what a wonderous bird is the violin. its gleaming raptor essence swooping and hovering, crying, pleading and soaring before sweetly penetrating the darkest and most mysterious depths of the listener's eternal purple soul.
its all in the touch apparently. in the wrong hands it has all the majesty of a peacock sliding down an electrified razor blade on its rump.
which is why the unsheathing of a fiddle can draw gasps from any audience. anticipation growing no less as the zorro of the stave flourishes his hirsute rapier, preparing to caress the strings to the point of exquisite release.
a moment later you know whether you are dealing with a master of sonic art .... or an arrogant drunk who is going to dump his tortured squawking in your ears as loud, and for as long, as he likes whether you want him to or not.
well i'd only sat next to the guy for a minute before i understood which one he was. with an attack as abrasively insistent as his personality he was ok on the fast stuff where he flew from all angles on mach 10 beer drive. when coasting however it was a different tale. foot off the gas and he was a good quarter tone flat.
and who got the blame? me of course. the harmonica player.
its happened before so it was no surprise that the flack came my way. if the crew you are playing with are not right on the button tuning wise you're stuffed. they sound ok. you sound rubbish. and there is nothing you can do to compensate. you can't retune a harmonica as you go as you can a stringed instrument. you've just got to grin and bare it.
however my stoicism did momentarily falter when one of the guitarists pointed out that 'the harp and the fiddle don't sound too good together man, perhaps you should sit out for a bit.'
'they don't sound too good together,' i thought to myself 'because he's out of tune you tone deaf .....*'. but realising that making the point would only seem like sour grapes i let it go. there was enough ugly sound around at that moment without creating more.
i flew the coop.
oh i do suffer for my art.
*as this is a family blog, gentle reader, in deference to your personal proclivity for profanity i invite you to insert your epithet of choice here.
peace and love