Friday, January 23, 2009

Musical Scandal

Barack Obama's embattled presidency has suffered a new embattling on the news that the John Williams piece played at his inauguration, "Air and Simple Gifts," was pre-recorded:

Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, & Co. pulled a Milli Vanilli on inauguration day, and they’re blaming it on the rain, er, the cold.
I knew Yo Yo Ma was a fraud or possibly a robot!

Actually, it makes sense. Musicians of this caliber tend to use rather old and delicate instruments that can't withstand subfreezing temperatures, strong winds, pigeon scat, and former president cooties. As the GOP enters day three of its earnest search for impeachment charges against President Obama, he shouldn't make it easy for them by presiding over the destruction of a centuries-old cello.

I say this adds to the reasons not to debut a new piece of music at a big public event, but to stick with familiar works. Maybe I'm retarded or something, but new music always sounds like a mess the first few times I hear it, after which it sinks in and either wins me or doesn't.


Sis B said...

As a musician who has performed at a number of outdoor venues, my first reaction when they began to play (other than zOMG!!!1!!1 Yo-Yo Ma!!) was "How the fuck are they supposed to keep their instruments in tune in that weather?" I could only hear it on the radio (due to bad planning), but I wondered at the time if they were going the way of Blame it on the Rain. I'm glad they did.

Dale said...

Sis, it didn't occur to me, but I expect your thought must have been damnnear universal among band and orchestra geeks everywhere.

Not that there's anything wrong with those kinds of geeks, it's just not one my geek kinds.