So today was the day. The finals of the concerto/aria competition. The performance was in a very resonant hall. In acoustic language, one would describe it as "wet." Playing in this hall is the equivalent of singing in the shower or a concrete stairwell. I love it. For those who might be wondering, a concerto (for an instrumentalist) and an aria (for a vocalist) each require soloist with orchestra. The winners (there will be 4-6) will get to perform their piece with the orchestra on a concert on February 10. It's a unique opportunity for musicians that are not yet or will not be professional recitalists. Kevin, it would be your first piano concert as a married man. Bring the Latonya. Myles, it would be a cool excuse to visit Ta-Town. Results will post Monday. I'll be sure to let you know how it goes.
The piano has been such a release for the past month. I've never experienced an intensity like this before musically. I have felt very vulnerable on stage. Today, I felt vulnerable. There's a change that occurs naturally in a performance versus a practice room. The fact that Franz Liszt began a fond tradition of pianists performing exclusively from memory might have something to do with it. And then there's the emotional baggage that I've brought to the bench for the past few weeks. Baggage that has better served me sculpting each run and trill than punching holes in my wall. MacDowell's masterpiece divided into 78 practice sections. Each of these sections rehearsed with uneven rhythms hands separately and together, accompanied with metronome from slow to fast, placing smaller sections into larger sections with metronome slow to fast. There was an unusual determination of discipline this time around. The daily drilling and slow practice brought a unique freedom to today's performance. There were moments when my fingers and wrists felt sluggish. Runs seemed to drag and the faster melodic section felt like it was in slow motion. I could have sworn that my tempos were lacking. But when I listened to the recording after, I couldn't believe I was listening to myself. Maybe part of that is a pat on my own back, but mostly it just surprised me to hear this strange person that is surviving for me, through me--a ghost caught in mid-apparition. She's wonderful. I hope she doesn't tell my secret.
Thanks, Nicole, for being my faithful audio scribe. I'll be sure to make you some yummy pumpkin muffins. And if anyone's interested, I can try to post the performance soon. Hmm. I'm not quite sure how to turn a minidisc recording into an mp3. Matt, could you help me with that?
Thanks for your thoughts and prayers, guys. They mean alot.