Saturday, I went with my dad and my nephew to the NYC Musical Saw Festival where they were part of an attempt to enter the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest Musical Saw ensemble.
No, really, I’m not making this up.
The previous record was set in Poland with 27 saw players, or sawists. In Astoria, this weekend they had 53 musical saw players on the stage to play Ave Maria.
Now, before you listen to this, I want you to understand something. To find the note, the saw needs to be ringing slightly or you have to slide into the right note. With that many players, finding the starting pitch quietly wasn’t going to happen, so the first note…well, it’s a doozy. Dad says that the conductor rocked back on his heels like he’d been hit by a basket of lemons.
And as a palette cleanser, here is my Dad playing “Wayfaring Stranger.”
After the initial concert and Guinness attempt, many of the saw players had solos. I sat through Four and A Half HOURS of musical saw. The fascinating thing was the wide, wide range of techniques. Many of these folks had been playing for decades and were really, really good. Not as a novelty mind, but demonstrating genuine musicality and talent.
How was your weekend?