In the past few weeks I've really noticed and been aware of everything in my playing more. Every scratch or squeak, the kind of tone quality, how exactly I need to draw the bow to create a certain kind of seamlessness to a phrase. I've found it really exciting, but also I'm getting very picky of myself too. I feel like a whole new player though in the past few weeks. Suddenly things are starting to come together more then they ever have, and all the things I've been working hard to overcome for so long are starting to finally click! It's a wonderful feeling!
Well, I still have a couple of places that might be possibilities for summer music things, that are affordable. And I'll do what I can to make that happen, but hopefully just continue to grow in my musical growth more then anything.
I'd really like to get back into doing more compositions, and for different instrumentations.I haven't done enough composing lately. I sat down the other day and starting writing a four voice choral work, after being inspired by a 40 voice motet by Thomas Tallis. The work, Spem in alium, just blew me away! How can someone have so much genious to know how to write a 40 part work, and keep all the parts working together well. It really amazes me, how a composer from the 1500's can teach me so much, just by hearing one of his pieces.
I found a quote by Pierre Boulez describing his thoughts on music, and I thought it to be a really great quote:
I need to get back to doing something constructive here!
Onto a more violinistic topic though! I've been really enjoying practicing the past few days! I think I may have overdone it a bit one day, as my left arm was quite sore, but I've accomplished a lot! All my new repertoire is a great deal of fun. I think I'm enjoying the Suite Italienne by Stravinsky the most so far, as it's a real challenge, and it's just a really beautiful, fun work to play! I'm warming up to my Mozart concerto, definetly not my favorite piece, but it's nice, and enjoyable to play, and work on. My other repertoire is great as well! Beethoven, Paganini, Eckhardt-Gramatte, Vitali, and more!
It's been hard, but enjoyable work getting all my concert group repertoire ready for a local competition in a couple of weeks. I'm hoping I have the stamina to get through the entire concert group by memory. It's going to be a good learning experience for me, and a really good chance to get some newer repertoire of mine performed! I'm also at one point going to be performing my own solo Suite, or part of it, rather, in the competition in a composition catergory, which should be interesting! I've performed it once before back in the fall, but have done some editing things since then. I hope I get some good feedback on the work!
Well I should get back to the practice room!
It's been an amazing year musically, and some great opportunities have opened up for me. To look at my instrument, and pick it up, and play each day (even technique!) is a great joy. It's amazing the effect it has upon me when I play. I always feel refreshed after a good practice session, and find it easier to again concentrate on other things.
Since my last blog entry I have played with various orchestras as a mentor student, which has been and continues to be a great learning experience for me. I've attended my first summer music camp, where I got to do chamber music like I'd never done it before, and most recently got to solo in Dvorak's F minor Romance for violin and orchestra. What an amazing experience. I'm not a person who really gets nervous anymore, I've performed so much, but I was a little nervous right before I had to play, once the orchestra started, it was so strange, this overwhelming sense of calm and peace just came over me, and it was almost as if time had frozen while I was playing. It was over in an instant, yet it seemed to go on forever. I look back on it now, thinking, can that really be? Did I really actually play it three times? Was I really that lucky? Those concerts for me were also a big deal for me, because I got to conduct a work I wrote for woodwinds and strings, performed by the orchestra. It seems so surreal now.
Now I'm getting ready for a music festival where I will be performing Vitali's Ciaccona, Eckhardt-Gramatte's 3rd Caprice for solo violin, and the opening movement to a Suite that I wrote for unaccompanied violin. I'm quite excited about it. Especially to get feedback on my composition, and see if people like it or not. I think, and have been told, that you can hear a bit of my Bach and Ysaye influence in the work. (I would hope so, it was hearing an Ysaye sonata performed, and then listening, and practicing Bach that same day that got me to attempt to write this piece)
Composition has been an amazing release for me this past year. I can't nessecarily play my violin everywhere I am, at any moment, even if it's along, but I can have pencil and paper and write something down. It's been great fun to try out new, different possible techniques you use in a piece, and to use many of the ones already known to make the piece it's own, and hopefully, make it a more effective piece that communicates the message that you want it to.
Well here is an extremely breif update on me!
Kelsey Zachary is from Vancouver, Canada. Biography
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