December 2007

Happy New Year 2008

December 31, 2007 22:11

Happy New Year 2008! Watching Josh Bell earlier convinced me clearly how far I have to go to get just basically good. So my resolution is to simply continue with my program, with grit and determination. I won't say more grit, because It would likely put me under.

2007 was a year of overcoming injuries for good, getting my vibrato, serious set-backs because of oversights and serious progress because of my work ethic.

May you all be blessed with progress, perspective and peace in the year to come.

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Big Sound, Small Sound,

December 28, 2007 22:42

I realized recently after starting to get a big sound from my instrument that dynamics are truly a world of their own study-wise, even beyond basic competent expressiveness.

What I mean by this, is that one must learn to play according to the environment they are in whether it be a concert hall or up close and personal. The question came to me, concerning how after many years playing with a symphony how many people really get that sensitivity in expressiveness as a ratio to environment.

I found that piano comes easy to me because I played so lightly all those months, but when my forte jumps in there, it is a little disarming. So tone production took on a hazy foggy world for me for awhile, but I do no mind.

I think if I were on a date with a girlfriend and someone came up to me playing violin with a big sound, I would probably ask them to go away. I have actually seen comedies where this is the case, and now I realize the reason why if not deceived.

Finally getting my sounding point crossings to forte, as one option for forte, that is what I'll be practicing aside from other things. I feel I'll understand bow pressure and speed based forte closer to the bridge part and partial to all this.

And, I began getting very good control of piano the past couple days, but there still seems a world of options. Forward, Onward.

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Whoah! Horsie...

December 26, 2007 14:57

One of the things I'm noticing, after Ms. Hahn slowed me down to learn actually, is that there are or can be several levels to getting a piece up to speed.

After mastering the last chunk of the last piece in Suzuki three, I was anxious to get it up to the speed of the other two thirds I'd learned much earlier. This energy was what gave me the following thoughts.

There is a real though negligible disconnect between the flow into phrases below speed, that I came to realize first the rough spots to focus on, but more importantly, using the music as it comes up to speed for awhile until it's truly ingrained.

Previously, I had simply moved on when I got something up to speed, and when I go back and review it's sometimes better, but sometimes the weak phrases are still there. So, because I truly love both the final Gavottes and Bouree in Suzuki three, I'll use the music for a few weeks to test my little theory here.

The flow that my rote memorization was giving me previously, was not mastery, though often sounded good for the moment. I'm not learning these pieces in short, to not be able to quickly refresh in the future and use them.

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Recent recap.

December 24, 2007 01:02

Being through phenomenal change the past several months leaves me with progress-lag, but it is noteworthy I think. I'm feeling maturity even with all the changes. The lag suggests, I just keep pushing forward and sometimes forget where I've been.

Layering balance, and tone production, and articulation, and tonight my induction into three octave scales finally, feels like bitter sweet Christmas gifts sometimes, but, isn't that sometimes the nature of intense hard work. And tonight, I 'finally finally' finished playing through the end of Suzuki Three.

I had sketched the last chunk, and pretty much mastered the preceding codas, but there I was stuck with improving things unrelated. I played through the first logical segment several times, then went ahead and pushed on through to the end.

This means to me, that after I've played something slowly a few times, it's on it's way into memory. So over the next few days, it's g-maj, a-flat major, and a-major/in 3o to get the patterns from Flesch into my hands; and, slow reps. of the final chunk.

Scale-wise, I was completely overwhelmed above c-major really because it really stretches my abilities on upper eing. And, I need to learn how to get that arm around that for, well, that. (g, a-flat, and a) really surprised me by flowing fairly nicely, with good tone production--keyword: fairly.

Also, I created a really nice warm-up tonight. This is 1-octave scales on two strings, ascending half-steps each scale up each respective two strings. The exercise is light enough to be called a warm-up, but instructive enough to be deceptively helpful in just several things I think.

