?

Log in

current entries friends' entries archives about me Previous Previous Next Next
My Weekend - cellophane
the story of an invisible girl
renniekins
renniekins
My Weekend
Here is just one of the many reasons why I love my boy. Click for an amusing web-comic. [Introspective pause: That sentence used to say "...I appreciate my boy." I started to edit it several times, and finally succeeded in changing it to "love". Strange, because it is definitely love I feel for this boy, yet I still feel so shy posting it so bluntly on the internet.]

I loved seeing the DSO perform its Tchaikovsky Spectacular last night. First I got together with several friends, and we have a relaxing picnic on the hill. The loaf of bread was tasty, the wine chilled, and the weather perfect. We even had more yummies than just bread and wine!

When we'd finished our picnic, the orchestra started. We stretched out on our blankets, staring at the clouds, allowing the music to wash over us. It was peaceful and lovely. Such a splendid way to spend a summer evening.

The last piece on the program was the 1812 Overture. Music accompanied by actual cannons is hard to come by these days, and I just love catching the Overture whenever I'm able. The music was excellent, and the cannon spectacular indeed. When it went off the first time, some woman to our left screamed. Excellent! The explosions were loud and firey, off to the side of the stage. I laughed aloud with delight.

We discussed afterward if the cannon was really real or not. I don't know, but I'd like to believe it is. I love the image of the percussionists dragging the thing in on a huge linked chain, then ramming gun-powder down its ancient barrel. My sister said maybe that was true, but that she doesn't think they use actual cannon-balls. Really?? I was surprised that she felt she even needed to voice that.... I mean, I'd like to think it's a cannon, but I certainly don't think they're going to be shooting actual cannon-balls into the audience! I figure they're firing blanks of some sort.

F thought perhaps they're just setting off explosives in pipes -- cannon-like, but not an actual iron monstrosity. Could be, yes...but I'd still like to believe it's an honest to goodness cannon they have down there.

We all vowed to come back next year and check out the setup before the sun went down. Then we'd know what they're actually using. Unless maybe somebody knows? She Who Clarifies perhaps?

I keep thinking that I know somebody related to the first violinist, but then I remember that was just a character in the book I read on friday. You know it's a good book, when you mix the story up with real life. Not to mention when you devote almost an entire day of your life to reading it practically start to finish.... I highly recommend The Time Traveler's Wife, incidentally.

Today I helped my sister install awnings over the two outside doors in her house. We got almost the whole thing completed, except for the final piece of ribbing. The directions warned us that the last piece would be the most challenging, and that it might require waiting for a day or two to let the canvas stretch. But we really wanted the project to be completed today, rather than having to finish things up later on in the week. So I charmed her friendly male neighbors into helping out -- not that they needed much charming, as they'd already offered to help if we needed it.

Tags: , ,

read 13 comments | talk to me!
Comments
simplykimberly From: simplykimberly Date: August 7th, 2006 04:48 am (UTC) (Link)
OOooooh... Did you just read The Time Traveller's Wife?!?!?! I read it a couple of months ago, and immediately had to reread it!

Wasn't it great!!?!?!?
renniekins From: renniekins Date: August 11th, 2006 05:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes! Such a fascinating and lovely love story....
jebra From: jebra Date: August 7th, 2006 11:29 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm a little bummed that my day didn't wrap up early enough for me to make it out there. It sounds as if a wonderful time was had. Next time, I hope. The music must have been a treat . . . and I, too, would be interested in knowing just what they used for cannons.

Call it "professional curiousity."
renniekins From: renniekins Date: August 11th, 2006 05:14 am (UTC) (Link)
It WAS fun! Sorry you couldn't make it. I was wondering if you'd know.... read Claire's comment; she has managed to Claire-ify it some! ;)
jebra From: jebra Date: August 11th, 2006 11:57 am (UTC) (Link)
That pretty much goes along with my understanding. I still want to get something that The FCB can use for some of our cannonesque tunes, but haven't found anything practical.
johnridley From: johnridley Date: August 7th, 2006 12:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Heh. Thanks for the comic.
My daughter's back cracked while getting a hug from me a year or more ago, and she got more and more demanding of "getting crunched" - I've gotten better at it though I still need to get to the weights and do some more curls, sometimes there are some upper back crunches I can't get.

I was thinking carbide cannon, but they burn acetylene and so they have a pretty sharp sound (not a deep thunderous noise like you want for 1812), and don't really make much smoke.

How many times did they fire? If once it's probably a real cannon, they're not all that hard to come by. If they fired a lot of cannon then they're probably fake; if it never has anything but a blank black powder load you could easily and safely make some cannon out of iron pipe.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: August 11th, 2006 05:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Hm, somebody who's practicing! You're welcome to try out your technique on me, I do like the crunchy hugs. Although Chuck is getting pretty darn good at finding his way around my back these days....

It/they fired several times. Looked and sounded awesome!
infernus1218 From: infernus1218 Date: August 7th, 2006 01:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's actually how I felt when I saw "V for Vendetta" and they exploded the bailey.

Also, I loved "The Time Traveler's Wife", I actually met the authoress (author?) at the time she said that they were in the process of casting for the movie version.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: August 11th, 2006 05:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Movie version! Hmm. I don't know how I feel about that.... Are they really doing one? It's a great book. hate to see it spoiled by a movie.....
fachless From: fachless Date: August 7th, 2006 03:48 pm (UTC) (Link)

Happy to "Claire-ify"

Actually, both cannons and pyrotechnics are possible. Some orchestras partner with local military and VFW types of organizations to provide actual cannons. Tell Lynn they don't use cannonballs--just gunpowder. More than likely, the DSO used pyrotechnics.

The cannons aren't played by the percussion section either. The cannon shots are really tricky to line up. Here's how it goes down: There is a licensed pyro guy with his finger on the button. Someone that can read music (like the Associate Conductor) works with the pyro guy to figure out what the time delay is between hitting the button and the actual explosion. That delay is then figured into the cues by the AC. The cannon shot is in the score, I believe. The AC sits with the pyro guy with his score open and says "go" at the appropriate moment (ahead of the score) so everything lines up. At a place like Meadowbrook, they probably also take into consideration the sound delay between what's happening on stage, and where they're located (I seem to remember them being beyond the hill). So many details!

Funny story: when we did this at my previous job, the Operations Director (not me) decided with the pyro guys that they should build a raft and float the explosives out on the small lake behind where the orchestra was playing. The first shot went off fine, but the recoil of the explosion on the raft caused the "Lucitania" to take on water. By the time the second shot was supposed to happen, the barge had sunk and all we got was a clicking sound, if you were near enough to the pyro guy to hear it. We still laugh about that one.

Glad you went and glad you had a great time. We were doing The Music of Led Zeppelin, so I've had "Ramble On" stuck in my head for four days.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: August 11th, 2006 05:41 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Happy to "Claire-ify"

Ramble On.... Feels like high school again, huh?

Hey (speaking of childhood) did you see the pic of Carl in his cop uniform? Sooo cute and handsome.

thanks for the details, that's really neat! I'd imagine the percussionists are kind of disappointed that the biggest "boom" isn't theirs.... bet they felt better when they saw it sink silently into the lake!!!

It was fun to watch and hear, however they did it.
sherdeb From: sherdeb Date: August 7th, 2006 11:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
I just read The Time Traveler's Wife... I loved it!
renniekins From: renniekins Date: August 11th, 2006 05:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Too funny: you're the third person (fourth if you count me) on my friends list who has read it!!
read 13 comments | talk to me!