We had good weather for what we were doing. There were a
couple of raindrops at about noon, and a few more at 2:30, when
the other group was playing, but the clouds made it easier to
see the music, and it was close to t-shirt weather. (I had warm
underwear under mine; otherwise I would have been wearing a
We were worried about whether the pieces with just vocals would
carry to where the walkers could hear them, and they certainly
didn’t carry as well as the recorders or the brass or string
instruments, but I checked while Ishmael and Anne were playing a
duet, and you could certainly hear that it was happening, so you
could go closer if you wanted to hear better.
Of course, the ipod generation doesn’t believe it’s music if
you have to move to hear it. We’ve been asked several times
playing at picnics why we couldn’t just amplify what we were
doing so they didn’t have to move.
I’ve looked into amplification, and my impression is that even
when I was younger and stronger, anything light enough for me to
carry sounds pretty tinny. And of course, for this application,
we’d need something that ran on batteries, which increases the
The serpent was a big hit, as was Paul Ukleja’s trumpet
rendition of Stardust Memories.
We needed to ask Paul to play some solos to give us breaks in
the morning, because the only group we could find couldn’t start
playing until 1 PM. They had 6 recorder players and a violinist,
and played very well out of an anthology of Elizabethan
For breaks from the singing, Paul, Ishmael, and I played
Country Dance music, and found a few things that really worked
pretty well with fiddle, recorder, and serpent.
I decided to do all the performing standing up, so the serpent
was resting on a 24 inch stool, which seems to allow it to
vibrate more freely than when it’s supported on my legs. I
think I’ll make a point of performing that way in the future.
But I think I’ve said that in the past, too.