The first time every time?

Returning with co-violinist Ellen on the train home from FJORDS, we were discussing the nature of repeat performances – how does one keep fresh artistically the second, the tenth, the hundredth time?

Keeping a performance fresh – imbuing it with imagination, energy, and verve – can present a challenge when the program is to be repeated, especially in short succession. Striving for excellence in execution, technically and otherwise, is a given, but there is also that extra spark of élan that is needed to really bring the music alive.

With FJORDS, though we are performing the same program six times in short succession, inspiration abounds.

Not only is each performance a chance to express something a little differently, and to try to perfect some beautiful passage a little more; but it is also the experience of the palpable energy and excitement of the audience that moves me, helps me to see and hear with fresh eyes/ears and renewed commitment. They are hearing it for the first time — partaking in the creation of a piece of art — and their energy is infectious.

Audience members chuckle in unexpected places, only to gasp in hushed silence a moment later as a scene’s poignancy is revealed.

This is what makes everything -the struggle and the repetition – worth it: to take part in a piece of art that lives and breathes as we do.