Monte Marino (about 30 Km. Outside Rome, a country house gently offered by the Deiana’s) Friday, Sept. 16th 2005
Arrived there at about 19.00 with Attilio. There was a last minute cancellation from Aldo and Filippo, so there’s going to be 6 of us. Roberto Deiana was already there, he prepared the house and made the shopping. Roberto Duse, Adriano and Stefano Simioni are driving in one car from the very north, they called us saying that they were stuck on the motorway and had still 250 km to go…
We prepared a quick dinner (Roberto mainly) and, while waiting for the others, touched base (informally) with the guitars.
The car arrived at 22.30 circa after 7 hours of driving, they were quite wasted, nevertheless after dinner, and after a brief talk about the condition of our work (past present and future), we grabbed the guitars and encircle.
Circulation – any note – more notes – reverse direction.
- I present the first pattern (for both lead and bass part) of an old piece written by Alain Pinero during our L3 in GD: a beautiful gentle little piece when you hear it, which turns into a classic CG beast when you learn it.
- Quick run-through of our repertoire to immediately get an idea of what would be, through an extra effort, possible to play at an acceptable standard for the performance we’ll have in the house on Sunday late morning; main limits being: we met the last time only 3 months ago, Filippo and Aldo missing, and the fact that for Stefano it’s his second time with us and he can play only few pieces. Our sound is really poor but we get an idea of what is possible and what is completely out of reach, so we have a list of pieces for tomorrow.
It was about 1.30 in the morning when we called it a night.
Posted the schedule for tomorrow, wrote down this and went to bed at 2.00.
Monte Marino, Saturday, Sept. 17th 2005
7.00 – Rise, after a difficult night – shower
7.15 – Everybody was still sleeping, I go around the house playing the bass line of Day Break.
8.00 – Sitting – They were late. I present the 60 Point Exercise.
8.45 – Breakfast
9.30 – Warm up: – Right hand – Alternate picking – A string – 1 note per beat, then 2, 3, 4, 5 , and 6 notes per beat. Then Cross picking – expanding the arpeggio from the A string up and down to involve all 6 strings. Left hand – 2 finger combinations up and down the fretboard. The whole worm up session was made with the metronome at 80 BPM doing 8th notes, 8th triplets, and then 16th notes.
Before the break I suggest to anybody who feels up to, to chose one or more pieces from last night list and take care of them, which means find a slot on the schedule (which I deliberately left open for that purpose), run the rehearsal and, more in general, being responsible for that piece.
Attilio chooses “Funeral March For A Marionette”, and “Le Petit Nègre” a little piece by Debussy he worked out and which will be performed by a trio (Attilio, Roberto Deiana, and Roberto Duse).
Adriano will take care of Askesis, Intergalactic Boogie Express; Roberto Deiana goes for Hope and Thrak; I take over for the rest of the pieces (Fire Place, The Eye Of The Needle, Day Break, Music For A Found Harmonium, Asturias).
10.30 – Break. The rest of the morning gets scheduled:
11.00 – Day Break – I introduce Part A and part B; it’s obvious that the main challenge for this weekend is to learn and perform this piece, how we’re going to do that is a bit less clear.
11.30 – Music For A Found Harmonium – I bring in the original bass line for a long time forgotten and then gently supplied by Mr. Frizz
12.00 – We review Funeral March For A Marionette and Thrak
12.30 – Adriano and myself zoom to the local supermarket to get some mascarpone since Deiana asked us to prepare a Tiramisù for tomorrow, while Deiana and Stefano prepare lunch.
13.00 – Lunch – Rigatoni with broccoli plus salad with cheese: yummy!
14.30 – We go back to work, on the board new time slots appear, so there is:
14.30 – Askesis – We know the parts, it’s mainly a question of polishing and getting a better sound. I leave the circle and reach Stefano to give him his part for Fire Place.
15.00 – Intergalactic Boogie Express – Timing is the weak spot, and this is more evident on the chords parts; also when the leads are alone towards the end it gets critical…
15.30 – Day Break – We resume what we’ve done and I present what is missing to complete parts A and B, now only the C part is missing which is the outro, Stefano and Duse show signs of overload though.
