Back to the practice desk – July 2023 [IN PREPARATION/STUB]

Posted on July 3rd, 2023 by

Why do we practise?

On the practice desk. ‘Etude Polyphonique’ dedicated by Ernst to Prosper Sainton 2 7 23

At about 230 am this morning, as I wrapped up the violin and put it away, I realised that I was asking this question again. I know, I know, I have worried about this far too much in the past. Two years ago I explored it in some detail, and I apologise in advance, if it seems as if I am going to repeat myself. Here’s the last pass at the question, LINK TO 2021 ‘Overnight Practice/afterthoughts

But there are still things to say, and there are conversations to be had. So I am going to have another go! At about midnight, I found myself asking the question ‘what shall I do tonight?’. Now, I should be clear, there is certainly no shortage of things, projects, upcoming pieces for performance and recording that I should be/am working on, for the short and long term. . But sometimes, I have the clear sense, that the work that I most want to do, is at an angle from that. And there’s a certain, necessary ennui, which I recognise, even seek out, as I decide where to turn – what to bring to my work table.

Now, if I am honest, I was already an hour into my night work schedule – I have a recital at the Deal Festival next week, with the premiere of the new work by Mihailo Trandafilovski, so I spend some (very neurotic) time, finding ways to renotate some of his timbral transitions with rhythmic subdivisions, indicating the precise onset of change from one technique to another. This, it might be said, is a completely unnecessary activity, but for me, finding a secondary language, underpinning a process with temporal detail, is a useful way to inhabit the material as fully as I can.