Do you ever get that feeling that your professional life has turned completely schizophrenic? That’s kind of what happened to us last week. After a month and a half of regular rehearsals, we played three concerts in what were probably the most insanely DIFFERENT settings we could possibly imagine.
Since we’re all wishing each other a Happy 2013 and reflecting on 2012, I thought this would be a great time to review some of our big successes of the past year.
I often find myself telling people that one of the most satisfying aspects of playing in my quartet is the comfort I get in knowing that everything that has our name attached to it comes from a place of good. And quite frankly, if that weren’t the case, I’d be out the door faster than you could say thatsnevergoingtohappen. So I often wonder how other people do it. You know, work without the best intentions.
In May of this year, I started experiencing numbness and tingling in my left hand, severe pain in my left shoulder. The pain was not caused by any trauma. After spending six months abstaining from playing and seeking weekly treatment from a handful of specialists, I’m still searching for an answer as to why I am in pain.
In many fields, but especially music, the one theory that gets a lot of attention is the 10,000-hour rule. It basically states that it takes at least 10,000 hours of practice or study to achieve an expert level of performance. And we musicians take this to heart, because to a certain extent, it’s absolutely true. Those 10,000 hours, or 10 years, or even 20 years, or MORE, are what it takes to have a solid enough technical foundation to make it in the professional realm. But there is an aspect of music-making that the 10,000 hour rule does not necessarily take into account: Inspiration, spontaneity, creativity.
Q was invited to perform at an award ceremony for the Goethe Institute of Chicago that took place this week, and the experience made me think about my role as an interpretive artist quite differently…
Just recently, I went sifting through a stack of old journals that I found in my bedroom at my parent’s house. When I say stack, I mean stack! — Those things were my means of survival in navigating through the forest of insecurity, doubt, and self consciousness that always seem to surround most vulnerable high schoolers. Most of what I wrote about is now insignificant; what I did that day, how annoying it was when my mom told me to practice, or a detailed account of my accidental interaction with the object of my affection, so I was delighted when I found these words: “When I grow up, I want to live in Chicago close to my family, and play in a string quartet”.
Well, our 2 CDs have been released, FJORDS is a thing of the past (or is it?? stay tuned…), and summer is fast approaching. So, what next, you ask? Exciting things, to be sure! We are currently planning and rehearsing for several upcoming events…