Sunday, March 19, 2006

ETW (part 2)

It's Sunday night, the smoke has settled, and I'm back reflecting on the Saturday session of ETW.

As with so many of these conventions, I seem more keenly aware of what I missed. My two main regrets:
missing the Chicago trombone quartet
seeing only the trombone concerto portion of the US Army Brass Dectet (which many observers described as possibly the highlight of the workshop).

But I do have one big highlight to share...

Brandt Attema first on the contrabass in the morning (especially the final piece, a work composed for solo contrabassoon) then on the Saturday night concert. His performance, Etoile des Profondeurs, was possibly the best live bass trombone performance I've ever heard in my life. It ranks right up there with Matt Guilford's rendition of the Vaughn Williams' Tuba Concerto.

Oh yes, a lowlight of sorts...
The PowerLung display in the vending area. This is possibly the stupidest product I have ever seen in my life!!
In order to achieve this honor, it must be stupid on more than one level. Here's the first level: I used this thing one time and immediately felt a very uncomfortable pressure on my inner ears. If this doesn't bother you, hey go ahead and take your chances.

Next level of stupidity: does the diaphragm muscle need to be strengthened like the biceps? I've never heard of this before.

Next level of stupidity (I'm saving the best for last here): this thing costs around $88!!! Hey, if you want to do resistance training for your lungs, here's a way to save a lot of money. Go to your hardware store and buy a ball valve.

Last time I checked, less than a buck.

Maybe someone can correct me here but until that glorious time comes, I'm calling this powerlung an overhyped, stupid product for fitness losers with too much money to spend.

Whew, it felt good to vent.

Oh yeah, ETW. Here's a great new feature. The army band plans to post archives of all the performances at this year's ETW. Wow!

Click here for a link.