Sunday, October 08, 2006

 

Performing


Lots of positive reinforcement from commenters about yesterday's report on my partially flubbed perfomance at the Evening of Classics concert. Thanks for your good thoughts, Terry, Gottagopractice, Pinkpuffyslippers and Erin, it really helps keep me motivated. Ten months and 185 posts ago when I started blogging, I never expected to become acquainted through the blogosphere with other people who share my passion for the cello :) Each day, I look forward to reading other bloggers' latest posts about their music and the things they want to share about their lives. In addition to your cello blogs, I'm following several bloggers who write about their violins, violas and oboes. Veteran performers or novices, we all share a passion for playing music, and we like to blog about it. (Terry, you should consider blogging too.)

What's funny about Friday night, is that I probably could have emcee'd the whole thing without any hesitation... It's been many years since I had to do anything like that, but I had little problem speaking to large groups of people in formal (and occasionally informal) gatherings. The main difference is that I was confident I knew how to speak, I knew how to prepare my material and I had developed a presentation style that worked for me. But I'm not confident that I know how to make music yet. I have so much more to learn...

Hace ocho años, when I had to quickly learn spanish after taking an assignment to work in the oil fields in southern Argentina, even though it didn't take long to begin to understand spoken and written spanish, it took me a year and a half before I even started to feel comfortable talking with groups of people - such as in one of those raucous lunchrooms at a remote YPF Oil company jobsite. But then one day, something clicked, and I was able to hesitantly offer a jest or two into their lively discussions. [The camaraderie of these guys who worked endless hours, away from home for weeks at a time, in bare minimal housing, in harsh remote climates (that wind never stopped blowing!), using shoddy equipment, inadequate tools, with no training, taking huge risks to get the job done - all that for a paycheck that barely kept their families solvent - was something else. Their lunchtime gatherings became a highlight of my regular trips out to the company jobsites scattered across the Patagonian desert.]

So, I know I'll get there. My confidence level is pretty low, right now, but then obviously so is my skill level. I know that with time, I'll develop enough confidence to play reasonably well - at least up to my skill level - in public, and that my confidence will continue to increase as my skills improve.

Whatever wolves were haunting my cello late last week were gone today. Even E and F on the d-string sounded nice this morning. Still, last Friday, I noticed my g-string was starting to sound a little sour. But this morning, I stopped briefly during my warmup to put my poor hearing-offended dog out, so I lay the cello on its side on the floor beside me and then proceeded to bump it with my foot as I stepped over it. It rolled onto its face leaving a slight imprint of the strings and bridge in the soft carpet. This caused the g-string to go rather flat, but when I retuned it, everything was noticeably better!

Don't try this at home...

Comments:
This is on a different subject, but the other day my sister told me that she had "googled" me and stumbled across your blog. I have since been reading with great interest, the archived blogs as well as current. I do hope you enjoyed Fireworks--I like the idea that it is up there in Alaska.
 
Hi Elizabeth!

Thanks for your feedback on my humble blog. I'm guessing you wrote "Fireworks"... nicely done!

I really liked your descriptions of the thoughts and pereceptions from the point of view of a troubled and somewhat addled but hopefully redeemable middle-aged man. Nice ending, too!

Your book called to mind another introspective novel I'd recently read: "It's All Right Now", by Charles Chadwick.

I look forward to your next work.
 
I never imagined I'd meet an Alaskan blogging cellist either. I'm glad to have found you, G.
 
:)
 
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