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.