Audition Daily Blog, the sequel – part 07

Wednesday, February 17 – evening

Yes, after a post Wednesday morning, some more thoughts written Wednesday evening (but not published until whatever is going to come after these few paragraphs).

Worked on some of the centering and preparation exercises from the Bulletproof Musician (see link in previous post). They’re good. But it will take time to fully develop the skills. I’m feeling crunched for time (about four weeks to go), so every moment is precious. I hope I’m making a good decision to add these elements to my practice routine. When I recommend this course, I think I will stress that one should commit to it as part of overall practice, not try to cram it for an audition — like I’m more or less doing.

IMG_6273Anyway, got through some Mozart using the 21s practice technique. It takes a lot of time, but I did see some improvement between physical playings, caused only by the 7 mental practice repetitions in between each physical play-through. That’s cool.
Much of the rest of my practice time had the feel of trying to just. get. through. the excerpts. I am confident that I should take more time to work on small sections of these excerpts rather than just barreling through. But that confidence battles against the feel of crunch time. At least I’m taking some notes on what’s working and what isn’t (see image)

Thursday, February 18 – evening

Much is made in the Bulletproof Musician course and in my lessons with David Murray about having an aural vision of what you will sound like when you plan this-or-that excerpt or solo piece. Wow. That’s a skill I really need to develop. Thankfully there are some exercises to improve this ability. I don’t know if I’ll see enough progress to help me in time for the Grant Park audition, but whatever skill I develop will help me beyond just that audition.

Sunday, February 21 – evening

This evening’s practice, if summed up in one word, would be “salvage.” And that’s meant in the best possible way: not salvage like scrap you find at a wrecking yard, but like rising from the depths of self-pitying despair to a place of reasonable satisfaction.

Saturday had been a bummer. Tried hard to get my rehearsal space in order, hardly succeeded, and late in the day settled down to practice, but couldn’t really get into it. In something like 90 to 120 minutes of practice, I only got through one-third of the excerpts for Grant Park–that is, seven of them. I felt miserable.

Today I got some renewed energy into tidying up, and as a result, practicing went much better. Nearly three hours’ practice, I think, and although I only worked and played through ten (10) of the excerpts, I enjoyed myself. I recorded some of what I did, double- and triple-tracked the recordings, i.e., playing along with myself, and that gave me some energy and pleasure. (In particular the bass solo from Pulcinella, since I had both the solo part and the tutti section part to play/record.)

This morning I had been moaning about not possibly being ready for the audition. Tonight, well, I’m not ready for the audition, but I’m not moaning.

To reward myself, I am having a wee dram of Iwai “Tradition,” the only Japanese single malt that I have enjoyed. (Thanks to Rogers Park Fine Wine and Spirits (review on Yelp) for the tip.) If you know the appropriate words in Japanese to say “wee dram,” leave a comment below!


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