April 2005

April 28, 2005 07:54

Hi guys. I ordered (paid money)...a cd for the first time in, well, YEARS as a treat for graduating. I have become accustomed to the full privaleges of being a grad. student. I used the system to check music from other libraries, our library, and of course I have public library cards for here and the surrounding counties. Add friends and teachers on top of that. Add peer to peer filesharing networks...and I have not had to actually buy music. I have over 3500 pieces of music on my computer of all differing styles and quality. Anyhow. So I wanted the Shosty 2 concerto. It is amazingly difficult to research and hear because it is grandstanded all the way by his first concerto. I ordered a cd that had both concertos on it...I am learning no.2. I guess I didn't look carefully enough. It said "Oistrakh and Tomasek". I assumed that was the soloist/conductor duo. Nope. I hope Tomasek isn't someone revered and especially not anywhere near my words because I have to say that I was really upset when I popped the CD in. I didn't care so much that it wasn't Oistrakh like I thought it would be. I was upset that he butchered the whole thing so badly. Mostly because there were bad flaws in his technique that grate on my nerves. You could hear a swell with every single bow change...you could hear all the shifts...it was live and unedited I am assuming because there were missed notes and the pizzicato were...um...approximated and had the worst tone and sometimes he missed the second 8th note making it seem like quarter notes. THere were passages that went too fast for him to play well and as a result you can't tell the notes...the fingers kind of blubber and on top of that, his bow is all crunchy. Now, I understand that there is a certain kind of stylistic aggressiveness to playing Shostakovich. But this wasn't it. And the held notes were sometimes very unsteady. And the vibrato was all the same speed. He used vibrato all the time. Plus, the recording quality isn't so hot. I remember now why I stopped spending money on cds. It is a risk and I'm so often dissappointed. Oh, and everytime there were double stop 16th passages, he took off like wildfire. Lots of instances where he was not with the orchestra. He'd get back on, but it seemed kind of like technical rubato and unintentional rushing. Well. I've complained enough about that. I've been up all night. With the rising of the sun I threw on my jogging clothes and went for a run. It was chilly and the dew was still out. I forgot how refreshing a morning run can be. I had to stop and walk a lot and when I got home, the cold air had made my stomach hurt. But it was worth it all the way!!! Time to get ready to go.
I might have a job with the state department of human services. I'm excited about that, though somewhat confused because that would mean that my main source of income would be nonmusically related. I'd still play in the symphonies on the weekend and nothing is stopping me from preparing recitals and doing all the same things. It is just that I am so gung ho about it instead of dissappointed like I kind of feel I should be???? Right now I think the prospect of not being poverty stricken and having a job that doesn't involve wearing a corporation t-shirt and taking people's orders is overshadowing my worries about what field pays for my comforts. Well.
Signing off,
Sals.
JW

