How do you like your Xanatini?

Shaken or stirred?

My tai-chi approach to practicing the left-hand pizzicati pieces for tomorrow night’s concert is working.

But I’ll admit that a couple days after my previous post, I was feeling dismal about it, and suggested to the composer, Gene Pritsker, that we not list the piece on the program in case it didn’t get together.  Gene, a great guy, said, “Don’t worry, we’ll make it work.”  And so he and Dan Barrett, my cello buddy of long standing and a cofounder of the International Street Cannibals, and I got together yesterday and went through it.  We slowed the tempo down a bit, found that some of the most awkward of the notes could be be omitted and keep the musical effect.  It’s basically a cello quartet Dan and I are playing, two arco (bowed) lines, two pizzicato lines, with the pizzicato being down by available fingers of the left hand.  And it’s working–it’s going to be fun.

Then another curveball from the universe.

At today’s big rehearsal for tomorrow’s concert, I played through what I thought was Dan Palkowski‘s entire new solo cello piece, Gayageum, for him (this is the other left-hand pizzicato challenge work). I finished and he said something about looking forward to the “the fast part.”

What fast part? I asked.

“What do you mean, what fast part?” he said, and he showed me his copy of the part, which was about four pages longer than the one I had.  Turns out I was mistakenly sent the PDF of an the early version, with only the slow part. Luckily, it’s something I was able to sightread a bit under tempo and will have learned by tomorrow evening. (We’re doing with added percussion in this concert, which I’ll blog about in my next post.)

It’s been a stressful week for personal reasons, aside from the left-hand pizzicato nightmares.  At our late group lunch after the rehearsal, I told Dan that I had joked to Gene that at one point I thought I might need a Xanax and a martini.

“A Xanatini!” Dan replied.

Exactly.

But I’ve practiced, so I don’t need one after all.

 

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “How do you like your Xanatini?

  1. dp

    welll, actually it was Xantini (after The Great Santini), though the reference is obscure in any case 😉

  2. “Gayageum?”

    Named after the Korean zither? I always wanted to write a piece for cello modeled after Guzheng (the Chinese equivalent to the Gayageum) technique. Then again, there are already thousands of pieces written for it, so why not just transcribe them for cello, eh?

    Would love to here “Gayageum”

  3. DP: Ah, I think “Xantini” is even better!

    JS: Yes, inspired by the Gayageum. I’m sure that not only will the performance be recorded but also I will perform it elsewhere. Very cool piece!

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