4.1.10

cat feeding in silence

hello world. meet basil, the hitler cat. who managed to piss of 1/2 of its owner, well, actually the other half of the whole owner by hopping houses here and there. so what's with basil?

monkey's been very lucky to have two practice facilities this winter all the way in england. this wk, dear friends who are away visiting in wales at the moment left the keys to the door so as long as the door works, i am free to go back and forth and play/practice/moan/feed the cat. yesterday it took about half hour to sort the door out- somehow while taking the key out from the deadbolt, i have managed to lock it so that i could no longer open it from the inside.

so it required
1. giving up (on the idea that i will be able to 'undo' whatever i 'did')
2. locate the alternative route out (the back door from the kitchen)
3. find the keys to the back door (from myriads of keys hanging)
4. go out and open the door with the key from the outside (cold!)
5. test it out so that it's no longer locked solid from inside.
the saving grace was that basil the hitler cat was already fed so there was no real danger of getting eaten by a cat. great.

so large amount of the time has been spent on dragging myself to the work bench recently. i do go somewhat, even semi-religiously. about 5 min walk. get there. feed the hitler cat. make myself a cup of tea. skim through email. sit. stare. start work on things that i actually like, and though it's really -2 days till d-day, i still cant even bother to look at the strauss reduction. i have got all the tools yes... but i just cant seem to be able to process the reduction itself. it's not easy but it's certainly doable. i think the problem is that i know it, at its best, is always a cheap substitution. actually i stand corrected. i did bother to look at it. i just couldnt put the effort to learn the reduction...

music school auditions are very funny thing. it does your head in. in artificial time period of 30 minutes, they ask parts of prepared tasks that are somewhat arbitrary. like HR dept going through the resumes of applicants, just slightly worse because the nature of the music is
1. not work,
2. it is always subjective once the perf is above the minimum quality threshold,
3. the nature of the actual tasks, ie. performance, is never guaranteed, unlike someone whose gotta stand at the bank teller desk and do 40 hrs/wk.

shortly put, can monkey survive another year of collaborative? at a school?
answer: haha, yes. i survived banff ctr with such riches. it wont be as much fun or replenishing, but i am sure i can and will play certainly above the required minimum.
then the next question: can she convince the panel to give her a space in program with funding? answer: who knows?

so dealing with such questions and preparing another new choice for the audition itself (i have decided to ditch the franck sonata as i just cannot change my own mind on the piece: it's great, dont get me wrong, but that 2nd mvt is quite ridiculous for me personally. so now i am playing beethoven op. 12 no. 3 instead. i shouldve just done that from the beginning. however, i thought i could really stick the franck through and do all the typical audition requirements, like a good solid sensible applicant... then.. fail. ouch.) i am quiet during large part of the day.

i do make quite a bit of noise at the piano. but that's not really a conversation or.. even a formed expression. but more like murmuring of a baby who cannot talk yet. most of the sound world still existing within the little space between the ears. the sound itself is simple manifestation in physical sense. beside rehearsal with patient mr. salamander and some local friends and rare skype conversation, most of the world is quiet and silent to me. the main companion at charlie's *well, at the moment anyways, mr. hitler cat, do like my company (probably because i am allergic and that i do feed him) for hours i am not speaking.

weird things isnt it. be completely submerged into silence but working with sound, with no audience and no exchange. largely silent and barely formed soliloquies. i wonder if im going to go mad. and with sun going down at 3-4pm in the afternoon, into the dark steely blue grey of winter nights, i feel as if im trapped within an ice cube. no sound in/out. just all in the head. i am enjoying quite a big chunk of practicing but i cannot wait till this audition thing is over. so... arbitrary, necessary, artificial and.. i could go on i suppose.

the only melody that's been quite insistent for last little while is interestingly, k.361 mozart gran partita mvt. 3: adagio.

ooh that soaring oboe melody. thin silk, spun with no end in sight. absolutely beautiful and tortured. i have no clue where the torture aspect comes from- perhaps it is an ache of a sort. when something is too beautiful. too pure. also if you ever seen a live performance of it, i bet you couldnt take the eyes off of the oboist, who, in contrary to the graceful melody, looks like he/she is going to literally explode. all red and sweating. pulling that endless sound out. (in this youtube clip, it's a proper peculiar high double reed man. what do i mean by that- well, just look at his glasses! i love the subspecies of double reeders...) and much work once in silence: reed making. hours and hours, days, years spent with boiling pots of water, sugar cane bits, dried fingertips, sharpen blades, looking more like wood workshop than.. a practice room.

but perhaps that is the way it is- for every spoken note, there are millions of unspoken sounds. and may be those invisible, inaudible notes are the ones that links the physically existing moments together. like molecular co-valent bonds. magnetism. all kinds of human relations. like all of us when were babies, hours spent probably hiding fro parents, practicing syllables and learning the meanings (or making up meaning, whichever), until it was ready. ready to be 'pronounced.'

couple more days of obligated, dutiful work bench days. i wonder what kind of mindset i will return with post-audition to the piano. what composition or style does not matter so much does it- it's how or why i would be back. to restart again, in silence. while i do still hope that gran partita will resonate in my head. something pure and beautiful. with hefty price paid. in silence.

...
tender is the night,
And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
Cluster’d around by all her starry Fays;
But here there is no light,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways

(keats, ode to a nightingale, line 31-35)




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