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April 22, 2005 12:29

Well, I've pretty much decided not to do the audition on May 2nd. It is a hard decision, mostly because I want to feel as if I am working, doing something, earning my keep in this world and that is the way I know to do it. Music. But the raw fact of the matter is that I've not been able to practice like I needed to in order to whip these into shape. Besides, it takes me about a year to learn something solid, and I am of the opinion that excerpts are not to be taken lightly. I mean, I should know them like the back of my hand. At this point it is taking me longer than the allotted rests to find my place for the next passage, you know? The other reason is this recent flare up of health issues and the doctor appointments. Usually you have to maybe rearrange your school or work schedule for a doctor's appointment, but for the next month or two, I'm going to have so many appointments. It really is rediculous. I've got 12 prescriptions in my wallet. That, to me, is a sign that this might not be the best time. I don't want to be sick, I don't want to slop through the music. I'm trying to make myself believe this rationale and not think that I'm being a coward.
Other news...my teacher didn't get his job back. I mean, he didn't get tenure and he lost his appeal. I don't know the details and the politics in the department have been disheartening, turning people against each other...but now I guess it is final. It really broke my heart when he called me and told me the news and so canceled my lessons. NOt because he wasn't going to hear them (orchestra director has graciously agreed to hear them and tell me if they are ready or not and to help me with knowing the pitfalls of pressure and possibly wrong-nesses I didn't know about)...but he sounded so defeated. I saw this coming, but didn't realize how sad I'd be for him. I mean, I'm done there anyway. But I guess it is because I have been his main student and he has been more than just a teacher. For seven years he knew the ups and downs of my life. He watched me grow and fall. He was always there for me. He understands my playing for what it is. Now it seems like he is the one down and out and I want to return the care and consideration and I want to help, but there really isn't anything I can do. It is that helplessness that hurts the worst I guess. In any situation. I wonder what he will do next? He is an amazing player. I kind of hope he plays more. I wish him luck and good opporitunities and strength to rebound. I can't imagine what it is like to have to finish up the semester. Clean out the office. I guess everyone has to go through that at some point. As for me, I'm trying to decide what to do about a teacher. I don't have any money. So I guess that makes the decision for me. I need a job. Anyhow. I'm learning the Ciaconne now. And the Shostikovich concerto 2. Why is the sheet music so expensive everywhere I look? I've got a photocopy of the violin part to work on, but I need to own it at some point. Is it owned by Russia? Anyhow. I was listening to Ives's first sonata. Pretty cool stuff. I'm also recording all of my records onto the computer. Some of them are in such bad shape that I have to just give up on them, but I have a few gems that aren't all scratched. K. Hope everyone is doing well.
Sals,
JW

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April 22, 2005 12:29

Well, I've pretty much decided not to do the audition on May 2nd. It is a hard decision, mostly because I want to feel as if I am working, doing something, earning my keep in this world and that is the way I know to do it. Music. But the raw fact of the matter is that I've not been able to practice like I needed to in order to whip these into shape. Besides, it takes me about a year to learn something solid, and I am of the opinion that excerpts are not to be taken lightly. I mean, I should know them like the back of my hand. At this point it is taking me longer than the allotted rests to find my place for the next passage, you know? The other reason is this recent flare up of health issues and the doctor appointments. Usually you have to maybe rearrange your school or work schedule for a doctor's appointment, but for the next month or two, I'm going to have so many appointments. It really is rediculous. I've got 12 prescriptions in my wallet. That, to me, is a sign that this might not be the best time. I don't want to be sick, I don't want to slop through the music. I'm trying to make myself believe this rationale and not think that I'm being a coward.
Other news...my teacher didn't get his job back. I mean, he didn't get tenure and he lost his appeal. I don't know the details and the politics in the department have been disheartening, turning people against each other...but now I guess it is final. It really broke my heart when he called me and told me the news and so canceled my lessons. NOt because he wasn't going to hear them (orchestra director has graciously agreed to hear them and tell me if they are ready or not and to help me with knowing the pitfalls of pressure and possibly wrong-nesses I didn't know about)...but he sounded so defeated. I saw this coming, but didn't realize how sad I'd be for him. I mean, I'm done there anyway. But I guess it is because I have been his main student and he has been more than just a teacher. For seven years he knew the ups and downs of my life. He watched me grow and fall. He was always there for me. He understands my playing for what it is. Now it seems like he is the one down and out and I want to return the care and consideration and I want to help, but there really isn't anything I can do. It is that helplessness that hurts the worst I guess. In any situation. I wonder what he will do next? He is an amazing player. I kind of hope he plays more. I wish him luck and good opporitunities and strength to rebound. I can't imagine what it is like to have to finish up the semester. Clean out the office. I guess everyone has to go through that at some point. As for me, I'm trying to decide what to do about a teacher. I don't have any money. So I guess that makes the decision for me. I need a job. Anyhow. I'm learning the Ciaconne now. And the Shostikovich concerto 2. Why is the sheet music so expensive everywhere I look? I've got a photocopy of the violin part to work on, but I need to own it at some point. Is it owned by Russia? Anyhow. I was listening to Ives's first sonata. Pretty cool stuff. I'm also recording all of my records onto the computer. Some of them are in such bad shape that I have to just give up on them, but I have a few gems that aren't all scratched. K. Hope everyone is doing well.
Sals,
JW

