Sunday, November 1, 2009

"Cymbalism"

Back when I was in high school is Simsbury, Connecticut I used to play percussion instruments in the high school band. Playing percussion instruments whether the snare drum, base drum, cymbals, wood block, triangle, tambourine, to name a few you mostly have to have a good sense of rhythm as well as to play at the appropriate sound level as the song and the band conductor required. During the early 1970's we had a sophisticated tape recording machine with boom microphones which was used to record the various band concerts performed throughout each year. This equipment was state of the art for the times as this time period preceded the digital age.

One concert, I think it was a Christmas concert, I remember quite well. During one of the songs I had to play a pair of cymbals and crash them together at the proper time during part of the louder portion of the song. I remember performing on cue during this part of the song and then I placed the cymbals on an empty chair next to me in the back of the stage area as the percussion section is always at the back of the band. This song then proceeded through a quieter portion where the string section and woodwind sections were featured. Apparently I didn't put the cymbals down on the empty chair the proper way as all of a sudden during this quiet part of the song the cymbals fell off of the chair and on to the stage with a loud "CRASH, SMASH" which definitely wasn't part of the plan for the song composer or the band conductor. This "cymbalism" on my part was recorded for posterity on our fancy recording machine. OOPS!