18. January 2007 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Ramble

“… obviously playing music does not help my stress, or it hasn’t lately. Why is this though? How has something so joyful and peaceful become so painful, destructive and unpleasant?

Matt Heller asks a very good question. I’m sure he and I aren’t the only two musicians who ask this. At least I hope not!

I’ve had absolutely miserable times with oboe. Painful and destructive and horribly unpleasant, to be sure … and everything I did made it worse. These rotten times were more common when I was younger. It’s not that things have gotten easier—in many ways things are more difficult now as I get pickier all the time and realize that even the most simple music is very hard in some ways. (Sometimes the “simplest” is the most “difficult” if you know what I mean! “Simple” does not necessarily mean easy.)

I hadn’t checked out Matt’s blog recently. I’m glad I landed at Jason’s, finding his blog entry referring Matt’s blog entry about Yo-Yo Ma. (Are you confused yet?)

Which leads me to Yo-Yo Ma and the delight of working with him. While Matt and I might bemoan our misery in music sometimes, Yo-Yo Ma has always given me the impression that he is finding total joy in what he does. I’ve never worked with a finer musician. I’ve never seen a kinder person, either. And the times he played with us (in San Jose Symphony (RIP)) he always sat in the back of the cello section for a work scheduled elsewhere in the program.

I wonder if the man has those rotten times but just doesn’t show it. I’d love to ask him, but I’m not one to talk to soloists—I am too reserved and shy (really!). I’ve never spoken to a soloist without the soloist approaching me first (which is rare). I don’t believe I’d ask that question even if I had a chance though; why plant that anxiety possibility in someone’s mind? It’s like saying to an oboist prior to playing a particular symphony, “Do you always miss that first note in Dvorak’s 7th second movement? I’m always afraid I will.”

Nope. Woulnd’t do that to anyone.

And now I’m off. Gotta go play the Symphony Silicon Valley concert, which includes Dvorak’s 7th. Go figure.

I’ll write more about pain, destructive behavior and that desired joy later … maybe.
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