Sunday, November 18, 2007

Vic Lewis shpeal

Alright, so I've been asked to do a blog on Vic Lewis. Or rather, I've been asked why I haven't done one. So here you go. Don't blame me if you don't like it.

So, first of all, I'd just like to say that I found the fact that we had to stop 8 bars into the piece absolutely hilarious. Like, I haven't had to do that since grade 7. It was great. I know it was a performance, and festival and everything, but honestly, I loved it.

The biggest thing this is going to revolve around is American Elegy. That piece had the greatest significance, I think. The other two...yeah, we played them decently, in my opinion, but other then that, I can't really find much to say about them. So basically all of these opinions, in some form or another, come from American Elegy.

The only problem now is where to start. I've been going over these thoughts so much, I don't even know what came first.

I guess I'll start with what everybody else has been saying about Wind Ensemble. Everybody else seems to be saying we sucked, and we totally didn't play well and everything. And honestly, I really just feel like finding a way to get out of the conversation when people start talking like that.

Personally, I naturally want to be proud of the ensembles that I'm in. I know that many of them are not as good as they could be, or maybe not even really all that good, but still. If I play with them, I want to be able to be proud of them. And I am proud of our Wind Ensemble, even if we didn't play as well as we could have. I'm sorry, but I refuse to say we sucked, or we were terrible, because in my opinion, we really weren't. Yes, we weren't great. But we weren't awful either. I just wish maybe people had more pride in this group, rather then putting us down so much just because we're maybe not as great as we have been in the past.

Furthermore, I actually put a lot of effort into American Elegy. I don't know about anybody else in the ensemble, but I was trying to tell a story. I was trying to find emotions and personal experiences that I could convey in my playing, even if I was only playing a whole note. I was trying so hard to put effort into my playing. And I felt it made a difference to me. I know I shouldn't take it personally, but I do, when people say we sucked, because I know I put so much into my playing, it's kind of like somebody's saying that because the whole ensemble sucked, my music had absolutely no meaning, when I was trying so hard to put meaning into it. Maybe that's not the best way to describe it, but it's the only thing I can think of right now.

So, yeah, to an extent, it does hurt when people put that song down so much. It was brought up one time, and I mentioned that I almost cried during it, because I really felt like crying at some points. I don't know if the emotion I was trying to put into it came out, but it did to me, and it really affected me during the performance. And somebody answered me with 'oh yeah, I almost cried too, it was so horrible!'. I'm like, well, that's not exactly what I meant, but alright, sure. Thanks for that.

I could just be kidding myself. Maybe I was hearing was I wanted to hear, instead of hearing how the ensemble actually played. I'm certainly not saying that people are ignorant of the meaning you can put into music, because the people I'm referring to are definitely not like that. But still. It does hurt to hear people criticize a song so much, when I tried so hard to put all these emotions into it. And it's not even my own playing. When other people were playing, I tried to find emotion in it. Was our trumpeter thinking of sending out a message during his off-stage solo? Perhaps, perhaps not. Either way, I still listened to that solo, and I made it mean something to me, even if it meant nothing to him.

Does music lose it's meaning if it's not played perfectly? I like to think that it doesn't. I've certainly never played something perfectly, but that doesn't mean I want it to lose all meaning to people listening. I kind of wish people, whether in Wind Ensemble or not, would look more for the meaning in music, and maybe concentrate less on how technically well we played it. Perhaps not as much in rehearsals. In rehearsals, by all means, concentrate on technical stuff, listen for note / rhythm, etc. mistakes, and fix them. But when it comes to concerts...I mean, how we play is how we play. We can't fix anything mid-concert. So why not concentrate on things you can't fix, things that the listeners can't tell you was right or wrong?

Anyways, that's my personal opinion. Take it or leave it, it doesn't matter to me. I say I don't care what people think of me, but apparently I do, or I would have said this a long time ago. It's just hard to stand up for a group when everybody's putting it down. It hurt me, personally, which made it hard for me to stand up against everybody and say that I didn't think we were as bad as everybody makes out. Does that say something about what kind of person I am?

