Today I played for the morning brunch at the Roycroft Inn in East Aurora. If you're from the Buffalo area and haven't been to the Roycroft, make a point of stopping in sometime. They have a string quartet that plays from 10:30-12:30 during Sunday Brunch, and today I got to play.
I say 'I got to play' because it's really a pleasure more than a gig. For two hours, I get to play string quartets with my friends for an appreciative audience, followed by bacon. It's low stress, and it's always a new combination of players. There is a regular quartet, don't get me wrong, but they're busy musicians and more often than not one or more will be doing something else, and I'll get a call.
Today I played with one of the regulars, and two other players that I've played with before, but never in this combination. It's always fascinating to me how different players in a string quartet can change the entire sound of a piece of music I've played dozens of times. Today I played second violin on Haydn's Op.64, No.5, "The Lark." The violist had a completely different way of articulating the opening measures than how I usually play it, and I really enjoyed it. Our first violinist did some different things as well, especially in the Menuetto, and it was charming. This is one of the reasons I like playing weddings so much, I think; every time I play Pachelbel's Canon, (and it's hundreds of times by now,) there is something unique and different, and I learn a new way to play it.
Afterwards, we all stayed for the incredible buffet brunch, and talked shop. I had a very nice conversation with the other violinist about the gigging quartet scene in Western New York. We both run our own quartets, and it's nice to have friends in the business who I can talk to about marketing, who we can call to sub, new musicians in the area, and maybe just a bit o' gossip. All in all, it was a very pleasant morning with my quartet friends, and I'm already looking forward to the next time.
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