The open string beginnings only have 3 articulations in the second string, but beyond that, it's four articulations, all the way up to fifth position for each scale. {D(01234)A(123)}, {D(e-flat:1234)A(1234)}, ..., and back down each iteration. Objects(flow, articulation, bowing in upper positions,shifting,gentle hand shaping).

Each combination of strings is used, and according to one's energy level may begin on either combination. And to really make it a kinder gentler warm up, perhaps the combination A/E to begin with, with a grander goal of beginning on G/D eventually. I use to do something like this on guitar, but in a different spirit, and configuration.

Forward, and onward.

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Support the Arts during the Holidays.

December 20, 2007 22:58

Finally reading the Sunday paper, I thought I might steal a peak at the events section. Though not directly in our region, I found not one but two neat major events that were close enough to take in...

Just a note to support the arts during the Holidays, so you don't have to steal the neighbor's paper, they are also online.

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Blondes, Turtles and The Three Little Pigs

December 20, 2007 22:47

And the bad ole wolf said:

After much improved tone production and new bow hold were in place, I begin relearning the bow. I found first, simple songs were the first place to begin, either from my program, or memory.

The second place I started looking at were actually the bowings in more advanced music I'm playing, to see how tough this new layer and level of my development will be. Not good--not bad... Going to be awkward for a while though.

I swear this isn't the three little pigs, but the third place I landed was in Wohlfahrt bowings(op45 1-3)... And 'that' house is built of bricks! ee-hah! (ominous music) Knock! Knock! Knock!

Peeking around the curtain, I could see that the eight note slurs, were somewhat akin to my dream about saving Rapunzel. Oops sorry-wrong story.

Not a tone did the wolf make, as I then began the four note slurs, and various detached phrasings. Not a single bad tone. Becoming emboldened me and the missus began waltzing around at first softly, then near the atrium garden bridge realizing, that the turtle does win... Dang--wrong story again...

So after a little dancing, we rested and decided to fetch the cousins off our roof, where they had taken refuge.

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The Courage to Remedial--Twinkles.

December 19, 2007 00:07

Actually the junk heap I described earlier, isn't all that bad. But sometimes, when the pressures is on, the focus is off, the bow becomes my pointer at elements to practice on my wall though it doesn't cooperate it sure feels that way? Yep. But, though many disagree I'm sure, ya gotta just keep going back, and organizing that mess.

I want to record what that means to me. Tonight, I had to go all the way back to Suzuki 1 to begin ingraining my new tone production. I don't want to make Todd paranoid, but thanks again.

And when I say back, I mean 'all the way back'. For adult amateurs, I believe having the wherewithal to jerk a knot in the ole britches in these things is worth sharing. I literally had to jerk my mind from that final chunk of the end of Suzuki 3 Bouree, and say, Now, Albert! But, I'm not hard headed or anything. Drums! Cymbals!

It went absolutely beautifully. and the detached notes I've asked about for what seems forever were mine forever before I made it through twinkles. And by the time I was up to the second perpetual motion, I had a couple of the variations of the Wohlfahrt variations sounding just real--right...

I would add, that it's the first time in some ways, I've ever understood the variations, though I've butchered most of them at one time or another. (op45, no1). Licking my wounds though, after I got some semblance of finesse to these things, I eased back in to some more complex music.

I remember asking almost week one: 'about that clicking sound at note leads, I'm hearing in Nadien's music'. Those clicking sounds, are the string releasing into it's vibration, from a standing still bow. Everytime the bow stops for we beginners, if the right amount of forearm weight, bow tilt and hair contact are present, you will hear a little click.

But to get this mastery of the bow, ya gotta just keep trying, and working, and trying, and working, and trying, and working... Did I say trying and working? Once ya get it though, ya got it. But first, you have to have an idea about what you want your playing to sound like, way-way, down the road

And sometimes along the road, you will get completely knocked off your horse. Or at least it feels that way. Thank God I'm from the mountains and know to fall towards the high part of the hill though. There's meaning in this.

All the work one does, and sometimes flounders on is not gone to waste, and it's not only character building. I was getting Buri's colle led long bows really pretty, though my forearm is cussing, but not badly. It's just muscles adjusting.

