Fun! Challenging. Inspiring.
And we talked of cities we'd live in someday.
I left old friend, and now I'm back again,
Please say you missed me since I went away.
"Play and think about the poem. Play the poem, and you'll get it," he said. For Mr. Burns gets it. He knows what makes music great. Sure, it's good to be clever, good to be creative. It's even nice (from time to time) to create something that makes academics smile or kick themselves in chagrin. But when it comes down to it, music has to mean something to us. Patrick just happens to be able to do that while also being clever and creative.
As I have only played with a few conductors in my life, I took some time to get used to his conducting style, which is swifter, slightly more crisp, and less flowing than Mr. Sharnetzka's. Mr. Burns focuses on the beat in his conducting, and his motion focuses on that point. Mr. Sharnetkza can keep more things going at the same time, his arms flowing at a steadier pace. Unlike Mr. Burns, Mr. Sharnetzka will often switch conducting patterns to match the music. He conducts with his whole body. This latter skill is very helpful for me, since I'm very short and often lose the baton behind someone's head. When this happens I can tell what he's doing just from his body language.
After the rehearsal, another student and I talked with the two of them for quite a while. They both spoke insightfully about the field of music and gave me much food for thought. I asked them to pose for a picture.
Patrick Burns Scott Sharnetzka
Today's concert will be out of the ordinary for personal reasons as well.
Normally, I focus the entire weekend on a performance. I have a single-tracked mind which can focus intensely, but I have difficulty switching. After our practice ended, I kept rehearsing in my head for the next few hours, even though I sat in front of the screen trying to write one of the three ten-page writing projects due on Monday. However, for the first time in my life, when I was incapable of focusing, I was able to make it happen. Around 7pm, I was able to read thoughtfully, not fizzling until 10pm.
I woke at 6AM, and instead of mentally preparing for the concert as usual, I'm still working on my paper comparing Foucault's Discipline and Punish and Madness & Civilization with Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. My paper makes a rather obvious connection, but oh well. Working on papers beforehand, breaking my train of thought might mess me up this afternoon, but I hope not.
I wish I could warm up this morning, but there's no time. Instead, I will leave chearch immediately and arrive two hours early at school to relax for a while over some basic exercises. It's annoying not to know how well I'll do today. I won't know that until I put the horn to my lips. For it will be a long, challenging performance comprised of the most difficult music I have ever performed.
Nearing the end of the tunnel on the most difficult two weeks of my life. And things are starting to bottleneck.
On the bright side, whenever there's a bottleneck, you can whistle over the top.