So I just finished two hours of violin recordings.
It’s a really, really weird experience. In a recital, you’ve got an audience. For a recording, it’s you, the crew, a pianist, and a gloriously empty theatre.
That’s not to say there isn’t an adrenaline rush. There is.
It’s almost impossible, even to another musician, to explain what that feels like, to stand alone on the stage. Playing the violin for a performance, it’s like a war and falling in love at the same time. It’s a fight, it’s a struggle, to reach for the next note, to make it beautiful, to aim for perfection that can never be reached. It’s a fight against the voice in your head saying it is one, saying it’s a battle you’re going to lose. And on the other hand, it’s a game. You have to trust yourself, trust your hands that somehow no longer feel like a part of you, this instrument that suddenly does, both foreign and fused to your shoulder, unbreakably bound. You have to fall, and hope you sprout wings, that the wind will carry you, even though it’s something you cannot ever see.
Like I said. Still a little high on adrenaline.
I’ve been gearing up for these recordings for almost a month, doubling my practice time, listening, hearing, plunging myself inside the music. My right thumb was so achy this morning from bowing it hurt to turn doorknobs (seriously, not recommending practicing until you hurt to anyone. I make my stupid mistakes. You have to find your own).
I read somewhere this week about a practice technique of going up and back down a flight of stairs so your heart rate is up and it feels like it does when you’re onstage. Something clicked in my brain when I tried it. Whenever I go for a run, by the time I’m tying my shoes and desperately hoping nobody will interrupt me and say “Oh, do this thing, please…,” I get a major adrenaline jump. It isn’t fear, and it isn’t exactly anger either. Like so much of music, I don’t think it has a name. It’s just the feeling that I’m going to do the thing. I’m going to do the thing and it’s going to feel right and nobody’s going to stop me. The thrill of the chase without the fear of being hunted.
I felt that, when I came down from the stairs and started playing Bach. And my brain said Oh, so this is what it’s supposed to feel like when we aren’t afraid of “messing up.”
If you want to know the truth, I’d much rather run away to the circus or travel with the Renaissance faires than be a concert soloist. Playing outside, “fiddling,” that’s easy. The concert stuff is hard.
So I tried to hold on to that feeling, that let’s do this voice in my head tonight. It was still sometimes a fight. But sometimes, it felt really good.
And now I’m at home, in the garrett, finally able to breathe. Coming off that stage–it’s wild. You feel like you could go skydiving and all you want is a really long nap at the same time. I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to it in a way that makes it feel ordinary.
But I could get used to this new feeling, the heat in my lungs, as if I could outrun the world.
In other news, I am now 50,000 words more ridiculous thanks to winning my fourth NaNoWriMo. I meant to post more about it, but with a violin competition and the recordings this month…well, now you know what I’ve been up to.
And I have an awesome Writers of the Future anthology to review!
And an Epic Library Sale book haul!
And Dragonfest 2021 adventures that may involve murdering pumpkins!
And Slytherin is winning the House Championship, so good for them…but that I’m sure you knew already.
Stay tuned–bookmarkedone will return to regular posting intervals eventually…after I take a long sleep and maybe have some victory ice cream.