At all hours, day and night.
Must be just the right shade of light brown.
- Calling “Cheers Mate” to the bus driver as you alight from the bus
You met them once, they delivered you home, they are definitely your mate. Also, yes, we say “alight”.
- Rainy Walks
The British countryside offers some absolutely gorgeous walks. Unfortunately, a walk that doesn’t involve some amount of rain is very rare. It’s just part of the whole experience.
- A pint at the local pub
My favourite pub in England is Dad’s local; ‘The Eddie’. It is beautifully old-fashioned, with delicious beer on tap and good old board games on offer.
- A Sunday roast
For some reason, Sunday’s are always incomplete without a tender piece of roast meat, little roast potatoes, veggies and, of course, a Yorkshire Pud.
- Hearing a wonderful melting pot of accents
Wherever you go in the UK, you will hear a vast array of different accents and dialects of the English language, from the Geordies to the Scouse, the Welsh and Scottish, the West Country and the Cockney… And when a few of them come together in one conversation, it sounds like a marvellous, albeit slightly comical, musical symphony of language.
I love it. You probably hate it.
- The feeling of pursing one’s lips, holding in your feelings, all to avoid an argument and keep the peace
The British are experts at bottling up their emotions to avoid any embarrassing conflicts or public displays of emotions. The neighbours are always watching, and what will they think?!
- “I’m desperate for the loo”
Some of our shortened words and phrases are just brilliant, especially those used in connection to the bathroom: loo, bog, privy, spend a penny…
- Monster Munch
My personal favourite. These pickled onion flavoured crisps are mouth-wateringly good.
Category Archives: Thoughts
Something that I love about my blog, is that I have the freedom to write about absolutely anything I want. Whether I’ve been inspired by an art exhibition or a performance that I have recently seen, have stories to tell about a place that I have visited, or if I just feel strongly about a particular topic – anything goes here in my little nook. Just now, my life is definitely on the stressful side; I have a huge impending move, bringing with it many difficult challenges, I haven’t been home for more than a couple of weeks in a long time and, well, I am a poor musician! (Enough said!) So, I thought that for today’s blog post I would take a step back, write about something fun and just keep it real. The subject of today’s post is how I dyed my hair blonde.
Going blonde was quite an experience. It took longer and a lot more work than I ever anticipated and I am still learning how to handle it. So I thought I would document the process here – this will be a post that I would have wished to read myself before I began this blonde journey of mine. And please, if you have any personal experience in this matter, any tips to add, I would love to read them, so do leave them in a comment below!
I guess I should start by clarifying that my natural hair colour is a kind of darkish red – in winter it looks a little more brick-brown and in summer it tends to go a shade of strawberry blonde. I have experimented with dying my hair darker in the past; I first tried a tone just a little darker than my natural colour when I was about 16, and have since also gone a more chocolatey brown. But I have always been curious to see what a true golden blonde would look like on me. And the thing about hair is, it grows! Nothing you do to it will ever require more than a short-term commitment! To me, this just calls for creative experimentation.
So where did I begin? Well, I decided first, being the cheap-skate that I am, that I would try to do it myself at home. I first bought a semi-permanent box dye of a shade that was more of a dark blonde. I would say, at this point, I was still unsure of the exact kind of blonde I wanted to be, and this is something I would suggest you really think about first if you are considering going blonde – it’s definitely a good idea to know the colour you really want to be before you start. I also chose the 8-week wash-out dye, only because this is what I had done for going darker in the past and it had always worked really well. Basically, this dye did nothing. Maybe in some light it looked ever so slightly lighter… but you couldn’t really see any difference. So I wrote this off as a fail.
Next, I decided to change two things; I would now try a permanent box dye, instead of the wash-out one, and I would pick one that looked super light blonde on the box (lighter than I had intended to go). By the way, we have a pretty limited choice of box dyes in the shops here in Germany – I have since seen the selection of dyes in stores in North America, which is highly extensive in comparison – so both box dyes that I bought were L’Oreal, as this was pretty much the best option I had available to me. After dying my hair with this second one, I found that it came out lighter than the first one, but it still wasn’t blonde! My hair was now just a lighter version of red.
