What a mix of a day! The weather has turned good again (at least in the short term), but after a bit of an overcast and unsettled spell, it has just made the air incredibly humid instead of pleasant...
The (before) morning
Let's just say the morning started incredibly early today... the oldest girl had a nightmare, which meant I was on the job at the crack of dawn. Unfortunately for me, my wife is the heavy sleeper and I'm the light sleeper, and so it is often the case that I'm the one that gets woken up by the crying.
Anyway, after completing my father duties and getting her out of her scared state, she decided not to go back to sleep and continued doing some of her craftwork and a bit of reading (she's pretty happy that she can read now, and is really taking advantage of it!). Meanwhile, I fell back asleep on the floor, and then wandered back to my bed when I got sore...
Thankfully, my wife let me sleep in!
The new toy!
I took possession of a Piccolo Violin today (only on loan, not bought), which is a really unusual Violin from the Baroque time. It is basically the size of a current day child's Violin (in the photo above, it is the little violin on top), but in the Baroque time, there were a few serious pieces written for it. Back in those days, the violin family was not as standardised as today (violin, viola, 'cello), and coming from the consort tradition, there were many sizes of violin/viola/cello.
This Piccolo Violin is one that I'll need in about a month, as I have a concert (Brandenburg #1) that specifically calls for this instrument. Normally, it is like playing a high pitched foghorn straight into you head, with the resulting disorientation and pain associated with it. Thankfully, this is a nice Violin, and it isn't quite so loud and piercing!
However, it did arrive with one broken string which needed to be replaced immediately. So, I thought, no problem, I will use one of my thinner strings that I use for higher pitched violins. The reason for the thinner strings is that the Violin is tuned much higher (a major 3rd) than a regular violin, and so the thinner the string, the higher the pitch at the same string tension.
For some reason, I had thought that I had plenty of strings. It is the sort of thing that you buy a batch of, and then stash away for the times that you need it. However, when I pulled out my strings, I found that I had much less than I thought. Well, more precisely, I had many strings for the violas and very few for the violins. Luckily, I was able to adapt a thin string from the Viola d'amore, otherwise I would have been throwing a tantrum along with our little toddler....
...it was incredibly easy to change this string, as opposed to the complete bastard of my main violin, and so I was able to start playing around with the instrument! It is quite a joy to play, and it was easier than I thought to adapt to the smaller size. On the other hand, unlike many other violinists, I tend to change instruments between the violin, viola and d'amore quite often, so that the idea of changing sizes (instead of playing only ever a single instrument) is not such an alien idea for me.
This is my current line-up of concert friends!
From Left to Right: Piccolo Violin - Baroque Violin - Classical Violin - Baroque Viola - Viola d'amore
I have to eat?
So, I had spent so much time playing around with this new toy, that I really forgot to leave time for a few chores that I needed to do. Some really mundane stuff accompanies the life of being a musician. Ordering new strings, booking train tickets, sorting out pension exemptions for out of NL work... All these things always take a touch longer than expected. The A1 (social welfare exemption) is particularly annoying. It is the EU form for when you work outside your "home" country, it basically states that you don't have to pay social welfare contributions in the country that you are working in because you pay it back in your country of residence. In previous years, I was able to get a form for the whole year for the whole of the EU, which meant I only needed to fill out the form once per year. Now that they've switched to an online form, I can't ask for that, and so I have to fill out and submit the form for every project, which means I also need to find the concert venues (addresses and contact) for every place that I play in. This sucks beyond all words... also, if I am part of a group that has to do this, then NO-ONE gets paid until everyone fills out this form...
...but at least the screaming tantrum from downstairs had subsided and the oldest girl was introducing the younger sister to the joys of "Play School"!
Except I forgot to have lunch.... unlike yesterday!
The Taxi Driver
I guess this is the lot of every parent. Driving (or biking) kids to places and doing chores... So, I had deliver the oldest to a birthday party, which was pretty easy... in the Netherlands it is a dump and run affair, even from a young age!
However, the next chore completely chewed up my planned lunch eating time, (as opposed to yesterday!. I was sent out to buy another one of these jars:
...which my wife had bought earlier in the year. She had given me the address of the shop and so I went straight there from the birthday party, thinking that it would be a simple in-and-out chore, after which I could get lunch before going off to a rehearsal. I showed the photo to the shop owner, and she said "Nope, they don't stock those". I call my wife and she tells me that it was definitely there that she had bought the jar. Fine, I went looking, whilst the shop owner is probably thinking that I'm a complete retard for not listening to her. Nothing, I spent half an hour looking for it or alternatives. I'm not trusted with making decisions like that, so there were lots of Hangout photos going back and forth to be rejected! In the end, I came away empty handed and with no lunch in my belly...
...to run off to a rehearsal. It was just a quick reading, to check to see if a piece on a programme later in the year with @musicapoetica would need re-thinking or re-writing. It was a piece that was chosen by a festival, and unfortunately it is a pretty bad piece of composition. Apparently, the violinist that had written it about 400 years was a great and famous violinist at the time, but I'm afraid that his skills did not extend to composition! The play through confirmed that idea, but at least it wasn't as terrible as we had thought... just very mediocre, and non-offensive. With some tweaks, it could stay on the programme as a smaller part of the whole.
The race home
I did manage to pick up the oldest from the birthday party on time, but by now, I was a little light-headed from not eating all day. Sadly, we made the run home right at peak hour... which is always a display of how stupid humans can be... people doing stupid things to try and get ahead, probably not realising (or not caring) that by getting one car ahead, they screwed all the drivers behind them... or that they've completely blocked off another direction of traffic. I always have a little chuckle when after all the theatrics of changing line, cutting in and everything else, that in the end, they would have been quicker if they had just hodl-ed....
...but we did make it back home before dinner. To a very friendly welcome!
Also, my wife told me that she accidentally sent me to the wrong shop....
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Posted from my blog with SteemPress : http://www.gamerjokerbreadder.com/2018/07/11/a-new-musical-toy-and-a-touch-of-panic-ulog-10/