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Violin Recital: The Adrenaline, the Excitement, and the fact that it’s tomorrow

So a little life update. I’m having my first solo violin recital tomorrow. In translation–I’m going to play like 33 minutes of classical music onstage with just a pianist behind me instead of a symphony orchestra around me. The difference is akin to dueling versus being part of a Roman legion.

I’m balancing between “Everything will be fine!” and being a nervous wreck (If you’re wondering about the lack of posts lately, yes, this is why!).

I shouldn’t be. Following Plague Policy, there’s only going to be maybe a dozen people there. Some of this music I’ve had in my hands for–wow, has it really been a year? So no pressure, right?

Yeah. Right.

On the bright side, I’m playing two of my favorite pieces. The Baal Shem and “Meditation.” If you’ve ever been to a wedding, you probably know the second piece. Most people name it by saying, “Oh, you know, the “Da—da-da-da-da Daa-da,” and if you know it you probably had no trouble hearing the melody in your head just from that horrible little transcription. The Baal Shem is a piece that you can’t hum, but once you’ve heard it, you never forget. I’ve wanted to play it since, what, second semester of my freshman year in college? When my wee little hands didn’t have enough strength or technique in them yet.

I bought a new dress. I know, it’s something I almost never do. Orchestral attire is black. Solid black. Ask anyone in a symphony, and they’ll tell you how much of their closet is just black for concerts.

Except it’s just me this time. I don’t have to match. So I bought a floor-length dress. In green. Because I can.

Technically it’s slightly more than floor length, and to be honest, I’m a little nervous about tripping and falling flat on my face once I get onstage. Then again, I’d worry about that if I were wearing slacks. When I played in a production of Fiddler on the Roof, I didn’t fall off the ladder, didn’t trip dancing with Tevye–I found the one loose microphone cord trying to get up the stairs to the stage and almost went splat in front of the whole audience. Almost.

Everything is new about this concert, really. Even the concert hall is just a few years past its renovation (the acoustics, my love, the acoustics). And I’ll be playing on a new violin.

Okay, technically it’s old. But we’re new to each other. And I am falling a little in love. I could write a whole post about this violin, and I probably should. For now–the sound is subtle but strong when it needs to be. It looks ordinary until it’s under the stage lights, and then it shines like crystallized honey or sweet amber, like someone’s hair that looks brown until the sun hits it and you suddenly see red and gold and living fire. It has scars from getting bashed up years before it ever reached my hands. It’s a breath smaller than is typical and fits my hands just the way it should.

Oh. And the scroll is carved like a lion sticking out its tongue.

I love this violin.

I know I should just relax. Everything will be fine if I just relax. But when you want something so badly, sometimes it’s hard to remember to even breathe.

But not tomorrow. Tomorrow I will breathe. Tomorrow I’ll just stop thinking about everything new, everything that might go wrong. I’ll forget the violin isn’t actually part of me. I’ll stop caring so much if something goes awry. The house lights will go down, and I will play the music. I’ll fall into it, disappear, feel the notes in my fingers, in the ache of my shoulder, the pull of my wrist and nothing else will matter. Just the music. The singing, the screaming. The magic spilling out. I’ll be home.

That’s the plan, anyway.


2 responses to “Violin Recital: The Adrenaline, the Excitement, and the fact that it’s tomorrow”

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