Thursday, April 16, 2009

Pianos

I'm a pianist. It's not like I can take my instrument with me. I have to play whatever is put in front of me. I can't take around my $80,000 violin with me or anything. So that being the case, a lot of times I'm just subject to the best sound I can possibly make out of a POS piano that needs to be dropped off a roof. And I'm usually ok with that. I can always blame it on the piano. ;)
Although, I had a friend once who said he never blamed anything on the piano...it was always the pianists job to make any piano sound good...until he played a POS piano. The first thing he said to me was "That piano was awful! I couldn't do anything!". It made me laugh.

Anyway--back to the rant at hand. Granted, I'm usually ok playing what I'm given. Sometimes people or places just can't afford nice pianos. But anyone that owns a piano should be able to afford to tune it. Three cases in hand...

First--I played a birthday party at a woman's house. She had warned me that the piano was a little bit out of tune. "No problem!" I say. "I've probably played worse". Well...I hadn't. The tenor was singing "Che gelida manina" from La Boheme. It's in D flat. The high e flat on this keyboard was about a half step flat...and I had to play it many times, not to mention the extreme out of tune-ness of the piano already. It was literally comical.

Second--this morning we did a school show in Salina, UT. Usually the pianos in small town Utah aren't much to be expected. But this one was pretty incredible. Besides the fact that it turned my fingers black (no kidding!) from the dust, it was the most out of tune instrument I have ever played in my life. Yes...almost worse than the previous story. None of our pieces sounded anything close to what was written just from the fact that the piano was so bad.

Third--we did a residency concert in SLC at a community center. Granted they probably had a piano donated. But it was a old, tiny baby grand. Older baby grands, when they are really small, used to be made with smaller keys...which means that the keyboard itself is smaller...which means that the pianist's geography of the keyboard is off. My hands know where to find a G even if I can't look for it. Yet, when the keyboard is small...the geography is off...and I play a ton of wrong notes because I jump too far. Yet again...I sound like I don't know what I'm doing just because of the piano.

I could go on...which would probably be boring. But it amazes me that people can own an instrument (at a school district and a wealthy home) and not take any kind of care of it. The third case, the piano was taken care of but still needs to be dropped off a roof. Maybe someday someone will invent a portable piano that's not electric and sounds good. Ok, I know, I'm dreaming...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

An on top of that...

And on top of that...this hotel was apparently expensive! It put us over budget! The sign says over $100 a night. Amazing...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Days Inn in Richfield, UT

So we're staying at the Days Inn in Richfield. Normally this would be an ok thing. I really haven't every had any issues with a Days Inn. But this one...well...hmmm...it needs help. First of all, we have two pets with us. And for some reason they need to be on the basement floor...which is fine but we all get pretty sucky cell service down here. I have to go out and talk in the parking lot.
Secondly, the internet is awful. It's not wireless, it's an ethernet cable modem. Yet randomly, some rooms don't have cables...just modems. It also means that only one computer can be on the internet at a time...which is hard when you have two people with computers in a room. Dominic and Brent didn't have a cable. So they went to ask for one. They gave them a new modem. Needless to say, he had to go back to the front desk three more times to get a modem that would work.
Next, Gretchen and Chanel had to change rooms because their TV would randomly not work (which is no fun when there's nothing to do in the first place). And then, I changed rooms last night because the ceiling in my bathroom was dripping and had a huge water bubble. The guy came down and decided to stick his finger in it...and of course, it went all the way into the ceiling. So...I changed rooms. And yes, had to take the ethernet cable from my old room into the new one because the new one didn't have one.
All I can say is that the Days Inn in Richfield isn't the best in the world. In fact, it's kind of a comedy of errors to tell you the truth.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Richfield!

So...it's the last and final opera tour...and we're spending a week in Richfield. Now granted, it's not Mt. Pleasant. We have some restaurant choices, and we are going to go to Bryce tomorrow, but...it's still Richfield! Smack in the middle of Utah with absolutely nothing around it. Yeah. We're staying at the Days Inn. I feel like I have walked into a room from 1985...and on top of that, the internet is ethernet...no wireless. I think I've time warped back to 1999. ;) I shouldn't complain, I have internet and it works well. So I'm not really complaining but it's funny. It might be a long week...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

What I wish...

Sometimes I just wish so much that I could make everything ok and happy for everyone. And yes, I know it's not my job...yes, I know I can't. But sometimes--and those sometimes are usually the ones when there's really not a single, itty-bitty thing I can do--sometimes I just really wish I could help. Wish that I could fix it. And I can't. And that sucks.