But back to being proud of the ensembles I'm in. It's true for All-Cities too. I know we're definitely not the best, but...somehow I still find it difficult to say that we're awful. And I know we used to be amazing. Is it wrong that I want to stay in it, because I'm sure if I stick around long enough, it'll hit an amazing year again? And I know that certain people were invited to be in it, and I know certain people who are already in it told them that it really wasn't worth it. But how are we going to get any better if we don't get more people into it? Does nobody else understand that? Maybe it's not great, but the only way we're going to get better is if we invite people to come. Let them decide for themselves whether it's worth it or not.

I feel like I'm fighting a loosing battle here. Both with the All-Cities thing and especially with the Vic Lewis thing. You know when you feel like things are split 51 to 49? Well, right now it's like there's the whole world on one side, and then there's me. Is it crazy for me to stick up for bands? I was about to ask if it's crazy for me to stick up for bands that don't deserve it, but that definitely doesn't sound right. Every ensemble deserves to have somebody stick up for them.

It just bugs me so much whenever any ensemble is being put down. And I know I do it too. But still. It seems like whenever I'm listening for the potential in a group, everybody else is listening for how much they're not together, or how out of tune they are, or how unbalanced they are, or some other fault.

Maybe I'm doing what our honour band conductor said at the music conference. She said that all musicians have something to say with their music. Maybe they don't have as much to say as professional musicians, who have not only more technical training, but also more life experience, but they still have something to say. Maybe I'm listening to that thing that they're trying to say.

I just realized my blog is going to be kinda long tonight...I might just go of on multiple shpeals...oh well. That's what you get for venturing into Robyn's blog.

So, might as well stay on the same track for now. Music. Sometimes I have these really scary thoughts that maybe this isn't what I'm meant to do in life. Maybe there is something out there that I like more than music, and I just haven't found it yet. A lot of people say they didn't find out what they wanted to do with their life until they were halfway through university. I've been wanting to do music since grade 9. Grade 9! That's definitely not half-way through university. I'm kinda really scared I'll be in my second year of university or something and it'll suddenly hit me that there's something else I want to do, and it'll totally turn my whole life around. Would it make it seem like my whole life building up to that point was...a waste? Maybe not to that extent, but still.

However, there are also amazing moments that make me forget all about that. The best example recently was the CYO in Banff. We played Brahms 4. Amazing, especially for a song that I didn't actually like all that much at first. I just totally got lost in it. My mood literally changed as we played through the symphony, depending on the mood of the music. There were parts that I didn't even worry about technique or tuning, because it just happened. I just got lost in the music. Afterwards, or even between movements, I found myself, this is why I want to do music.

Which is funny, thinking back to a sectional with Stephen Frans last year. He was saying that it was stuff like Brahms 4 that reminded him why he went into music. And I remember thinking 'wow, I'll never be able to be that affected by a symphony' and going into another one of those mini panic attacks, thinking that I don't actually have what it takes to go into music and all that. And now look at my reaction to it.

It was just such a good feeling, I loved it so much. Maybe I'll refer to it more often when I go into those moments of doubt.

Oh, what else should I talk about. Well, if I'm going on a shpeal, I might as well include the whole deal.

Busy has pretty much been my middle name lately. I don't know how I'm keeping up with everything. Well, actually I do, it's called faking. But usually you get caught eventually when you fake, and I'm sure it's just a matter of time before I do, so I'd better get my act together.

The one thing that's been worrying me lately, in terms of being busy, is music council. I've been so busy, I haven't quite been as involved as I want to be, which isn't exactly good, seeing as I'm president and everything.

There was this particular instance when I thought I knew everything we had discussed, and I knew our tentative plans and everything, and then suddenly somebody comes to be and says, oh, by the way, these aren't tentative anymore, and we are actually doing all this, and we've already talked to these people. That was kind of a slap in the face. It just suddenly made me feel like I'm really not doing all I should be.

