Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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A 21st Century rehearsal…

Wed Mar 28 2012

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Thanks to @dallascampbell for such an invigorating talk. We do recommend Ad Astra, his book on the history of space… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

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One of the bigger problems musicians face is finding slots of time when we are all free to rehearse for chamber concerts and so on.

So, when Cherry Forbes, OAE Education Director, asked Double Bassist Cecelia and me to put together a programme of music for an education project in Plumstead, Cecelia had a brainwave – we would see if the 21st century had the answer to this old problem. Hence, the first Skype rehearsal was born.

I was very excited as I set up my computer (and cup of tea) on my dining table and prepared to play Schubert and Mozart over the internet…

We made connection, we tuned up, and all was good so far. Until, that is, we realised that when if both played louder than mezzopiano, the computer speakers would give up.

With a slightly quieter attack, we carried on, only to realise a small time delay was also interfering with proceedings.

Not a problem: we just had to pretend we were at either sides of the world’s largest orchestra and play way ahead of the beat.

Playing very quietly and about a second out from each other, we carried on through computer crashes, poor sound quality and fuzzy pictures.

When we got to the end, we realised we’d both rather enjoyed our novel but surprisingly effective rehearsal, and I’ve a good feeling that when we meet on Monday – to play in the same room as each other – it will be a great pleasure.

And a lot easier.

Katherine Spencer, Clarinet

(We’ll blog about the Plumstead education project in a future post…)

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