DAY ONE-HUNDRED AND SIXTY-NINE
It occurred to me today that I am almost half through. Sometime around the 182nd day I will be at the mid-point.
I did a violin pizzicato piece a few days ago. It got me thinking about the violin and how I under use the one I have. It is probably the cheapest (quite literally) violin one could own – my dad got it as a gift for me and says it cost him $15. It is shiny black with green purfling. It is weird and lovely.
Writing: These few seconds took me a few hours. In a huge way, it is improvisational… or at least heavily based from improvisation. I started played the opening line, playing around with motivs and direction, and, because I play the cello, I had to learn how to play this violin, which was made more difficult by its lack of set up (it being so inexpensively made). The second problem came when I had no idea what I was going to do past the opening or where it was going to go. But things came little by little as I went. It was just taking longer than I have available to me today. Funny enough, listening to this as a “sample” section, at :45, I can hear it going on and on to a totally different place and then ending where it actually ends up anyway.
Reference: English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. He has been one of my favorite composers since I started playing the cello over twenty years ago. If you have yet to experience his music, I would recommend The Lark Ascending (linking you to Hilary Hahn performance of the piece. Not my favorite of all time, but still very beautiful), Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, and any of his choral works. Unbelievable. He was a poetic composer, and I highly recommend him. (I might politely suggest you listen to the posting first and then link to Vaughan Williams: he put this posting to shame in nearly every way…)
Being the kind of cello player I am by nature, this automatically makes me a very heavy-handed violin player, as you can hear. But I hope you can hear the intention past the crunch.
Pearl and the Beard is playing the Knitting Factory tonight in Brooklyn. If you’re in the neighborhood, please come by! It would be good to see you… also: Pearl and the Beard is going on tour in July to the mid-west. Are we coming your way? Dates are here: www.pearlandthebeard.com
The Scent of a Woman