Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Yesterday I finally lived a dream. I took my 10 year old French Horn that I played all through middle school and high school to no good end, lugged it to Greenpoint, and recorded music for a CD. It was a tremendous experience. The French Horn is, surprisingly, not a cool instrument. When you play it in band it means one of two things: 1) you wanted to play saxophone, but so do too many other kids so they made you play french horn or 2) your cousin used to play french horn and your family didn't want to shell out $200 for another horrible instrument no one will practice.

French horns don't have solos. French horns don't play lead. If you play 1st chair French Horn you end up playing the supporting notes that the tuba does, only in a less fun key. The French Horn is hard to play. The French Horn's case is heavy and badly shaped to carry home. You must empty the valve of the French Horn every ten minutes or it will spit up at you through your mouth piece. On the upper right hand side of sheet music where they list the instrument is just says "Horn", a final insult suggesting that it doesn't matter what the fuck kind of horn, French is fine, as long as it has a blow hole and a pipe.

That being said, I love the French Horn. My voice and its tone have exactly the same range! And it sounds like a muffled trumpet. I like the way it looks and I like the way all the twisty parts fit together. I started playing it again last year after 7 year of neglect, and I'm not bad.

Cut to yesterday. My buddy James has a new song. He wants that perfect muffled weird tone. We sit in his recording studio (bathroom) and he plays the notes on his key board. I figure them out on the horn (E# F F#) and (G# G Bflat!) and play them into a little mic as I listen to the music.

No ironic story or anything. It was just awesome.

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