So I don't normally like to blog aimlessly.....but this week I've got very little to talk about. Maybe that's not quite true.
I got my 1820's 6-key flute that I won on ebay in the mail this week. I'm hoping to work at restoring it. I'll see if I can take some pictures and keep you updated on the process.
The flute studio at Flat Place U also had a masterclass/flute marathon with the former principle of the London Symphony Orchestra. I was dreading this masterclass.....2 1/2 hours of him and us and then another 2 hours later on in the evening, specifically on a day in the week when I'm usually brain dead anyway. Now normally classical flute masterclasses (whether I'm playing in them or not) leave me depressed (I have a bit of a complex about my classical flute playing) and just generally wanting to go home and play trad tunes until I block out the classical world. This was more like Monty Python teaches flute. Imagine the Lumberjack teaching Cappriccio Espagnole. It was great.....with the exception of being forced to play the Titanic flute solo in a room full of other flute players. He was energetic, he was kind, and he was always positive. And he had one hell of a tone. He also harped on one of my pet peeves with classical flute playing: that of wussy playing. For the most part, we classical flute players are nice and polite about our playing (myself included) and I hate it. I think we stay in the box way too often, and it was refreshing to see a top level professional talk about that.
This week was a good flute week if for no other reason than I did not feel like hurling my classical flute into oncoming traffic multiple times. But I thought I would talk a little about my complex. I decided to enter the Concerto competition, which is basically obligatory in the studio. I have serious issues with competitions, and several of my flute-playing friends (who are consummate musicians and who I consider family) were a little surprised. Musical competitions are evil for several reasons, but my main problem with them is that they try to quantify a musical experience, thereby trying to quantify a musician. In other words, we're going to assign you a numerical order based on my subjective view of you at this particular point in your life. Yes....I know jobs in the performing world are competitions, I know that I have to know how to perform under pressure, but do I really need to ram my head into the wall repeatedly. I don't do competitions because I'm insanely competitive....and it's not a side of me I particularly like or can control, so I normally stand to the side. I know exactly what will happen in two weeks time.
1) I will have worked my ass off on this concerto.
2) I will play said concerto and not be happy with it....because that's who I am.
3) I will not place in the final several players who will go onto the final concerto schoolwide division.
4) I will be depressed and my complex that I don't belong in the classical music world because I suck will be reinforced.
5) I will take a week to try and pick up the flute again, while congratulating the friends that I have that I know will kick ass (mine included).
Music isn't a quantifiable event....so why do we persist in forcing ourselves through these experiences? Or rather why do I? One of my closest friends here told me she loves to play, and that competitions are a way for her to play in front of other people. That's not my perspective at all, probably because I have this constant measuring stick that I find hard to get rid of. Why when I pick up the classical flute, can I not just enjoy the journey of playing? When I play trad music, that doesn't happen. And yet the classical flute is so fused with my sense of identity, that I'm having issues about what to do with it when I finish my classical flute performance master's degree at the end of the year. Do I let it sit and gather dust? That thought doesn't make me happy....but does it make me unhappy because I like to play, or does it make me uncomfortable because it's been who I am for so long? I've been trying to decide whether or not I'll take lessons next year. I like the studio, I like the people, I even like that I have gotten a little better at playing. But I don't like constantly feeling like I haven't done enough, or that I'm not good enough, and I know those are my issues not the flute's (and part of my Virgo tendencies as Dharmonia suggested.....an opinion I tend to agree with). One of my friends persists in telling me that the reason my professor has started to push so hard is because she saw the trad recital that I gave, and now thinks I'm capable of more on the classical flute. I'm not sure I quite believe that, but it is something to think about. So enough about the flute.
I've also been thinking a lot lately about the future. I've pretty much decided to add an extra year to my studies here, which would give me time to add some extra skills and take some extra classes. In the wanting to go abroad category I've been looking at pursuing a Fullbright to study traditional music in Ireland. That's still a good time off though. I know it's early for this, but I'm getting to the point in my life where I don't want to keep changing that people that surround me. Maybe it's the fact that I truly love the people I'm surrounded by here at FPU, but I'm tired of having to move my life every two years or so. I want more to life than a career, a thought/need I've sort of ignored up to this point in my life, not that I've been a nun or anything....but I don't date a lot.....I have relationships. Anyway.....more things to think about, as well as trying to finish the semester and getting through the break.
As for now, I'm off to run before the Session tonight!
Peace, love, and tunes,