How it went at Arts Around the Block

This was the event I told you about last
week.

Me

My playing went well.

The background noise level when I was
playing outside was not intrusive. I was playing country dance
tunes on the G alto recorder, and it was carrying well enough
that although there wasn’t much foot traffic where I was, people
who were hearing it from a block or two away came to investigate
and stayed to listen for a while. I never had a large, visible
audience, but a woman who was manning one of the booths came up
specially to tell me how much they were enjoying it.

When I moved into the chapel to play the Ortiz, I was able to
take over the audience for my sister’s harpsichord set. She’s
been doing concerts in Fall River for several decades, and has
built up a small but loyal following. So there were a dozen or
so people in the small chapel with some of the best acoustics
for recorder playing I know of.

I’d been working on making the Ortiz variations on Douce
Memoire
and O felici occhi mei sound easy
and convincing. I made lots of progress; I probably didn’t
completely succede, but the audience did seem to enjoy it. One
good thing about that audience was that it liked singing; Judy
had given them Greensleeves and Drink to me
only with thine eyes
to sing, and they’d sounded really
good. They weren’t quite as good on Douce
Memoire
, which most of them had probably never heard
before, but they were making the attempt.

Everybody else

The big success was Peter and the Wolf. There
were about 40 people, including a lot of children, in the
audience. The musicians for the solo parts were quite good, and
the electric piano filled in for the rest of the orchestra.

The basic problem with the rest of the programming is that
there isn’t enough audience for three classical music venues.
And aside from my recorder playing, the other acts scheduled for
outside weren’t loud enough to draw in from where the foot
traffic was. And the music down the hill did get louder as the
afternoon progressed, so the last outside event (a recorder
group) was partially drowned out, even for the performers
themselves. (Recorder groups need to hear each other.)

Arts Around the Block is a relatively new institution, with
some growing pains that are still in evidence, but there seemed
to be enough success for enough participants that one believes
they will continue and improve.

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