For 20 years I have been trying to use less force as I play guitar and it is finally paying off. At times I can show my students how to look, how to play a passage without exerting needless force. I can shorten some notes without worry, hearing them but still feeling the meaning behind. In fact I have invested more time at working less than anything else in my musical life.
I am getting ready for a concert, practicing daily and have performed all the music for audiences at least twice. A couple of passages have often caused trouble, which was irritating given the amount of time and effort went into learning them. During one piece* it finally occurred to me today that I could breathe a little bit before beginning one the next phrase. Just a little bit. It was in a section that was quite boisterous, my favourite part in fact that features a ragtime, syncopated phrase that has the drive of the Glenn Miller horn section.
Babel: a choral symphony is the NUMUS commission that will celebrate 40 years for Wilfrid Laurier's music faculty. The performance on April 2 and 3 will involve all of Laurier's choirs, the symphony orchestra and five soloists. The poem on which the new composition is based examines the artists' struggle, the human condition, and our inability to communicate. Cori Martin's poem is set to music by Laurier Alumna Stephanie Martin. For more information https://www.facebook.com/events/1057202434319402/
When I think about fast playing one of the neglected factors is the release of muscle tension after the action. Muscles move the finger but immediately release so that the finger can return to a ready position. Holding a finger with muscle tension inhibits most of the future potential movements. There is lots of room for confusion here because the commands for the movements take place almost simultaneously with the release command happening as the finger goes down. This much easier to do at
a slower rate of speed, one can see tangible results.
“…sometimes being lost, if there is such a thing, is the sweetest place to be…” Linda Hogan
A long, long time ago, in western coast of Spain lived a man and his daughter. The father was well known as a carpenter, and the elegant beauty of their home showed his skill to all. When looking at this house, one’s eyes were drawn to the window frames adorned with carved roses.