Wednesday, November 15, 2006


In between

I've felt sort of aimless about my cello practice. Not negative, though, just unfocused. I have lots to work on - maybe too much at once. I'm still adjusting to the new strings. They do sound better, but more importantly they sound different, and they'll take some getting used to. In my warmups, I am drilling both first and fourth finger extensions on each string. Along with some new shifting drills, which are starting to help me find third position more accurately for a couple of the orchestra pieces. I'm still way too focused on intonation. I'd really like to let go of that for a while, and concentrate more on bowing and tempo. I am also working a lot on rhythms, and feeling pretty good about my progress.

Motivated by Gottagopractice's recent blog, I've started trying to analyze the little segments of my new pieces to figure out what I'll have to do to learn them properly. Paganini's "Witches' Dance" has some interesting dotted-eighth, spiccatto-sixteenth hooked note combinations, which I'm working on, one-at-a-time. The whole process is all still a little vague and unfocused; maybe that's why it all feels a little aimless.

It also doesn't help that I'm also sitting beside my computer, listening to that little inbox chime on my email, pausing to answer one and then checking some of the (too) many blogs and forums I'm trying to follow. I suppose I could shut off the browser and email and leave only the tuner onscreen... I am also listening again to the Suzuki CDs between pieces.

Rehearsal continues to be challenging and invigorating, although we seem to have lost two of our players. Bummer.

Still having crystal clear, cold (although now windy) weather. Overnight temps at minus ten, with intense moonless (star-filled) night skies. This cold snap seems earlier than usual. I suspect I grumble about that every year.

Don't sweat your momentary aimlessness. A new focus is sure to present itself.

Is that a blue-footed boobie? A penguin in socks?
I know! I know! I saw him in the news yesterday. Oops. Her name is Elvis, she lives in Christchurch since September, and she is wearing (guitar riff please...) blue shoes to protect her feet from the new surface which is making her feet hurt. I suppose they chose blue because they are Little Blue penguins (there are 18 of them.)And the news article on the Antarctic Centre site does refer to her as "she", a "partially blind bird named because she likes to sing to the rest of the penguins." (Hope I didn't steal your thunder, Guanaco.)
I put this in as a precursor for an upcoming post about our penguin encounters.

Fascinating little critters.
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