"The Music is the 3rd pillar of our wedding reception triumvirate. Crucial because of the role of music in guiding the tone and the pace of the evening yet difficult to execute. At a house party anyone can get up and stick on a song and the music becomes a way to express oneself and have an immediate impact on everyone else at the party. It is also a big catalyst for conversation (and sometimes argument) and has the (both positive and negative effect) of polarizing the group. The danger of being too prescriptive with music for a wedding is that it inhibits these natural dynamics amongst friends and the feel is much more that of a club with a DJ playing or a band performing. We tried to get around this in 2 ways. First, we conceived the idea of getting our friends to form a band and second we asked a friend of ours to DJ. Our hope was that involving our friends as performers would cement the group together and that the guests would involve themselves much more in the music.
I imagine you are all very rapidly struck by the rather risky nature of this approach. Have any of these guys performed before in any context, let alone together? How will we handle the technical aspects of live performance, sound equipment, generators etc? Will they get too drunk to play?
All extremely pertinent questions. Our DJ, thankfully, has plenty of experience. He has now dedicated his life to DJing and will no doubt “rock the party”. He also has some knowledge of amplification and generators and all these boring technical bits. The only issue is his taste in music is rather different to ours. This should be a good thing but I am shall we say a little reluctant to cede musical control. That said, I imagine I am in a minority in believing that Led Zeppelin will always get the party going and that maybe a bit of breakbeat is more to most peoples taste. I wonder how the older folks will feel about that! Our man has his brief and we have chatted at length about songs he must play and a little about appropriate music for each part of the evening. We know that we can completely trust him though especially after a recent performance at Rachel’s birthday party.
Those brave souls who have formed the band are rather less experienced in fact I don’t think they have any performance experience between them. They are however a group of very talented and committed individuals who we know will give their all on the day and if all else fails, have a bloody good laugh. We have been touched by their commitment to the band and their enthusiasm. They have involved themselves in song selection and put forward ideas about timings and ways to improve the overall effect and I really think their performance is going to be one of the highlights of the day. The songs we have selected are all songs that we love and have a special significance for us. Eric Clapton’s Bell Bottom Blues, Led Zeppelin’s Over the Hills and Far Away, David Bowie’s Modern Love and a few others. With a bit of luck they will be dance-able or at least sway-able and recognizable to most of the guests. I expect the crowd to get really into the performance and if they do we can’t fail. We will have our first dance to The Ship Song by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds which is beautifully poised and the band will kick in directly afterwards with something rousing (probably Modern Love). We can’t wait to see them in action and we now just need to find a suitable way to thank them.
And so the excitement and for some the tension builds. We are so grateful to all these chaps because they have gone way out of their comfort zones for us. Gratifyingly it seems to have been fun for them too, giving them a reason to get serious about music. The practices have been wonderful, watching my Dad and two of my best friends establish some sort of musical hierarchy and learn to work together. They will soon be joined by another friend on drums and then we will start to see the band take shape and we will know how far we have to go.
I can’t wait to see the results!"
Friday, 13 March 2009
My Boy Writes: The Music
See the original at Elizabeth Anne Designs here: