A Performance We’re NOT Doing

A few weeks ago, when I withdrew from the Chicago Bass Festival, I promised an explanation.

There’s not much of an explanation, I have to admit. It’s more a matter of hubris for me to say why we withdrew and perhaps teach myself a lesson in the process.

  • I set an ambitious goal
  • I got distracted

Maybe that’s all there is to it, aside from the details.

The goal of working up the Proto Quartet is an ambitious one. It’s not exactly a piece that anyone has grown up with. I, for one, have never played it before. I have never heard it performed live, and I don’t even have a complete recording. (Why does that make sense in any world? *sigh* another blog post, I suppose.) I have looked over the parts and they don’t have anything in them that screams out “I’m a nasty difficult bit.” But putting it together will be a challenge. So performing it, along with enough other material to make a worthwhile ‘set’ at the bass festival is ambitious.

Perhaps the ambitious nature of it scared me.

Meanwhile, distractions. I changed day jobs again, and got into a situation that is really a challenge. I got my desk clean, but let it slide into borderline chaos again. Family events–mostly good–happened. I prepared a performance at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater BassFest. I dragged my feet in deciding who I wanted to work with this time around. I got involved in thinking about a piece for percussion and bass sextet to be premiered in March with Matthew Coley. Life happened. And I allowed myself to run out of time.

I could have pulled this off, I really could have. There isn’t really any excusing it. What’s the lesson?

  • Prepare early
  • Work steadily
  • Be undaunted

Jacque Harper
January 22, 2014

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