At this point, I realised that I was never going to get to a real blonde colour by myself at home. So, with the help of my kind aunt, I arranged an appointment at a salon in Stratford, Ontario (where I was headed in a couple of weeks). Before my appointment, I finally decided to choose a shade of blonde that I really wanted and the kind of look that I was going for. I did some research online and found a picture of a style that I really liked, and I took that picture with me to the salon.
The result: I LOVE my new blonde hair! I have to say, my hairdresser was fabulous, she pretty much achieved exactly the look of the picture I showed her, and I can highly recommend Dudes and Dames Hairdressing Salon in Stratford! The appointment took about 4 hours in total, and most of that time was spent applying the dye individually to very small sections of hair (I have a lot of hair). So if you are going to go through it, bring some reading material! I actually found my hairdresser’s technique for applying the dye pretty interesting; she would apply it in a V shape to some sections of hair, to achieve a kind of ombre look, before wrapping it, and then applied it directly from the roots in other sections, which she then folded and wrapped in foil. She even left a few strands of hair all over my head out, so they stayed red, and the overall look creates so much texture and dimension.
Now, by this point, I had achieved the blonde that I wanted, and I was so happy. However, I still had (and have) a lot to learn, because what I have discovered is that getting to the blonde you want is only part of the journey. Maintaining the blonde is where the real challenge lies. I have found that since going blonde, my hair has been very dry and brittle, and extremely difficult to brush. I have been using L’Oreal Ever Pure Colour Care System shampoo and conditioner, followed by some coconut-oil-based serum and a frizz control product from Lush. I brush my hair out with a wide tooth comb after I shower, as this has always been my strategy for dealing with my curls. Again, if you have any suggestions for good products to use, I am all ears!
The other thing is that, of course, I knew my hair would grow quickly, and with this my roots would also grow out. And it is happening very, very quickly! I still absolutely love my blonde hair, but it is changing in tone every day as it grows, so I am always learning how to style it to make it look good and fresh, and constantly trying new things with it.
As of right now, I am not sure what my next plan will be; whether I will re-dye it, just touch up my roots at some point, let it all grow out altogether, or dye it a whole new colour! I guess I will see how it goes and what happens over the next few weeks and months. I will say that, for right now, I am really enjoying my new look and the feelings it gives me; it’s kind of like having a new character to play when I am out and about! It feels warm and summery, friendly and bright, and I know that my red hair is lurking there, not far away, so I really don’t miss it!
So, if you are considering changing your hair colour, to blonde or anything else, I say do it! It will satisfy that small curious voice in your head, and even if you hate it, it’s always good to try new things!
What I learned:
- Know exactly what colour and shade you want to dye your hair
- Blonde hair needs a professional
- Be prepared for lots of after-care!
As I write this, I’ve just spent the last week or so attending shows and events at Stratford Festival in Ontario, Canada. I have to say, everything I have seen has been marvellous; from a beautiful production of Julius Caesar (cast as a woman!) to a modernised Coriolanus on a jaw-dropping set, and a Rocky Horror Picture Show that was every bit as raunchy and scandalous as it should be!
Spending so much time at the theatre this week has really got me thinking about why I love it so much, why reading the stories, watching movies or listening to music recordings at home just isn’t enough and why live theatre is SO important. I know that we may all feel differently about it; some of the reasons that I’ve put together here may strike a chord with some and not with others, and may be just completely meaningless to those who do not enjoy live theatre at all. Nevertheless, I hope you will enjoy reading a few of the reasons why I find live theatre so captivating and that it may motivate you to seek out some live events near you!
(These are in no particular order – each one is just as important as the last!)
A piece of art comes to life!