On the other hand, it also makes me wonder if I'm just being controlling, because I definitely don't want to be controlling.

I don't know what to think anymore. There are times when I wonder if Kate would be a better president, because she has more time, and there are times when I wonder if she cares about the program more. But at the same time, I become selfish, since I have been dreaming about being president since grade 10. That's a long time. And believe me, it was so cool to think that I'm actually achieving something I had planned two years ago. I love it.

There are various other thoughts I have, that I don't think I'll be sharing with you tonight, if ever. Things that I've been going over and thinking about. Yes, they do have to do with various what's-his-faces. (I've found out that whenever there's a guy involved with anybody in a relationship-type way, I refer to him as what's-his-face). I dunno, I don't really want to share details, since I'm not completely sure how I feel anymore. Why does this always happen? I seem to fool myself into thinking I know how I feel about somebody, and then suddenly it all changes on me. Why can't I be more like Mr. Logic? He always knows everything, and I'm just all over the place sometimes...more like often. But we won't go into Mr. Logic right now.

Anyways, there's a little bit of missing people going on, and general confusion, and perhaps some over thinking going on, and yes, I'll admit there's a little bit of jealousy in there too.

So...yeah. If anything clears up, I'll mention it, but right now I'm generally confused about things. I'm not sure what I want anymore.

I've been meaning to mention this for a while, and I keep forgetting. But I love nicknames with a passion. Honestly. I'm not completely sure what it is about them. I love them like I love inside jokes. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I never really had super close friends with whom I could have inside jokes and nicknames and such with until...well, grade 9, really. It just makes me feel special when I'm close enough with somebody to have insides jokes with them. And nicknames. Which means it kinda sucks that I don't have a name that's more nickname friendly. Oh well.

That's also kinda why I don't mind being identified as 'bassoon' rather than by my name. For slightly different reasons, but still. I really don't mind being associated more by my instrument then by my name. To an extent but still.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm really leaving myself anything to look forward to in university. I mean, I've already joined a university ensemble, I'm being integrated (perhaps) into a chamber group, which we may or may not be performing, and I basically try in any other way possible to be involved at the university. So am I really leaving anything to look forward to?

I'm over thinking, I know I am. But still, I wonder sometimes if being so involved is good. Although I did have a chat with Gareth on our way to U of C Symphonic Band, and it was so encouraging, I loved it. I love having talks with people who encourage you. I mean, I love having talks with people who present a different view on things too, but sometimes it's nice to be encouraged, rather then have a talk with somebody who thinks it's their duty to expand your horizons.

I found out how much I actually love the feeling of being awake during the day, and not being in danger of falling asleep if you sit still for too long. Only problem with that is now I've been not doing my homework because I've been going to bed instead. It's not fair to have to choose between doing work and sleeping. Sleeping is necessary, but teachers don't tend to care if you way, well, it was between getting at least 6 hours of sleep or getting this done and getting 2 hours of sleep. It sucks. But oh well. I'll have to deal with it somehow.

Okay, I can't even go into detail about how much I have to do, and how much little time I have to do it, or I'll start going into the pains of despair and wonder why I'm doing all this to myself. But I know why I'm doing it. I'm going in search of what I mentioned above. I know I'm busy, but would I actually want to give up anything of what I have now? Not really.

Alright, I'm off to do something with my life.


"Me and my reed aren't exactly on good relationship terms right now. Normally we'd just sit down to talk, and I'd tell him that if we can't work this out, I can just move on and hook up with a another reed. But that won't exactly work right now, because he knows he's the only reed I have that mostly works."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That was an amazing entry. You know, some day you should get all this published. It's really quite insightful, and your descriptions of your feelings are beautiful.
I'm definitely a guilty candidate when it comes to being ultra critical, but at the same time, I do try to put emotion into all of my music. It was very refreshing to read that I'm not alone, that there are other musicians in my bands that are that connected with the music. It's the emotional attachment that you were talking about that makes being satisfied with my playing so difficult. After putting so much into a piece, being unsatisfied with the end result is wrenching. I was moved by your entry.