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Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
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Storm tossed River Mersey / Liverpool Bay and crepuscular rays from New Brighton.
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Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
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Whitchurch, North Shropshire UK
Not posted for a while, not played much either on any instrument.

As noted elsewhere, although I have been 'into' music since I was about 10 or 11 (just classical back then - didn't really change until I was around 30, which is half a lifetime ago...) I didn't 'do' any music until I was in my early to mid 30s, and that was singing. Since then - nearly 30 years ago - music has been my lifeline that keeps me going: it rescued me back then from a very dark place.

This is in part why the constraints arising from C19 are so cruel, not just to me, but to many people.

Since my forced early departure from New Zealand back in March, my music has stopped. No sax lessons, no sax ensemble, no wind band, no cello lessons, no orchestras, no singing lessons.

As someone that lives on their own and who has no partner, and for whom music is more than 'just a hobby' but a crucial lifeline, this is beyond cruel.

I managed to get some online bass lessons. Sax lessons finally resumed last month. Three weeks ago the smallest of my orchestras resumed, albeit under fairly weird constraints.

Now it's all gone again with the new lockdown imminent.

The in-person bass lessons due to finally start next week, won't. Sax lessons: dead. E-mail confirms orchestra will not now be rehearsing.

At best, some of these things will resume next year. Nothing is now going to happen until then I don't think.

The only light had been that rugby, as an organised sport with a 'plan' had been running since August, albeit I wasn't permitted under RFU guidelines to attend until a month ago. That's now gone as well as of this afternoon.

Yes, many, many people have suffered terribly either with illness themselves or the loss of loved ones.

The toll on those who live alone is awful. Apart from the obvious things above, I can't visit my family - my brother lives 50 miles away. I am in effect my mother's carer, so I will be able to call in once a week for shopping etc. I've already had 7 months' of almost no social interaction, although there has been a little in the last 6 or 8 weeks. Now we're going to back to none.

My neighbour opposite is in a similar position. I don't know them that well, but we've agreed to become a 'bubble' so at least we will both have someone to talk to.

My view is that not enough has been done and it is 'late' and I am doubtful that something even vaguely normal will be here until well unto next year, and 'normality' is probably 18 months or more away.
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
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If you want some online sax teaching, I can highly recommend the Eric Marienthal lessons at Artistworks.

 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
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The news this week that the England-wide lockdown ends next week to be replaced by a new tiered system (similar to previous one but stricter) means that for just about every amateur musical activity you can forget it until next year sometime.

Here in Shropshire we have been moved from T1 pre-lockdown to T2 post-lockdown. It's a rural county - the only 'big' town is Telford. The county town, Shrewsbury, is not that large. There are only 2 hospitals with ICU facilities in the county and I suspect that's driven the decision.

I have one orchestra that will resume next week on a very restricted basis, limited numbers sat 3m apart.

The Café sax ensemble can't meet as the venue we use is in a T3 location.

I doubt we will be able to meet until we are all T1, which I would say is some time off. I think the rule relaxation for a short period over Christmas is a mistake as we will have a spike from that around late January onwards, which will probably result in a ratcheting up of restrictions in February/March, which will take us a full year in to it.

My view is assuming that vaccinations prove effective, roll-out at a significant level won't happen until end of Q1 into Q2, pointing to Q3 2021 before some vague sense of normality returns. That will be EIGHTEEN months.
 

h4yn0nnym0u5e

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Sadly you are without doubt correct on every point. The Christmas relaxation will send the figures right back up.
True. The only hope is that the majority do respect the limited relaxation, which could be a better result (in terms of infection rates) than a likely-to-be-widely-ignored “no relaxation” policy would have been. But who knows? No one...
 

rhysonsax

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Our area will be going into Tier 2 when Lockdown 2.0 ends next week. I have just seen this from Making Music, which seems to be saying that our big band may be able to return to rehearsing in our Covid-secure rehearsal venue.

