Talking about “preparation for a performance”
Behind the recording of the Bydlo I played in this video, there is a funny/scary story, a nightmare for every tuba player.
I was called to jump in this gig ten days before it, so I haven’t a preparation going on for this specific high range program. I accepted, and I started to find some time during my woking days in the orchestra, quintet and teaching, to build up the strenght and flexibility needed to face up that concert.
Three days before the concert, I was in Trossingen, where I went driving 7 hours from home in Bologna, teaching at MusikHochschule, full days of lessons.
One day before the first rehearsal, after a morning of lessons, I drove back to Italy destination Milano for other five hours.
I arrived in front of the Hotel, where I parked, exhausted.
I left my tubas in the car, just the time to do the check in and bring my luggages in the room, it was friday afternoon before a long week end of holidays.
When I arrived in my room, I couldn’t find the key of my car, I started looking around…but nothing,
the first thought went to my tubas in the car, after few seconds, I realized I had the key in my hand when I was in the elevator, but I realized also that I felt something falling smoothly in a small slot just on the side of the elevator’s door, it was an old one with wooden doors.
I started sweating cold thinking my tubas in the car.
All mechanical workshop were already closed for holidays, I coulnd’t find nobody to open my car, and I wasn’t even sure if the key was under the elevator.
Honestly, I had 30 minutes of panic trying to find a solution: break window of my car, and leave it for few days brocken in the streets of Milan, not a good idea….I called some of my friends in my hometown to ask them to take the other key, drive 4 hours to Milano and give it to me….everybody was already out of the town, you know why?? It was holidays…
I called a colleague from the orchestra in Milano to get some suggestions, and being more and more stressed for the program coming up the day after.
Finally, I recovered, I run into the elevator and I called the emergency number, remember…everything was already closed!!!
The guy arrived quite soon, and after have rummaged for few minutes with a powerful flashlight in the elevator shaft, he came back with my key in his hand….I was saved!!!
I took my tubas, and I was finally walking to the theater…but the day was not already over,
I hit a ledge of an historical building with the C tuba I had on my shoulders, and I took home a dent as a memory of that turbulent day.
Could you imagine a better way to start one of the most important programs with orchestra of your musical career?
I told you this story, just as an advice that I always say to myself, no matter what happen before an important performance, an audition, or a exam, as soon as the lights go down, stay focused on the simple steps you worked on to build up your performance, this process doesn’t change, no matter if you are in your practice room or in front of two thousands people…it works!!