19. October 2008 · Comments Off on I Wasn’t Perfect · Categories: Ramble, Symphony

Oh well. I think I played well, but today wasn’t perfect, and I was annoyed. For the most part I felt pretty good, even though the eyes were still not cooperating (perhaps I just need new music glasses?). But there was this one note … sigh … I hate it when it’s the “one note” thing. It ticks me off.

But really, the concert went well. Or at least the Debussy went well. I didn’t really hear everything else. And I thought our conductor, George Cleve, was great. He really just breathes Debussy, to be honest. It’s like it’s in his blood. (So I guess he “bleeds” Debussy, actually.)

So aside from “The Note” I’m happy, and I’m trying not to be annoyed with that. My mother and sister (hi, you two!) say they didn’t hear what I’m talking about … and I do think they were being honest.

It’s not all about me, after all.

OR IS IT?! 😉

I’m not commenting on Sarah Palin by posting this. I’m not commenting on anything political. It’s not my style; I don’t like to let people know where I stand in politics, to be honest. I prefer to keep ’em guessing. (Truth be told, I think those of us in teaching positions should be quite careful about things like this.) So this video below is NOT intended to be about politics. It’s about improvisation. I think whoever put this music with the interview just did a knock-out job.

I’d love it if the musician who did this did it for others as well. Just because he’s so darn good at it! 🙂

I try to get my students to improvise. I’ve commented on this before. Some of us who are classical musicians tend to get frozen when we have a bit of freedom. So I have students “give me a tune in the key of …” and let them have at it. Some do a great job. Some are entirely stumped. I improvise, but it’s certainly not anything to write home about. Still, it’s good to be a creator sometimes, rather than a creative, you know?

I am officially skeptical of Music Director positions in general. It reminds me of the race for the Presidency – why would you spend two years of your life running around, getting trashed by the opposition, only to get elected and then be blamed for all the world’s problems? In the music biz sometimes people don’t even wait for you to officially start your tenure. In the past couple of weeks I’ve read media reports bashing both Gilbert and Eschenbach, and if memory serves they don’t even start their gigs until next season. Yikes.

Bill Eddins, on his way soon to Berkeley Symphonywrote the above. I’ve never heard Berkeley Symphony or played under the current conductor, (UCSC and SFSU grad) Kent Nagano, but I have friends who play in it. Guess I should check ’em out sometime, yes? It’s just a crummy drive. (Many of my friends will scoff at me if they read this; they drive down here from that area all the time. I just don’t like the drive!)

I wonder how many conductors they are auditioning.

No behind the screen audition for a conductor, eh? 😉

I’ve only had one experience going through the whole “choose a conductor thing” and it was a difficult thing to do. You don’t really know what you are getting until you actually hire someone. You aren’t necessarily seeing the “all of it” until they’ve signed on the dotted line. Then it’s sort of too late, you know?

Here in SSV we don’t have that issue (currently) since we have no permanent conductor. There are advantages and disadvantages about this, and I go back and forth on what I’d like. I’m wishy-washy that way.

I’m all for sharing. Really. But when a neighbor blasts some sort of music so loudly that I am blessed with pounding bass I get pretty darn annoyed.


I suppose I could blast Rite of Spring here and open all the windows. But I suspect that would only aggravate me more.

So, what to do next time you’re dragged on a conference call and people start screaming? Play classical music through the phone.

As was discovered this afternoon, hilarity will ensue.