And near the end, Johann's memory visited and gave me the chord I was looking for really nicely after Buri gave the guts to think about it the way I needed to, for my lute Sarabande on violin--actually not mine but Bach's.

I remembered what Drew Lecher reminds-- that "everything effects everything", but more important here, is that it is important to have the courage to go back, and visit everything if you wish to play well. Then do it again, and if necessary again.

This courage to remedial, besides actually being time on the violin for the 'truly' motivated, is in ways the foundations of elementary layering for later mastery. It is just too easy to miss a point along the way, unrelated, but my spelling of Sue's last name has been an error for months. When one is learning, these things happen.

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A flowing journey: Are you navigator?

December 17, 2007 14:20

For motivated beginners who have not been through the tiniest motion training from the beginning, getting one's groove can feel like the junkyard heap... Just ask me.

Even though I had the best of help with balance and flow way too long ago, it is only now starting to sink in, in an internalized kind of way. Obviously, teachers cannot be there with students in that two o'clock impulse, 'well I can't sleep so I might as well practice'. And a really important keyword is: internalized.

But more so, there is literally a world of learning in handling this little feisty instrument that I'm sure is one of the prettiest things humans created.

Do you have the string with the bow? Is it angled ok? Left thumb relaxed? Paralell to the floor? Are you breathing? Is the instrument drifting because you are focusing on something else?

This drifting factor alone for me, is why it is just really important to learn the entire fingerboard technically, because I know literally hundreds of songs, and I'll play a phrase that reminds me of one of them. Incidentally, this drifting can be in focus as well? Yes.

And really in some basic way, only then, are you playing the correct note? Though of course that is important as well.

Even more complicated , are those more adult student musicians with a developed love for expressive music, and those moments when that song from the 70's comes to the strings inferred above. Flow? What flow? I'm gonna learn this baby! I made the audience cry with it on other instruments.

I learned to apply what I'm going to describe from someone else, and actually in mastering my own world but not related to violin. But after getting to a certain level of understanding the bow, and the instrument placement--sometimes after a lot of work, this is what I do now.

A person, must learn to focus on a spatial kind of intelligence---and feel it. This fails until mastered when one starts playing back up to speed often, so it helps to make tuning what follows a really important part of practice. Feel it! (Incidentally Karen, this also applies to internalizing expressive dynamics)

Once you have the list of questions about thumb and etc., truly internalized, spend truly quality relaxed time working with a very slow mastery of balancing with tonality. I call this the zen mastery of flow, and if nothing else is done with slowness, this may just save those spastic 'I gotta play' moments later on.

I use to use these things and what follows in the gym a little to 'become aware' of the muscles being used, and to prevent injury. But with violin, it becomes a somewhat 'very advanced' awareness, as I was shown by somebody who knows these things. I'll try and describe why a little later or in another blog in getting at why violin is awkward or something.

First, taking an etude that uses all four strings, play the first note. Relax, and tell your mind to 'listen for tension'. You can train your mind to listen for tension but given the advanced nature of the feisty one, also be patient and persistent training it to listen for tension.

Play the second note, then the third. The first time the note becomes muffled: stop. Where's the tension coming from? Do not continue until you find the proper balance even if it means laying the instrument down.

This stop:rebalance if I understand correctly what I was shown, is just really effective in training that flow. Still, if the hand is not being shaped, or the instrument is drifting, which it may for a while--this will 'clearly show' what is happening--it may have even started with breathing? Was it?

Getting competent in telling where the tension is coming from is important as well, and also takes some time to master for some--it certainly has for me.

Think of this tension scanning as a separate part of your practice time, maybe like violin Yoga or something. It might even be wise to do it truly separate from warm-ups and practice.

A very important co-skill with this that helps a lot, is to first learn progressive relaxation techniques--they are readily available online, and trains the mind to be aware of the body.

Give your body a break, and teach it not only to groove with a flow, but feel it as Mimi Zweig describes--all the way to your toes. Bringing this to a close because it's become too long though, create those 'flow' sessions, as you are teaching your body to continue the incredible journey of violin.

