There was one reason to attend the first Springfield Classical Guitar Society concert of the 2016-17 season last Saturday night.
It wasn’t because I had time to attend. I should have spent the time repairing and cleaning the upstairs duplex which two former friends had left is flagrantly despicable condition after not renewing their lease. To protect their real names, I will refer to them here and in future Honey & Quinine posts as the OINKS. They hadn’t removed all the light bulbs (just a few) so it wasn’t that I couldn’t see after dark. But it was important to attend the concert. I had never heard the featured guest, Matthew Fish, from San Francisco who would also be selling his first Cd “From Her Source to the Sea.”
It wasn’t because I looked forward to photographing the artist during before, during and after the concert as I have for more than 10 years as a volunteer. The change from the original concert venue, First Presbyterian Church, first to Faith Lutheran Church, to Grace Lutheran Church had brought significant dimunition in the quality of lighting of the performer. Organizers, or perhaps just the concert-hosting church coordinators, did not understand the importance of directing light to the front of the artists; not behind them. The reason has to do with why theatrical productions devote at least some of the illumination on the audience-facing fronts of the characters in motion.
I had wearied of photographing seated silhouettes playing silhouetted guitars in front of commendably lit proscenia, backdrops and choir lofts. I resolved to take a seat up close, from which I could see and hear Matthew Fish. My hearing is not as good as used to be. 2016 is the year I began wearing hearing aids. There is special capability that allows me to select a “music mode” that maximizes reception of that range of sounds.
It wasn’t because I remembered to wear my hearing aids Saturday, I had rushed to get out to the airport to work on my AeroKnow Museum which is my raison detre in recent years. Typically, I’m conscientious about remembering, but somehow I somehow slipped up. At least I’d still sit up front and enjoy what I could. The acoustics of the sanctuary are good. Regular people sit twelve rows and more away and they’re fine.
It wasn’t because I had stayed too late at the airport, and by the time I arrived, the front rows were almost filled to capacity, so “up close” was not in the cards.
It wasn’t because I’d have a clear view of the guest performer. The church had removed several pews at the front left side of the aisle and installed a grand piano and chairs for what would, the next day, be an instrumental ensemble and perhaps a small vocal group. The audience necessarily was seated toward the center aisle. I sat in the closest empty pew which row three behind the clutter. My view of Matthew would be between heads in the two rows ahead.
When he was playing, my woeful hearing scored minor triumphs when I could recognize a rhythm in 3/4 (waltz) time instead of standard 2/4 and 4/4 signatures.
Jeff gave commendably pleasant introductions to most of the tunes he was about to play. I could tell this much from how he sat with his Kenny Hill Signature model guitar, his gestures and how the audience responded. During the evening I distinctly heard about 1o words.
It was because the organizers of the concert include some of the most respected friends I have. They are long-time friends. When I fell on ice a few years ago, these friends were INSTRUMENTAL (no pun intended) along with some friends in making my recovery much easier than it would have been without them. It was because some of them have helped with materials for my aviation enterprise and gave me food that helped sustain me when I have experiencing some financial “trauma” last year. It was because some of the regular attendees at the SCGS concerts have become my friends, all intelligent, well-tempered, gentle-humored ladies and gents.
During intermission, one of those friends bought two of Matthew Fish’s premiere CD and gave one to me. I’ll listen to it later today.
I knew my attendance Saturday would be an act of likely futility, but a gesture worth making. I did it to demonstrate my support for my friends. Sometimes it’s important to “arrive late instead of skipping” a banquet knowing full well your arrival won’t be in time for with the main courses, but if you’re lucky, you’ll be in time for pie. There are considerations that transcend Veal Scallopini. Sometimes it’s just a matter of keeping up appearances.
Live long . . . . . . . . . . . and proper.