monkeying around january

it's been a real busy period since i came back from lazy, stretched-out, belly-scratching winter break in the hazy hills of uk (saturated with rain, of course...); not that i was suffering! i was quite excited to get back into it.  you see, i believe in 'leaving things faraway' at times- just like that gigantic lindt chocolate bar, it's always better when you come back to it (rather than hogging it all throughout to the end)

after the week of semi-calm (pressed and stained with many notes and administrative stuff), wknd of 19/20 january was an eventful one:

1.  utoronto symphony orchestra concerto competition- i accompanied five hard working kiddies. i am proud to say two of them not only made it to the final, but they are the winners- congrats to mike dassios (clarinet) performing nielsen clarinet concerto and biancak chambul (bassoon) performing mozart concerto.  it always is a great feeling. not to forget that little young lady ms. luzin had one of the panel members rather surprised with her progress in short five days! (we played her concerto on monday's studio class and she went and WORKED it. it was so much improved! i want to be that efficient- admirable!)

2.  clarinet masterclass with richie hawley from texas (he won principle of cinccinnati symphony at tender age in early 20s, ridiculous), playing for two great kids from glenn gould school- the francaix was a challenge to learn in a short time and schumann required much more thought as we progressed. however, both performed beautifully and i was happy to be part of it.

3.  berio sequenza extravaganza: i was playing for talented guy few for sequenza X for the trumpet, which calls for all kinds of 'silent' open playing- the trumpeter projects sound into the piano and it's amped to pick up the resonance- which involved two pedals and carefully placed big intervals with fingers- none of them should ever make a sound! which is harder to do than it seems. who wouldve thought it takes so much effort to be silent. when i told my parents i was playing 'silent' piano, they asked if it's hard... and i was stuck on what to say- well, momdad, if it is hard to sound all the right things, it must be hard to also not sound all the right things? hahaha.   i was also part of the backstage team, so that ate a good chunk of the wknd...

4.  filling in for the kieser prize concert for university of toronto:  last minute decision was made to substitute a solo piano work by the guest composer of the new music festival this year, steven mackey.  i was approached to learn the cadenza of his piano concerto, stumble to grace (2011).  it's great. AWESOME.  it's got pulse, a real sense of -life, of reaching, progressing, rhythmic and beautiful resonance.

so good that i immediately start to wonder if i could do actually do it.
(what a bad idea to approach such music....!)

receive score, print on monday, meet the composer on tuesday, worry and practice through wed and thurs, then abandon unreasonable hope on friday and play.

this abandon unreasonable hope thing is awesome i think.

we worry constantly.
well, i do.

most worries involve 'trying to be someone else-' including: being better, smarter, more charismatic, intelligent, anything, anything that is not actually 'me' at the moment.  the idea of having a goal is useful, however, destroying the 'self' of the moment- that is detrimental.  bottomless pit of worries and self-explosion (of the worst kind).

however, i am learning, albeit slowly.

once i give up the notion of '-should be something else,'  may be i can just be self.  self changes throughout life.  self evolves. self does not have to be subjected to a cold, final, absolute evaluation- self just need to be accepted and let live.

i dont really have a great recollection of how it all went, however, i do understand that people did enjoy it.  mr mackey was happy. new music fest profs were happy. well. that's a good sign.

i listened to the recording from the concert. immediately i found of all the things i wanted to do but did not do.

then i stopped.
listened to it again.

though there were things that i wished to execute better (as most cases), i think i enjoyed it.  yes, sir and madam, i did enjoy that music. even when i was worried. even when i was missing things. even when i could not monitor as my slow head was so busy trying form ideas to physicality.

'process.'  one needs to process and progress. progress never means 'betterment' or 'change,' just different. and if one can see what one wishes to do, perhaps one needs to accept the 'seeing' self as well. without the 'seeing' self, there would be no 'executing' self, which means there will be no progress/change.  stagnant. dead.

hence, stumbling to grace, literally, this project was the RIGHT thing to end this hectic period- such a high note.  to enjoy oneself through great thoughts of another, thoughts that are genuine, real and beautiful so that others may gain entry to another's life experience- which, in a weird sense, are shared among us, as part of humanism.  and having that enjoyment accepted by others is truly one of the best things. in fact we call it 'celebration'- quite similar to weddings, graduations, parties, we are simply celebrating.

with such gift from mr mackey and profs who trusted me for a rush project, guess where i flew to...


yes yes i think i am a lucky one.
banff notes coming up soon! :)
meanwhile, love to everyone. sorry ive been a quiet ranter.  may be you enjoyed the silence though! greets with fresh mountain wind and snow.

1 comment:

  1. it's been a grand start to the year. being you is the best thing you could possibly do, and though ever changing and flowering, always you.