What scares you?
All this Halloween day long, I haven't felt terribly scared. Halloween is a U.S. holiday where kids dress up and troll the neighborhood at night for candy and a good scare.
I made chili and cornbread, helped 20 third graders decorate tiny pumpkins and make caramel apples. I helped my kids assemble their costumes: Indiana Jones for the boy and something like this for the girl. We walked the neighborhood, which included some gruesome displays: tombstones with skeletons emerging beneath; giant, glowing purple spiders crawling up walls, and by far the worst: a house with BOTH McCain and Obama signs in their yard, and with both presidential candidates standing right out front, giving candy. (Also they were giving Irish whiskey and white wine to parents, but I didn't partake.)
Are you scared yet?
So I thought I would make up a list of scenarios that VIOLINISTS would find scary. You can enhance these, too, in the comment section below. Use your imagination, that's important for fear. What would be THE most scary violin situation you can devise?
This week I played a symphony concert with a mariachi band and also saw Mark O'Connor in concert, thus my mind is on....crossover!
Most of us have a certain area of specialty, I'd say mine is in classical music. But the world is wide for us fiddle players, full of different genres. The violin, so close to the human voice, speaks many languages: classical, fiddle, jazz, rock, Indian....the list goes on. If you were given a week to "cross over" and immerse yourself in a different genre of music, which would you choose? And we certainly aren't all starting from European classical, though many of us are. For some "classical" would be a crossover.
For me....well, I'll see what you say first! And tell us about your choice. Maybe sometime you'll really do it!
I would love to keep my violin in a curvy, light, fitted case. They are so stylin', so easy to stash, so comfy to carry.
And yet, my fiddle and I come with a lot of baggage. Namely it's the shoulder rest, and don't you squeeky shoulder rest detractors dare make this about the moral and sonic deficiencies of shoulder rests; 78 percent of violinists on this site use them! If you use a shoulder rest, you need to bring it with you. While you can find a way to snuggle your Kun next to your scroll in a fitted case, I cringe at the idea of anything metal anywhere near my fiddle's 200-year-old wood.
When I was a child, I actually sewed myself a shoulder-rest pouch, which dangled from the handle of my fitted case. Now, you can even purchase such things, though the detachable pouch always felt like a somewhat unreliable solution for me personally. As soon as possible, I begged Santa Claus for an oblong case that would accommodate my gear. I still carry a tank of a case: an oblong Mufasia with a nice big pocket to house my Willy Wolf. It's gorgeous, just big. And heavy. And clumsy. I love it actually.
This is not the only solution. My second violin goes in a fitted case, and I put it in a rather thick, cloth bag to keep the metal from the wood. I'm confident that all of you have found other solutions, and that you have other reasons for preferring one shape over another.
Here I ask you which you PREFER; interpret that as you like. And tell us your solutions below, as well as if you have found some new way for carrying fiddles!
You've been busted for busking. The judge has sentenced you to 20 hours of aural torture for your crime: polluting the airways with your noise. Which would be the worst possible punishment?
This summer I played more pops concerts than I have in a long time, and it got me thinking: which is better, a pops or a classical concert?
I'll tell you what I liked about the pops concert: I liked the fact that my children could sit through it easily, that my students wanted to go, and that my non-musical friends attended these concerts with enthusiasm. I enjoyed the performance aspect of it: that our show entertained people.
But truth be told, I'd rather play a classical concert, and I'd rather watch one, too. The reward is harder won, but I feel it is greater. I love a conductor delving deep into the details, I love a piece of music that delves deep into the psyche, I love counting like heck and playing a challenging part. I just plain love the music. Bernstein Serenade? I'm there. Mahler Six? Bring it on! Even in the audience, I'll sit at the edge of my chair the entire time.
Of course, I enjoy having a balance of both in life.
BUT, let's say that right at this moment, you had to choose between two gigs, or you had to choose between receiving tickets to two concerts. Which would you pick? And why?
Violinist.com editor Laurie Niles wraps up her coverage of the 2013 Starling-DeLay Symposium on Violin Studies, held at The Juilliard School in New York.
The Weekend Vote is from Pasadena, California. Biography
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