Rehearsing for a Premiere

This is just a super-quick reflection on what it’s like to rehearse a brand-new piece.

(I’m referring to our upcoming premiere of Igor Iachimciuc‘s Rural Sketches for Marimba and Six Double Basses.)

It’s challenging. For over a week, I’ve been fretting about my part, and about the piece in general. Is it too hard? Do we have enough rehearsal time? Will the players I’m working with be up to it, and will they take it seriously? Did I make a huge mistake in commissioning a new work by a composer I don’t know well?

I won’t say I’ve been losing sleep over it, because I haven’t, but it’s been a source of worry for me. I want the performance to go well. I want Matt Coley to be pleased he chose to collaborate with me/us. I want people who attend the performance to be impressed by the idea of six bass players as an ensemble (I’m not imagining that this performance will be an springboard to the big time, but it is likely to be the best-attended performance we have given).

All that worry!

And then in rehearsal, I’m with my colleagues, and we’re kidding around, and commiserating about how hard this bit is or what did the composer think he was doing when he wrote that, and we’re playing the piece, and getting through some spots and falling over on others, and finding the moments we love to play, and I’m having a good time because I’m really in that moment and I stop worrying and just get it done.

It is now the next morning. I still feel pretty good. If I can just get enough practice time, and everyone else does too, this will go okay. I’m still worried, but less so. And I think that’s just about right.

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