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April 19, 2005 00:41

Well, it has been what, a week? Anyway. I have had a cankerous day. I started out waking up way early and heading out anyway and then having a lot of time to kill so I washed my car at a few different car washes and wandered around in the heat. I had a dr.s appt. that was just a followup on some blood sucking that occured last week and then I was to teach a few hours later. The dr. appt. ended up being depressing. I mean, I thought I was doing well because my mood and brain have been copacetic with life events and I've been pretty hopeful and down to earth. But besides having a 102 fever for the 8th day (on and off, I'm sure), and not so wonderful vital signs, my blood must have been mistaken for someone elses. Or maybe not. One thing is that I'm anemic. No wonder I've not been able to do anything and no wonder I've had to practice in 20 minute increments that didn't accomplish much! I've been forcing myself to keep doing some, but mostly I've been a bump on a log. Except when I have my hours of hyperactivity when I think I'm cured and it feels so good so I, like, wash my car three times...
And then some other trigyceride highness and high cholesteral and of course the sugar was kind of whacked because it always is...on Friday I get to spend my day breathing into things as hard as I can. Yay. And my ear (the one I killed with a q-tip 11 days ago) is still bleeding and crusting. I feel like the last two weeks have not even existed. Life stopped after my recital and I'm just now starting up again. I left the office confused and down and still feverish I guess and I don't have air conditioning in my car so I was sweating buckets. I was determined, though, to teach my lesson because I canceled last week. I drove all the way to school and sat in a practice room. I had about two hours to practice until her time. I just couldn't do it. It took about 15 minutes to finally give in and call and cancel, about an hour to get home and then I researched stuff on the computer. Sometimes I feel like there is something fundamentally wrong with the way I approach life because normal people don't have so many health problems and balance problems. I wonder sometimes if I'll ever hold a job besides music jobs. I have never been able to because I get sick. Why is that? NOt that anyone can really answer that. I was telling my husband that I don't even know anymore when I am sick because I'm used to not feeling well but there are just degrees so how would I know that I became anemic and when? Right after I said it, I realized that it sounded like I was having a pity party, but I'm not, really. I have so many wonderful things in my life. I have so much to smile about. And I have been given so many chances. And for some inane reason people have faith and acceptance for me. I have insurance. Not for long, but for now. I started tallying up the cost of my meds alone minus treatment and...wow...I could buy violin...S. And a viola. And maybe an orchestra. I also, looking back through the craziness that has been my college career, both degrees, am amazed that I finished. I am done. No one is more surprised than me. It was something I am good at. Now I have to find a new way of communicating. I know it sounds strange, but the institution has structured my existance for so long, that now I'm a bit lost. It is a built in forced social experience, comraderie, music making, stress, frustration, success, work...the whole nine yards. Now I'm "trained" and more than anything else, I have this sense that my real education is just beginning. How to do all that on my own. I just got a burst of energy tonight and got some good practicing in. The letter of audition times for one of the symphonies came in the mail. Wake up call. I need to clean the excerpts. AKA learn them for real. And I'm putting in bowings and fingerings for the Ciaconne. I'm still on the first page, I keep changing my mind. Anyway. This is getting past long. So.
Sals,
JW

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April 16, 2005 04:28

6:30 am. That was supposed to be "horizontal" not "vertical". Anyway. Worked for a few hours. I figured I'd just get up and get ready and go...spend some time wandering around the allnight Walmart so I don't leave too early. Well. Koffee is done.
Sals,
JW

