November 2007

Tonight: A Progress Recap

November 29, 2007 01:15

Having had a few half way days practicing for reasons beyond me, I fed my obsession with a solid four hour session tonight. And earlier, I realized I haven't a clue all the things I've worked on, and would find it darn impossible to recap easily. So be it.

All the things we've talked about here, and various festivals, have all these lights variously coming on, sometimes several fairly nicely, sometimes on a down day, like 8 cylinders firing randomly. But out of the ashes the Phoenix rose. Well, maybe it's not that intense. ;).

But, the conversation about the right hand, got me in touch with my right hand and thumb. This is going to help me I think. I don't know if it will turn into a festival, but I do think it worth a cloud on my practice wall. Little details, like Sue and Buri's comments from the top of my head, I sensed.

And of course articulation, balance, and vibrato keep me busy as well. But these things are starting to sort of express themselves without my having to put by tooth grinding protectors in.

And I could tell where I neglected my technical for a few days in my double stops, but that's ok. I've started doing them in different scales a little and hope I continue with this.

I learned another chunk of the last song in Suzuki 3, for the 2nd or 3rd time, meaning I'm making myself read through stuff and revisit it to improve my sight reading. This is starting to mature a little.

I also noticed that my f4 exercises were making me to have to slow down a little because of tiredness. Actually a good thing. I want to see what I can do along somebody's idea of playing a note perfectly and putting a small rest between the notes--Buri I think. The object of this is my left thumb.

And when I played for fun later, it was very sweet--I think I could make a concerto out of about anything. I was jamming on a song from "The Film Series West Virginia", and jumping up to 5th for a verse, and whew. And I leafed through some old standards for fun.

I've decided that another sign of being a violin geek, is when one has learned almost every song that came programmed on their keyboard that they like.

Tonight, when I hit alpha state as someone recently described, I was doing the little flying landings from the tip to build very primary phrases, and discovered control in the height of the bounce in my f1; and, it was even prettier than my excitement about discovering it.

And in doing these landings, I discovered Mytho's 'moment', in that it brought me in touch with a musicality I'm accustomed to. This both technical and mysterious shaping of a note, where hair is attached to ethereal kinds of things, is, violin I think.

Tonight, I was in deep focus, and felt my vibrations relaxing, and landing on padding too--that was exciting. I'm afraid however that tomorrow will have a couple things to say to my wrist but as of the moment it feels great.

I jammed Albinoni a few times and it was pretty good. I also worked with Sarabande from bwv997 and had some fun. Bringing these two to violin having been a part of me for years and years before, has been meaningful.

When I topped out on my arpeggio, I tried changing shifting(bwv997). That works ok. Then I kicked in, and put energy into my f4 vibration on that high high 'g' playing it as I always do. It worked like a charm, though was still a little awkward.

I think it's time I learn to get around the body. My bow has tamed some recently on those high notes. I'm such a little chicken when that tuck reaches the moon. I'm about to beat this though. I felt it tonight. Still, it made me think I'm going to be fair at harmonics when I start taking them serious. But the moral of 'this' story, is that I learned to keep the hair on the string up there, and treat it similar as 1st position.

So this is where I'm at.

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A Report Card

November 18, 2007 02:01

Today I played at another friend's funeral. So my report card is a scarred scary thing. My friend besides being an innocent, was murdered because of drugs I think. And I loved him. He was a good person in the midst of an often stupid crazy world against real odds. My heart and some other hearts I fear, are terribly broken, again.

I played at Aunt Mitzy's or Middy's funeral several, months back, and about butchered it. It is so frustrating. When I practice and just play, it kicks tail, but when I play in public my bow arm tends Krazy sometimes. I made it through, but barely.

Today, that problem was not subjugated, but at least corralled. And when I closed the service with McGlothlin, I was freed to begin further closure towards mastering nerves. Nerves and violin are a B!*47.

My lamentations concerning my friend are phenomenally epochal, so I trust God, and my fiddle, will lead. You see, I'm really not an atheist. Really, not.

The environment was very physically cool, as was my instrument. I'm use to a warmed up enviro. But because I played a prelude on piano first as a last-minute request, I was past the ice zone.

So when I first began, I grabbed the note as planned. And as I went on, I started zoning towards my friends and family. It was a very deeply emotional time.