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Todd Ehles is on my practice wall.

December 16, 2007 02:52

One of the fascinating things about Todd Ehles is that he is just cool--flat out, ego or not. You go Todd. I gotta guy crush on you, and you can now hang out with my Rocky Balboa posters.

Within less than five minutes, you were able to communicate, clearly--and without lingering for some unacceptable period of time without tone production.

I'll certainly pay for you, a few lessons. How's that for decisive.

That's what I do.

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Tood Ehles

December 15, 2007 20:59

Dang--You should here what you did for my tone production! Forever Grateful!

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Flow's Quietness

December 14, 2007 12:04

What's in an Environment. Having traveled all over the world in the Air Force, I was enabled to travel all over the state of West Virginia as a student on the State College System Board of Directors, representing the ten state colleges.

Today's overcrowded over stimulated world, finds people so over-scheduled and over-booked, it's little wonder violinists and musicians burn out as frequently as computer scientists. I've always maintained that West Virginia is the ultimate environment for colleges and universities.

This holds true not for what may be lacking in urban ways, but actually because of yes, what West Virginia lacks in urban ways. The beautiful mountainous environment is just a wonderful place to study.

Especially for musicians, the quietness of mind and space, adds that quality that many over scheduled people wish for--focus. There is a moral to this story wherever one may be.

Excelling, I mean really excelling in one thing is not that easy. So for aspiring musicians in a general kind of way of thinking..... It just feels very important to create that quiet space, and frame of mind to learn.

Free up the posture, then free up the mind. Got flow? Got Time?

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Are you a Horse or a Violinist? Got Flow?

December 14, 2007 03:09

Balancing the instrument lightly but effectively has become my middle name. From Mimi Zweig to Amelia Chan, to Nathan Milstein, Perlman and Raphael Klayman, I've been on this adventure game like quest for light responsive balance from day one.

For about 900 days now, I've used approximately 2700 hours on this journey, not including the fact that it's actually been more like about 10,000 hours because I really do spend a lot of my waking moments thinking about it--no hyperbole here. And Todd Ehle's vid on youtube 'about relaxing' finally took me to the next level. Good job dude.

But it's not a pretty picture sometimes. Every new discovery means retrofitting 'everything'. Sometimes its pretty easy, and sometimes not so easy. Changing my bow hold will take a couple months to adjust to. Learning to relax, and all together now--flow, means adjustments--yes.

This video talks about gently adjusting to the left on down bows and right for up-bows, while staying parallel to the floor with the violin. I was reminded that the opposite sometimes holds true, as well as digging in with one's stable footing for steadfastness on fast things. And, I was reminded about breathing in on up bows and out on down bows in another comment.

Reinforcing what Todd was talking about though, he was only talking about relaxing, and getting a flow going in an elementary but important sense. My first few experiments were quite humbling, but I could feel them at the same time immediately. My third and forth finger articulations began teasing me with beautiful resonant landing, led by my flow and breathing.

There is a great deal to the idea of relaxed flow. Masters of old excluding a few, had a wide variety of postures. I agree with an email I received; and, the greats excluding in my mind Milstein first and Oistrakh second, actually had countenances in their playing that are widely variable in terms of beautiful flow.

Since progressive modern music has dominated the classical scene, and as the result of factors to follow, we've had quite some time to focus on flow. That flow is what this is blog is all about.

Being a part of a community of semantics, the violin shares space with things like gently training horses rather with than spurs and heavy leather whips. Now we use silk swaths and patience in the best cases.

Unfortunately, one of the downsides of the Suzuki mindset though it was unintentional was a lot of injuries in this critical mass, of a world of musicians. Things, sometimes just didn't go as planned. Details were skipped.

Basically, the cracks to fall within, were widened unintentionally. It's a critical mass kind of thinking.

But in the meantime, our kinder, gentler selves were connected to our world and times, and indeed found the time to focus on preventing injuries. Actually this prevention, is a part of risk management subtly, that pervades most of society. Students, ask these questions in your initial interviews.

