Sunday, August 10, 2014

Day Four Lark Camp 2014 – An early start and wet pocket syndrome

Dust is a feature of Lark Camp - Camp Two at dawn.
I am up at dawn. Let's see what is going on at this hour. The volunteers are cleaning the tables. Creating dust storms with brooms, but no-one has lit the fire yet.

I thought I'd crawl out of bed early to see how it feels. Wandered down to main camp, and hope no-one disturbs my writing. All the other early people (two I can count) are taking advantage of the return of daylight to read … books. And to have their first coffee.

Now (obviously) I am writing. But before I was practising and arranging St. Thomas. In the distance, at the coffee house, a loudish guy (a great drummer who always wears a tall hat), is telling jokes about Betty's Bitter Butter. I didn't hang around to hear how it ends, or even progresses.

So now I write, we are behind in the manual, but the affirmations are flowing thick and fast. Like the quote we got yesterday (see Day Three post). I don't feel like visiting the manual, but I may try. But I do have just one observation in relation to that writing task.

Jane has observed that I haven't been 'ukestrating'. Documenting what we do is taking a lot of energy and focus, so arranging for ukulele is down the priority list.

So this morning I sit on a song that I heard last night. I first heard it from a bass player in Bendigo 15 or so years ago. St. Thomas. A simple modern jazz tune. Yeah. That can work. What teaching principles can I pull out of it? Is it an engaging tune? Can we write simple sensitive accompaniment parts that still teach beginner uke players something? Can we provide a challenge for more advanced players? Bob the Builder can we fix, I think we can. But I need a little help from the internet. The Internet!!!!! I WANT THE INTERNET!

...not really. I am coping well. In reality, engaging with this computer is really difficult when every day and night is consumed with engaging with music and people.

Mum, you'd be proud. 

I've been playing heaps of trumpet. Wonderfully generous people here. Mardi from Grass Valley responded to my request on Facebook and pulled a long lost trumpet from her cupboard, took it to a fixer shop, got it serviced and has loaned it to me for the duration. It has had good use. But that means I am now caught up in the 9:30am obligation to play Glen Miller tunes. 'Play' is only one part. I have to 'read' music. That is a challenge, and I am not really up for the task or the commitment. But again, the affirmations and praise flow thick and fast. This time not because of ability, but because the band is desperately short of trumpet players. The competition for 'students' is pretty fierce. I could be at a uke workshop instead. But it is lovely to be reacquainted with my first parentally imposed musical obligation.

All the praise for my trumpet playing. I know it is primarily because they want me – Second Trumpet – to hang around. I warn some of my praising brass colleagues about wetting my pocket too much. I have to explain the lovely Australian metaphor, and tell them not to 'piss in my pocket' too much. Their praise is somewhere between praise, and fear that I will not return. So far so good though. I am hanging around.

I might leave this blog now and go visit the manual. Or maybe the fire (now started) is calling me. I think it's the fire. And the guitar. It's 7:12am.
The main action at Camp Two is in this area. The (small) RVs are circled in an defending action against the outside world.

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