Rock On

2014-12-13 20.45.27                               2014-12-13 21.57.13

 

How cool if I ever find a piece of jewelry that says VIOLIN BITCH!!!

Revelation

Instead of regular posts lately, I’ve been revamping some things in the VB site. Preparing to be turned loose. As usual, my perfectionist attitude is causing a delay. Not to be confused with procrastination!

Update:  Apparently WordPress tech support doesn’t work weekends. Have been trying my damnedest to change up the Bitch’s Playlist but is not letting me add songs, just delete!

Darkness

Haven’t written in a couple days. Life has been happening. A few challenging things. Challenging things seem to happen all at once. None have anything to do with music….financial stuff. Am in a period of weakness and it’s things piled on top of things.

Trying to remain optimistic as I know everything is cyclical. Keep hoping music and Lucy will show me the right path through this. You do understand, Lucy is a concept. She is the real me, but the completely evolved me. Therefore wise, experienced, and loving.

Tracy Silverman’s Wisdom

Electric violinist Tracy Silverman, while studying classical violin at Julliard, had an epiphany while looking through catalogs of recordings of the classical literature. He wondered why would anyone want to hear his recordings when there are thousands already out there?

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He figured that if Tchaikovsky were alive today, he would likely be writing concertos for electric guitar rather than for violin. Because the guitar to us is what the violin used to be – “the dominant voices of our generation.”

So he made the decision to play the violin “in such a way that it spoke to my friends like a guitar.” So he teamed up with Mark Wood, building electric violins together in the early 80’s.

Silverman credits John Adams’ electric violin concerto The Dharma at Big Sur (2003) with legitimizing the electric violin as a respectable instrument. He says that if all we ever play is classical violin, the instrument will die away.

I don’t want the violin to be this museum kind of instrument that people used to play. The acoustic violin will shrink into that distance if we let it. But the violin has such incredible expressive power as an instrument. It’s such a well-designed instrument that it needs to be updated to be kept alive. It’s our responsibility to keep it alive in the 21st century, and this is the way to do it – at least one way to do it.

He says the violin needs to be played “in a way that reflects 21st century American culture, not 19th century European culture.”

Why does this matter to me personally? I used to be the biggest classical snob around. Hey, it’s the only legitimate music, having survived going back 600 years.Rock? Electric violin?? For real?  But often in trying to preserve something, we contribute to its demise. I think that just might be true with music.

I see now that keeping to the straight and narrow dismisses all the wonderful expressive musical creativity in the world today. Which audience is most appreciative and comes alive? Is the point of performing to showcase one’s talent, or connect with the audience? Would you rather leave the stage to politely applauding, politely seated upper-class patrons, or to laughing, screaming, real people who perhaps never experienced before what you just played?

Nuff said.

Dirty Dancing

By chance, found it playing on tv last night. Have only watched it maybe 50 times, but it had been awhile.

I really believe what’s inside us – or the universe – something – causes things to happen when there’s unfinished business.

Well, my takeaway from watching it this time pointed out some stuff that has risen to my frontal lobes lately:

nothing great is accomplished without a partner

both partners totally believing in each other is an unstoppable force

you will do your greatest good when you have a FUCK IT attitude and demand your right to express it

you will likely have to defy others’ expectations and go one step further by airing yourself out in order to give them a chance to accept and appreciate your reality….although acceptance, while sweet, is not a requirement

and at the end, you will set the world on fire –  I mean, take a look at those little old fur-clad ladies stripping off their stoles, giggling like girls, the cold bitches laughing and kicking off their shoes, while Johnny and Baby are just doing their THING.

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===>>> Those poor schmucks in the background have no idea what’s about to hit them.

I just sat there mesmerized. Like seeing something for the first time. That click as another Lego snaps into place. This is what I am supposed to be doing. Shake up my world, wake people up, bring them together, make them surprise themselves. Make ’em feel giddy. Make ’em feel good about themselves.

How exactly? That hasn’t been revealed to me yet. All I know, it involves rock/heavy metal and electric violin. And Lucy. That’s all I know so far. As in most journeys, we are only told the next step.

Easy

The only thing new I have to say is…….it’s a relief having easy music to play. Christmas music that we play every year, the 4 pieces in the other orchestra……Nordic composers…..is weird-ish but doable. Is nice to feel like I can actually play well!

My lesson stuff brings me to my knees though.

Practice Dungeon

Got this idea to document my playing progress since resuming lessons of my own, by videoing a couple of minutes of my daily practice. I want to share how frustrating it is, and maybe even a little humorous, as I like to have a good laugh too.

These are not intended to be instructional. There are tons of those already out there. I want to share a really private part of the process of sucking at various particular violin techniques, and what it takes to fix them.

These are my “dungeon” since it is a dark and scary place where no one ever enters.

Here, I am trying to perfect my vibrato to be consistent in all 4 fingers. Obvious in the vid, only my 2 middle fingers are working properly. The 2 outer fingers are more difficult because they hit the strings at more awkward angles (due to the hand and finger structure).

The other thing I am working on is keeping the vibrato going without stopping when I change fingers, and change bow direction. All looks like it should be easy – but is definitely not!

Structure

So as I said recently, I need to structure my days to squeeze in the things that will take me to where I want to be.

Yesterday I filled out a time chart with my priorities. Practicing, walking, paying bills, as well as working and orchestra and lessons.

The great thing about it is, each task has an end point. So I spend the time, do it, and forget about it the rest of the day. This allows me to focus on the present moment instead of worry about unfinished work.

Every night I fill out the chart for the next day to avoid negotiating with myself during the day. Working so far!

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