The end results were, that too far beyond my personal standard, I squeaked a couple too many notes. The main song, I've played so powerfully I'm sure God was slapp'n me back. I sensed my friend cheering me on even. If you all, knew what tragedy.

Music, is so personal for a real musician; and, just so deep. Music bridges that gap where Gods connect our heart with a lover of phenomenal proportions. And the few rural people left, seem to be becoming a tragic whisper of when people even knew their own skin. I'll give myself a B-.

And, the song played on.

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The Sabbatical Continues

November 17, 2007 00:02

What a week! Though life is complicated, life is good! I've been working on articulation and bow speed, and jumping through other significant hoops simultaneously.

My, mountains being, my mountains, their hoops are like an Azetec football game, but nonetheless present. But at least my hand is getting stronger, and my bow some more confident while at the same time balanced.

While I can little effect the tides of world cultures, I'm nonetheless grateful that I can effect these four strings, uh, on a good day. I hope tomorrow is a good day as I have to play at a special funeral.

I have to skip two, to be present at one, but such is the life in central Appalachia, where community sizes average 500. The medley I created a couple months ago will be presented tomorrow. It is haunting, and rich, if not that complicated.

I apologize in advance for describing my efforts, but I try and be equally honest in opposite directions. The music will scream nonetheless in original expression, with a hundred percent focus on human voice, as the mother of violin.

This concept for me, human voice, speaks to my earliest days opening the piano top to get closer to the sounds. This voice idea is a solid grounding as a standard for adult violinist learning on their own.

Voice, as a standard while not complete because of other qualities attached to violin, will be a theme for me. The wonderful rich old school images of shape-note singin', going all the way back to Canonicals epoch, are just too compelling. And having a developed academic understanding because of real experience further makes this layer of my experience quiet lucid.

What a week!


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Chunked Sabbattical and Beyond

November 13, 2007 00:04

Well, my articulation and bow speed sabbatical is in progress. I've approached it holistically and just worked the concepts into my etudes and stuff. Besides adding a couple more exercises from you guys, I also experienced chunks again, but this time in a more pronounced way.

I'm finishing Suzuki 3 this week technically, and the last song is just this series of beautifully managed chunks throughout the entire thing. I found myself wondering how much other music will be this clear developmentally.

And I ascended from c- to c sight reading this time. God I have to force myself it feels! But (and this should be another blog), I feel the fingerings are underrated for finding one's hand shapes.

But I discovered, actually more discovered or rediscovered that if I'll just slow down and read the notes, my hand is learning them ok on the fingerboard.... I've come to believe in my feelings about the fingerings, so will find it helpful as I revisit earlier material, as I tend to do because I'm a basics demon.

It is on the aside, that this tendency to repeat basics is what I knew about myself when I rushed my first teacher through umpteen concepts. Now my basics are expanding to create a time-issue for me again. I want to add yet another exercise focusing on ascending and descending groups of 4 for hand and shaping flow. And I've been wanting several more etudes for some more variety.

And also in the beyond category of things, I've been kicking butt with bowing at the heel realtime, and started adding variety (less hair, more, forte, pp) to my flying landings into vibratos and now trills.

Tonight I experimented with using the natural weight at the heel for forte versus the middle and tip in a somewhat Russian style spirit and had fun. I'm afraid of the forte at the heel a little because I can see it as making me lazy if not careful.

Tonight I also experimented with keeping the bow on the strings based on Karen's blog, for detached notes more. That was very positive as well. Incidentally and randomly, I've worn out another aing--and if feels too soon!.

My bowing across the sounding points exercises from here and elsewhere actually I think, are going pretty good. I found myself zoning earlier and the note's balance continued so....

And Buri's advanced bow speed exercises are adding confidence somehow to advancing other bow speed concepts--as related to sounding points especially.

Leaving this chatter in the spirit of my articulation sabbatical though, several things are happening. I'm feeling my hand adjust dynamically as I ascend through and to f3/f4. This is now expressing itself in mixed articulations rather than patterned graduations.

And at least in small ways, I'm feeling myself aim for portions of the finger based on the note. I also felt this some tonight. I would have liked to add more patterned basic exercises per Mr. Mutchnik, but my technical stuff is already taking an hour and a half. And I had to get other exercises in there. So I just worked them into my etudes, as I did some of Buri's stuff into existing exercises.

So, there I be.


p.s. When I really have the hand adjustments kickin, the resonance is aweseome! RE: articul....

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