Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What do I do when I'm not writing?

by Carola Dunn

It's been a busy month, what with signing tours north to Seattle and Portland and south to San Diego and the Los Angeles area, followed by Left Coast Crime in Sacramento.

 But in between all the running around, I paused to join in a concert in support of national Play the Recorder Month, under the auspices of the American Recorder Society, Eugene chapter, aka EARS, and the City of Eugene's provision of a space for free concerts by amateur musicians.

If you think of recorders as those things elementary kids play--well, you're half right. They do, but so do a large number of musicians, a few professional and many amateur.

Recorders range from the 6 inch Garklein (German for Very Small) to the Double Contrabass, two meters high. Soprano (descant), alto (treble), tenor, and bass are the most usual, and we have players of all of them in our group.

Sometimes we're joined by viols (violas da gamba):
 We play music ranging from medieval to modern. Recorders went out of fashion by Classical times (Haydn, Mozart). A revival began in the early 20th century, with renewed interest in ancient music. My favourite period for recorder music is the Renaissance, particularly the English Renaissance, from the mid 16th century to the early 1700s.
 At this concert, we played pieces by Dowland, Palestrina, Vaughan Williams, and Piezzolla, among others.
 It's a lot of fun, exhilarating and exhausting as making music always is, and it makes a change from sitting at the computer or behind the wheel.

All photos courtesy of Dennis Galloway

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