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April 16, 2005 01:55

Well, it is four in the morning and I have to leave at 7:30 for the rehearsal concert with the symphony tomorrow. I'm so wide awake even though I've taken the nighties. I've been labeling things and researching things and reorganizing things. I'm also doing a lot of playing with the kitty. *sigh. Bad dreams when I try to sleep, but they aren't really dreams yet technically. Just can't focus. I'm not sure why this concert is such a big deal. It is a pops concert and I think it is because it is hard to practice the music even though it is hard, it is just hard because...whatever. I'm not making sense. I've practiced it and put fingerings in and all that, but I just don't feel like I'll be able to play it tomorrow in the rehearsal. Just a confidence thing I suppose. And a lot of driving. I don't mind travelling as long as my car doesn't break down. I've been listening to a lot of violin music trying to decide what to play next. I think I'm deciding on the Schumann Concerto in Dm (beautiful, but sounds challenging enough), a Prokofiev sonata. Actually I was going to do the prok. concerto 2, but I'd rather do a sonata by him. I hope there is one:). And I'm ready to get serious with the Ciaconne. I've played it for fun when I had time to play for fun...but I want to master it as well as I can at this point. Before all that, htough, I have to learn these excerpts for May 2nd. I get so I don't have the energy for drudgery practicing (what feels like it) and like, tonight, decided to just play some Bach and wham an hour had passed and I was feeling good again. I have to be disciplined, though. I don't think I'll get in the symphony, but I want to do the audition because I need to just DO IT. My best. Anyhow. I'm going to put myself vertical and think about something besides finances, the violin, negative events, or people. THen maybe I'll be able to not get too interested in my pre-dream and fall asleep.
Sals,
JW

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April 13, 2005 11:08

"The wholeness of Being in its eternal silence warms up and produces the background of the music of life, and on the foreground of Being, spring up the waves of relativity, waves of life. Each wave has a tendency to rise and fall, and in this rise and fall is the progress of music....So music reminds us of what one is; it displays the story of life."
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

So...I'm hoping that this rise and fall works with playing, too. Because I've been sick since my recital, I haven't been able to play without getting dizzy. There is a symphony concert on Saturday and I haven't looked through the music yet. That in itself stresses me out and then I can't get out of bed. Today it is going to happen, though. I will spend at least an hour on it and put in fingerings so I'm not just sloshing through it. Anyhow.
Sals,
JW

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April 11, 2005 08:36

Well, I did it! It went well...I wasn't shaky or nervous, though I did have a lot of energy. I felt like I was in control. I will write more later. One thing I did notice was note endings. I've never really been comfortable enough with the bow in performance (solo, that is) to go to a few hairs and suspend....but it was as if I didn't want to let some of the notes go. I found an energy with an audience that isn't there otherwise. A moment when the note lingers or is still just barely going...it is so full. I always thought that the loud hard fast bows at the end of wild runs were the biggest impact, but it is not so, because they are over quickly and the anticipation and tenseness almost is not there. This performance gave me a lot to think about. Anyway. More later. Have a good day everyone!
Sals,
JW

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April 10, 2005 11:23

Hm. It seems like I write too many entries in the Blog...anyway. My recital is in 3 and a half hours. I'm dressed and ready to go I guess. I played through most of it this morning and it went well, but I'm not feeling well. I don't know if it is nerves or if it is being sick. But I feel kind of feint. It will be o.k. I realized (what a time to realize this...) that I don't breathe when I play except when I begin a passage I take a big sniff or gulp. I know that must contribute to the shakes. I am not shaky, though. Harrah for that! I'm excited about the people I know are coming. Well. I'll let you know how it goes.
Sals,
JW

