Saturday, July 25, 2009

Today I Saw the Sky Fall

with harmless raindrops pelting like bullets and flashing twigs that snapped at the air.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Le Vent Dans Les Ruines is Kicking My Pasty White Ass.

I haven't been practicing enough.

For nearly a year and half I've been learning these songs, these same pieces, and that may sound crazy dull and you may be thinking a year and a half and you still can't play them? but it's not like that.

There are five pieces for my repertoire and two studies, plus ear and technique.

My first piece is a Prelude and Fugue, meaning that although it's considered one, there are two different pieces to learn. My second is a Mozart sonata which contains no less than three movements.

So five pieces becomes eight, plus two more, plus ear and technique.

I know all the repertoire well. I could perform all but one confidently right now. But you can't just perform at an RCM exam, you also have to impress. That's the tough one.

Last year, I did the exact same I've been doing this year and I should have failed. They passed me by quite a bit--I figure they could guess how well I knew the pieces even if I didn't do the best at playing them there--but I don't think I deserved it. So that's why, with my exam six weeks away, I'm sorta beginning to panic.

My last piece, the one I'm definitely not comfortable performing, is five pages of sixteenth notes, played rapidly, by Ibert.

I did the (very loose, approximate) math: it's about eight notes a second. Ibert was a cruel, cruel man.

I was late to start learning it and then procrastinated. I had all sorts of excuses. When I was supposed to be working on it the most, I was on stage every night doing Pirates of Penzance so my practice time went from borderline sufficient to nil.

Now I'm really panicking. It's a difficult piece, there's no time to think as it's ridiculously fast and I'm supposed to have three and a half pages memorized by tomorrow. I'm just shy of three right now and they're the easiest three.

And, to be honest, I should have had it all memorized several weeks ago.

Usually, I practice an hour a day during the summer. In past years, it's always been enjoyable practice because all I would be doing is learning the basics of lots of songs so that I could figure out which ones I like enough to focus on in September. That didn't happen last year, it definitely won't happen this year.

I'm going to practice at least an hour a day from now on. Really it should be two. I'm saying one for now just to make sure I do it.

Tomorrow, I begin house sitting for my old theory teacher, who's probably the gentlest, kindest most compassionate person I know, while they're away (she's doing a concert with her sister, the professional violinist, in Michigan. How cool is that!). That means that for as long as I want every day for the next ten days, I have access to her beautiful, black baby grand.


It really is beautiful, and massive which makes it all the better.

So that's it. I wrote this because once it's in print, it'll make things more real and my practicing has to be very, very real.

An hour a day.



Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Pen Is Not Only Mightier, It Cuts Deeper Too.

Sometimes, I scare myself.

I'll get this image, and I'll run with it and suddenly, my pen will slip out of my hand and I'll stare at the paper for a while, transfixed.

Did I do that? Did I create that? (Could it happen?)

I wrote a story tonight.