Saturday, December 05, 2015

Status Update

I have been keeping my thoughts to myself lately, and I really don't see much harm in doing so, but, if I have faithful readers (it is really difficult to tell who they are, even with a stat counter) who might be wondering what is going on with me, never fear. All is well in my private life.

Last week I took one of my brother's violas out of the closet and put fresh (though not new) strings on it, and I have been using that instrument to play the Nutcracker (two performances down, four to go). The instrument has a longer string length than the Italian viola I normally play, and it has a very different kind of sound. I'm having a great time exploring the differences between the instruments. My brother's instrument is Welsh, and it has a lower register that speaks remarkably quickly. It would fit right in a chorus of miners in Wales, perhaps singing a baritone part, because it can.

I feel that playing this instrument is a way of honoring my brother. It is a very intimate and special experience. An instrument is not simply an object. It is an extension of the body and the mind. Sometimes it even feels like Marshall's "voice" is coming out of the instrument.

I have writing projects underway, but most of them are arrangements for Summer Strings. I also have a Bachian counterpoint project happening, which is rough-going at times. Original musical thoughts don't distract and obsess me the way they once did. I'm confident that they will return when I am ready, and hopefully I will be able to work with them in new and interesting ways.

1 comment:

Philip Amos said...

Well, I count myself a faithful reader, though I too sometimes disappear for a while, in my case because of health problems. I've followed your writings since I first encountered you via comments on On an Overgrown Path. Today's post is timely for me, for tomorrow is my brother's birthday. Ten years older than I, he would have turned 76 had Multiple Myeloma not taken him four years ago. And so he has been on my mind all the more: "Music, when soft voices die/vibrates in in the memory", and some memories endure forever. There are no stages of grief. Each loss, each memory, each mind is different, and so too are our ways of honouring those we have lost. Your way of honouring Marshall is a wonderful one.