On Ondine


I know, I know, I haven't posted in half a year, and I should be doing another batch of Sneakily Backdated Updates, and you should really do things in the proper order and so on and so forth...


But you guys. Something really cool happened today.


No, really.


So last Tuesday I went to the National Theatre's production of Ondine, in the Koninklijke Schouwburg in the Hague. And honestly, it was really epic. Like, deeply epic. They made a swimming pool out of the orchestra pit. There's an illicit iphone on stage. There's nymphs. With beards.


Anyway.


They have a pianola on stage, and the very opening of the production is about four or five pages of Ravel's Ondine essentially played by a ghost.


And to be completely honest, the ghost really wasn't that good.


Now, I happen to have played Ravel's Ondine in a concert last Monday (which I promise I will also write about. At some point).


So the next morning, I sent an email basically saying "if at all you're interested, I can play Ondine too". Of course, I did it in a slightly more flowery way, and I added the YouTube video of Thami Fisher and myself in Norway. I figured, since this particular production only runs until Sunday, it probably wouldn't do any good right now... but you never know, right?


Initially, I got the very polite "thank you for your input, you'll be contacted if we want to do something like this again" email which I had anticipated.


At sixish, I got an email from the senior Sound Engineer, saying that actually, they were pretty interested, and if I could see my way clear to contacting him.


This email had a phone number attached.


So, I rang, fully expecting to go to voicemail, because let's be honest, it was less than two hours before that evening's showtime, and a Senior Sound Engineer has lots of interesting things to do at that time.


He took the call.

Long story short, this morning I was in the Koninklijke Schouwburg, fiddling with a midi keyboard and putting rolls of ducttape under the grand's una corda pedal in order to make it sound prettier.


Ondine has been recorded to the satisfaction of myself and Ivo Pas, the aforementioned Senior Sound Engineer.


The second piece the pianola played was Chopin's Fantaisie Impromptu. I attempted to pick it up again last night, but wasn't entirely successful, so I brought some alternatives - and I'm happy to inform you all that it's likely to be Schubert op. 90 no. 4 impromptu, instead.


So from this evening's performance on, it'll be the Ghost of Yours Truly playing the piano on-stage. I'd tell you all to go and listen if it wasn't already sold out until Sunday.


But hey, there might be a rerun in Arnhem!


And that time, I might be in the booklet, too!


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