When we see a play performed live, or musicians playing music right before our eyes, these wonderful pieces of art become real and understandable! They are no longer words or notes on a piece of paper; they are real characters, plots and stories being put out into the world at that very moment, as they were intended by their creators, and you are a witness to it in the audience! At home, there is always be some kind of barrier between us and the art – a book that we have to read to get to the story or a device through which we could hear the music. But at the theatre, the art is being given to us directly, with no obstacle separating us from it, and we can therefore totally engage with it and be immersed in it. And not just the piece of art itself, as in the play or the string quartet (for example!), but the actual art form too. Watching talented and professional actors and musicians doing their jobs make those very art forms a real thing and this is something to behold in itself.
I always find it so interesting to watch different interpretations of any piece of art – I feel like the more interpretations of something that I see, the more I explore the art and the better I get to know it, finding its own meanings for myself. Whether these are different interpretations as presented by the performers, directors, choreographers, writers, or even those as experienced by other audience members during one performance – seeing a new understanding or meaning to a piece of art that I hadn’t thought of before is really exciting! This week I was lucky enough to catch two Shakespeare plays, and they couldn’t have been more different. Coriolanus was set to a modern backdrop, with all modern clothing and even references to modern culture, with things like mobile phones and Facebook messenger. Julius Caesar was totally old school – the set was minimal, no frills or trills, costumes were old-fashioned and the performance really centred only around the actors and their speech. For some, the modernisation made that play more entertaining and relatable, while for me personally, I felt much more involved with the old style one, where I really locked into the plot and the language. At home, we are very limited in what we have available to us – just the book, or a particular recording or two. One really has to see art live to get these different interpretations and fully understand them.
Each one on their own journey
Every time I watch a live performance, I like to be aware of what’s going on around me, to observe the reactions of my fellow audience members. There is always so much happening in the audience! Everybody is feeling something different in connection with the art that they are experiencing, each person is on their own journey with it. In the Shakespeare plays (and in Rocky too, actually!) I found it interesting to see where some people laughed, when people were shocked (even though we all know Brutus kills Caesar, this point still got a few gasps), if some people felt bored, if others looked uncomfortable… And the artists themselves are on a journey too. We can’t know the details of what led them to this specific performance, about the work that went into it and the mental space they had to get to in order to produce something that they had envisioned or heard in their own heads. We don’t even know what might be going on in their personal lives which could be affecting their performance, or their relationships with each other on stage, or how they approach the art of performing. Art makes us feel real emotions, and we all feel them differently. Being part of that, while experiencing your own personal journey at the same time, is special.
Similar to the last point but not quite the same, is the importance of watching art unfold together with other people. At home, we read alone, listen to music in the background while doing other things, watch movies in silence. But at the theatre, there is a sense of human connection, of experiencing our own personal emotions and journeys with the art WITH other people, audience and performers together. In that moment, those precious hours while the performance is in progress, we are all as one group doing the same thing. There is nobody on their phones, answering emails, working or chatting with friends. We, as one big organism, are going through the same experiences together, and all of our attention is in one place. In a world that often feels very lonely and hectic, this is so so so important and valuable.
There’s only one shot
This is something that is just as meaningful for both performer and audience! Although it can riddle any artist with performance anxiety, the fact that they only have one chance to deliver, here and now in this exact moment, adds an electricity to the theatre. They know this, and the audience knows it too. Whatever happens, happens – there ain’t no do-overs. As an audience member, knowing that the art that I am experiencing only exists now, once, in this moment, has caused me to sit up and try not to miss a single thing. As a performer, this feeling is what has encouraged me to take risks, to just ‘go for it’, and also to feel incredibly nervous. It is what makes every second of a performance really matter and be something that I care so truly and honestly about. And isn’t it wonderful to sit in the audience and watch a performer who really cares, to watch them take risks and to see the sparks that fly because of it?!
