Had a kind of breakthrough which I suspected was why I was having this scratchy phase. I worked through the Daw piece a lot and am amused I’m eking more emotion out of the playing of a mostly cerebral and impressionistic piece than I was for Guzman’s Dedicatoria (which I still adore quite fiercely but am not sure I want to make it an exam piece now). It does make choosing exam pieces really hard because after I played my four pieces I decided to give the Tatiana Stachak piece (Country Etude) a whirl again and then played through the whole thing. Five times.
I also played through teacher’s composition. Youtube stalking (listen if your teacher has an excellent youtube channel why not use the available resource amirite) reveals this composition was in one of the Grade 3 exam books years ago but it’s a sophisticated piece and I was admiring the way it delivered upon the emotion promised by the title while still retaining a kind of thematic fidelity/simplicity. Not going to say what the piece is because that will reveal the teacher and I fear, my dears, I am not good enough to do so. Plus I am really superstitious. Really really superstitious. Don’t wanna jinx a good thing.
I have a lot to learn still, and I appreciate being given/allowed to play this piece because it has many things I’m obsessed about improving right now, my sustain notes, my handling of dynamics. And the very clear and concise notation is an education in itself.
Tonight I also played through two whole pages of Clair De Lune (the J. Edwards transcription). Decided to just surrender to the tablature experience but keep checking back with the notation and I have sufficient fingerboard knowledge to know what notes I’m playing but he has notes scattered across the fingerboard so the tablature is a good guide to which position he intended, but I’m also a bit cross he didn’t do proper notation with position markings WITHOUT THE TABLATURE. It’ll take some work, the only thing I’m really unsure about are the harmonics though. I’m okay with the 14 position/fret because tbh back in Australia I was composing Eurydice’s Moment of Truth using 10th-14th pos. because I wanted a kind of discordant cthonic effect. Like a song Eurydice might sing in response to Orpheus trying to pull her out of the Underworld.
So that’s what I did. I’ve already played through more than 3/4s of the Trinity Grade 5 book. The only pieces I’m not playing are the duets and that insipid Holidays. Blergh. Next I will learn Skater’s Waltz by Pearson, which seems fun. I also played a bit of the Giuliani tonight because I appear to be ON FIRE SUDDENLY. I’ve been reading music notation more than storybooks this year and it’s like I’m this voracious notation devouring monster.
I really do need to put up a music composition post but I fear that in the morning the next music learning post will be the piano because I have had a breakthrough there as well. So I’ll just say my brand new piece Delirium has 13 bars of notation now — I think I’m basically using it to learn how to notate. It’s easier than rendering to notation my other pieces because I’m writing it bar by bar, phrase by phrase. And has a section in 6/8 time. And lots of dotted notes. I’m so proud of myself!
And it’s all because of pushing myself out of my comfort zone to play Debussy. ON BOTH INSTRUMENTS. Rather than waiting a few more years.
I knew the moment I first listened to Debussy as a 13 or 14 year old awkward teenager that his music was magic. And it’s a magic that continues to infuse my life.