16.00 – Tea time
16.30 – Adriano and I prepare the Tiramisù for tomorrow while the others, after a quick look to the Hope circulation, work on The Eye Of The Needle
17.00 – The trio gets together for Le Petit Nègre while Stefano take the opportunity for some personal practice, I’m pleased to see that, despite his concerns, he goes for it.
18.00 – Thrack – Most of the work is done on the R&R section.
18.30 – Duse and Attilio are off to prepare dinner, the rest of us have a short break
19.00 – I introduce the last part of Day Break (Duse and Attilio will get it after dinner)
19.30 – We split in 2 groups Adriano and I for the leads, and Deiana and Stefano for the basses
20.00 – We get back together and play it for the first time through: shaky but delightful.
20.30 – Dinner – “Peperonata”: very good. Stefano expresses his doubts about the necessity of performing and his concerns about dragging everybody down because of his lack of competence. I say something about the necessity of performing in general and in particular for this group, and everybody reinsure him about his concerns. He looks not 100% convinced…
21.30 – Back to the circle – We examine the pieces one by one, working repeatedly and in cycle on transitions; we fix and polish as much as we can, with extra time dedicated to Day Break…
24.00 – Break – Adriano and I work out a set list
24.30 – Run through (the only chance for pieces like Fire Place and Asturias to be played before the performance).
01.30 – We collect ourselves in the circle acknowledging the work we’ve done, and then go to bed.
It’s 2.00 now as I’m hand writing this. What a Day!
Monte Marino, Sunday, Sept. 18th 2005
7.00 – Awaken before the alarm clock when off but waited few minutes more to get up. Surprise: there’s no electricity in the house, and consequently no water (there’s an electric pump which pulls it up); the question gets solved only few minutes before the time scheduled for the sitting, so I can have only a symbolic ablution using the little water coming out of the garden tab.
7.30 – Sitting – As requested by the team I reintroduce the 60 Points Exercise, followed by the Filling Exercise.
8.15 – Breakfast (I have a shower during the preparation)
9.00 – Pre-Final Meeting. We decided to do it at this point because it would have been odd to do it once the guests would be in the house. We settle money matters and practicalities. Then we talk about our work again, but with more emphasis on the future; we establish few milestones and we put together a common line of working at a distance, including exercises with and without guitar (besides the sitting and 1 hour of daily practice reminded as the minimum requirements to be part of the circle, we’ll all do the “Circulation Of The Limbs” exercise, the “Acknowledgment Of The Day” as we put the feet on the ground in the morning, and the “Recapitulation Of The Day” as we go to sleep at night).
9.30 – We prepare the room for the performance
10.00 – Warm up – The same as yesterday but shorter.
10.30 – We play Day Break through twice. We decided I’m going to play the bass part. Then we go through the set list playing beginnings and ends.
11.00 – Guests arrive. We welcome them. The audience is made by Roberto Deiana’s relatives and friends with their families. I’m particularly touched by his parents, two authentic and gentle people, he’s blind, she guides him.
11.20 – In the green room. Tuning, last details about how to get in and out and few other things in between. Then we collect ourselves. I call for the Muse.
11.45 – We’re on. The name of the Italian Circle, when in performance mode, is Roma Guitar Ensemble. Our set list:
1 Circulation G Maj (thumbs)
( here I speak briefly to the audience)
3 Le Petit Nègre
4 Fire Place
5 The Eye Of The Needle
(few more words plus tuning)
6 Day Break
7 Circulation A Harmonic minor
8 Funeral March For A Marionette
9 Intergalactic Boogie Express
12 Music For A Found Harmonium
Off and then back to play Asturias
The whole thing sounded pretty shaky to me, with a couple of moments of grace and other two moments of almost falling apart. I personally had a hand-shaking crisis, and it has been a real struggle to keep them doing the job. But, in the whole, it has been a very honourable piece of work.
The audience received it and was moved by it. So, once again we could witness this remarkable event where, despite the inadequacy of the situation, Tradition gets through and make its quality available to everybody present at the event.
Back in the green room we collect ourselves again, acknowledge the Work, then I declare the weekend completed.
We’re now ready for the deserved Tiramisù.
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