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Re: Amps and CD players

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  • Lady_Lark_Azure
    This is what shawms are for :) The only problem is that you can only play for so long before you can t feel your lips. The one caveat with live musicians for
    Message 1 of 25 , Mar 30, 2004
      This is what shawms are for :) The only problem is that you can only
      play for so long before you can't feel your lips.

      The one caveat with live musicians for dance (and this is coming from
      a musician) is that they have to either know the dances or talk to
      the people running them to make sure they have the repeat structure
      correct.

      As for amplification in other settings, this is something of a pet
      peave with me. If you are a singer who cannot fill the hall with
      your voice, don't try. Sing to individual tables in the feast hall,
      sing as background music for high table, but don't set yourself up to
      fail. Another thing that I see often is folks with hurt feelings
      because people don't give their attention while they're singing in a
      feast hall. They won't give it, you have to command it.

      Just my two cents,
      Isabeau
    • wodeford
      ... As for amplification in other settings, this is something of a pet ... hall, ... to ... a ... And vice versa. I ve tried to contribute ambient background
      Message 2 of 25 , Mar 30, 2004
        --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "Lady_Lark_Azure" <
        As for amplification in other settings, this is something of a pet
        > peave with me. If you are a singer who cannot fill the hall with
        > your voice, don't try. Sing to individual tables in the feast
        hall,
        > sing as background music for high table, but don't set yourself up
        to
        > fail. Another thing that I see often is folks with hurt feelings
        > because people don't give their attention while they're singing in
        a
        > feast hall. They won't give it, you have to command it.

        And vice versa. I've tried to contribute ambient background music
        only to have some well meaning soul start screaming "Pray Attend the
        BARD!" at the top of his lungs. (Heralds!) Couldn't he tell that I
        was playing from my seat at a table? I thanked him, told everyone to
        go back to their dinner and went back to playing. He figured it out
        and was duly embarrassed by his zeal, being a pretty good guy - for a
        herald. ;->

        Jehanne
      • Wendy
        ... haven t had live ... LOVE to dance ... May ... Have ... Go north, my friends, go north! ;) Ro, we won t be able to help you out this year (at least, I
        Message 3 of 25 , Mar 31, 2004
          --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, Greg Lindahl <lindahl@p...>
          wrote:
          > > Then let me extend an invitation for you to COME BACK. We
          haven't had live
          > > dance musicians in the 3 years I've been active, and I would
          LOVE to dance
          > > to live music. (Man, talk about your Moments....) Garb Wars is
          May
          > > 14-16....
          >
          > Heh. I appreciate the invite, but I live in the West these days.
          Have
          > you asked either the Atlantian Performers Guild or the Atlantian
          > Academie de la Danza for help?

          Go north, my friends, go north! ;) Ro, we won't be able to help you
          out this year (at least, I don't think so), but if you give the
          Branslers a fair amount of advance notice, we might be able to set
          something up. We've played Atlantian events in the past, but it's
          not something we would think to do without an invitation.

          Jehanne, I think you beat me to mentioning the one and only example
          of event amp use that I've ever seen -- I suspect we know the same
          lute player. I don't remember ever seeing any other musicians use
          amps at an East Kingdom event, barring Lakewood where they have
          mikes on the performance stage, and that's much more of a
          demo/public Ren Faire than it is an SCA event. The Branslers have
          been sorely tempted on a few occasions (like the Coronation we
          played where, after we'd *finished* our big march-the-monarchs-in
          piece, a gentleman in the fourth row came up to ask when we were
          going to start playing...grrr), but the general feeling is that it
          wouldn't be appropriate.

          Could the people who have had issues with amped performances give us
          a rough idea (no names mentioned specifically, of course!) of what
          areas/situations they're referring to?

          -Sabine
        • Wendy
          ... live ... going for a ... Well (having already said that I don t believe in using them myself)... the reason that some people do is that going to all the
          Message 4 of 25 , Mar 31, 2004
            --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, Hasoferet@a... wrote:
            > Seems kind of pointless to me. You go to all the trouble of having
            live
            > period music, and then you rig them with amps? Only cool if you're
            going for a
            > slightly skewed medieval-techno effect.

