Sunday, November 05, 2006
no-excuses music day
photo by Starflower; amazing quality as usual
Today was my self-designated music day. I had no excuses: there was no housework that urgently needed to be done (those cobwebs on the end wall will have to wait for another time), the kids were entertaining themselves, The Hermit and Stepson #2 were out deer hunting part of the day, and because it is deer season, even though it was a rather nice day I felt better off indoors. You never know what kind of person might be hunting nearby.
First I took the flute out of its case, where it has been for way too long. My tone quality was as expected for me not having played for a while, but it got better after a few Irish reels. However, my dexterity, usually the lesser half of my playing...absolutely surprised me. I was playing reels at twice my normal speed, and my fingers were communicating with each other and moving perhaps better than they ever have. I wish I had a recording device, because I don't know when I'll play this good again! I also played a couple slow waltzes, just to work on intonation, and if only I'd had a guitar accompanist it may have been lovely. I was just about to attempt a Bach sonata when The Hermit and SS2 returned (deerless), and it was probably better that I put my flute away at that time rather than bursting my bubble by screwing up what I affectionately refer to as The Nemesis Sonata. My college flute teacher made me play it over, and over, and I never seemed to get past certain passages.
After an outdoor lunch break, I was ready to bring out the mandolin. I started out with the familiar, and pretty soon I found myself ripping through the familiar at speeds heretofore unimaginable! I don't know what the reason was, but today was Dexterity Day. I was on, even sounding remotely like Chris Thile for the first time in my life. After so many months of hardly practicing, I sound better than ever.
I started paging through my dog-eared copy of The Fiddler's Fakebook. I'm on an old-time kick lately, and I want to expand my repertoire. Little did I know, however, that by the time I put the mando back in its case, I would have expanded my repertoire by over a dozen tunes. It was remarkable; I have never been able to play a tune on first sight so accurately, and with such speed. And I had the energy, and the attention span, to do it. I have not felt like this in a long time.
I don't know from whence this gift of musical ability, which somehow descended upon me threefold after eluding me for years, came, or how long it will stay, or why it all seemed to come together, but it was more fun than I've had in a long time. The only thing that could have made it better would have been to be in the presence of a few other musicians, playing off each other's energy.
Sorry if this sounds like a self-important brag-fest, I'm just basking in a musical afterglow right now!