Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Assigning Emotion

When we play our instruments we assign certain emotions and feelings to what we are doing. It might be fear, it might be joy or a combination of the two or a whole host of other emotions. I believe a large part of the complexity is that that whole other host does not have a definitive set of descriptors. They are musical emotions and therefore a reflection of the uniqueness of the performance in that moment. I was practicing Haydn C major earlier when all this came flooding into my mind. I was practice the scales going up into thumb position at the end of the exposition. I was noticing, again, how I lift away from the cello on such difficult passages. I have noticed this so many times and have just now in my musical life begun to do something about that habit. I also noticed how I was recalling a feeling, a specific feeling of a kind of fear. This is measure 46 that I am referencing, shifting on the D string from the 4th finger on the C to the thumb on the D. It was difficult, very difficult to begin to try and not pull away there and be proactive. I know now how you can have a really great technical performance that is lacking in musical depth. It is much easier to hit all the notes correctly when you take the emotion out. But when I say take emotion out its not really emotion, its fear. Its taking the fear out and judging the sound rationally as it should be, for what it is. I think a lot of progress is hindered because we just aren't honest, truly honest the bad and the goo, about how we are playing something and what we are really feeling while we play it.