Rehearsal: October 28, 2009
After a solid month and a half of gigs every weekend, and many weeks of double rehearsals, our Troupe had taken a bit of a break. Taking time off the first Wednesday after our gigs at the Great Western War was planned. Our hands were bruised, cut, broken and tired, and we needed to heal up a bit. Missing the second Wednesday was a bit of a forced bonus, as the local cold and flu was attacking a few of us.
But last night we were ready to go, and back with the dancers. More gigs loom on the horizon, including a Belly Dance Show, some Haflas, and a Holiday Bash or two.
When all of the drummers arrived on time to the rehearsal I realized that I was not the only one who had missed it. My experience so far has taught me that the day back from a hiatus or vacation, whether back to work or play, will go one of two ways: You will be refreshed and great, or you will be rusty and terrible. K and I shot each other a look just before we started, smiled and shrugged.
We were great. Our groove was right there, and we all played together really well. In fact, we were so good that at some point one of our grooves sort of took over and we settled in to this really sweet flow and our viola player was playing this great slow riff on the top and it just sounded wonderful.
Hmmm? Oh, hadn’t I mentioned the viola player?
WE HAVE A VIOLA PLAYER!
Q, the 15 year old, super talented, son of C. C is one of the wonderful Twisted dancers, and Q has been coming along to the various faires we have been gigging at. When she mentioned he played violin and viola I casually mentioned that we would be happy to have him join in with us if he was interested. (By “casually mentioned” what I mean is: my eyes bugged out, I fell to my knees in front of her and I begged, “Could he play with us?” Smooth, as always.)
Q is essentially the cool kid I wish I had been in high school. He is smart, quiet, polite, well spoken, thoughtful, has a wicked sense of humor, and is a talented musician. If he doesn’t have at least three girlfriends I would be stunned.
I told him, essentially, that there were only Two Rules about playing with us: 1) Don’t stop. 2) Have fun. Add in a Third Rule for Non-Drummers: 3) Play loud.
He started off doing bits of improvisation. Scales, riffs, chord progressions and so on. Because he is the lone melodic instrument (so far… more on that later) he can do virtually anything he wants while we play our rhythms. And he sounded great. GREAT!
The drummers could not be more excited.
We got so caught up in that groove, with his melodies playing over the top of it, that we forgot the dancers. Personally, I had a bit of a zen moment, where I sort of forgot to think about playing and just played. My hands found this counterpoint beat sitting unused on the bottom of our groove, stirred up by the viola, and my fingers simply played it. No thought, no effort, just right there for the whole world to hear. I looked over at the rest of the drummers, and realized we all had exactly the same smile. We sounded wonderful.
Overall it was a great rehearsal. We were back in the groove, Q is an excellent addition, the dancers are getting good work in with us, and our confidence is steadily climbing.