Ruby’s performance

7 Oct

I can’t believe that last week, I performed on a real stage with so many incredibly talented musicians. About 6 years ago, I went to see an all girl band called Mystery Hangup. I didn’t like their songs, but I enjoyed the talent of their drummer and deep voiced singer, Lux, and Cat Mendez respectively. Lux went on to become a youtube legend for her drumming videos where she wears stillettos and covers some of the hardest heavy metal songs that exist. Cat decided to form a locally critically acclaimed band, Aparato with guitarist extraordinairre El Teja-rocho. El Tejarocho is a classically trained guitarist who also has a PhD and is a guest lecturer in several cities in the US. Two years ago they were nominated for an OC Music Award along with Taller Sur, but lost to Nancy Sanchez, a jazz singer.

Fast forward to 2013. Cat decides to record a solo CD. Her guest musicians range from bassist, Moises, formerly from Los Abandoned/Pilar Diaz, El Tejarocho, Miles Davis, another critically acclaimed musician that plays at many jazz clubs in LA and OC. Her CD is being produced by someone who has a Grammy under his belt.

Also in 2013, Fadia Mosri records her solo CD after leaving Taller Sur. She hires a producer nicknamed, El Bife, to help her with her work. He has produced songs for Marco Antonio Solis, Beatriz Adriana, Ana Barbara, Conjunto Primavera… you get the picture. Naturally, Fadia’s songs are awesome especially with the help of El Bife.

In 2011, Ruby begins to record her CD as well. With limited funding and a CD that evolved over the course of 2 years, Ruby finalized her first solo EP. Her 5 songs are mostly positive and one is quite frankly about being a little too, um, passionate with yourself. The best part about Ruby is that her CD was produced and recorded with her friends at a home recording studio. No fancy gimmicks. No big recording studio. Just Ruby and friends. I remember in 2011 that Ruby asked to borrow my violin because her sound engineer needed one to record a violin solo. I went with Ruby to the hills of Lincoln Heights to a tiny backhouse where the recording took place- in the hallway of the backhouse that was the size of a phone booth. The sound room? A room so small that her friend, Efrén, put his bed up against the wall so we could have a place to sit.

Fast forward to 2013, September. Ruby asks me to play viola for the self- loving song “Venir Aquí”. Oh crap. I haven’t played viola in 6 years much less play it in front of an audience as the star instrument of the song. I got the sheet music and realized that, yes, yes I can actually play this song. I had such a short amount of time to practice that I couldn’t quite get the song sounding the way I wanted it to, but I went for it because Ruby needed me to do so. Plus I thought it would be nice to be on stage with Ruby for her big day. I attended a few rehearsals with her charismatic, playful and truly talented band before the performance.

Last week, it finally happened. The CD release party for Cat, Fadia and Ruby took place. I couldn’t believe my eyes before the show even started. All the people that I have mentioned in this post (except Marco Antonio Solis and them) were there including some guest artists for Cat that included members of LA based Las Cafeteras and Son Del Centro. Add to that, about 4-5 professional photographers that really made it feel like the paparazzi wouldn’t leave me alone. Maybe it was my bright Dodger blue and black dress or my stunning sexiness, but photographers were snapping pictures of me left and right. I can’t wait to see the picture of El Bife, Fadia, Ruby and myself waiting for Ruby to go on stage.

 

What did I do to be on stage with so much talent? I couldn’t even make it to the Chapman orchestra and here I was on stage with all these people. 

With all these exciting emotions running through me, I got a great case of stage fright right before the one song that I performed with Ruby. I’ve never been the featured performer for a song. My right hand started to shake as I went on stage. Crap. I went on stage and totally missed my first few notes during the opening which is also a solo for me. Big Crap. I recovered though and kept going. The song features the viola, but also relies on a key violin solo done by Efrén. During the first verse, the audience began to clap during my solo, Then during the intensly passionate violin solo the audience began to clap and cheer. At the end, the audience went wild. Phew! What a beautiful experience that was!

Afterwards, Ruby thanked everyone and said, “Ha! Take that Quetzal now we have a violin and viola just like you.” 🙂 🙂 I don’t think I’m ever going to forget this experience especially because the people involved were so positive and relaxed. Plus I wanted to thank my Friendship for being there and being my family in the audience. Thanks Friend.

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