And following on from the ‘one-shot’ philosophy, are the inevitable mistakes. I love mistakes. I think they are brilliant. Because you can’t get more in-the-moment than a mistake. When an artist makes a mistake, it means they are really experiencing something real; maybe they took a risk and it didn’t work, maybe they care SO much about what they are doing that they got carried away, or maybe they are just real human beings and not computers! To me, mistakes are life and they are wonderful.
Phew!! What a moment this is in my life!
This week marks the end of my life as a student and, even more significantly, the end of my ‘Salzburg Era’. On Tuesday evening, 26th of June, I played my last and final Masters Recital, thus completing my Masters Degree. That night, I said goodbye to being a student, to the city of Salzburg that has created itself such a special place in my heart, and to my brilliant and wonderful teacher, Klara Flieder.
I moved to Salzburg when I was 20 years old. At that time I didn’t speak a word of German, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life or with music, and I didn’t even know much about my new teacher whom I was going to study with. I only knew that I wanted (and needed) to get away from the boring politics and depressing life that I was living in London. When I first arrived in Salzburg, I was completely overwhelmed by trying to figure out how everything worked and seemed to ‘fail’ at every step. I don’t think I realised how difficult a move like that would be or what it would entail, and creating a new kind of life for myself has definitely been a slow and gradual journey. But now I can honestly say that Salzburg, and being a student there, has enriched my life in so many ways and I can’t imagine what I would have done if I had never moved there! (I probably wouldn’t still be playing the violin, that’s how unhappy I was in London…)
A sneaky snap of my Beethoven ‘Kreutzer Sonata’ performance during my Masters Recital
I owe pretty much everything – my love of violin and music, my education, my outlook, my ideas – to my teacher. I was so lucky to get to study with a professor who so understood me and cared about me, who inspired me and made me excited for each lesson, who made me feel the importance of our work so profoundly. Klara deserves her own blog post so I won’t say too much more about her here, only to mention that saying goodbye to her the other night was incredibly sad. When I finished my Bachelor degree with her and left Salzburg for the first time in 2014, it definitely didn’t feel like the end – somehow the metaphorical (and literal) door remained very much open for me to come back to do my Masters. But this time, even though I know we will always be in contact and she will continue to be a big part of my life, it really does feel like the chapter is closed.
Celebrating with my wonderful teacher and pianist, after my Masters Recital
Right now I feel quite an intense mix of emotions! I must confess, I have been looking forward to this moment for a while and NOT having to deal with the obligations of being a student any more. I am excited to get out there and start working on my own creative ideas, to not be held back by responsibilities of things like trying to get enough orchestra credits… I do feel nervous, though, because real life is daunting and being a musician was never going to be a big money-maker, especially doing the kind of creative work which I find so fulfiling.
But more than anything, I am SO excited! My head is bursting with ideas and I am ready to dive straight in. Firstly, I always knew I wanted to get this blog back on track. I have lots of posts ready to go, and ideas for many more, and I have decided that my upload day will be every Sunday, so make sure to check back in each week to stay updated! I have my whole Eckhardt-Gramatté project on the back burner, so get excited for the imminent release of my album as well as more news surrounding the project! I can’t wait to get my recordings out there and hope that you love them as much as I do! By the way, you may have seen that I created a whole section on this website dedicated to my work on this project, including videos, photos, quotes and even my Masters Thesis, so definitely check it out if you are interested! There is also the small matter of my upcoming move to North America. I will be documenting that whole process, as I think it will be bigger and more complicated than I can even get my head around at this point, so there are indeed many exciting times ahead.
So, for right now, I want to say Adieu to my old life, hello to the new one, and a big welcome back to my blog! I am so happy to be back here and writing again and looking forward to a new chapter of life!
In this video I talk about the questions that have been on my mind since being at the Banff Centre; about staying motivated to make music and art in a world full of monsters like Trump and, particularly, about all of the women artists that have been forgotten or were never known, simply because they were women. I am hoping, with my project, to shed some light on this issue, and to give at least one of these women a voice.