I know that after having written programs for mainframe computers for the Air Force Supply Community, that even today I cringe when I see someone bending at the waist to pick something up.

This lag in time in the classical world mentioned above as we 'find' our musical directions and significance, hopefully will result in other leaps in virtuosity. My visionary mind hopes to see people playing Paganini 24 Caprices with a smile on their face in the future.

Amelia reminded me that there are few excuses for one not getting a groove with their flow by both example and conversation. I said 'no excuse, huh'. She nodded in affirmation. She's shorter, has smaller hands, shorter arms--and a babe. ;) But not quite as pretty as I.

A groove however, remembering the intent of Ehle's video, and the emails I received, does not mean attempting to mimic Celtic Woman. A groove means finding virtuosity in musicality and expression.
Incidentally, I'm one of the greatest fans of the Mairead Nesbitt. Undeniably--I do mean undeniably.

Showmanship is an ends to it's own means. The same with Andre Rieu. And, my Bloch Nigun exploration among players cited many examples as well.

My quest for breathing, balance, flow and tonality continues though, and it's all about musicality and playing beautifully, with power that meets beauty. I'm a self-trained pianist by avocation, and I know these things, or at least as other real musicians know, I 'feel' these things..

Now the real disconnect between over-booked, under appreciated professional and the heartfelt musician cannot be denied. These comments are not therefore focused on time-management or the ills of the professional musical world, but musical flow, and the violin. Got flow?

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From Russia to France

December 12, 2007 23:10

Moving from a Russian to a Franco-Belgian bow hold has been profound for this beginner. The layers of my wondering about various elements found far less thinking about towards much better understanding.

Feeding weight from the arm was actually coming along with the Russian hold, but the variety of colors was lacking. Well, in a few months, not any longer.

And the stability of the bow hold, though not really so much an aspect of Russian v. Franco Belgian, actually fell into place for me when we were talking about curvature of bowing, as related to a couple things--the thumb most significantly. I had been somewhat inconsistent and rote with my thumb before. Thank you Sue Bechler.

My colle leads on my martele were lacking--though like with feeding weight, in a couple months not any longer. I now have the joint height and flexibility to colle 'all over the place'. Thank you Prof. S.

So, while I was at it, I reviewed what I could find about Perlman's hold at Sheila's violin corner. What a nice hand it has given me.

Several thing took big leaps, from colle to color that are just enough get me into trouble, but I know what to do with them. But the big leap in perspective, was that these multiple issues were cleared up with this change.

And thank you Mr. Mutchnik for validating my thoughts on this--very much. Now that I'm past the gosh--another major adjustment, I can focus on this as well as other things.

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These Epiphanies are Killing Me!

December 12, 2007 00:16

Every day, something seems to be falling in place. I told my sister this weekend that my improvement should be expected some or I should put my fiddle on Ebay. But I didn't go into detail.

Every week for the past several months things have been falling in place for me. Curvature of bowing, articulation, a real sensitivity in feeding weight, vibrato 'leaps', are a short list of the things that have left me feeling addled.

I wrote to Drew Lecher recently that I was just going to let things sink in for awhile, but the epiphany keeps coming! Tonight, it was changing my bowhold from Russian to modern. Only God almighty knows!.

I commented to Drew in private, that it would take a couple months to ingrain what I've learned about my left wrist, and tonight, I change my complete bow hold successfully. Oh my God!.

When I changed to a modern hold that does not look unlike Perlman's per, Sheila's Corner pages I lost a lot of the weight that was inherent to the Russian hold. No problem! The resonance and improvement in feeding weigh was way well worth it.

I've made a list of all the things to consider before, and my gosh, they've changed again, but at least this time it's a matter of quality.

Moving from the inner joints on second and third finger to first, gave me this light control that I've made poetic nearly over the past several months. An example: I was immediately able to get almost as many bow feeding pulses in my bow pressure exercises as I wish. Previously, it was four. And to take it to the bank, I was able to continue immeidately to the bow's weight between pulses.

