Month: June 2020
They Call Me Mellow Cello
Until the sudden disappearance of the Lancaster Library and their vast DVD collection, I watched about 10 movies a week. I considered it film school, and I recently learned in a Masterclass with Aaron Sorkin, that it, indeed, is film school. I’m not going to try and deduct my couch and TV off my taxes though. Choose your battles, I say.
One thing I noticed during many of the movies, was the extraordinary use of the cello in the film score. I wished I could play one. Then came the lockdown. So, if ever there was a time to learn, this was it. I ordered a cello online and it recently arrived.
It didn’t come with any instructions, but it didn’t need any batteries, and I had 2 beginner cello books I’d also purchased online. I did the minimum assembly required.
The first day, I couldn’t get any sound out of the cello. I thought maybe it was broken, and I made sure to save the giant cardboard box that it came in.
The second day, I got sounds, but nothing musical. Maybe it’s just defective, I thought, as I wondered if I would have to call Customer Service to get an authorization number to return it. I worked in shipping for a while at Cyber Medical many years ago.
The third day, I got a couple sounds that resembled musical notes. I guess whatever might have jarred loose during shipping must have settled down. Maybe it’s not broken. It just needed time to settle.
The fourth day, I was getting notes out of every string. I still can’t play those first two notes of the Jaws Theme, which I tried to figure out for at least an hour, but I was learning some other things. On the C string, the thickest string, I was able to make noises that sounded like whale songs, maybe, or perhaps, more likely, whale farts. On the thinnest string, the A string, I was able make a sound like a dying mosquito. Those are my favorite kind of mosquitos, so I liked that sound.
So, this is where I should now be playing London Bridges, Frere Jacqua, or something like that, but, let’s face it, that’s boring. I ended yesterday’s Saxophone practice with The Star-Spangled Banner, so that was on the music stand when I sat down today. So that was my project for the day.
By the end of today’s session an astute neighbor might have recognized five notes I was playing on the cello as being eerily similar to the first five notes in the Star-Spangled Banner. I’m getting the hang of it. Purple Haze might be a little tougher to learn, but the journey of many miles must begin with the first step.
After that, Freebird!
Peace & Love, and all of the above,