July 2004

July 31, 2004 08:28

My husband and I got up at 4 in the morning to go to the fitness room at our apartments. We are going to make a usual habit of this....I have been spending the last few hours listening to music and figuring out how to load an IPod. Michael got a new one and I can use his old one....ID3 tags were never important to me before....Anyhow. I also tried to wash my car in the rain. What is wrong with me? Brown striped car after all that work. Well. I'm going to take a nap until 12 noon and then practice. I heard Henryk Szeryng play a Bach mvt. that I worked on last year and I'm going to be devilish and play that first before working on Beethoven. I want to get the second movement good enough to record it. I have someone I give recordings to once a week and she is pretty honest about what sucks and when the next week is better. I try to put something different on it every time. Even if it is just the first two pages of the first movement. Or the Prelude. Or only the cadenza. It makes my try to polish every section instead of just running through it while my brain is in la la land. More later. I haven't checked the discussion boards in a while. I must do that later. I blame it on the new oil I'm wearing. Patchouli. I used to wear it every day and everything I owned was saturated with the smell. I got a tiny bottle this time and it was pretty expensive, so I'm trying to be a good girl this time and only use a teensy weensy droplet per day. I don't want to knock people over or scare them away. It does make me nostalgic for my undergraduate days, though. In a way. In other ways, I'd never for the life of me go back there. It would be counterproductive. Unless I didn't care about anything except practicing 8 hours a day. I'm lucky to get three in these days. Day before yesterday, I coudln't read the music. You know how after you learn a piece, you use the music mainly for the shape of the line and you know where to put your fingers? The shapes made no sense to my brain and my fingers were messing up and then everything got backwards and I coudln't read a note. So I spend the whole time sight reading etudes and perfecting scales. Those are pretty straight forward. They go up. They come down. THey arpeggiate up, they arpeggiate down. Thirds. Sixths. Octaves. You can spend a whole afternoon doing that...thank God. Helped my self esteem that I didnt' just throw my violin in the dumpster and hope someone would throw a couch on top of it. He he.
-Jennifer

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July 27, 2004 10:16

Oh what an amazing last few days I have had. In the wee small hours of the night I have been composing string quartets from dream snippets. Then in the mornings I record the parts (the cello part on viola for now...until school starts and I can get a cello back). This takes a few hours of playing and a few hours of getting the settings and volumes right etc. It is forcing me to learn to read alto clef faster, since it is as stands, a quartet for two violins and two violas. I wish I had a better viola. I am using a school instrument for the summer while no one needs it for strings class. Don't tell anyone I have it. I'm so bad. Anyhow. Then I rest and read or nap or run around like a chicken with my head cut off doing a million things. Then in the evening I practice my regular music, culminating with a performance of something for my husband. He manages to sit through them, even though sometimes most of the time, I play horribly. I get so nervous playing for him because he is so critical. Though he isn't a practicing musician, he knows more about music than I or most of my peers do. I mean, the guy took greuling theory courses at the school of music for FUN. I would call him a musicologist and critic without a degree. ANYhow. It is good for me to scratch away out of tune and shaking and paralyzed with insecurity once a day. Good for the soul. I'm getting better at it. Well. If anyone wants to hear my latest quartet, I have the fugue and the adagio on my website:
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/9/coveandberammusic.htm
Feedback would be great.
jennifer_47336@hotmail.com

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July 23, 2004 16:06

I have decided that instead of doing scales, etudes, shiftwork, recital pieces, and anything else, like working note to note with a tuner....instead of doing a little of each every day, I'm going to totally devote one day to each thing, with a major goal for every week. With the exception of the technical things that I need to work on for the movement or section I've decided to work on, like 20 minutes of EM in the Flesh for the Bach prelude n' company....or slow shifts with the tuner for the Beethoven. Double stop excercises in DM for the cadenza. It helps me focus to have goals like that and then I might feel more prepared when school starts, because everything will have had its moment....after awhile I'll go back to doing it all a litte each day so that I don't loose what I've learned. Well, that's all for today. Feeling driven. Motivated. Look out world!
-Jennifer

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July 21, 2004 19:02

Recording the Bach has become somewhat of an obsession with me of late. If you can call two days and a pending weekend "of late". I record it and save it and listen to it and if one little thing sounds out of tune or bad or wimpy or crunchy or rushed or.....then I do it again. I turn the air off because it makes for a lot of background noise, so I am usually sweating like a pig. I have to be careful about that because I have come dangerously close to destroying my instrument due to the acidity of my sweat. I have, get this, lamination where you touch in positions. That has solved the warping problem, but all the varnish has come off of the top and I'm now eating away at the wood. I've been told that it isn't a big deal because of where it is, but...hm. Anyway. So I still don't have a single movement recorded to my liking. It seems to get worse and worse, though I'm probably getting more and more critical, which is a plus. As I'm doing this, in the back of my mind, it occurs to me that I have become terrified of playing in public. I don't feel ready...my nerves don't feel ready. So I'm thinking of cancelling my Orchestral engagements until after fall semester. That way I can just focus on the stress of graduating. My recital mostly. And all the little performances that lead up to that. And the school orchestra and my assistantship....AHHHHHHHHH!!!!
-Jennifer

