Wednesday, April 2, 2014

B is for BBBb tuba and Below

I love music. Big time. I think the only form of music I don’t really care for is Rap; I still believe it is music – although many think it’s just swearing, noise, and references to…erm…human body parts – I still believe it is a firmly set, cultural part of music history. I just don’t happen to care for it.

I started playing music when I was in the 6th grade, around 12 years old. I started playing the flute. When I was 13, my father bought me a piano! Oh, it is so beautiful. It is considered an upright studio baby grand and is made from rosewood. It was the most unique area of the shop where my father said I could choose from. I’ve never seen another like it. Anyhoo, when I started high school, I joined the marching band. I played my flute and marched my butt off the first year, then the other three years I was honored to be the Drum Major. So many wonderful memories…

But, I digress. Today’s random thought starting with the letter B is the BBBb tuba, better known as the subcontrabass tuba. The first tuba tuned to BBBb was designed by the inventor of the saxophone of all things, Adolphe Sax (1814-1894). The first two modern versions were built on the suggestion of John Philip Sousa – and if you know about marching bands, then you know all about him.

A tuba pitched to FFF was made around 1910, but two persons were needed to play it; one to operate the valves and one to blow into the mouthpiece. That guy probably needed a good set of lungs!

One big ass tuba yo
As for my movie selection, I choose Below. This is a great movie, and I had never heard of it when I bought it. It was released in 2002, was directed by David Twohy and stars Matthew Davis, Bruce Greenwood, Holt McCallany, and Olivia Williams. There is even a small part played brilliantly by Zach Galifianakis.

Here is a summary: After they rescue a trio of survivors that includes a nurse, Claire Page (Olivia Williams), from a British hospital ship sunk by the Nazis, the crew of the American submarine U.S.S. Tiger Shark comes to believe that their vessel is haunted. The unexpected death of their commander forces first officer Lt. Brice (Bruce Greenwood) to take command, trying to avoid a German destroyer on the hunt for his ship, while investigating the series of mysterious incidents that are terrifying his crew.

For some reason it doesn’t get super fabulous reviews, but I thought it was great. Submarines give me the heeby-jeebies anyway, and combine that with the fact that warships are after you and weird stuff is happening all around but you can't get off the sub...I can watch this movie again and again.

Well, that’s all for B!


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