            Well (having already said that I don't believe in using them
            myself)... the reason that some people do is that "going to all the
            trouble of having live period music" and then not having *anyone* in
            an acoustically dead hall be able to hear the music is pretty darn
            frustrating. Not to mention that it makes the musicians look like
            total idiots for standing around holding instruments when no sound
            is audible. ;)

            Among the factors involved: Most of the halls we use are completely
            structurally different than what you would have seen in period, our
            attendance numbers often run in the hundreds, and we tend to have a
            lack of period "loud" instruments like shawms and rauschpfeifes.
            Altogether it's just not an authentic set-up; so, if some people
            choose to compensate for the difficulties in non-period ways, even
            though that's not my choice, I don't think that merits being
            dismissed out of hand. What might be a more fruitful discussion: How
            to encourage autocrats and others to make sure that the dancing is
            set up so that the musicians aren't trying to fill up an entire
            gymnasium with sound and/or compete with the voices of two hundred
            people who are talking rather than dancing -- or that performing
            takes place in smaller spaces with good acoustics, with somewhere
            else for people who aren't interested to go.

            -Sabine
          • wodeford
            ... Yep. Tell Jannequinne hello from me the next time you see her. ... Some halls are what I call acoustic black holes. (I m thinking of that Shriner temple in
            Message 5 of 25 , Mar 31, 2004
              --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "Wendy" <SabineKdL@y...> wrote:
              > Jehanne, I think you beat me to mentioning the one and only example
              > of event amp use that I've ever seen -- I suspect we know the same
              > lute player.
              Yep. Tell Jannequinne hello from me the next time you see her.

              > The Branslers have
              > been sorely tempted on a few occasions (like the Coronation we
              > played where, after we'd *finished* our big march-the-monarchs-in
              > piece, a gentleman in the fourth row came up to ask when we were
              > going to start playing...grrr), but the general feeling is that it
              > wouldn't be appropriate.
              Some halls are what I call acoustic black holes. (I'm thinking of
              that Shriner temple in Norristown or wherever it was where Andreas
              and Isabella had their first coronation.) Not fun, but no help for
              it, in most cases.

              Here in the West, we do a lot more outdoors. That presents its own
              issues, but I have yet to see anyone here resort to amplification for
              instruments.

              Jehanne
            • dparishwhittaker
              Caveating it with the sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do clause (which covers hidden CD players for dancers without musicians available) I totally
              Message 6 of 25 , Mar 31, 2004
                Caveating it with the "sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do"
                clause (which covers hidden CD players for dancers without musicians
                available)

                I totally understand the issue with dynamics and early music
                presentations. I play a repro 15th century harp on a semi-
                professional basis- frequently have to do the sound augmentation
                thing, or folks get upset 'cause they can't hear what they hired.

                But one of the draws of SCA (and other forms of reenactment) for me
                was a chance to *actually get to play the music in the sonic
                environment in which is was originally played* Talk about period
                performance practice! This came home for me at a Pennsic, walking
                through the market place and getting to hear a small folk harp a good
                40-50 feet away, no amping at all. Truly magical (I think of my week
                at Pennsic as the week the radios played my favorite music for a
                change)

                Without a good sound tech, amping can be a nightmare. Even if I
                wanted to, I'd hate to have to soundcheck around a campfire. What a
                mess, and wouldn't that destroy the period ambiance? I'd rather not
                play at all.

                Rather than get into a volume war with the doumbeks* and boom boxes,
                let's treasure what we have and continue to try to spread the word.

                (Of course, I do double on shawm, so maybe I should be quiet about
                being quiet.....)

                *Not talking about you, Sasha, if you're the band I'm thinking of (Ed
                B's the saz guy, right?) then I've heard you and you guys kick butt.
              • Hasoferet@aol.com
                In a message dated 3/31/04 3:02:08 PM, davidparishwhittaker@hotmail.com writes:
                Message 7 of 25 , Mar 31, 2004
                  In a message dated 3/31/04 3:02:08 PM, davidparishwhittaker@...
                  writes:

                  << Rather than get into a volume war with the doumbeks* and boom boxes,

                  let's treasure what we have and continue to try to spread the word. >>

                  Honestly, though, I've found that live music in a reasonable setting carries
                  FINE. Maybe not one voice filling the Masonic Auditorium, but I've rarely
                  thought 'oh, I can't hear the music' at an event. Especially the doumbeks. ;) But
                  other music as well.