Please subscribe to my channel to keep updated with my video diaries!
I have recently encountered, in various different areas of my life, an argument being thrown around by the older generation towards my own age group, that says we are ‘too young’ to be getting involved in serious political or social issues. Perhaps it has been one of those things where, once you notice it happening once or twice, you start to see it all over the place. Regardless, I find so much at fault with this mentality, so many important messages to be taken from it, that it sparked a blog post within me, so here we go!
To give some context, I thought I would talk about a couple of examples of when I have directly faced an argument like this. The first happened a couple of weeks ago. I have been planning a concert in London for a while now, with my newly formed, diverse and ‘cutting edge’ ensemble, Hauptstimmen. The goal of this group of classical chamber musicians is to bring our music to a wider audience, to break down boundaries that we have experienced in our world of classical music and make it an all-inclusive art form, something that everyone can share in and take something away from. We have organised a concert ourselves in London next week (see all the details here, please come!!), and the theme of our programme is ‘war, time and death’. I know it sounds a little dark and depressing, but actually it is really fascinating; we are going to be performing unique music that is very rarely heard, including Gideon Klein’s string trio, which was the last piece he ever wrote, just two weeks before being deported to Auschwitz. It isn’t just going to be a concert – it is going to be a real experience, with cool lighting, sound effects and stage design, where the audience will be encouraged to feel completely at ease with drinks and snacks and also totally engaged with our performance. In short, this is an event that we have put a lot of thought and work into and one which we think will really create huge impact.
Now, in organising this concert, finding the right venue has obviously been extremely important – the space is paramount to the whole experience, and so it was something we knew we had to get right. We were overjoyed to find The Red Hedgehog, a cool and intimate venue with easy access in London. When our group leader met with the venue director, she seemed totally on board and supportive of all of our ideas, so everything looked bright for us. Two weeks ago, we received an email from this same director and let’s just say that it completely contradicted everything that had been agreed on previously and everything we are striving to achieve. Her overarching message to us was that we were far too young to be presenting a concert that placed war as its central theme.
My initial response to the email was anger, of course, followed by a real sense of sadness. I felt so sad because, here is a group of young musicians who are trying to do something different and creative and combine their art with important world issues, only to be shot down by someone older and with more ‘power’. Today, after having dwelled on it for a while, I feel so strongly the error in her way of thinking! The fact is that war and death are very much part of our world, and unfortunately this is something that is becoming more of a scary reality everyday. To think that only people of a certain age should be talking about it is naive; I am in my twenties and part of a generation that will have to deal with the remnants of what is left post-Trump, or with whatever the future holds for North Korea, Syria, ISIS etc. We are exactly the ones who need to be talking about it and understanding what is happening and why – we are the ones who can help the future. As musicians, we have such a special way of sharing these ideas. Through music, we can reach out to people and bring people together, we can talk about fears of war and death through our playing and use music to make it relevant to everyone, no matter their age.
The second example I wanted to mention was something that I saw on a social platform a few days ago. A friend of mine had posted an article about veganism – a topic sure to fire anyone up, I know, and of course it did. But the most offensive response to the article, in my opinion, was from someone from a slightly older generation who advised my friend that she was too young and shouldn’t be concerned with issues like veganism, rather she should just live her life and spend her time ‘dreaming’. I am just so confused how anyone could suggest that talking about veganism is only for people of a certain age! What is this age, exactly? Because I am definitely not looking forward to turning this mysterious age when suddenly the weight of the world will be on my shoulders. And, as my friend pointed out in her reply, isn’t bringing up issues such as veganism on social media exactly what ‘dreaming’ is? Dreaming of a better world, dreaming of what the future could be. I am not purporting to be an advocate of veganism or not – that is not the point here – only that I certainly think that anyone who wants to talk about veganism, or war, or death or any other huge political or social issue absolutely can and even that we, as young people, should!
