The continuation of our last week’s episode! Featuring tuba, percussion, violin, viola, cello, bass, and harp. 

Extreme thank yous to Liberty Broillet, Ryan Zwahlen, Lou DeMartino, Nicole Buetti, Leander Star, Katherine Evans, Michael Maier, JáTtik Clark, Gordon Rencher, Lucia Atkinson, Lindsay Bohl, Katherine Schultz, Jason Schooler, and Matthew Tutsky.

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Stay safe and stay weird!


Casey Bozell 0:11
Welcome friends to part two of instrumental personalities. I am your host, Casey Bozell, and if this happens to be your first episode of keep classical weird, I’d highly suggest listening to the episode directly before this, which is part one of the same collection of interviews. We’ve got the same 14 instrumentalists from last week and we’re going to keep winding our way through the orchestra. Starting today with the tuba.

Jason Schooler 0:38
Down to Earth, beer

Gordon Rencher 0:41
they know where the best beer is

Michael Maier 0:43
A tuba player’s going to be a good hang. But also they’d be like, really good person to have a beer with.

Ryan Zwahlen 0:48
Subtly sinister, you never hear from them. And then all of a sudden, they’ll like, I don’t know, crack the best joke. They probably also like brew their own beer.

Nicole Buetti 0:58
They’re fun. They’re like our buddies,

Leander Star 1:01
when you’re a sixth grader, and you’re choosing the tuba. Like, why? What’s your thinking

Louis DeMartino 1:06
when I think of tuba, I think that’s a good gig. Other than the fact that you got to drag that tuba around. That’s the gig you want in an orchestra. You’d never play and you get principal pay.

JáTtik Clark 1:17
Hello, my name is JáTtik Clark, and I play the tuba

Casey Bozell 1:20
What do you think other people think of when they picture tuba players?

JáTtik Clark 1:25
Oh, boy. Well, unfortunately, I think we sometimes are relegated to more of the you know, the joke section of the instrumentalists groupings. Unfortunately, I think probably I’ll start with this, I’ll say that I think the one thing that everybody thinks of is the massive amounts of wind and air that we have to move. So I mean, that doesn’t have a negative or positive connotation. I think they just all know it’s a lot of air. And often they’ll Puff the cheeks, which we shouldn’t do to make a great sound. But people will automatically think of that our music tends to be less complicated in terms of what we’re, well, it’s funny, I would say, when it comes to auditions, we’ve got the hardest road to hoe, as it were, because there’s so many of us that play at such a high that’s played such a high level. And there’s only one position per orchestra. I will say this is probably one of the hardest jobs to get. But in some ways, maybe one of the easiest jobs to maintain, because of what you’re generally asked to perform. The parts aren’t always very challenging. So, but again, to get to get to those positions, extremely, extremely challenging.

Casey Bozell 2:43
The next instrumentalist is a very unique orchestral position, mainly because they somehow have to know several instruments and be a specialist in all of them. percussion.

Matthew Tutsky 2:56
That’s a hard one, because they’re also different. Every percussionist I’ve met is different. Well, I think hoarder.

Katherine Schultz 3:03
likes to haul a lot of equipment.

Katherine Evans 3:04
And their strategic planners, I have no idea how they do it. And I’m thinking to myself, like it’s like synchronized swimming back there.

Michael Maier 3:11
pretty normal. But there’s like a dose of that kind of neurotic. oboe player. Like, you have to lock yourself in a room with 20 million instruments and learn them and just like be really into really complex stuff and just drilling it and stuff that like most people would be like, I don’t– I that would drive me crazy to practice that all day long.

Jason Schooler 3:32

Casey Bozell 3:33
in life and in playing?

Jason Schooler 3:35

Liberty Broillet 3:36
If you want a raucous party, you follow the percussionists. They’re going to have the best party.

Gordon Rencher 3:43
My name is Gordon rancher, and I play percussion.

Casey Bozell 3:46
When you think about what people picture when they picture a percussionist. Oh, good. You’re already giggling, okay.

Gordon Rencher 3:57
I’m already giggling because I imagine a picture knuckle dragging neanderthals that like to hit things and make a lot of noise.

Casey Bozell 4:06
Do you think you match that description at all?

Gordon Rencher 4:10
Absolutely not. But I think a lot of a lot of drummers and percussionists that I knew in the middle school in the high school era did but I think they get weeded out by the time they’re 20. And I think those of us that remain after college are usually pretty quiet and reserved and don’t like the limelight at all. On rare occasions when orchestra setup has caused me to be close to the conductor, I get a little twitchy. If I’m like within 10 or 15 feet of the front, it just feels like I’m in a foreign country.

Casey Bozell 4:51
Being a violinist myself. I was very curious about what people had to say about my instrument.

Ryan Zwahlen 5:00
I do sort of think violinists and flutist are sort of the biggest divas. And then you also have like 47,000 concertos,

JáTtik Clark 5:09
often the most ridiculous stuff to have to have to play and perform. And and they have my highest, you have my respect in that regard. They can do some amazing stuff.

Katherine Evans 5:18
Lots of notes.

Louis DeMartino 5:20
I think they work really hard. I think they could be catty,

Jason Schooler 5:23
High strung.

Michael Maier 5:24
kind of like high strung and no pun intended.

Casey Bozell 5:26
A little bit intended, though, right?

Lindsay Bohl 5:29
They’re really good at pretending they’re all friends. But actually, they’re not.

Gordon Rencher 5:33
It’s a collective. It’s a hive, it’s like a swarm of bees. And I’m not necessarily afraid of them. But I don’t want to get too close. And they’re, you know, they’re very close. They’re swarming all over each other and, and I’m just going to look at them from about 10 feet away and try not to make them angry.

Lucia Atkinson 5:57
I am Lucia Atkinson. And I play the violin. Violinists in particular, I think, sort of a combination between Boo Radley from to kill a Mockingbird, and like a Victorian ghost. And I think that it’s actually like, for a really good reason. Because I mean, we never see the light of day we spend most of our lives locked in a practice room. We don’t know what’s going on with the world, like this is very– I actually think that is fairly accurate. And I think that I can justify that with the fact that I have heard from multiple people who are trying to compliment me to say that I don’t look anything like a violinist, I think there is something to be said for all the instruments that are like forced into, you know, practicing their life away. And, for instance, for those of you who don’t know what a practice room looks like, at a music school, it’s essentially a very small dungeon. do you how do you feel when you see a rest that is more than eight bars?

Casey Bozell 6:56
I plan out how many sips of water I can take.

Lucia Atkinson 7:01
For me, I feel like it’s the best feeling for like eight bars. And then I start to wonder, you know what I’m doing with my life and like where we are and what happened to my counting because it was like doing great, but then suddenly, you know, I ran out of fingers and so I’m not really sure what’s going on. But I feel like for a tuba player like life is so different.

Casey Bozell 7:27
On to violists. Now this was fascinating. The Library of Viola jokes is fairly extensive, but so many other instrumentalists were quick to point out how much the viola is just like them.

Louis DeMartino 7:43
Viola. I love that instrument, I think it’s the most like the clarinet. So I particularly like it.

Leander Star 7:48
I love the viola. So Viola is obviously the French horn players of the strings.

Michael Maier 7:53
Pretty like the trombone, I think

Gordon Rencher 7:55
violas I think are the instruments that’s, that’s probably most like percussion,

Katherine Schultz 8:00
self deprecating, and possibly a little bit apologetic.

Lucia Atkinson 8:04
Love me a viola. Violists are like that dog that really loves their main hobbies just napping on the couch. And every time you try to get it interested in a walk, it just like puts one paw out into the rain. And then goes, “Oh, that feels like third position. That doesn’t feel right. I’m going back on the couch!”

Jason Schooler 8:25
Butt of jokes.

Matthew Tutsky 8:27
They’re very important. I don’t care what people say.

Lindsay Bohl 8:30
My name is Lindsay Bohl and I play the viola. I think nobody knows what that is most of the time unless they are an instrument and instrumentalists of musician. So usually when I encounter people, their opinion is either I play the violin, or it’s not even a stringed instrument. It’s like they just don’t even have an idea. Oh, is that the one with a tube that wraps around on the bell at the end like? I like nobody knows what that is. Yeah, I had a really great time at the airport one time where a security officer was like, super careful with my instrument. And then he was like, here’s your violin. And normally, I don’t say, I’m just like, yup, there’s my violin and I go away, because it’s not worth it. But for some reason, I felt like being honest that day. And I was like, Oh, actually, it’s a viola. And he was like, Oh, no, no, no, I think this is I I know, because because it’s big, and the violin’s bigger than the viola. And I was like, mmm… actually the other way around? And he’s like, Oh, no, no, I know this one. And I was just like, all right. See ya.

Casey Bozell 9:28
So he was letting you know, the violist with the viola in her hand. He was letting you know that he knew what he was talking about.

Lindsay Bohl 9:36
Yeah. Which maybe is fair. Maybe he knows more about Viola like he knows a lot about violists. We’re not known for being like, the smartest. I don’t know. I don’t know.

Casey Bozell 9:47
You got Viola-splained to really.

Lindsay Bohl 9:49
I got viola-splained to.

Casey Bozell 9:52
Cellists were not looked at the same way. Most instrumentalists figured they had pretty high self esteem and with good reason.

Matthew Tutsky 10:03
I’ve always had crushes on cellists. They’re like the dream boat heartthrob of the orchestra to me

Nicole Buetti 10:09
cellists are just sexy.

Louis DeMartino 10:11
It’s beautiful instrument. I love the cello. Like maybe it’s in third place for sexy instruments.

Liberty Broillet 10:17
I love cello players

Leander Star 10:18
cello players are attractive

Ryan Zwahlen 10:21
If I could choose again, definitely. I would play the cello

JáTtik Clark 10:24
probably if I were going to play a stringed instrument. For me probably the cello.

Katherine Schultz 10:30
My name is Katherine Schultz, and I play the cello. I think other people really love the cello. It’s it’s used in advertising all the time, ubiquitously, particularly with women playing it. And I can’t tell you how many people have come up to me and told me that they wish they played the cello and non musicians but also musicians, I have had tons of violinists Tell me if they could do it all over, they would play the cello. So naturally, I have to assume that it’s just the best instrument and everyone else thinks so too.

Casey Bozell 11:01
I was going to ask you, if you felt like you fit that archetype. But within the span of your question, you managed to answer that already.

Katherine Schultz 11:11
Well, if we’re talking about the sexy woman advertising, absolutely not. Like you’ll see an ad with and not overtly sexy, but like a beautiful woman with long hair and some long flowy thing and usually horrible posture and a bow hold that looks like a claw sitting there with a cello advertising, you know, like GE white light bulbs, or some kind of muted paint color, or espresso or I don’t know, all kinds of things.

Casey Bozell 11:41
I also noticed that when you did that you looked off into the distance. And I recognized that immediately. Like, that’s actually you’re absolutely right. Rounding out the bowed string instruments are the double basses.

Katherine Evans 11:57
Bassists are just cool. They’re really chill. Mostly, like very gentle kind people.

Lucia Atkinson 12:03
I feel like the basses are just happy to be there.

Nicole Buetti 12:06
They’re very cool and chill. They’re like the people you want to go hang out with.

Liberty Broillet 12:10
In general, I think the clowns have the string section in an orchestra, they tend to be goofy, and they tend to be on the way to their jazz gig.

Lindsay Bohl 12:19
Basses are like super fun and like to party. And if you want to go to a party, I would recommend going to bass party.

Michael Maier 12:28
anyone’s guess Really? Who knows? Who knows what’s going on over there? Generally, like the bass players I know are all really chill and really nice.

Leander Star 12:36
I mean, they could have been cello players, right? They could have gone that route. But they wanted things to be a little bit harder for themselves.

Jason Schooler 12:45
My name is Jason schooler, and I play the double bass.

Casey Bozell 12:49
So when people think of bassists, what do you think they think of?

Jason Schooler 12:53
I think they think of very easy going very calm, low key type of people.

Casey Bozell 13:04
Do you think you fall into that category yourself?

Jason Schooler 13:07
I very much fit into that category. And I don’t know, I think some people might think of like, when they think bass players, they think of jazz bass players. So they’re thinking like, I don’t know. Berets and cigarettes or fedoras and cigarettes? I don’t know. Cool, jazzy. hip. I don’t know. I’m not so hip myself, but I’m definitely easygoing.

Casey Bozell 13:28
Do you think you’re not so hip? Are you jazzy?

Jason Schooler 13:32

Casey Bozell 13:35
And finally, the harp. This particular image sparks some of the most specificity out of the interviewees.

Gordon Rencher 13:47
harpists perhaps think of themselves on another plane from the rest of us and have a unique sense of fashion,

Katherine Schultz 13:55
I guess I usually think of, of a woman and a flowing dress, with like long bell sleeves.

Leander Star 14:01
have a dress that they made, and it’s going to have cats on it. And there’s going to be one special cat that’s embroidered onto the front of the dress.

Nicole Buetti 14:12
They’re quirky and nice. I’ve never I’ve never met a harp player I didn’t like.

Katherine Schultz 14:16
fun and interesting and like a lot more complicated than it looks because of all those pedals. They have to come really early to rehearsal.

Lindsay Bohl 14:22
Harp, I think is my favorite. Harp players have this air of just being always very calm, even though their music is like super complicated, and they’re like whipping around those pedals.

Jason Schooler 14:34
high class.

Lucia Atkinson 14:35
I feel like harpists are just sort of fancy cellists. above reality, just a little bit, but they’re also like, like they’re so incredibly sweet. Almost across the board, I would say. But like if you go to their house, they probably have several sets of dishes that nobody else is quite good enough for.

Matthew Tutsky 14:56
My name is Matthew Tutsky and I play the harp.

Casey Bozell 14:59
What do you think? Other people think of when they picture a harpist,

Matthew Tutsky 15:02
ethereal, angelic. Just very elegant, I guess.

Casey Bozell 15:09
I love that. Do you? Do you feel like you fit that stereotype?

Matthew Tutsky 15:13
I don’t know, maybe. I think I’m very mystical person like I’m the older I get the more new agey I get. So I kind of fit the bill of like fairy boy harpist.

Casey Bozell 15:28
So that’s a different kind of ethereal, I guess. Yeah. So it’s like you’re like an offshoot?

Matthew Tutsky 15:36
I’m a tangent from that. Yes. That less religious, more fairies in a fairy tale. That’s me.

Casey Bozell 15:44
Still under the general umbrella of harp, sounds like Yes, yeah.

Matthew Tutsky 15:48
In the harp family umbrella. Yeah.

Casey Bozell 15:50
if you’ll indulge me in a little coda to this episode, I’d like to take a second and share a quick story. The tuba player in this episode who we met, JáTtik, talked with me for a while before I even press the record button. This clip is a good encapsulation of what he wanted to run down with me before we begin the interview.

JáTtik Clark 16:07
We’re all unique in our own ways, and it’s important to remember that and to champion that, and such but at the same time, I feel often with preconceived notions, we don’t allow individuals Well, we don’t allow those individuals to be able to express themselves stand on their own merit and evaluate them based on what they bring to the table, what they show you, you know, if you’re, if you’re going into any situation with an automatic sort of, I mean, we all do it as humans, you know, no one is perfect. But I think maybe we’d have a few less problems, especially now if people would just try to come in with a blank slate. And just a you know, I’m not going to read it. This or that, you know, a person’s name, what they may look like what they may play, where they may live, their age, you know, these types of things. And, you know, without being too serious about it, let me take at least a minute or just a moment to get to know that person for who they are.

Casey Bozell 17:08
Obviously, there are judgments made and things are assumed every day and all the time. But let me take a tiny moment to pat our collective industry on the back. Every single one of these instrumentalists that you heard, intertwined with our silly stereotypes they shared, talked about stories of love, friendship, pride and their colleagues, and had such warm and amazing things to say far too many to fit in any episode. And at risk of putting too fine a point on it here. Maybe we can view all our fellow humans in the same light. Now, we can’t undo biases overnight. But we can constantly remind ourselves that we’re all playing in the same global orchestra. And that’s our show for today. My deepest gratitude to all our instrumentalists whose contributions over these last two episodes were phenomenal. Liberty Broillet, Ryan Zwahlen, Lou DiMartino, Nicole Buetti, Leander Star, Katherine Evans, Michael Maier, JáTtik Clark, Gordon Rencher, Lucia Atkinson, Lindsay Bohl, Katherine Schultz, Jason Schooler and Matthew Tutsky. And with that, let’s cue the theme music that is composed by Thomas barber. Check him out at Web development support is provided by Tina at Keep classical weird is created and edited by me Casey Bozell, find us on Facebook, Instagram and Patreon. This is the final episode of our second set but fear not next Friday. You’ll have a trailer for all the exciting stuff look forward to in set three. Thanks so much for listening everyone. Stay safe. Stay weird.

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