So this song came up on shuffle today:
I hadn’t heard it in a while and I forgot what a tremendous feeling of anxiety that opening gives me.
Why, you ask?
(Shut up, just pretend you asked.)
Well, we were going to play this in band in 7th grade. We didn’t have any oboe players to play that opening solo thingy at 2:18, so being the nerdiest band nerd that ever nerded, I said, “hey Mr. Garrett, I’ll learn oboe, an instrument I’ve never even touched!” So I got my hands on an oboe and had about three weeks to learn how to play it (and play it well enough to do the solo thingy). I remember being so incredibly anxious about it every single time we practiced and, of course, when we performed it. I can’t remember how badly I botched it, but I’m sure I botched it quite nicely.
Also, cannons have nothing on the MAHLER HAMMER!
I got to thinking today (for some reason) about concert band back at the U of I. We played quite a variety of songs in there, and whenever we played a song I enjoyed, I of course downloaded said song for later enjoyment. So here’s something I surprisingly haven’t done on here before: let’s rank the top 10 concert band songs, ‘cause why not?
(Sorry, no he-brides)
#10: Blue and Green Music
We played this my “second time around” in concert band (that is, when I came back to UI and was working on my math degree). The song itself as a whole is okay, but the student conductor we had for this piece made us work until we had the part at 3:19 sounding so beautiful that it always made me excited for this song.
#9: Lincolnshire Posy: Horkstow Grange
This was a fun one to play and very moving.
#8: First Suite in E-Flat: March
HOOOOOOOOOOLST. Another fun song. We got to be loud. I love the last fourth or so of this song (1:53 to the end). Controlled chaos.
AAAAAAAAAAAAA Shenandoah is so freaking pretty. I love the clarinet part, too.
#6: Variations on a Korean Folk Song
I think this was one we did during my second round of school, not with you guys (referring to my band geek friends). I think this was divided into six movements. Some of them were really fun. Favorites were at 1:40-2:31 (aka “let’s be obnoxious on clarinet”) 4:13-end (I like how it goes from OH GOD LOUD to oh god soft but with drums in the background to the layering of the main theme around 6:00). Fun to play.
#5: First Suite in E-Flat: Chaconne
MORE HOOOOOOOOOOLST. I don’t know what it is about this movement, but I liked it the very first time I played it/heard it. I still have the clarinet sheet music for this and that scale at 1:27 is as crazy as I remember it. Also 3:59 lsjfalhfglaghfaldf
#4: Adrenaline Engines
Another “second round” song. This one was very fun to play. Lots of energy. This song is actually really fun to walk to (I love when it comes up on shuffle).
#3: Bayou Breakdown
We played this obscenely fast. This recording is the fastest one I could find and we did like 50% faster than this. CHAOS. 2:41 is like a mental breakdown and then 3:52 is so smooth and perfect and unifying. Really fun to play.
#2: O Magnum Mysterium
UGH THIS SONG. I love it so much. I remember Torrey bringing in the choral version of this for us to listen to before we played it (so we could emulate the feeling of singing when we played) and that choral version has such a significant meaning to me for a few reasons that I’ve explained on here before. But the band version is the whole reason I heard the choral version, so there ya go.
#1: Valdres March
The best song we ever played in concert band. No contest. I love Valdres March. Love love love.
This song has been the only song I’ve been able to write to for a solid week and a half now (except the version I’ve got is much faster). The more I listen to it, the more I like it (or at least, the more I like the positive association between it and “holy crap I’m actually getting work done!”).
For those readers who weren’t in concert band this spring (aka all of you), we played this and it was awesome.
According to the internet, Isaac Newton is made of “man, Romance, and herpa derp. With a dash of Ramen.” That freaking made my day.
Best thing about tonight’s concert: Bukvich song! Freaking awesome.
Worst thing about tonight’s concert: Bukvich song! But only because it’s a badass song but there are no recordings of it yet so I can’t download it and listen to it whenever I want.
I was going to say something else, but I seriously can’t remember what it was now.
Sorry these suck.
So what brilliant person decided which countries were which movements in that song we’re playing in concert band? Seriously, they’ve got like a 60% failure rate. Observe:
The Introduction Thingy
This doesn’t count. It’s the introduction thingy.
The First Movement—Destination: France
This song does not strike me remotely as French. France does not jive to the 3/2 time signature. France is waltz. France is stuff composed by Ben Charest for The Triplets of Belleville. This is French. Crappy, slow, “I’ve-dropped-le-baguette-in-le-Riviera-and-I’m-le-tired [obscure “The End of the World” reference]” is not French. Bulgarian at best. But not French.
The Second Movement—Destination: England
This song captures perfectly London on a cold, foggy morning. All we need is the ominous tolling of Big Ben in the background and I feel like I’m back in London being swarmed by pigeons. Success.
The Third Movement—Destination: Italy
Italy? Italy?! No, no, no…three words: IRISH, DRINKING, and SONG. Further evidence that this should be a drinking song is produced in the 40 measure-long rests that are in place as to allow the clarinet sections to go to the pub before continuing with their parts.
The Fourth Movement—Destination: Spain
Things conjured up in my mind when I think of Spain: castanets, running with the bulls, Ernest Hemingway, “Toro!”, and…well yeah, that’s about it. Nowhere does this list say anything about “depressing, funeral-esque music.” We decided the song was after a fatal goring during a running of the bulls, and we were mourning.
Still…where are the castanets, freaking people?!
The Fifth Movement—Destination: Germany
*singing along with the 2nd clarinet part* “AH! YES! I’m a German male!” (more lyrics with which to annoy Torrey to come).
This is a mighty powerhouse of a movement. The Germans would approve.
Yeah, that’s all I’ve got for today.
Huttah! He-brides! This is what my Tuesdays and Thursdays will consist of for about a month:
I. He-bride pirates shouting “scurvy!” and “arrrrrr!” and “throw me my sexin’ pants, me bucko!”
II. He-bride lovers running in slow motion towards each other because that’s what lovers do.
III. A completely non-sexual song about milking said he-brides.
IV. Something about the he-brides going to an isle. I’m still not quite sure about this one.
And so yeah. I love concert band.