Saturday, May 12, 2018

Something New Every Day

They say that one thing you can do to keep your brain active to learn something new every day.

If that's the case, Walt and I have brains that have been through a car wash this evening and come out all shiny and new looking!

We had what amounts to a master class in something I was vaguely aware of, but had absolutely NO idea what it was all about;  air guitar.

Oh I had seen people playing imaginary guitars before and knew that was called an air guitar, which seemed rather silly, but my word...this is a whole new world!

I was reviewing a show called Airness, which does have a plot which is kind of irrelevant, but it's an air guitar competition in which three guys - "Shreddy Eddy," "Golden Thunder," and "Facebender" and one electric girl "Cannibal Queen" are competing in a local contest and a girl (Nina) joins them, thinking this will be a piece o'cake for her to win because she actually plays the guitar, so playing without a guitar won't be any problem at all.
The playwright explains that she is not an air guitarist and when she first saw an air guitar competition she thought "this is the dumbest thing I've ever heard of."

Over the next 90 minutes you learn what an almost spiritual endeavor it is for the participants, how their whole performance comes from the depth of their soul and how to impart that energy to the audience.

From the program"  "Indeed the world of air guitar is interesting, full of people who genuinely feel that air guitar does good in the world.  The Finnish ideology of Air Guitar is as follows: 'Wars would end, climate change stop and all bad things disappear, if all the people in the world played the air guitar.'"

There are official rules, printed in the program, which include things like learning that the official contests contain two rounds, freestyle, where the competitor performs to a song of their choosing, and compulsory, which they perform a surprise song, chosen by the judges.

Performances are scored on a scale of 4-6 in things like technical merit ("you don't have to know what notes you're playing, but the more your invisible fretwork corresponds to the music that's playing the better the performance") and stage presence ("anyone can do it in the privacy of their bedroom.  Few have what it takes to rock a crowd of hundreds or even thousands, all without an instrument."

There are competitions all around the country all year long and then the World Championship is held each year in Finland.

a recent 2-time winner
This is perhaps not the show, or the activity for opera fans, symphonic fans, chamber music fans, or musical theater fans, and especially not the show for anyone whose idea of popular music died when Elvis came on the scene (which pretty much describes the 3 of us who went to the show together!).  But I guess the biggest compliment I can give it is that I didn't hate it as much as I expected to.  In fact, Walt and I grudgingly admitted that we kind of enjoyed it.

And I certainly know more about air guitar tonight than I ever knew -- or thought I wanted to know.

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