I really and honestly do feel addled by all this progress. I should put new strings on more often!

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Rambling Reviews Dec. 10

December 11, 2007 01:38

Well, I brought in at four instead of five hours tonight--but found myself physically and mentally exhausted--one of those days I think. And I just decided to read Mendy's blog again tomorrow before practice for some good ideas.

Awhile back, I was having the same problem as she, but it was more pure time management. Oh, I figured it out--more time! The main issue that caused this was that I love playing! God. And my two hour, more like three hour practices were, giving me 30 minutes max playing time, and an hour and a half to two and a half work.

So, I decided to use my need to play creatively. Each of my 20 elements takes 3 minutes, my scales and arpeggios 30, and so forth. And I'm working on the last Suzuki 3 piece. I forgot to use my Wohlfahrt for my martele exercises--but, now it's besides in the que, on paper--well electronically.

Anyway, I put playing first to start with, right after my etudes. And in that I split my elements into two slots to prevent stagnation and get like double fresh approaches each night, I played between every two or three slices as well.

I'd finish an element slice, and just glide right into some old Suzuki, Christmas Carols or something nearly on the ending beat or whatever. I've come to regret I didn't focus more on Carols this year, because they really sound nice--I've made progress.

Carol of the Bells is rock'n this year. Good things come to those who wait? I'm getting just real strong forte martele where it needs to be, discovered f4 for an issue I was having last year that just fell into place, and so on. And my legato runs in things like "We Wish You A Merry Christmas", were, just there for me... I just glided into 3rd or 4th position for "O Holy Night" for a verse, and was jumping between 1st and 3rd, in the verses, of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen". Well, I have a few more days, so I might at least 'grande' out a couple.

My down shifting just fell into place for me tonight. I learned to very lightly touch the chinrest. My upshifts are pretty effortless--now for some note landing mastery on the fly.

I played Silent Night in thirds--and it sounds awful!!!! What will be a challenge next year then is to really spend some time with thirds, as many basic simple harmonies are in thirds. My sixths are kick'n, and started sounding like just a regular scale tonight. It is encouraging for me that "Ave Maria" sounds really good in sixths.

Everything else I've been working on was ok--bow,articulation, vibrato. Discovered I was already going where Emily suggested as one approach with the thumb; and, understood in action what at least one of the other options are because I already do that too.

Ramblin on.

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Ramblings for Reviews.

December 10, 2007 00:25

Even though I snuck to the basement and grabbed an hour and a half last night while company was here, I didn't consider it practicing. So tonight, turned into five hours--because I played so much up front.. Oh well.

But, that little point about the wrist and vibrato I discovered two or three nights ago, is proving itself just really consistently--I feel like I'm waking up from one of Jasmine's dreams or something--remarkable.

I also finally just started doing my martele work in Wohlfahrt, rather than my elements exercises. That seems to work too--and will make me tune the martele with a lot more mastery. My leading colles are finally sinking in ok, so, Wohlfahrt it will be--that is another one of the things that has been in the que too long anyway. Now to get to where I can either extend or snap the martel after the colle.

I spent a big chunk of time reviewing Suzuki, and am at a loss whether to go back and clean things up, or just keep moving forward. I think both probably. Did I say time issues? ;0) Oh well.

The final Bouree in Suzuki 3, really started kicking tonight (I still have some to learn, but got diverted). The improvement is in the detached notes, and a couple tricky little string crossings are falling in place--Now I just gotta keep from getting over enthused with it for a good spell. The chords are going great.

And that, was my night pretty much.

p.s. I had done various detached rhythms in Wohlfahrt previously--uh, on the butcher block.

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A Long, Boring but True Christmas Story

December 7, 2007 03:15

When I fell and 'really badly' hurt my left hand the week I bought my violin, I was actually very mildly in shock about it--it just wouldn't sink in. My first notes with particularly f3, were truly truly painful. F4 as well, but I guess not as bad--and don't want to think about, whether or not it was.

I just started reacting. I immediately started working rehabilitating it, and a couple days later started lessons with somebody so far above me, that well, I won't even go there either.

