May 2010

A varnished wooden thing

May 29, 2010 01:24

I LOVE MY VIOLIN. I love it. I love it. I love it.

OK - so it's scratched, it's not a big name: it's a Maidstone. 100 years old, Student Level Instrument writ large.

In my 30 years "off the fiddle" I've pursued other interests and tortured other instruments - the guitar notably and enthusiastically, strumming and warbling.

But here's the thing - my guitar - yes it's a nice thing and I'd hate to lose it but I rate it as just a possession. The violin, on the other hand, is more than an object. It's something which has a spirit - and that both captivates and intrigues me.

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In Xanadu did Kubla Khan...

May 7, 2010 09:36

I've made several attempts at composing a follow-up to my first post. The issues, feelings and experiences are so complex that each time I end up with an incomprehensible tangle. So one thing at a time. Today I am going to concentrate on:


This time around I am incredibly motivated. Scales and arpeggios are no longer the dreaded chores, they are the keys to the kingdom. Ideally I'd like to be able to practice in true isolation without interruption. This isn't always possible. Sometimes I have to answer the phone to whoever needs a bit of my time for whatever reason.

I think most of us on here will appreciate the feel good factor of playing a piece of music. It can be a complete emotional & physical & spiritual experience. What I wasn't prepared for, the other day, was when I took a  phone call in the middle of my practice, I found it almost impossible to string a coherent sentence together, such was the euphoric mental state I was in. Having no experience of mood altering substances beyond sugar, coffee and wine, it was nonetheless as if I were intoxicated. One key difference - there was no nasty hangover the following day.

I'll let Mr Coleridge finish it off for me...

For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

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