Saturday, May 2, 2020

A Birthday Zoom | Pandemic Musings

And that was just page 1

My aunt turned 55 a couple days ago, so today she threw a "soirée" (3pm for me, 9pm for some, noon for others) to celebrate. The fine print: "Everyone (kids and adults!) is encouraged (not required) to give a little performance of music, poetry, etc., max 4 minutes."

My brother and I cobbled together a movement of the Byrd Mass for Four Voices -- we were planning on doing it anyway (just for funsies), but we figured that would take some of the performance anxiety out of the equation. Turns out, Zoom thinks the video sounds much different than we wanted it to. Oh well.

Here are a few other things that happened:

A Nobel Prize-winning physicist presented a fascinating experiment in relativity as he attempted to orchestrate a Zoom performance of his favorite Hungarian round. Only about half of the 20-some people in the call knew Hungarian. Maybe a third knew how to operate Zoom. Needless to say, it was not together. But hey, it was fun.

A couple of my cousins played a movement (the first 57 seconds) of John Cage's 4'33'', at which point the chat blew up -- "What happened?" "I think we lost them!" "Oh no!" I tried to assure everyone that this was according to plan. No one believed me.

A few great performances of Suzuki book Bach minuets. Makes me hopeful for the next generation of musicians.

Lots of poetry, some uplifting, some dour. You can really tell who is taking this quarantine in stride and who has had enough already.

A performance by one of these people who "just started learning guitar" but is already quite good -- if you're reading this, I envy you.

So many people talking over each other. SO. Many.

It was fun. Hopefully the next one won't have to be on Zoom.

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