And sometime, life is so amazing, that it delivers one of these dreams to our door, and we receive one invaluable gift, probably without deserving it. And suddenly, lots of different elements of our life come together in a strange magical way to form this dream, and everything starts making sense, and we look at the past with a different light. And we understand some things that we never understood why they happened, and we rejoice in things that, at the moment, did not seem a matter of joy.
All since I started studying music at 14, I wondered how it would be to be down at the stage with the orchestra. Down at the national Auditorium, or the Teatro Monumental , where the best orchestras play. But I never thought it would be possible for me to get there, ever in my life. And somehow, for some reason, for many reason that have nothing to do with music or my flute, last month I played at the Carnegie Hall...My heart beat still rises when I pronounce that name and I still get goose bumps.
It was amazing, walking down the stage, sitting down in the middle of the band and being a part of the creation of music, starting from silence. The seats, the people, the lights, the acoustics. And the wonderful music stands that can be easily adjusted without trapping your fingers in them.
I walked down with my new shoes and my concert skirt. The same skirt that my mum made for me when I was 16, to wear in my first audition at the Real Conservatorio Superior de Música de Madrid. How could I even begin to imagine at that point?
We had been given badges, and when I arrived, I had to look for the artist entrance. I am going to say it, just to enjoy the sound of it " THE CARNEGIE HALL ARTIST´S ENTRANCE"
Then I was waiting for a while. I put make up on in a big mirror with lots of bulbs, and put my high heels shoes. We lined up to rehearse for 20 minutes. I entered the stage and I could see the whole theatre, the orchestra, the family circle, the boxes…And we played a bit. The first two bars where much worse than usual. You could tell the fear of making it wrong. And finding that your sound is different from what you are used to at the Carnegie Hall ( I am going to say it again YOUR SOUND AT THE CARNEGIE HALL). But then we got used to it, and everything improved and the notes started finding its place in the immense space of the theatre.
After that we were allowed to go out until our call at 9 ( does it not sound professional?). I went for a coffee and at nine, there we were, all around, sitting down, talking, playing, warming up. The sound of all the different instruments, playing scales, small recognizable parts of the pieces mixed together with the laughter, the sounds of cameras. And then, our call came.
We lined up waiting to enter the stage. 10 minutes. That is always the worst part. The ten minutes before you have to play. We were there, whispering, concentrating. And we got on stage. The conductor was at the door, smiling at us, supporting us in our way to the stage.
The lights were bright and the audience received us with applause. We sat down, warmed up for one minute, and then the concertino, who is a clarinet, played a B flat for the brass and A for the woodwind, and we tuned up. Actually, we had kind of tuned before coming on stage, just to be on the safe side. But don’t tell anyone.
Then the conductor came on stage. Another round of applause. He looked at us, put his arms in the air and we followed him, putting our instruments in our mouths. One second of complete silence in the huge theatre. He marked the pick-up bar, and the ride started.
After the overture of Candide, there was lots of clapping. And then we played another very difficult one, a contemporary piece called Wild nights. After that, it was all easy. I was more scared of the two first ones, so after them, I really relaxed and enjoyed being there, and the music that we were doing together. And in the moments where I had silences, it was great to see how the conductor made the music happened, how his baton was dictating the music, and hear the other people in the band play. And the music kept floating around, like magic.
Particularly, the last chord on Elsa’s procession, from Lohengrin. It just hanged there on the air for a bit alter we stopped, all the sounds mixing together in that great Wagnerian chord and we were listening to it with our instruments in our mouths.
And we also played another contemporary piece, called Pilatus, and the Typewriter Symphony, which everybody loved.
And then we got a huge round of applause. The conductor went off and came back twice. And I saw my friends saying hello to me from the audience, and we went off stage like walking in a cloud, smiling our heads off and we hugged each other…
And it all was absolutely wonderful.
There was a time when I played at the Carnegie Hall, where the lights were bright and the music floated in the air. And magic came out of the conductor’s baton.