such silly thing, I was so caught off guard.

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