Saturday, May 31, 2008


Want to know how I finished out the performance season this spring? I was the cannon in Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, banging away on the bottom keys of the glorious Yamaha DX-7 synthesizer complete with a cheesy "1812" sound patch. (You could probably guess, correctly, that this was a Memorial Day concert.)

What fun! Did you know that the cannon part is notated with precise rhythms in the percussion score? I always thought it was just something that happened toward the end at the climactic places without much specificity. There's one really neat place where Tchaikovsky sounds the cannon in cross-rhythm - it "explodes" every three beats while the music is in four (or two, I can't exactly remember). That's what's supposed to happen, anyway.

Keyboard players just never know for sure what sounds they'll be making out there in the real world...

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