December 2013

2014, I'm gonna get this right

December 18, 2013 01:10

**** Video link at the bottom ****

This is a sort of end of year wrap up for me.

2013 has been a very odd year. I started the year thinking I might really progress, sight reading was coming together, I'd joined a local and more advanced orchestra.
Then KAPPOW - like something out of an old Batman comic, I started on a medication that completely erased my ability to play, to read music, to organise my thoughts. I had no spatial organisation, no mathematical ability (no mental arithmetic, tables, no sense of ratio or proportion). This happened in the space of less than 48 hours. It was kind of weird, since I had the metacognition to realise I didn't have the skills anymore, but I couldn't work out how to retrieve the skills.

Playing the violin reduced me to tears for about 4 months, as I could no longer get through even a bar of music. I had no idea how long to hold any note for, even though cognitively I could count it out. My bow arm belonged to someone else (and still does), and I found myself having to stop when I found myself magically up the fingerboard tree branch - plotting like a kitten how the hell I was going to get back down: 'if my 4th finger is on D, then my third should go onto ... F so that makes my 1st finger another D' REVELATION - I'd discovered the octave! All over again. Like someone with dementia wandering around the circular yard all day.

After the first 3 months it things came together a bit in the next few weeks, and I returned to some sense of normal [hey, its all relative] after 4 months. Just in time to take deliver of the little violin that could - the lion head baroque.

Another drama unfolded with that violin- I had noticed a feeling of it feeling as though it, I don't know how to explain - sprung apart - when I replaced a chinrest, and so took the opportunity to have it looked at by my regular (very well trained) luthier. Not the young lad who had doe the restoration work. Luthier has one quick look and pronounced some dire and urgent problems including neck block crack (which I'd kind of known about), button crack, seams opening. Long and short of it is that the instrument is potentially going to fall apart in my hands at some point, the glue that remains from the original is so old that it needs to be completely removed and that means taking the top and bottom off and reglueing, this with a crack in the neck block to contend with, and the fingerboard being original baroque so made of a soft composite so not strong enough for much work. Heavy sigh. Its gone back in a case while I save up.

So I retrieved my good 4/4 violin, played it for a week or so, and realised it was giving me an almighty neck strain and then I developed a shoulder injury which became a shoulder tear when the dr was examining me.
Ever one for impulsive action, by the end of the week I had sourced a great 7/8 violin that I think could do me for ever unless a benefactor comes along.

Meantime, I have been having much more productive learning this past 6 months, and 2 opportunities to have a little performance. First occasion was the 2nd Movement of Bach Double - I borked it completely, by thinking that I needed to up my medication 3 days before. Don't try that at home. I had no idea what was going on.
The second occasion was last weekend -

Bach Double 1st movement
PLEASE WATCH, and comment constructively

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