March 8th & March 9th: Jamie Billings
March 8th was our first performance. We had only had a group of observers one other time, which was the class our young children who were viewing the indoor garden a few weeks prior. The museum had a totally different vibe: It was buzzing with excitement from people of all ages, and I was approached by a fair number of people, interesting in where we were from and how often we performed there. I traveled around the museum as much as possible to give respect to the tour guides and play at a respective volume. I spent some time in the Tapestry Room, and Lillia’s playing was so beautiful and bounced off the rooms, and it was great to see people relaxing on benches and just listening. I spent a lot of time on the balconies; it was really great to hear Kerry’s voice traveling, Neil’s soprano sax floating, Alex’s chords swirling, and TJ’s vocals giving a really cool low end to all of our higher instruments. I played a lot of Bach that day and practiced his “Little Fugue in G Minor” and his “Badinerie in B”. I was working a lot with tone, as well. Overall, I think we all felt very surprised at the amount of people at the museum — there were hundreds filing in and out and it was really great to chat with some people who were there for the arts. It was too bad that we weren’t able to see Ana, but hopefully we’ll all see her again in the future when she’s in town.
On March 9th, we all arrived at 11AM again, and saw a huge procession of people in line, waiting to get in. Everyone looked excited. I arrived in the new greenhouse and was brought upstairs to set up, and then myself and the others headed to the museum. The place was already filled, and the happiness and confusion on peoples’ faces was pretty great and amusing as we walked in. We all started playing and went to our desired location. I was switching a lot between floors again; I found myself on the 3rd quite a lot, but also on the 1st by the Spanish painting, which is my favorite room. A lot of really kind people came up to me and said we all sounded nice, and it was great that they enjoyed what they were hearing and we interested in Ana’s idea for this collaboration. I wandered around freely, hearing all of our sounds bouncing off the garden, and from above, I saw people looking up and listening. It was a really cool experience. This day was still very packed with people, and we were also filmed, so we had quite a larger audience. I generally practice alone, locked up in a practice room, so this experience helped get rid of some of the anxiety I feel about playing in front of people. It was such a great experience and I thank Ana, Tiffany, and Pieranna for having all of us and Neil for inviting me to come join on this cool experience.