                  Raquel
                  +____________________________________+
                  Do not beg. Do not refuse. Preserve. Bestow.

                  --Colman mac Beognae, 'The Alphabet of Devotion
                • Wendy
                  ... setting carries ... rarely ... doumbeks. ;) But ... Like so many things , it depends on the situation. Performance is usually manageable, as people
                  Message 8 of 25 , Mar 31, 2004
                    --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, Raquel wrote:
                    > Honestly, though, I've found that live music in a reasonable
                    setting carries
                    > FINE. Maybe not one voice filling the Masonic Auditorium, but I've
                    rarely
                    > thought 'oh, I can't hear the music' at an event. Especially the
                    doumbeks. ;) But
                    > other music as well.

                    Like so many things <grin>, it depends on the situation. Performance
                    is usually manageable, as people who are interested can move closer
                    if it happens that the sound isn't carrying. But dancing can be
                    tricky -- I once watched two recorder players trying (and failing
                    fairly catastrophically) to provide dance music for ~40 dancers in an
                    acoustically dead hall. Eeeeesh. Of course, the "correct" answer to
                    that problem is that they should have been playing different
                    instruments, but that's just not a realistic expectation... I think
                    the least offensive alternative in that particular case would have
                    been for everyone involved to graciously acknowledge that live music
                    is indeed lovely and special, before switching to a boombox.

                    I don't know... is this one of those situations where you have a
                    classic best vs. good dilemma?

                    -Sabine
                  • Adam MacDonald
                    David wrote: SNIP *Not talking about you, Sasha, if you re the band I m thinking of (Ed B s the saz guy, right?) then I ve heard you and you guys kick butt.
                    Message 9 of 25 , Mar 31, 2004
                      David wrote:
                      SNIP
                      "*Not talking about you, Sasha, if you're the band
                      I'm thinking of (Ed B's the saz guy, right?) then I've
                      heard you and you guys kick butt."

                      Whoa - cool! High praise - especially coming from you.

                      We are pretty serious about this music, and sharing it
                      and its history. Last year at Great Western War, we
                      played in the A&S tent on Saturday night, with some
                      guests from the UCSB Middle East Ensemble.

                      Our presentation was 3/4 performance and 1/4 basic
                      theory (since modal structure is quite different),
                      history (This is an 'ud. It comes from Persia. It is
                      the ancestor of all European lutes - you may thank us
                      now. Look, it is a vastly superior instrument because
                      it has not been defiled with frets...<evil grin>) and
                      introducing the audience with some of the 'exotic'
                      instruments we play ('ud, baglama saz, the koshkarjeh
                      lute from Azerbaijan, various drums, the ney flute and
                      the kanun).

                      It went over very well, and showed some people that
                      the horrid, monotonous sounds coming from Dumbekistan
                      do not reflect what the real music of the Near and
                      Middle East sounds like.

                      Sasha - Whoa - where did this high horse come from,
                      and how is it balancing on that soapbax?
                    • Adam MacDonald
                      ... If they could have been relatively unobtrusively amped (at least enough to overcome to limitations of the facilities acoustics...somewhat) my preference
                      Message 10 of 25 , Mar 31, 2004
                        Sabine wrote:
                        > I think
                        > the least offensive alternative in that particular case would have
                        > been for everyone involved to graciously acknowledge that live music
                        > is indeed lovely and special, before switching to a boombox.
                        >
                        > I don't know... is this one of those situations where you have a
                        > classic best vs. good dilemma?

                        If they could have been relatively unobtrusively amped (at least enough to
                        overcome to limitations of the facilities acoustics...somewhat) my
                        preference would be for the live musicians, rather than the boombox.

                        One one hand, you have the live musicians, who can provide all sorts of
                        flexibility (song length, tempo, et cetera) - on the other hand there is the
                        boombox, with the sterility of a recorded performance.

                        I'm not suggesting that you crank the recorder consort up to 11 like Spinal
                        Tap, but there can be a middle ground... of course, like David, I would also
                        suggest more shawms <heh heh>

                        Sasha (more work for musicians!)
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