Friday, September 19, 2014

Behind the scenes at Catacoustic

Catacoustic’s season opener:  T minus 2 days and counting.  What’s going on behind the scenes?

All the musicians have arrived.  For this event, it’s a big crew:  twelve people will be on stage.  Six locals, six visiting from out of town.  Where will they stay?  

Welcome to Upland Place in East Walnut Hills, the friendliest street in town.  Neighbors up and down the street host musicians in their homes.  The hosts get to meet fascinating artists:  “You play the what, again?”  The guests get a quiet, homey environment, walking distance from Annalisa’s house, where most of the rehearsals take place.
Music to make the angels sigh

Standing-room-only lecture
Rehearsals may last all day, and can be intense.  But Catacoustic is committed to – and famous for – a nurturing, musically-rewarding experience.  Everyone brings their best to the table, and the primary goal is to create a cohesive interpretation that shows each person’s strengths.  Musicians find their time with Catacoustic so positive they often return.  We also look for ways to make their visit extra productive by finding them other opportunities.  This week, our baritone is giving a guest lecture at CCM on Baroque performance practice.  Our visiting gambist is offering a workshop to local viol players.  

Meals are taken around Annalisa’s table.  Yes, she cooks all that food for all those people, day after day, meal after meal, concert after concert.  When they sit down and break bread together, the musical bonds they’ve been forging in rehearsal are cemented with fellowship.  

Two pardessus!
Dress rehearsal is the last day before the show.  The troupe moves into the performance space.  Chairs, stands, lights are all checked.  Acoustics and staging are experimented with.  Notice I don’t mention a sound check:  of course we never amplify; we make the building do the work for us.  Instead of electricians, our technicians are the architects who knew how stone could resound, how overtones could meet up in the vaults.  And on this occasion, one Mr. Louis Tiffany has provided us with a spectacular light show—past audiences have clamored to see the stained glass by daylight, so for this concert we are obliging.  

The continuo team
The hour or two you see the musicians on stage represents days and weeks of preparation and careful thought.  Who’s picking up the theorbist at the airport?  Can the bass player sleep in a house with a cat?  Is one of the singers vegetarian?  Has Annalisa cooked enough food for all these people?  

Donors, take note:  We stretch every dollar as far as it will go.  By housing the musicians privately, and feeding them in Annalisa’s kitchen, we save thousands each year, which we can turn around and use to present ever finer concerts.  If you would like to be more involved—if you’d like to house musicians, or provide some meals, if you’d like to sponsor one of our world-class soloists – please get in touch.  We like to think of Catacoustic as a community, with everyone coming together to make what we do possible.  

3:00pm Sunday, September 21, 2014
Church of the Advent, 2366 Kemper Lane, Walnut Hills (Cincinnati), OH 45206
There is ample street parking available, as well as available parking in the US Post Office lot just south of the church on Kemper.
Tickets are available at or at the door.  $25, students $10.

Or order season tickets!  Five tickets, which can be used at any concert in our upcoming season, for $100, a 20% discount!  Available until September 21. 

No comments: