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Alan Day

Glitter

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I wrote some time ago about the conditions we have to play in and we had a big discussion on Smoking,I would like to continue that discussion regarding some of the possible hazards we play in.Barn Dances spring to mind,when a farmer makes a barn available for the village local Barn Dance.Straw bails are put around the perimeter of the barn for people to sit on,a bar (Trestle table) is put in one corner and that is where we take over.Firstly the straw or hay is highly flammable, one lighted match and we all go up.Secondly when the dancers begin ,up goes the dust,the floors are never swept properly so after one dance it is almost impossible to see across the barn length.I have had many a sore throat from this type of event.

The more recent thing that worries me is glitter.I first noticed this at my house last Christmas (not this one), for a present someone was given powder with glitter in.Within seconds of that powder being applied I noticed in the spot lights thousands of tiny glittering coloured metallic particals.Once you notice this, you see it everywhere and in particular at dances,weddings and parties.We are deep breathing in this stuff is it safe? Young girls receive this at a very early age as a plaything (early make up). I just wonder if anyone has checked this out.

Al

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Al, it's bad...very bad.

 

For a season I was with a traveling opera company that worked small towns all over the the US. Some wonderful old halls that progress forgot, la, blah, la. Anyway, they were all dust and who-else-knows-what traps. First thing we would do after load-in (all wearing surgical masks) was to spray down the stage area with a gardners atomizer. This company learned the hard way years before that you would have singers with all sorts of vocal problems in these old dust traps.

 

I know it's like Big Brother watching, but I'm very happy here in Massachusetts as they have banned smoking in restaurants. My weekly holy-never-to-be-messed-with seisuin is now a joy. My eyes don't burn and I can sing without my throat feeling like raw meat by evenings end. Our smokers slip out on the porch from time to time. I go home smelling only of a good pint and my voice has not dropped to bass the next morning.

 

This buisness of the glitter, very scarry. The barn well...takin' yer life in yer own hands. What does all that dust do to the inards of a 'tina? ;)

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This buisness of the glitter, very scarry.

Mark, I know (do I?) you meant "scary", but when thinking of lungs your "scarry" typo is too true to be good. :o

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Yes, you did know, but that scarry is pretty good too. Makes my lungs hurt to think of it :( .

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Australia is becoming a very non-smoker friendly nation, as far as legislation goes. Many state governments have passed legislation that bans smoking in most restaurants.

 

From 1 January 2005, under the new laws in Queensland, smoking will be banned:

on all patrolled beaches;

within 10 metres of children’s playgrounds;

while standing within four metres of all building entrances; and

at all sporting venues administered by the Major Sports Facility Authority

 

In addition from 1 July 2006 smoking will be banned:

indoor areas of liquor licensed premises; and

in all outdoor areas, where food or beverages are served.

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We once played a barn dance in a large shed with a new concrete floor. Apart from being a lousy dance surface, everything - instruments, PA desk, (lung linings?) was coated with a fine grey powder. Not very pleasant.

 

I've sometimes wondered about playing in places that are unlined but have fiberglass batts insulation installed. The manufacturers claim those little glass particles that are shed are harmless, but I'm not wholly convinced.

 

We've also had problems with hay bales - especially some that had got damp and mouldy. Almost immediately the fiddler players face swelled up with hay fever. The same thing happened when someone decided to decorate the stage area with sprigs of pretty yellow, pollen-laden, gorse flowers!

 

New Zealand, too, has just banned smoking in bars and restaurants. Life has gone on as usual (in spite of dire predictions of doom and desolation) but I've heard of no noticeable drop in customers or sales, and very happy reports from people who play sessions in bars!

 

Cheers,

 

Bill

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Yes, the orchestras I have worked with have banned scent of any kind and recently floral arrangements on stage as well (a bass friend of mine will refuse to walk on stage if there is any such decoration present because this throat swells shut).

 

Little off topic but...the barn dances. I used to play for the Apple Chill Cloggers. Once a year they would give themselves a party in a large old farm house one of the members owned. Oh the dancing was wonderful and insane. I had no problem with the wood floors bouncing up and down (I wasn't holding the mortgage), but when the circular sway started...time to load up the box and scat. Poor old house. I'm sure it must be done in by now. Concrete floors indeed. Barbarity!

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I forgot to mention that two of my reeds jammed at one of these Barn Dances and were small particles of straw.

One dance we actually played in the hay loft with the dancers below,but to gain access we had to walk up a rickety wooden ladder with all our equipment,mikes stands instruments etc.Great when we were up there,dodgy coming down.

Al :o

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