Ahh! The summer is finally is over and it’s back to playing some percussion instruments. In my case that is often the triangle, a much maligned member of the percussive consort. A couple of weeks ago I played it in Ravel’s “Daphis et Chloe” and this weeks I’m playing it in Messiaen’s “L’Ascension.” The former is more involved, but it’s all bueno to me. For Daphnis, I slaved away in Sibelius, making a beautiful combined triangle, tambourine and castanet part of my very own. After it was lovingly printed out, my pal Henry Claude reminded me that such a thing already existed in one of Raynor Carroll’s excerpt books. It was sitting under my marimba the whole time! A Homer Simpson moment ensued as I palmed my forehead, but it turned out all right; I definitely learned the part and the score. Still, I’m going to flip through my rep books before taking that on again.
Here it is, almost October and nothing too much to report. The playing pickings are slim (at least for me) so I thought I would weigh in on other stuff of a vehicular nature. To wit: I got new wheels last summer.
I wanted to replace my ten year old Camry with something newer and zippier. The car I got had to be able to carry enough gear for 80-90 percent of gigging activties. To be honest, these are kind of rare, but one never knows. I could happen. I also wanted to get good gas mileage, since I see myself as an enviromentally aware sort of dude. I can’t afford a hybrid, so that’s out. I also wanted to make some sort of vague, middle-aged statement. Sports cars don’t hold drummies and again, I can’t afford one. So what’s left? A friend of mine had recently bought a Scion xB, a boxy Toyota subcompact which I had noticed in greater numbers on the local byways. It has a punky vibe to it. In fact, a billboard in our town showed a flame bedecked xB and the text, “So Wrong for So Many.” I was hooked. I started going on AutoTrader.com and finally found a lightly used one in my neighborhood with under 20k miles. I was there with dollars in my fist in a couple of days. Turns out people had been emailing from as far as California about this car. It is dark green (the Scion folks refer to it as “shadow mica”) and loaded. It even as a bass tube subwoofer in the back which is like having a permanent drum attached behind the back seat. I tried removing it but I missed the artificial boom of the bass and I have it reigned in substantially, I can assure you. If I wanted to I could shake the ‘hood in a big way. So I put it back. Here’s a pic.
I’m thinking I need a vanity plate. This is something I’ve resisted in the past, but now I’m wavering. I’m leaning toward “Cajon.” It’s a percussion instrument and it’s a box. Actually, it’s the Spanish word for drawer, which is boxlike.