Played a lot of mallets last week in Kaija Saariaho’s Orion. I got to know and love (well, at least know) the xylophone part. There was also a lot of vibraphone going on. It’s an atmospheric piece that is meant to evoke wintery starscapes. I would have a made a cut or two in the second movement (I’d say the slow movement but the first movement is slow, too) but no one asked me! Robert Spano was conducting and I’ll take a second to plug his easygoing style. Plugging will commence…now.
Also, my intrepid fellow extra drummer Jason Niehoff will be heading off to boot camp. He’s joining the Navy band this summer, but first he has learn to jump off of ships and stuff like that. He is a fine player and person and I for one will miss having him around.