Friday night was the first Kaia gig in many months, since a Farmers Market last October. In the meantime, we’ve been hard at work on new pieces and working on our forthcoming CD, but man, have we missed performance!
We had a rough run-through last Sunday, which was made more complicated by the fact that two sistahs were out. Then had a white-knuckle rehearsal on Thursday where we screwed up every song, particularly our new song Lu Lops, where few people could remember the words. I was pretty concerned.
We met early on Sunday to do a cue-to-cue and run through our most problematic songs. Even then, some people sang the wrong lyrics on Lu Lops or didn’t sing at all. Not exactly awe-inspiring.
But when it came to performing, the lights were dimmed, a spotlight was on us, the audience was warm, and away we went! We had great energy as the adrenaline and endorphins kicked in. Unlike the night before, we ended up in one key on our opening number! A miracle! 😉
Lu Lops was placed after Pastevecke Helokanie, our Czech mountain holler. It’s a difficult transition to make. So I paused longer than usual before counting us in. And I think that really helped. It collected us and created a more somber mood. And boy, did the audience respond! Felt great.
I think Lu Lops is one of the most important pieces in our repertoire. The challenge will be to keep the interpretation fresh over time and not get complacent.
We also debuted Pata Pata, Miriam Makeba’s classic South African piece. Our version is really different, much more soft in feel rather than rockin’. Lara did a great job arranging it. I love the vocal percussion section she came up with. And the Sexy Quartet gets to do coordinated back-up singer moves! I’ve always wanted to do that. It’s so much fun.
We had the distinct pleasure of performing Monkey Puzzle‘s Marge with the writer and lyricist in the room! They were very complimentary and we shared some laughs after the show about how hilarious the song is. They were talking about how dated it was (“A car phone?? What does that mean anymore?”) and how they changed the lyrics even when they were performing it. Jane and I explained how we decided to keep the “voted Dukakis in ’88” line because it’s just so priceless—plus Jane actually voted for him! I may have, too—or that may have been the year that I wrote in Paul Tsongas. He may even have been dead at the time. I was trying to make a point. Well-noted by the election officials, I’m sure.
Anyway, came home on a performance high and couldn’t sleep for hours. Between that and the Trashion show last night, I feel like I’ve got a hangover and will never be rested again. We’re back in rehearsal this afternoon to start a very challenging Bulgarian piece and also start adding body percussion to Las Amarillas—eek! I’m intimidated by both. And too tired to be much use. Let’s hope for an afternoon nap! 🙂
Really glad to have such a positive performing experience, especially after last fall’s disasters where I was a zombie from being over-medicated. Light dawns!