Wedding at Para Hevea, an equine boarding ranch in Molalla, Oregon. Fantastic setting complete with Tepee for the “Bride Tribe” and covered wagon for chefs preparing the meal. Also featured much appreciated shade in 94 degree weather. Great venue for an outdoor, western themed ceremony, plus I made anew four-footed friend.
Lovely 90+ degree day for a wedding, but the setting was scenic (Youngberg Hill Winery) and the people were wonderful! This couple had a unique request: they asked me to play along with the DJ for the processional. It went amazingly well! (The song: The City of Black and White by Mat Kearney) The DJ was great and the processional was perfection.
I was also asked to play a special song in the middle of the ceremony, another request that is not common, but one I wish would make a comeback. I loved that this couple had a song that had such significance to them that they wanted it included. Just as hearing a tune from the past brings back vivid memories from that time, marking this day with a song is insurance that every time that song is played, you will have an instant recall of your wedding. Music just has that kind of power. So consider putting music in the ceremony; add a meaningful hymn to honor the spiritual nature of your union, or a special song during the lighting of the union candle, or a devotional love song to each other.
6/30/18 – Setting up for a wedding at Oaks Pioneer Church, in the Sellwood neighborhood of Portland. I love playing at this church; the acoustics are absolutely amazing, and there is something magical about the light and lines of the building.
Acoustically the amp wasn’t necessary, but when I want to use my looper I have to play amplified. In instances where the acoustics of the room are so perfect, I turn the looper up to the volume of another cello, so it sounds like I’m playing acoustically with another person. Using an amp does not have to detract from the pure sound of the instrument, and I am careful to maintain the cello sound we all love, but just use the amp to fill out the volume.
People often have questions about whether to have me play acoustic cello or amplified, and I always recommend amplified whenever possible. An acoustic cello in a setting where the crowd is silently listening can be heard quite well, but add 10 or 15 people conversing over mixed drinks and the mellow sound of the cello disappears in the background. Playing indoors with an amp is an easy way to boost the sound so everyone can enjoy the music.
Outdoors is a place where having amplification is very important. Since there are no walls to hold the sound, it travels and fades away. With an amp the sound can be adjusted to travel far enough to reach the whole audience. I have a battery-option amplifier for places with no power source, and I use the tower PA in the picture for larger rooms and groups. So, when planning your event be sure to consider the following when considering acoustic vs. amplified: 1) Is amplification allowed, 2) Is there a place to plug in, 3) How many people will be at the event 4) How big is the room. If in doubt I am happy to offer some suggestions on what I think would be the best sound options for your event.