July 2010

Turning back time

July 13, 2010 03:08

They say that no matter how successful you are, you beome a child again when in the company of your parents. And to a degree for me, I think it is true. When I talk to or visit my mother I instantly revert back to being "the boy".

What I hadn't bargained for was something similar to happen in my interaction with my violin teacher.

We will be working on ABRSM grade 5 material with a view to taking the exam at the next opportunity. But as my rehabilitation (now 3 months on) from my 30 year absence continues, we're still working on a few pieces from the Grade 4 book.

At home when I practise La Cumparasita, the classic tango tune, I am a haughty Spaniard. I lead my partner across the dance floor, eyes flashing, heels clicking, red rose between my teeth. Master of all I survey, even the running bulls of Pamplona scatter when they see me.

Then there's the Valse Lente by C Bohm. Andre Rieu has nothing on me. Even my heart is beating in 3/4 time as I take the stand. The first 3 notes flying stacatto leap up into endless swirls of effortless elegance, the melody flows from my fingers, my playing is the epitome of grace. Enraptured and entranced, my audience (2 dogs and a teddy bear) swoon at my feet.

In front of the teacher, despite my almost religious adherence to at least an hour a day, I become my 14 year old self who has done no practise for a month.

La Cumparisita:
"Grind, scratch, scrape, scrape. My fingers don't work"
"Screech, grind, slip, scrape. I sound like a berk"

And the Valse Lente - well today after a couple of notes and messed up harmonics, the bow did the honorable thing and spontaneously slackened off; bringing to an end today's lesson.

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