And this ‘young’ thing… I mean, I’m 26! I am not exactly a spring chicken. I have been old enough to vote for a long time, and I have definitely held strong political views for pretty much my whole life. I am lucky enough to live in a society where I can freely express my views, so who is to tell me, or anyone else in my generation, that I shouldn’t because I am too young?! In fact, in recent elections, basically all the ones where shit really started to go down, it has been shown that young people really do have a voice and really do know what they are voting for and the consequences of what they are voting for – it’s the older generations that have really screwed things up for us all.
Basically, I want to make it clear that, yes, I am young and yes, that absolutely means I will continue to use my voice and my art to share ideas and fears and issues that I believe in or that I believe are important. I hope that if young people like me are also facing this ridiculous argument from our elders – that we are too young to be concerned with these important topics – that we can feel inspired to rise above and speak even more loudly. Age doesn’t equal power, and with our youth comes a responsibility for the future, so let’s engage with each other NOW and make the world a better place.
A few days ago I had a conversation with a friend which raised many striking and, I believe, important questions. These were questions that I really don’t have answers to, and they concern a topic which I find can often be very confusing and scary. However, as this conversation has since stayed at the foreground of my thoughts, I felt that it could be a good idea, for me as well as for anyone else who is interested in reading this, to formulate my questions here into a blog post, in the hope of gaining some clarity and perspective.
I should probably start by stating the obvious (or what I think is obvious anyway!); I am an educated white person, I grew up in a (relatively!) financially stable household, with a supportive family who have always taken an interest in politics, current/social affairs and international news, and who uphold liberal left-wing views. I grew up with an open outlook on the world and was taught the value of equality and acceptance. In short, I am in a position of privilege, and I feel incredibly lucky, outrageously lucky in fact, to have had the opportunities and quality of life that I have had so far.
When I look around the world today, I find it very easy to get completely baffled by social injustice. It is hard to understand how some can have so much, have won the golden ticket of life, while others have nothing. But it is even more difficult to understand how the few lucky ones can be so discriminatory against those who already suffer because of their social standing. I see racism, sexism, homophobia, prejudice against people with disabilities, prejudice against particular sexual orientations and others on a daily basis, and I can’t understand what misguided, ‘fake’ information or simple lack of humanity led those people to act in those ways.
My comfy bubble of privilege is overwhelming, I don’t know what to do with it or how I should use it. Going about my own daily life can sometimes feel incredibly trivial… practising Paganini Caprices seems pointless when I could be using my voice to fight those bigots. My question to all you folk out there who are in the same boat as me is: how do we use our privilege to fight social injustice for a better future for our world?
I have seen the fight, I have watched people engage in debates in real life and on social media but it doesn’t seem to be working. From my personal experience, when you try to argue with someone on Facebook or Twitter, someone who is a devout Trump supporter and in favour of the immigration ban, the transgender military ban etc. etc. it only makes them dig their heels into their beliefs more! Sometimes it seems to me that the more criticism and backlash Trump himself gets, the harder he goes in for whatever new disastrous event he has planned next. So, how can we, with our positions of white educated privilege, talk to these kinds of people? How can we discuss these important issues and show them, without insulting them or angering them, that they are so wrong? Perhaps it doesn’t have to be an argument, but rather a patient and firm education of its own? After all, isn’t the goal in the end to break down all this social division and bring people together?
I am connected to certain people on social media which mean that I see any amount of bullshit that fits into those categories of prejudice that I mentioned above and I want to know what to do; should I just ignore it, let it slide and un-follow them – I know those people aren’t going to change their beliefs because of what I have to say to them and it most likely won’t make any difference at all – or should I try to intervene, engage in discussion/argument? Even if it means those people want nothing more to do with me because I am a disgusting liberal to them, I have stayed true to my own beliefs and integrity so I could at least feel better within myself, right? Do we have a duty to act when we see such nonsense? And if so, how do we even begin, what do we say?