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April 9, 2005 08:20

Well, my recital is tomorrow afternoon. I'm not freaked out about it anymore. I'm excited about seeing the people who are coming to support me. It will be fun. I've got some sort of sinus/flu stupidness and to make matters even DUMBER I was retarted and stuck a q-tip in my ear last night because it was hurting and draining a bit and I punctured my eardrum. My husband rushed me to the ER but it was really busy and stopped bleeding hard. It is still bleeding off and on but I think it will be fine. No hearing loss and no dizziness or any of that. So...I am taking an antibiotic and that should keep infection out. I was freaked out for awhile but not so much anymore. Wish me luck. There are a lot of politics that have surfaced lately in the violin department at school that has the student body and faculty all at each other but it makes me more sad than mad now. I can't really go into it. I just want everyone to be friends. (Jennifer coughs up something gross ewww!!!). I had a dream last night that I had a box of kleenex on the piano beside me and a garbage can by my feet and any time the piano was playing, I'd cough and blow my nose. It was pretty funny, actually.
I've managed to perform several times without the shakies in the last few days, so that makes me way WAY less stressed about tomorrow. I just hope I have the stamina to play through the Beethoven concerto after Mozart 3(allegro) Bach largo and allegro assai (Sonata 3) and Ysaye Sonata 2 mvt. 1. I think the adrenalin will pull me through it. Well. Signing off. If anyone has ever had the flu or Bronchial stuffs and a punctured eardrum that doesn't seem to be too serious, let me know the best protocall. I know not to get water in it...and ibprofin for the pain and antibiotics...but any herbal remedy? Something that I wouldn't find on a normal medical website? I'll get it checked on Monday if I can get an appt. FOr a musician, wow, imagine loosing my right ear hearing!!! Besides all that...or maybe in spite...I am well. In good mental shape and spirits if my body is attacking me!!!
Sals,
JW

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April 6, 2005 13:13

Well, it has been a very strange day so far. I've spent some time with an ancient videocamera that has a finicky chord and has to be adjusted to just the right angle (though that is always shifting...) to even turn on. The sound is warbly and the picture bad. But I wanted to make a little movie for a friend with title pages and stuff. Recorded a lot of the cat and playing some of my guitar songs and then some of my recital music. First of all, I woke up shaking and nervous in the pit of my stomach and it didn't go away. So when I recorded myself on the violin it was like a performance almost. It has been a very long time since I've watched myself play on video. I look possesed! I kind of sink my hips back into my stomach and stand with my feet a bit too far apart so I look like I'm bracing myself to lift a piano or something. But I shift around. I dip my knees when I get into something and I bend in towards the stand so I'm almost touching my scroll to my music and my scroll is actually a little too far towards the floor anyway. My whole body looks strange. Hm. ANd my facial expressions. And I sometimes turn my head when I'm not looking at the music and close my eyes so that it is tilted and then back again. The good thing is that I analyzed my technique and it isn't as bad as I thought as far as visually taking it in. My arm is like I teach it to be. My shoulder isn't raised up. My wrist is flexible and my finger joints move. I did notice that my pinky points out and isnt' even close to the stick most of the time except when I'm near the frog. My left hand looks o.k. I watched which muscles were obviously tensed and my bow usage. I was very surprised to see that my bow is straight. I didn't think it was. I extend my arm straight as well on long bows. My vibrato looks controlled. ANyhow. So I look possesed and half-crazed, but the overall technique isn't horrible. As for intonation...the picture wasn't clear enough to see if I was tensing before shifts after, during, all the time in my fingers. My thumb looked alright. My teacher has told me that it is good to hear the fingers hitting the fingerboard, it makes articulation, well, articulated, and the notes not bleedy. But...I think that I'm forcing my fingers down too hard and they kind of come flying for that "hit". Hm. I'll have to watch it about 20 more times. I didn't look nervous. I looked like I was having the time of my life and that the music was all through me. Not that it matters what I look like. Sound matters. Still. Well. I recorded a lot of the kitty, too. Now I'm about to go to Murfreesboro to rehearse, practice, and go to a concert tonight. A wonderful cellist is giving a faculty recital. I REALLY don't feel like leaving the house. And I especially don't feel like driving. ANd today I don't even feel like playing my violin, but I have to. I can't afford to take even an afternoon off at this point. Well. I'm longwinded! Jeez! I guess I'll go get ready and make myself leave and practice and all that.
Sals,
JW

