Just minutes earlier, 75 patients, family members, staff and admin of Toronto Rehab filled this space for a collective Remembrance Day service. I had been invited by my student, Susan, to join her to play a few duos as part of the ceremony. We spent a couple of lessons finding the most poignant, expressive duos in our repertoire for the event.
In the end, for the most critical piece of the service, we settled on this Duo in d- by Telemann, lingering and conducive for personal reflection. No worries, your computer is likely working fine, it’s just that this recording captures the latter part of the two minutes of silence that preceded our performance…an emotionally charged silence which naturally didn’t place any pressure on us as performers!
This was a special opportunity to contribute music in a meaningful way. What made this performance even more remarkable and memorable is that my student herself is a former patient at Toronto Rehab, and in our audience were some of the remarkable support team that not so long ago helped guide her to recovery after her debilitating stroke.
[NOTE: Simultaneously I have experienced a technological breakthrough as well as a setback with this post. To begin with I found myself wrestling with a soundfile that was just a minute or two too long to upload…typically my files need to be under three minutes, unless I magically figure out how to compress them. Finally, out of desperation – even exasperation – I actually edited my first recording, reluctantly cutting some of the two minutes of silence at the start, as well as as a few seconds of lag time at the end of the raw file. Editing is a first for me, and long overdue. Generally I take the same approach for my soundrecording as I do for my art photos: I choose to work ‘full frame’, and diligently keep manipulation to an absolute minimum…no colour enhancement for photos, and definitely no additional reverb for flute recordings: the natural acoustics are the critical part of Urban Flute Project. In this case I was reticent to tamper with the silence that preceded the duo, since I feel that this offers such a critical aspect of – and contributed to the integrity of – the recording. Triumphant after having successfully shortened the original recording, you can imagine my dismay to hear this robotic AVS voice overlay, especially for such a solemn occasion! I’ll get my techies on the case to get this straightened out asap! Annoying as this inexplicable glitch may be, I find it oddly intriguing, akin to the recording I made in the transit centre while on a layover in Chicago last summer on my way to the flute convention in Albuquerque]