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Arashi Lilith

Putting Down The Viola And Picking Up My Violin Again (or, public performance requires oxygen traveling to the brain, my dear)

July 15, 2012 at 7:21 AM

Sooo... I had to quit the orchestra because I worried for my shoulder. The viola isn't too big really, but holding it up was too new and difficult for my weak shoulder muscles. I need to lift some weights once I'm back to normal, that should do the trick. For now it's staying at a friend's so I won't be tempted to say hello to it until I have lifted for 3 months. However, all the people using vibrato seems to have given my wrist the urge to join in. I went from 0 to 60 in two weeks and now I can vibrate on my scales! Yipee!

However, the viola playing helped my violin playing in some really amazing ways. I have become more conscious of every move, breath, pressure on the bow and strings, everything! It goes to show, if something is too hard do something more difficult and soon what you were doing before will be easy. At least, that's how I've done things, it seems.

For example, today, for my boyfriend's graduation party, I decided to put on a recital of the things I had been working on; namely "A Cure?" by Emilie Autumn (the piece I've been working on for over a year), and singing Gloomy Sunday. My boyfriend's cousin was in attendance, along with the smallest, most awesome guitar imaginable (for I find guitars too freaking huge to play normally). Guided by his perfect pitch and some drilling, he managed to come up with an amazing accompaniment in place of the usual harpsichord, and the piece was soon performance ready. The best part? I hardly messed up at all!

I blame the viola for this entirely. My bow pressure was much more controlled (though my hand kept slipping up the bow as my viola grip is pretty high). My fingers quickly listened when I told them to ease up on the pressure. The fingering of the notes was more fluid and natural, so quick and effortless I could hardly believe it. Because of viola I feel ready to tackle the absolutely diabolical lightning-fast 16th note breakdown that is the climax of "A Cure?". Heck, even my sightreading decided to improve (though now I get the issue of "Is the middle line B or C I forget AAAGH!" a little bit).

Preparing to perform with someone else also taught me how to breathe and get over my nerves. My hands shake if I forget to breathe and it's just so easy for a piece to take your breath away on way too many levels. One must breathe with the notes, how on earth did that not register before?! Also, thinking is bad, unless it is exactly what I am doing or am about to do in exactly 1-2 seconds. Also, my thumb likes to deathgrip out of nerves and my palms sweat. All of this was dealt with quite nicely with said boyfriend's cousin because he was a person I rarely see or talk to, simulating the audience minus the judgement since he was learning too, on a guitar he didn't play much at that. It was great to work with someone who is both a great musician with perfect pitch and willing to put of with my beginner-with-intonation-and-all without getting mad or impatient as I always fear. I messed up a bunch but he just learned with me and let me get it right, and that was really cool and just plain nice.

Well I would practice but it's past midnight so.. Bad idea. However, I'm looking forward to a 4-hour double-lesson with my music mentor on Friday, so practice I shall when the sun shines again!

From Skye Taylor
Posted on July 18, 2012 at 4:12 PM
Be careful with Gloomy Sunday, that song supposedly made a bunch of people commit suicide.
From Arashi Lilith
Posted on July 21, 2012 at 5:01 AM
Pure press hype, my dear. Why else would it be so popular?

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