Nude musicians: less hot than it soundsHumour
You may have heard about the weird ad posted on Craigslist, calling for a “naked female cellist” to play for a wedding at a nudist resort in Georgia. The poster insists he/she is serious, paying “serious money” of “500 or more”, and that they prefer the “St Sean concerto” (which can only (?) translate to the Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto).
The whole thing makes sense in the context of a nudist-resort-wedding, and since the cello is an inherently sexy instrument, it’s a decent combo of music and birthday suits. The only other option, really, is an acoustic guitar, played from atop a high stool. Like Jenny, in that one scene in Forrest Gump:
Judge if you must, but the whole image of a naked cellist playing a wedding gig had us thinking about the realities of nude music-making. Upon further consideration, the idea may be better in fantasy than in reality.
Just picture your average piano recital, except the pianist is naked. That means that you’re looking at a sideways angle of a seated person, arms extended forward. Eek. First of all, even with the best piano-bench posture, sitting doesn’t do our most natural of bodies quite the justice that a confident stance does. And no one wants to see the unfiltered actions of “piano bum”. Plus, a pianist’s arms aren’t allowing for the lovely “shoulders back and down” pose; instead, they’re aiming forward.
Add to that the tendency for pianists to lean slightly forward, and you’ve got a recipe for squishiness and for the body to be a bit hangy-downy (to quote one Eddie Izzard).
Assuming we’re talking about a solo violinist, at least these players are standing up. But still, the head is cocked downward onto the chinrest, and while the arms are nicely up at about roughly shoulder-height, the right arm crosses the body just enough to pull in the shoulders and emphasize the vertical inevitabilities of the human chest.
Plus, can we talk about flapping triceps?
Naked wind instruments & singers
There’s less flapping involved with flutes, trumpets, and singers, sure. But the breathing…it’s serious stuff. We know a lovely soprano who was asked to sing Zerbinetta (Ariadne auf Naxos) in hot pants and a bra; she told us that she was always sure to face the audience square on any time she had a big phrase to deal with. Why? Because she didn’t want to look like a puffer fish from the side.
With brass instruments and double reeds, there’s an added risk. All that air pressure and controlled diaphragms - remember that episode of Seinfeld when Jerry dates a nudist woman, who at one point attempts to open a jar of pickles? Yeah.
Naked percussion & drums
A double whammy, this one. If it’s a drumset we’re talking about, then there’s the sitting factor, plus all the shaking of limbs. That’s a jiggly combo, right there.
If we’re talking orchestra percussionists, the postures aren’t much better. For the xylophones and marimbas, there’s the slight lean forward to better see the music, plus some flailing of arms, potentially aiming for perilous tremolos. Timpanists do the same, but with arms awkwardly outstretched to the side, and they’re known for lightning-fast shifts from one timpani to another, meaning there are swift sideways motions added to the mix. And bass drum players? Maybe hugging the drum like a koala bear clinging to a tree, one leg perched up on the drum stand, and one arm reaching forward? Yikes.