|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
The somber, elegiac tones before President Obama’s oath of office at the inauguration on Tuesday came from the instruments of Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman and two colleagues. But what the millions on the Mall and watching on television heard was in fact a recording, made two days earlier by the quartet and matched tone for tone by the musicians playing along.
The players and the inauguration organizing committee said the arrangement was necessary because of the extreme cold and wind during Tuesday’s ceremony. The conditions raised the possibility of broken piano strings, cracked instruments and wacky intonation minutes before the president’s swearing in (which had problems of its own).
“Truly, weather just made it impossible,” Carole Florman, a spokeswoman for the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, said on Thursday. “No one’s trying to fool anybody. This isn’t a matter of Milli Vanilli,” Ms. Florman added, referring to the pop band that was stripped of a 1989 Grammy because the duo did not sing on their album and lip-synched in concerts.
Ms. Florman said that the use of a recording was not disclosed beforehand but that the NBC producers handling the television pool were told of its likelihood the day before.
The network said it sent a note to pool members saying that the use of recordings in the musical numbers was possible. Inaugural musical performances are routinely recorded ahead of time for just such an eventuality, Ms. Florman said. The Marine Band and choruses, which performed throughout the ceremony, did not use a recording, she said.
“It’s not something we would announce, but it’s not something we would try to hide,” Ms. Florman said. “Frankly, it would never have occurred to me to announce it. The fact they were forced to perform to tape because of the weather did not seem relevant, nor would we want to draw attention away from what we believed the news is, that we were having a peaceful transition of power from one administration to the next.”
Labels: inauguration, utter horseshit, wingnuttia
for instruments of the quality and value that ma and perlman were playing the weather dictated that they not be exposed. trying to do the intricate fingerings, and to get a sense of full stops on the strings from frozen fingers. i think that the producers made a correct call.
this wasn't some kind of ashley simpson bullshit. there were no studio tricks. they did what they needed to do to give the show that great sound.
of course, as soon as they are done with their hissy fits over "obama isn't really the president because the oath was flubbed, they later redid it without the bible..." they will likely jump all over this.
it's not a big deal. they did it so that they could be true to their sound.
Maybe they should play it again, just to make it official ;-)