Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Music Festival Day 2

Alright, so Day 2 of this music festival is significantly cooler than Day 1... had 2 chamber groups ... one w/ a teacher I've already studied with and playing Haydn. It's a boring piece, but the violinist is pretty cool... a kid named "Marti" who happens to be Armenian & is into rock music...

The second is w/ a teacher who's name I didn't catch, but the other 2 kids in it were way better than me, so I'm like super-intimidated & have a crazy amount of practicing to do... I know I've gotten better already just from the work I've done up here so far... and the teacher was actually able to talk about bowing during our session - it's exciting to get coached by a string teacher...

Plus, on my way out, I met a girl who was wearing a nightwish shirt... super cool!!

I tried to get into Orchestra, but they had way too many cellists... oh well.

Alright... gonna waste some time on the internet & then I've got loads of practicing to do...

Monday, July 30, 2007

Summit Music Festival

Just started the summit festival today... don't really have much to do as of just now, my rehearsals seem to be on Tuesdays and Fridays and I may have to be here some of the other days of the week, but otherwise, it looks like I have an almost light schedule, but lots of practicing...

I'm thinking of joining the orchestra here, but think I'm gonna skip so that I can have a lighter schedule, b/c I kind of need one right now...

Dunno will figure it out one way or the other... gonna go get breakfast...

Sunday, July 1, 2007


alright... so now that I haven't practiced in about a week and a half, I'm back into the swing of things!

First thing I've noticed: I'm less out of shape than I expected, which means that routine I was working on is gold, because that's about the only thing I've worked on in the last few weeks & it's kept me where I am ... which has led me to a revelation that my technique is sorely lacking in the fundamentals and that this is holding me back tremendously...

but anyway, I called the post parallels, and there's 2 reasons for this:

1. Technique first, expression afterwards - I came across this in Emily Wright's blog (Stark Raving Cello):

They are both adult beginners, and have trusted me with my policy of Technique First, Sound Second. Of course, a week into this new bow grip, their sound caught up with them, and is more radiant and polished than it ever was before. Just like mine was when Ron Leonard unceremoniously dumped my bow grip and gave me a new one...on our first lesson. It took me about 2 months to regain my sound, but he is directly responsible for my current approach, and my faith in technique uber alles.

I then came across the exact same sentiment/idea in the essays here (a must read for anyone in volved the arts by the way, amateur or pro...): http://www.artrenewal.org/articles/2003/Best_of_ARC/best1.asp?forumID=18

2. In an interview w/ JK Rowling (which I can't link to because mugglenet is down due to the release of the movie today), she mentions that when she writes she doesn't share it with anybody until it's finished because the energy dissipates, then I come across this interview with Jordan Rudess (http://www.tokafi.com/15questions/interview-with-jordan-rudess/view), where he says the following:

It is very important to be very involved personally. It is also very hard, I think, for many people these days to balance business and family and art. You know, it's the challenge of modern life. For me, it's hard, especially with email and all that, it's really tempting and interesting to go and look and see what the communications are - you can kind of get a lot of things going and a lot of relationships, and I enjoy that. For instance, what happens with me, when I was creating this solo album that has yet to come out, it's called "The Road Home", and I guess we'll talk about that a little later, you know I have to stop the world a bit.

Anyway, I think those are both amazing points & one of the things I've been doing lately, that parallels with this, is spending less time on the computer ... it's a great tool, but it takes up so much of my energy at the same time...

Now, back to the music stuff.... A few insights I gained while practicing today:

1. Intonation: When doing 5th double stops, always secure the root & then the 5th will follow
2. Bowing: Initiate the bow stroke w/ the middle 2 fingers - this seems to reduce gripping with the thumb
3. LH: Move as a unit. All motions come from the back
4. Slow is the foundation for good technique
5. Thumb Position: If you can play a good note with your thumb down, you can play a good harmonic. Not the other way around (In doing scales, I was leaving the thumb up whenever I got to the harmonic A on the A string... I feel like doing so is essentially handicapping myself)

I think I might make a small modification or two to the daily routine, but otherwise, I'm pretty set with it & working on actually getting through all of it cleanly. Also, I'm implementing it on keyboard... man is my keyboard technique a mess!!

Now, keeping in line with the 2nd principle up there, I'm gonna get off the internet now...