Saturday, March 31, 2007

Although we are now working furiously on our house, there has also been some down time while we wait for various things to arrive and for various body parts to recover from the physical assaults we have been putting them through recently.

I took a jazz theory course last fall and now I'm taking an arranging class. Since I'm pretty much a beginner with the Sibelius program I decided that doing all of my arranging assignments on Sibelius would be the perfect way to get better at it. It's extremely time-consuming but the more I do it the faster I get.

In his "spare time" Doug has been making some mouthpieces and also getting ready for his performance of the Gordon Jacob Concerto which was arranged for concert band by Denis Wick. They also wanted him to prepare an encore and he decided to play the Henry Mancini song "Too Little Time" from the Glenn Miller Story. Doug had previously played an arrangement of this song with the Airmen of Note that he thought would be easily adaptable for the concert band.

Then Doug decided that I should put this on Sibelius for him. I wasn't sure how cool of an idea that was, considering how relatively inexperienced I am. I thought that he was being rather ambitious on my behalf, but I also sort of wanted to find out whether I could actually do it so I decided to go for it. We got the hand-written parts from a friend and then I got to work. It took a really long time to get it all done but it ended up sounding pretty good, and it had a much richer sound than the original because there was a larger variety of instruments playing each part. So although it was a lot of work, it ended up being well worth the effort.

I always forget that my camera can take videos so I neglected to get any clips of the concerto, which is a shame because he played it really well. But then I suddenly remembered about the video feature and I got a pretty good chunk of Doug playing "Too Little Time." One of these days I might even learn how to turn off my camera at the end of the performance! Or maybe I'll learn video-editing. Sure....
Anyway, here's Doug playing "Too Little Time" and the concert band playing the parts I made for them. Cool!

And just to clarify: This is not my arrangement, it is the original arrangement for big band with an enlarged orchstration so that the whole ensemble could play it. I just added parts for the clarinets, oboes, flutes, french horns, etc. Notice how great the bass sounds here - that's my friend Ed Skidmore. I'm also impressed with how well my camera picked up his excellent playing - I had no idea the sound quality would be this good.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


During February and March Doug installed some of the windows that had arrived back in December. Cyndy came to his aid whenever he needed help, mostly lifting things, holding things in place while he nailed, looking for misplaced tools, and cleaning up after him.

Cyndy spent the rest of the time carefully taking down all of the previous interior framing, nail by nail, so that the wood could be used again for the new framing. This involved chipping away at the wood under the head of the nail with a hammer and chisel, and then using a nail puller to wrench the nail out the rest of the way. Bang, bang, bang. Yank, yank, yank. Hit a finger with the hammer. Ouch, ouch, ouch. Kill your knees climbing up and down the ladder. Curse, curse, curse. Over and over and over. Up and down and up and down on the ladder. For two months straight. Her hands hurt for weeks after it was finally finished.