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July 20, 2004 18:58

I made a recording of myself playing some Bach and the third movement of the Beethoven (no piano) and GAVE IT TO SOMEONE to listen to along with some of my "songs" on it. Well, needless to say, right after I gave it to her I went home and listened to it and cringed. Then, I saw her today, and she asked me about intonation and such. Whether it is frustrating when I hear myself out of tune and maybe why I play out of tune. She said there were passages that I really nailed and then some that were...not quite there. I assume she was referring to the Beethoven. Then...get this...I found out that before her current profession (from which she got a PHd from Yale at) she played violin and viola. I felt like a squid was churning through me when I got home and consequently set to work re-recording the Bach. I want to get it down, and sounding much better, by Thursday so that I can give her another CD to redeem myself. Actually all this is to give myself some peace. Do I feel peacefull after slaving away for hours, sweating, playing the same little Bach pieces over and over? Hm. Not really. I think I drive everyone around me nuts. Along with myself! He he.
p.s. Buri, I tried to reply to your email, but kept getting it returned?

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July 19, 2004 10:02

It truly is going to be a remarkable day. I'm going to make sure of it...pretend that I am all-powerful and all-positive. He he. If I start practicing now and don't get lazy, I should be able to get almost four hours in. It has been awhile since I've practiced for that kind of stretch, so I'll have to be careful about not hurting myself, but I'm excited about practicing today! Maybe I'm getting some of my obsessively driven self back. 'Tis a good thing. For me, at least. I can't say about the rest of the world....
Say, where did Buri go? Or have I just missed him somehow on the discussion boards?
-Jennifer

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July 17, 2004 20:15

Lately I have been very conscious of my bow arm/hold/changes. It seems that in my awareness of the movements I use, they have become jagged, or confused. I realized, for instance, that my wrist is not as flexible as I thought. I hardly move my fingers/hand at all when I change bow at the frog. I use my arm, however, my shoulder stays down. My fingers get used when I do fast bows closer to the middle or tip. The faster the bow, the more flexible I am. But my core bow change seems stiff. But it works? And my shoulder isn't stiff or moving...so I don't know. When I try to loosen it up, everything gets clunky and uncomfortable. I wonder if I'm doing a bad thing by trying to analyze it all. My playing has gotten worse because I can't stop noticing how everything is moving. GRR. The result of not having a teacher at the moment, I suppose. Anyhow. I'm sure that is all very interesting....
I think I'm a hopeless music dork. Oh, and I've been reading about a book a day. Those NYT bestsellers that you get at the supermarket. I'm hopeless!
-Jennifer

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July 16, 2004 19:09

I have decided that I am terrified of my recital in November and my exams, therefore I am so entirely stressed out that I can't practice well. Deep down I don't think I can do it, so it is depressing to practice. Knowing that, I have to talk myself into believing that it is possible, that if I fail the world will not come to a grinding halt. It doesn't mean that I'm not worthy of playing the violin. I have to RELAX. In many ways. I am practicing, but not my usual hours. Anyway. That is what I have determined the cause to be. It is affecting every area of my life. And every area of my life, in turn, makes me totally high strung and on edge about my playing. I always wonder, second guess, and doubt my ability to handle life and playing the violin. So naturally I'm terrified of a graduate recital as hard as the one I'm doing. I've always felt behind, and I let that push me. Propell me forward. I can't let it depress me. Or I'll get nowhere. Hmmm. Musings of today. I played the Bach Partita no. 3 all the way through twice, and each time it came out to exactly 20 min. So at least there is some consistancy somewhere!
-Jennifer

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July 15, 2004 18:26

I just tried to play the Beethoven from start to finish (the concerto). Oh my God, I don't know how I'm going to be able to perform the whole thing, after playing a complete partita. I'll just fall down on the stage in exhaustion somewhere in the middle of the end of the second movement. Did Beethoven think we were athletes or something???!!! I'm going to have to work up my stamina. I've not been practicing like I usually do. I usually play between 4-6 hours a day. This summer I've been playing an hour, hour and a half. At least it has been every day. Some days I have to force myself, watching every minute go by and others I'm back to myself where the time just flies by as I work on something. I guess we all have our ebb and flows. This summer is an ebb! It was bound to happen sometime, but November isn't so very far away.....
-Jennifer

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July 12, 2004 03:32

Hmm. it is 5:30 in the morning and I'm still up from yesterday. I went to my Grandparents' house to get away from my life for a few days. I had to take a break from my violin, too....something I have never done. I was thinking of quitting!!! That really scared me. Glad to say that after a few days of not playing, I missed it emmensely and I think that I will be overjoyed to play this-afternoon when I'm done with the days' activities. I sure hope so. For the last month, each minute of practicing has been agonizing. Well, most of it. I had a few generous moments. Usually I love to practice. Anyhow. I'm glad to be back to my computer as well:) Howdy to all.
-Jennifer

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July 4, 2004 09:31

It has been awhile since I've been on violinist.com. Or at least it feels like it. This morning I got up and jogged until my lungs felt like they were caving in. I think I got about ten minutes under my feet...sad when I used to run for hours. Sort of like my practicing. I did my scales and etudes this morning and then decided to take a break and resume this afternoon. Michael and I made carrot juice in our juicer for breakfast/lunch. You would not believe how many carrots it takes for one glass of juice!!! It really is amazing. Yum. Well, that is what is going on in Jenniferland this morning...
-Jennifer

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