January 2005

January 27, 2005 12:47

Contrary to popular belief, I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth. Instead, I have fallen victim to a spurt of post-holiday musician depression, when teachers and orchestras are sluggish in re-starting second-semester lessons and rehearsals.

Consequently, the past month or two has been fearfully unproductive, violinistically speaking. The only highlight was participating in a studio recital at the local university, playing Kol Nidrei. Never mind the fact that there were only twenty people in the audience: it was a fantastic opportunity to strut my stuff in a full-sized concert hall. There were the token bow trembles along with a couple of exciting moments where my pianist and I totally lost contact with each another, but on the whole, intonation was steady and the performance surprisingly good. I was even complimented by a couple of people (which statistically averaged out to be about half the audience), so I was happy.

While I was basking in the glory of my success, I had the idea of attempting to play a solo recital in spring. I needed something big and important to do for my independent study project at school, and I figured, what’s more impressive than a full-length solo recital? As of now, the program consists of Bach and Kreisler…some nice contrast without totally going over the deep end. I’m very excited about it. A wonderful chance for me to invite all my friends and acquaintances and perform without (that much) pressure or anxiety.

While I was practicing after Christmas, my Ging suddenly went out of tune one day - the whole groaning downward chromatic pitch thing. So I was cheerfully twisting the peg around when my fiddle rewarded me with a sudden boiiiing and a slap in the face. No more Ging. I stamped around a bit in frustration and then tried practicing on three strings, but sadly it didn’t work. There wasn’t the same connection; my gentlemanly genial violin was throwing a fit and refusing to cooperate with me. “You’ve let me go with awful strings for a couple of months now; one’s broke and dangling off my side; you don’t have any spares; why should I have to work with you? You’re so awful to me; you never pay any attention to me; I haven’t been polished in weeks; you used to be so careful with me; you don’t love me anymore…” Yadda yadda yadda, blah blah blah. It must sound silly to someone who doesn’t play a stringed instrument, but I swear, they do talk to you…and boy, was mine ever talking to me. As a revenge I emailed a couple of violin shops in Mineapolis and made appointments to try out some new instruments. Despite that, though, we’ve sort of made up…but he’s still holding a grudge, I can tell. Maybe some new strings will pacify our relationship.

A friend of mine recently sent me the 1946 movie Humoresque. I enjoyed it tremendously, and I highly recommend it to any violin-player!

My condolences to anyone affected by the Asian tsunami disaster. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

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