An Earworm Problem

Forgive me, dear readers, but Your Friendly Neighborhood Amoeba has a bit of a problem. And, as Bill Cosby once told an audience, I must tell you about my problems.

His problems had to do with driving.

Mine, with music.

Y’see, I’m rehearsing with the O‘ahu Civic Orchestra for a pair of concerts in about a month’s time. A big feature of the program is a two-part orchestral suite based on the famous comic opera Carmen. An opera that (I read) the original pit musicians – in Paris, no less – said was too tough for them.

Yep. We got work to do. The technical term for this is “woodsheding”. Yes it is. As in, you go out to the woodshed where no one can hear you, and you spill out all your cracked notes in there, leaving none to bust open on the stage during the performance. This can take awhile. Especially when one is not a professional musician in Paris. Success takes time and energy. Oh, and a woodshed. Or at least someplace where the neighbors won’t call the police on you when the cracking starts. (This has happened to me. Recently.)

It also takes concentration. The ability to visualize the part to be played, and work to make your playing match that image. (I suppose that should be “audibilize”, but, these days, that word’s not about music, it’s about Tom Brady in the shotgun.)

Concentration is not altogether easy when you’re constantly looking over your shoulder for flashing blue lights. Nor is it easy when you finally get to hear the music in your head, and it’s the wrong damned music!

loophonium-1‘Cause, when I think Carmen, I don’t think Bizet.

I think Spike Jones And His City Slickers. Who, way back in the 1940s (egad!), decided that Bizet’s comic opera wasn’t comical enough, so they “improved” it. With all the sound effects for which Jones and his orchestra were, um, famous.

So how do I tell the conductor that I’m messing up because I’m channelling the latrinophone version of the piece? (To hear it, click on the picture. Takes about 12 minutes. Misery loves company.)

He’ll probably throw up his hands and rehearse another part of the program. Something light, calm and soothing. The Blue Danube waltz. Surely nothing about the Blue Danube can disturb our serenity. Can it?

What? What?? Oh, jeez …

  – O Ceallaigh
Copyright © 2009 Felloffatruck Publications. All wrongs deplored.
All opinions are mine as a private citizen.


  1. There’s a little bit of jailbird in each one of us, n. Your enemies have only to figure out where it’s hidden.

    Shawn, it was 11 in the morning. In the previous residence. Probably by the one who blasted recorded show tunes into the complex all night long. Yet another example of the all-pervasive Hawaiian aloha.

  2. I just have a hard time believing that someone as profoundly magnificent at tooting as our beloved Amoeba would even HAVE cracked notes, much less a need to dump them all! I’m thinking there’s some hogwash goin’ on in that woodshed! But I guess the cops don’t agree with me….

  3. Actually, Melli, the cop did agree with you, but that didn’t prevent him from doing his job, even though he did do it apologetically.

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