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Afterglow continues...

I keep trying to shift my focus to holiday shopping, and packing for our short trip to NYC for lots of singing around the piano, but find that I'm still hearing my piece in my head off and on, and dreaming about parts of it, and assimilating the rich experience I had attending rehearsals and then multiple performances of Celebration of the Deep.  My head and heart are so full of all that happened I'm finding it hard to write about!

Saturday's performance at the church was glorious, the overall best the piece has sounded; I was so pleased, and my Mom was proud!  My two sisters as well - it was grand to have my family come from Oneonta for the event.  Working out the kinks Friday night and Saturday during the run-through was the sort of fun challenge and on-the-spot problem-solving that I love.  All the musicians were doing all they could to give the music their best, hearing how the acoustics of the church needed to change how they played, assimilating the parts that they h…

performance at Cayuga Ridge nursing home last night

First I've heard the whole program, including Saint-Saens bassoon concerto (orchestrated by Cayenna from sonata for bassoon & piano), lovely Brahms for lower strings & woodwinds, horns, plus tricky Elgar.  I still get a kick out of my piece referred to as "the Boel".  Like "the Brahms".

My piece suffered a bit from missing players - both the pianist and the contrabass players were absent, though we had 4 horns, and a fuller woodwind section (only missing the second bassoonist).  Luckily Cayenna asked Diana Geiger, the assistant conductor to play the bass part on the piano, so the parts with the string accompaniment had the downbeat present.  And overall it is coming together well!

Interesting phenomenon (missing parts) that all the players are doing really well with - and I can just hope that this flexibility can continue - there are parts that will be heard only on Saturday - timpani, xylophone, second bassoon, and I trust that hearing them for the fir…

Second attendance at rehearsal of Celebration of the Deep

The conductor Cayenna led a fun and moving rehearsal of my piece this last Wednesday - for one thing she had the woodwinds sitting in front of the second violins and violas - it was great to hear their parts sounding from ahead of the inner strings.  I like how she changes things up in interesting and educational ways.  Educational for me, at least!

The ICO started playing from the middle of the piece, what I think of as the climactic full section, and proceeded to the end.  When they got to the melody of the deep part that comes in towards the end out of quietness, out of all the commotion that came before, tears came to my eyes!  I hope that other listeners will be moved by this piece as well.

In case you wondered, it is hard for me to feel responsible for any of this beauty.  Yes I remember writing down lots of stuff, working hard on the score, listening inside for inspiration and correction and making the flow of music true to some sort of inner compass.  But the final result?  Th…

Lead-up to first rehearsal...

Apparently I am going in reverse now, from most recent to less recent... 

So I can see that I also neglected to write about the lengthy process of preparing parts for Celebration of the Deep - yikes!  Proof-reading the notes and markings, and then trying to put little musical cues into the parts, so that each instrument might have some idea at the end of a long rest, just where their entrance was supposed to fit into what else is going on... 

Maybe I get too wound up about this part because of coming from two backgrounds:  1) as a singer, it is typical to see all the other parts (in choral music) plus piano accompaniment, and as a violinist, in orchestra we play often ALL the time, so there are NO rests!  No doubt the other instruments get used to counting.  I know I watched a percussionist doing a two-handed counting scheme that made me think of an abacus when he had a VERY LONG break before his next entrance.  Good idea.

As a performer in my string group Water Bear I noticed that in…

Heard The Deep played!

Well it was an exciting evening, a couple of weeks ago - I attended an early rehearsal of the orchestra and heard them play through my piece...  I enjoyed hearing the live instruments SO much!  Plus, finding out that the beginning motif in the strings that I was worried about - it sounds fine!  Although I guess the urge is to make tremolo sound sinister instead of playful waves, but it seems to WORK, and that is the main point.

The horns were all together for the first time playing my piece, and again they sounded good.  Cayenna is having them move to the front of the orchestra like soloists do who are featured, which I hadn't imagined for some reason... maybe I think the instrument is not easy to carry so we shouldn't make them move.  But is is great to be able to see AND hear them play.

Not all parts were represented, I'm not sure when the full personnel will be able to attend rehearsal - and I was musing how it must be tricky to be playing the piece, having no idea how …

Heal Yourself!

Okay, so I actually mean "Heal Myself", but in case you're wondering, this is what I've been working on this summer... my family doctor believes I have fibromyalgia, and I've had constant headaches for years now.  I'm trying many different approaches, including eating a nutrient-rich diet (Dr. Fuhrman), thyroid hormone replacement (which seemed to help but then made me feel worse even though the tests were still in the "normal" range), and probably most important: going gluten-free two years ago.  Exercise also helps, especially in water.

The latest idea I'm trying is to deal more directly with my back-of-head pain, by pursuing bodywork (the always wonderful and nurturing Sondra Hartman) and C1-C2 adjustments to encourage re-alignment of the top of my spinal column...  this is as well as growing muscles between my shoulder blades (mid-trapezius, lats) so that I use my arms with solid backing.  :)

Yes overall I am feeling improvements!  But I'…
Here's some wonderful music I collaborated on with the amazing Chris Weingarten awhile back, finally "finished".  I'm proud of my violin-playing, which is entirely due to how well the music Chris created engaged me.