This weekend I have my first rehearsals with Charlotte Adams, her dance troupe, and tuba genius John Manning at the University of Iowa in preparation for their fall Dance Gala at the end of October. The opening of our improvisatory, collaborative work has me lying on my back playing the opening lines of “Kaddish” until a dancer snatches my horn and pulls me to my feet, and then we shift to new musical and choreographic ideas.
So, tonight I tried another “Kaddish” while lying supine, so that I can get used to the technical challenges this presents. These include:
- keeping breath support active while lying on my back (and getting over a sinus infection)
- keeping the horn at the right amount of pressure, holding it away from my face instead of the usual problem of pushing it into my face—you’ll hear a false start at the beginning where I accidentally had the thumb valve partway down because of the weirdness of holding a horn while lying on my back
- water accumulating faster and not being removable through the usual water keys, which are now above rather than below the places where water accumulates—you’ll hear the water starting to gurgle from about the 1/3 point onward, and at one point I attempt to empty it, but gravity working as it does, I am unsuccessful
Fortunately the segment I’ll play supine in Iowa ends just before the first phrase where you hear the water gurgling noises start on tonight’s recording. Also fortunately, working under stage lights will mean a warmer horn and slower condensation. My hope is that if I carefully drain the whole horn before we begin, the condensation won’t accumulate to a problematic point in the short time that I remain supine. I can quickly empty my water keys once I’m upright.