It’s a Saturday afternoon and instead of chilling out with friends at the Christmas Markets, or doing my weekend chores, I’m off to another gig. Don’t get me wrong, I am definitely not complaining about getting a gig, especially one where the music is actually quite enjoyable and the pay is half decent. I’m just reflecting on my life. The life of a musician.
I guess every career has its pros and cons – with a 9-5 office job, you might get your weekends free to ‘Netflix & Chill’ or to do gardening, but you’re still working a 40 hour week. As a musician (especially when you’re freelancing) you have a much more chaotic but interesting schedule. Every day, week, month, year is different. Unfortunately, that means routines can be rather hard to stick to, taking classes of any sorts are hard to commit to and weekends are often forfeited to practicing or working.
This weekend I have a gig in a town just out of Hannover called Burgdorf. Most gigs around this time of year are Church concerts requiring small put-together orchestras to accompany the church choirs as they sing a Mass or smaller sacred songs such as psalms, cantatas or hymns. John Rutter‘s ‘Magnificat‘ is the main meal on tonight’s menu. This particular arrangement is for Chamber Orchestra, quite a reduction from the original score, but meaning that my horn part is quite nice to play and very exposed! 🙂
I don’t know if you have visited any churches or cathedrals in Europe during the winter months, but if you have, you would probably remember that they are absolutely freezing!! When playing these concerts you have to come prepared. Listen to the music, practice the parts, arrive 30-60 mins before rehearsals or the concert starts and most importantly, dress in VERY warm clothes. This can be challenging when you also want to look semi-decent for your concert…but still achievable. Today I’m ‘traging’* thermal tights under black pants with wool blend socks and boots along with a long-sleeved black shirt and an incredibly warm wool-blend cardi-jacket. Now I just need to find a way to keep my horn warm!
Overall, this weekends gig has been well worth missing out on fun friend times. Not only do I get to hang out in a new place and add a cool piece to my ever-extending repertoire catalogue, but I have managed to earn a good portion of next months rent!
*traging – Denglish for ‘wearing’. ‘Tragen’ is ‘to wear’ in German.