I remember many years ago asking my mentor prof Japie Human in Bloemfontein what his worst experience during a concert had been, hoping to hear about the stuff nightmares are made of.
He started laughing and said that he frequently performed for live raio broadcasts and one particular day the recording/broadcast took place in the newly built studios of the South African Broadcasting Corporation in Bloemfontein. The building was not fully completed and he rehearsed on the piano in the morning and left to eat and rest.
When he returned at dusk the piano was in dismal shape with the keys not wanting lift back up after being depressed. He had 3 minutes before the broadcast started and realised if could lift some of the keys manually it would play again. My worst nightmare. The broadcast lasted 20 minutes and and it was apparently a disaster which is understandable.
The reason for the piano’s sticking action was only discovered after the recording when the production assistant’s 3 year old son came into the studio with hand full of building sand from outside. Upon asking what he was doing he said he wanted to continue making the sand disappear by releasing it on the keys and watching it run through. The whole under side of the keyboard was full of building sand.
In November I will perform in my very first live radio broadcast in a special Gershwin production called Rhapsody in Gershwin with singers Musanete and Corlea and my very own and brand new Boogie Woogie Big Band. Tune in to RSG on 100-103FM on 15 November at 15:00 and pray that no sand makes its way into the studio.