Following the Government announcement that England is moving back to a local tier system from 2 December we are waiting for DCMS to update their performing arts guidance as to how this will affect music group rehearsals. We will update this page as soon as we know more.
Our initial assessment is that from 2 December rehearsals can take place in tiers 1 and 2 but not 3. This is only an initial assessment and we will provide more information as soon as we can.


They then provide a reminder of what's allowable under Tier 2 (High Alert Level), as from 3rd Dec:

High alert level: “Other activities, such as indoor exercise classes and other activity groups can only continue provided that households or support bubbles do not mix. Where it is likely that groups will mix, these activities must not go ahead.
And
Venues following COVID-secure guidance can host more people in total, but no one must mix indoors with anyone who they do not live with (or have formed a support bubble with) unless exemptions apply. Outdoors, you can meet in groups of up to 6 people.”
This means groups can meet to rehearse – but that social interactions must be limited.
Groups should also bear in mind that people living in a Very High alert level area will not be able to travel to a high or medium area to rehearse.


Whether band members will be happy to go back to rehearsing and whether that is a good idea are separate matters.

Rhys
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
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A couple of years ago I fashioned an arrangement of the Boar's Head Carol for the Café sax ensemble. So it's had a couple of outings. The downside for those playing is they have to put up with me singing in a declamatory manner the mix of English and Latin words...

This year, with our venue near Manchester being in tier 3 means no chance. Next outing 2021.

I cannot find a decent recording of it on YT. This is one of the better ones (of course, there is Steeleye Span...). This is OK...
View: https://youtu.be/9pj5BnQlMCk
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
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Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Café Supporter
Messages
6,127
Location
Whitchurch, North Shropshire UK
OK, some good news to report for a change...

Today I had my first in person, face-to-face, bass lesson at home. Until now I've only seen my tutor online via Skype. Such a huge difference. I hadn't quite twigged that he'd come along with a busking amp and his own bass and guitar... It meant we could play together. The first half of the lesson was practical left hand skills. Second half we played together - he played on guitar with me improvising a basic bass line. The first was a basic 12 bar blues. The final bit had me 'soloing' (I use the term loosely) on a modified A major scale (flat 7).

Those who've played with me at jazz sax workshops know how hard I find anything improv related.

He'd like me to do my Rock School grade 2 exam... will think about it...
 

jbtsax

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Those who've played with me at jazz sax workshops know how hard I find anything improv related.

He'd like me to do my Rock School grade 2 exam... will think about it...
You're an accomplished vocalist. Have you ever thought of playing a backing track with the changes and "scatting" a phrase or two---whatever comes to mind. You could then recreate that on your instrument. Eventually you will be able to go from your imagination to the instrument without the vocal in between. You can start with something really simple and go from there. Another variation would be to create variations on a classical melody you know on your cello.
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
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Whitchurch, North Shropshire UK
Usually at this time of year, as for the last 30 years or so, I would be busy with all sorts of concerts. Singing in performances of Messiah (I did 6 one year...), carol concerts, Christmas concerts. For the last 9 years I've played cello and sax in Christmas concerts of various sorts.

Of course, there is none this year.

This is a picture from 2016 in Birmingham, not a group I play with any more, but you get the idea (cello in this case).

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Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
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@Tenor Viol , I have just heard that there will be a conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn, are you going to try and get photo?
They've been steadily approaching each other for the last few months. They are at their closest on Monday 21st December when they will be about 1/10th of a degree apart which is 1/5 of the apparent diameter of the Moon. To the unaided eye they will look like a single object, but binoculars will easily show that they are not.

Visible low in the SW about 45 minutes after sunset, so around 16.30 in UK at the moment.

I took this picture last Saturday in Shrewsbury. Jupiter is clearly visible, but Saturn is there slightly above and to the left. Photo just taken with my phone.

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Vetinari

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If the sky is clear I get quite a good view from our back yard, have to dig out the old Kodak digital and try for a pic better than my phone. Quality of camera pic not as good as phone but it has 10x optical zoom.
 

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