“How do you manage to breathe enough to play that thing?” Good question. It’s one I’ve asked myself a lot lately because until recently, I hadn’t practiced the tuba regularly in—(these are confessions from the tuba world, right?)—a decade, not since I took lessons in college. I’ve continued to play for TubaChristmas, for fun whenever my dad or brother feel like jamming, and for sundry church functions—just enough to warrant owning my own tuba. But, in January, I was asked to join a local British-style brass band for their upcoming competition in April. Not wanting to be the weakest link, as I suspected I was, I instated a weekly practice goal: a minimum of a half hour, four times a week. Let me tell you, a lot of rust accumulates in ten years.
Shrimp Glockenspiel - Prawn Xylophone SLYT. That is all.
Next week, for the first time in 22 years, PBS will televise the four dramas of Richard Wagner's Ring cycle on consecutive nights - a rare opportunity to encounter in the manner intended "the most ambitious and most profound work of art ever created". [more inside]
Tricks for getting your violin on a plane, by Lara St. John. How about an upright bass? A cello? A guitar? (previously) A trombone? A tuba (and other horns)? What about lutes, a djembe, a hurdy-gurdy, or bagpipes? (Some general tips. More general tips - part 1, part 2.)
Hip hop is made of four elements: Deejaying and turntablism, Emceeing (rapping and freestyling), Breaking (more previously), and Graffiti. And don't forget beatboxing (more), which blends turntablism and emceeing. But what if you can't make the wikka-wikka sounds with your mouth? You could learn from others, or you could dust off your flute with Nathan Lee, or bust out your sousaphone with Nat McIntosh (formerly with Youngblood Brass Band (interviewed on NPR), now with Dallas Brass).
The brass quintet Canadian Brass is both venerable--it's been around 38 years--and prolific--its discography is as long as your arm. While they often play classical arrangements, they also mix in jazz and blues, along with a complement of showmanship and humor. (Also, they play Flight of the Bumblebee on the tuba.) [Mouseover for titles.]
The Travelers Club International Restaurant and Tuba Museum, Okemos, Michigan. Sixty-plus tubas, euphonia, helicons, sousaphones, ophicleide, and other brass monstronsities, accompany a menu of international cuisine -- uh an' cookin'. [more inside]