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April 5, 2005 08:48

Bach is on my site. Not the greatest, but I guess how I play when nervous. So, critique between now and my recital on Sunday would be gladly welcomed.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/9/coveandberammusic.htm

(oh, and the horraciously out of tune passage at the end when it goes up into the higher positions....um...yea. I know all about that....)

Sals,
JW

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April 5, 2005 00:09

Well....made a drive with my husband to Murfreesboro at midnight to get into the hall to play on stage for him and a few friends. I didn't take my beta blockers and I was exhausted, so maybe that is why I was so terribly TERRIBLY nervous? I recorded all of it and the shakiness doesn't sound through. The hall covered it up, but the curtains were all open and the sound was very wet and verby. I'm sure it showed visually. And the Ysaye was way too fast and out of tune and wrong notes. I started with that one. One of my friends is playing it too and she was there and I think that freaked me out a little bit. Anyhow. It was a good thing to do. It was also really cold in there, so I didn't start sweating right away, and my fingers were cold. Mostly just shaky though. I wasn't expecting that. I'm going to get nervous as much as possible this week and play for people. I am going to cut the Bach out of the recording and put it on my website tomorrow. Have to go rehearsen again, so I don't know if it will be morning or evening that I get to that. But I'll let anyone interested in critiquing it do so. Hm. It is after two am now and I have to get up at 8 so I suppose I should start winding down. (wind wind wind.....slow slow....ahhhh) SCREAM!!!!
K. Well.
Sals,
JW

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April 4, 2005 17:54

Sometimes I think I have a sign on my back that says "walk all over me". Or "Infinate patience". Today I drove 60 miles as I do on Mondays to teach a lesson and to rehearse for my recital. My pianist cancelled after I was there for a birthday party (recital in less than a week and we need to practice) asking that we reschedule for tomorrow which means that i have drive there again at gas prices as high as they are...and my student didn't show. I found out later that she called my home to cancell, but not early enough before I left. It isn't the first time for either things. So I got some good practicing in, but I can practice at home. Anyhow. I know I shouldn't do this, but I'm playing concertoes that I don't know how to play this evening. I need a break from my recital music and orchestral excerpts. I need to just play for funsies. Lots of wrong notes and anyone listening wouldn't recognize the music, but I'm just goofing off. Bad me. But it is fun. And I already practiced the needs to practice stuff. Well. I think it is time for junk food and coffee.
Sals,
JW

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April 1, 2005 14:45

I PASSED!!!! YAY!!!!
The recital is a go!
Sals,
JW

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April 1, 2005 07:39

Well, my hearing for my recital is today. I'm dressed and ready to leave the house. Double checking that I have my music and my violin and my bow and my brain...I hope it goes well. I've been under so much stress lately...from big things to little things like my sister went missing. She is o.k, though. Search and Rescue found her. Her car had just broken down in the middle of nowhere. But I guess all that and the hearing and moving and gigs and family stuff and grandma....whatever. I totally had a hysterical fit last night. Also because we didn't have any food and I'm trying to save money and hadn't really eaten in two days. So I took off with my purse and walked around and then came back and bawled and blamed my mood on all sorts of things I shouldn't have. Things smoothed over, but that rotten feeling inside persisted. I just tried to keep myself composed. After a good night's rest, it seems like forever ago and I'm strong again. Sometimes I just let all the old stupids creep up and bother me when that isn't what is wrong. I just am stressed and need to chill out. Well. I'm going out to lunch after my hearing whether I pass or not. And celebrating that I actually played it! I'll let you guys know how it goes.
Sals,
JW

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