And I wanted to play the violin like Milstein, uh, day 1. Even with throbbing swollen fingers, I was 'truly' playing like four hours straight. My teacher looked at me like a crazy person, but I pushed on. We never once talked about quitting--and,I don't think she ever really knew how my hand really felt.

So we immediately started attacking reach issues against the wall. And I learned/sketched/butchered Suzuki 1 in about a week. Actually a little longer, but this is so boring we need a little drama.

Of course I wanted to play vibrato, that first week, with throbbing hand, way over-playing... I could, never, get my f1 released from the instrument even on eing at first. But that is central here.

I have spewed my vents all over the world in search of reach for finger release in vibrato. And tonight, it was delivered forever. I thought before I figured it out, how much drama I've experienced working towards it. And parts of the solution were there all the time.

I have learned 'so very much' trying to get the elbow around and hand shaped, as a result of my search, and I'm really anxious about what follows means beyond that.

First of all the trauma. A nervousness was introduced into my left hand. A tentativeness. So, finding these basic things like reach, were somewhat significantly effected. That's gonna be my excuse Emily. But it was there--I can just tell.

So I took these tiny tiny tiny, but deliberate and consistent steps finding my southpaw. And tonight, I really feel blessed that I got past a huge hurdle. Were the steps logical? Who knows.

When I shaped my hand, it was almost a jutting outward in lieu of a straight quiet wrist. Dang almighty, we've looked at everything under the sun. Anyway.

We talked probably months ago, about straight versus slightly bent left wrist. I have relaxed my neighbor's toes trying to reach this relaxed 'center'--and important, but not ever really in my left wrist.

And I think maybe by accident I may have been here before; but, when I learned to relax, and undo the intense focus on keeping it straight without bending too much--well... F1 came off the neck. And it was in a relaxed way--very relaxed.

It was right after I was stealing licks from Sean Child, to add a trill to "Air on Ging", something clicked. I was watching his vibrato and had to jump up and steal a trill. It was then that some weird little connection was made to 'breaking the plane' of the left wrist slightly.

Did I mention recently, that I'm sometimes slow. I just jumped up to validate--though confidence is lacking, this is 4-real. Merry Christmas!.

The next day
I again validated the breaking the plane of the wrist slightly this morning, before putting on new strings, and everything's rock'n. Looks like a couple days light duty because of company. But, I'll dedicate the time to working on the wrist.

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December 5, 2007 01:20

I wanna grab that martele--not like Heifetz, but like me.

Ah, the bludgeon of silk.

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The Beaux Art Trio on PBS

December 1, 2007 13:36

Last night while watching Laurie Nile's Ruggerio Ricci interview videos on youtube, I encountered the "Beaux Art Trio" on PBS. It was completely awesome,but for a couple reasons.

Pianist Menahem Pressler, the continuous thread in the trio that debuted in 1955 is able to continue a tradition that at least today I can be sure, inspires just outstanding synchronized sensitivity between the three.

And Pressler's playing, just flows from his musical centers in such a real and natural flow even as a senior. But this natural flow is one of three elements these three bring together so nicely.

Violinist Daniel Hope, and cellist Antonio Meneses, go the extra mile with Pressler fully present, in synchronizing the very amplitudes of vibratos, and more than once created those 'moments' of awe for me as they both described their practice efforts then performed the music.

"'Being physically able to see each other"', Hope commented allows them to attune to what each other is doing; and, I sensed part of the finesse of their efforts. They mean it, and the music leads.

But the proof is in the pudding. When they started playing, and I could here, see and feel them gliding into the same amplitudes, then allowing the expressions to expand and become more grand, I have to admit they took my breath away.

The sensitivity to become part of a whole, speaks first to simple harmony. Though by self confession they attempt to out-do each other in this respect, they use the tension to create such rich living expressiveness.

I commented to someone privately recently: 'wait on the music', 'use those rests' and 'white spaces'. I cannot think of a better example as what I saw last night in "The Beaux Art Trio".

The Beaux Art Trio

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