I had a really interesting rush of emotions towards my violin and music when I woke up an hour too early this morning. It's been a few months now since I've taken a break from the violin - I have admittedly been playing it much, much less ever since I left Augustana, but because I'm not in any ensembles to focus on composing, I've been not really thinking about my love of music very much, opting to do the same old thing I've been doing for breaks (though I'm still of course going to concerts - I have the UIUC Symphony Orchestra playing this Sunday, and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra on November 17th and Illinois Modern Music Ensemble premiering some of my colleagues' works on November 20th!). And that's a shame, because I still love playing my violin when I find the time to do it now, even if just for fun. Basically, I've been starting to really want to play my violin way more - block out time in my schedule to go to a practice room with my violin and iPad, look up a piece on IMSLP, and just sightread. For example, yesterday morning I read through Mozart's charming Violin Sonata in G Major, and fell in love all over again with Grieg's Holberg Suite, playing the first violin part (I played the second violin part in 2013 with my high school string orchestra, and remember printing the Air in the piano version to play too). Even though I'm not actively practicing anything, getting all these many styles of violin music to just try out and listen to and enjoy not only makes me incredibly happy and excited about music, but also helpful as a composer. (TwoSet Violin's "What Year Was It Composed?" game they did in a video today made me so happy to hear all these contrasting styles of music that there have been.) Also a throwback to Music History class. :)
So yeah, bit of a random ramble, I know, but the point is I'm excited to really start my mornings looking up a piece of music as I used to do, and research different composers even on Wikipedia or checking out books on various music (and some non-music, like the Stephen Hawking book I'm reading right now) topics, just to be curious and excited about music again, what I'm here at UIUC to study, and all of that - just as I was back in high school! Even though I'm focusing on my composing, I hope I'll find time for the violin and listening to music too alongside all the other ways I give myself breaks. I might pick out a piece to actually learn, and maybe in a future semester I'll join the Illinois Modern Music Ensemble, but for now I'm just going to lay low and enjoy the violin in my life for fun, enjoy hearing it on-stage, in videos, and in my favorite soundtracks, and we'll go from there!
Sorry this was a bit more personal, but I just wanted to mark it on this blog so in the future, maybe at the end of the year, I can track some of this excitement and see how it has affected my musical life going into the New Year!Tweet
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