Monday, August 23, 2010

24 Invitations (to Imagine)

This is my working title for the Braun Solo project... we'll see if it sticks when I go to production in a few months.

We finished the recordings today at 4:00, a much shorter day than yesterday!

This project was a great experience... a return in concept to my first solo project (Telemann Fantasias, 2000) after a really hectic and tumultuous year. Yes, I played many recitals this past season and had some great musical experiences, yet the time to study and learn and consider music was entirely consumed with house renovations, sale, moving along with recovering from burglary, i.d. theft, divorce, festival problems and all that other bowl-of-cherries stuff that hits people every once in awhile. This recording project marks my new life in much the same way that the Telemann project did.

My engineer is a true musician with superb ears and early music experience. This makes him an excellent partner in the recorded performance. He passed on ideas and guided the sessions very efficiently. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to have the beautiful new hall all to myself... the Green Music Center is still not finished, yet the hall is very ready for performances of any kind. Natural light floods in through high windows and is tempered with natural muslin coloured blinds... beautiful woods finish all the floors and seating areas, and I could glimpse the sky through various angles. I felt really privileged to be in this space.

Doing this project renews my desire to learn more about baroque music, but more importantly, to learn how far I can take my own ideas. Maybe I will return to my early process of practising daily by recording my work as it is amazing to step back from the printed page and from my own playing to hear the notes translated into sound. Many of the movements of the Braun required considerable invention and I wish that I had notated several versions in advance, rather than doing my usual thing of leaving it up to inspiration. The reason to notate them is to allow for multiple takes of whatever is the best variation... this can still be tinkered with on the spot (we spent a few hours with this tinkering during the last two days!) but there is nothing wrong with nailing down a few options.

A life in music is full of endless possibility... I can never be satisfied or 100% sure of my merits, yet I am always engaged, always intrigued, always looking forward to trying again.

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