Thursday, March 01, 2007
Satisfactory, steady progress on Ashokan Farewell. I was able to play through the entire piece (pizz) at a reasonable approximation of the correct rhythm. My fingers are starting to go where they are supposed to, more often than not. I think this is the toughest piece I've taken on so far. It's not really that hard (!), but it has several slurred eighth note runs across several strings. Today, as I was working on it, I had one of those moments when I realized how far I've come with the cello. A year ago, I would have looked at this piece and not understood even the simplest part of it. Now, as I look at any individual segment, I can "hear" it in my head and then be "almost happy" with the results when I play it. Today as I played though it, I suddenly remembered that this piece had been one of my primary motivations way back when I was much younger and was trying to become a fiddler; and now, finally, I'm actually playing it. (Well, almost. But soon...)
Finally, this afternoon, after three weeks (!) my bow is back, sporting new hair. I can't wait to try it out tomorrow.
This latest cold, dry spell is now entering a third week as a massive high pressure cell sits over the state (no doubt the reason for all the climatic havoc in the rest of the country). Overnight temps fall well below zero, with the bright blue sunny days warming up to 15F or so. These super low humidities haven't made my cello sound so tight and nasally as it did last time. Maybe the Dominant strings have something to do with it. I am keeping my dampits wet and my room humidifier running full time. The forecast calls for a little snow on Monday and then more cold dry weather for a few more weeks. Believe it or not, I had lunch today with someone who complained about the weather! Whatever.
This "new" method really does seem to be helping me, much more than the tapping ever did.
There is a cello version of Ashokan Farewell that you might enjoy listening to on the Adagio Trio CD, Stillpoint.
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