Sunday, December 28, 2014


Redemption is the brand name of the rye I've been drinking for a while.

No running today, just walking. I will run tomorrow.

I have found a camp I really want to go to, but it requires a recording. Not an audition recording, but a "placement" recording. Groan. Still, this place sounds like heaven on earth: 10 days of chamber music, which is assigned in advance so you can learn it before you arrive, and spend the time at camp trying to make music out of it. All levels are accepted, from beginner to conservatory-level. All ages are accepted, from 12 to 90. People are grouped according to ability, not age. According to someone who attended and wrote about it on, you are put into two groups: one a bit above your ability, to pull you along, and one a bit below, so you can help pull others along. Oh, how I want to go there. But the recording...I don't have anything ready that's any good, and I don't know what I could dust off/shine up in a hurry. I should ask my teacher when he gets back, I guess. I'm afraid he'll laugh or say something discouraging, but I really want to go, so it's worth the risk.

Late lunch with in-laws not so bad. It's not that I don't like them, but I don't know them well and I worry we'll run out of things to talk about. We didn't.

Talking with a friend today, worrying aloud about not having anything ready to put on a placement recording because I've been rolling this Hummel up a hill, and it's sooo haaaaaaaaard because of all the fucking turns and ornaments. And she said "Ornaments are icing on the cake, but you need the cake first. Did your teacher ever tell you to leave the ornaments out? " Actually, he did, once, very early on, but then I started putting them back in and he never said anything more about it (not even "wtf are you doing? I told you to leave the ornaments out until you learn the piece, stubborn adult beginner"), even when the ornaments started tripping me up. So anyway, on the first try without ornaments I was able to whip through the entire first page at close to never-event tempo. I told my friend she is a genius.

Once I broke free of the ornaments, a lot of the 16th-note passages started shaping up too. I've been doing the Rhythm Method (playing the passages in as many different rhythms as possible); it's tedious as hell, especially at 50% of 66% of tempo, but it works, eventually. And after about an hour of that, I played through the one turn that's been giving me the most fits all these months - played it 10 times, and nailed it every single time. Yay me, I am having a small glass of rye.

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