If I am being completely honest, I think I have even felt too scared to ask these questions until now. Somehow, in the political and social climate of today, alienation and polarisation of people feels like the biggest battle and I think this often makes us too scared to say anything at all, even if it is just to ask questions which could make us vulnerable or susceptible to criticism.
If you have any thoughts or ideas about any of the questions I have asked here, I would love to read them in the comments below. This is a safe place where discussion is most appreciated and valued!
Sometimes, when I think about what I do, it can seem a little absurd! My fellow classical musicians and I have spent thousands and thousands of hours and dedicated our WHOLE LIVES to working on, practising and performing music that is so old it has already been played millions of times before us and, if you want to look at in a dark way as I do, probably much better than us too. So why do we persist?! What’s the point?
Perhaps some of my colleagues would say that being a classical musician was a career they fell into, a childhood hobby that went too far, and they have invested far too much to give up now so may as well keep plugging away at it. Others might passionately remark that it does not matter if this Beethoven Sonata is probably at this very moment being played by five thousand other violinists across the world and millions more before them; the music is too wonderful, we must have our chance to express it too and to keep it alive. The more egotistical musicians out there might even disregard the countless performances given before them – surely their’s is going to be the BEST one so far, and so they have every right to give it!
I reckon there is a place for each of these arguments. Somehow or other, whether by choice or because we absolutely had to, we ARE classical musicians. We have a wonderful skill and something to say and I believe that there is a duty and room for us all in this world to say it – I have to believe that! And even those egos may have a point; if we are going to play a piece of Bach that is over 350 years old, we have to be confident that our version will be a little different from anyone else’s, that we have a new idea to put out there and really sell it. I remember when my teacher gave me the Tchaikovsky violin concerto to learn, I was less than thrilled. It was so hard for me to feel excited about all the work that I was about to put into learning this piece that every other violinist in the world has already done, to hear it with fresh ears without automatically thinking of the numerous performances of it I already hear each year. When I talked to my friend about my feelings, she told me that the point of playing the Tchaikovsky, though, was not just to learn it as everybody else has before me, to reenact the same ideas and the same music as they all have. The point of playing it was to come up with something new and different, an interpretation that would be completely unique to me. I absolutely loved this idea! Playing this old ‘warhorse’ of a piece now felt like an exciting challenge to create something new out of it! What an opportunity I had been given!
Sometimes I look at painters or composers or choreographers with envy; these are people who’s art will always be new and theirs alone. They get to go to work every day and create something from nothing that nobody else could call theirs. This always seemed so luxurious to me. But I am realising more and more that being a classical musician is not so far away for this. We also have to create; every day we create new ideas and find new ways of playing things, new techniques to make new sounds which are all the more exciting because we can apply them to old pieces of music in this amazing kind of new-old fusion!
The fact is, the music that we play may be old in it’s age, but it is not old at all in it’s relevance to us and our lives or it’s ideas or even in it’s progressiveness. That is what is SO unbelievable about it. You can listen to a choral movement by Bach today and still feel affected and touched, that what he was saying and writing all those years ago still matters to humanity and the world right now. Classical music is an old art form, but it is our job as musicians to show everyone how current it really is and that is why we MUST persist in our practice and work and performances of these old giants.
Not to sound Romantic,
But 26 IS a strange age.
One step closer to something
that feels more real each year,
yet much further from those bygone flirtations with worriless, happy days .
Is this when I am supposed to start really living?
Things never happen quickly enough!
I can’t find the right words in time,
nor soak up enough knowledge like a sponge.
When I am not moving I feel completely stuck,
but really it’s just that I am standing still.
Perhaps, then, I should now start to slow down instead,
I have been told this before;
take your time!
don’t care so much!
But HOW, when there is just SO much to do and I am already so far behind?!
Forgive me, I am not a poet.