Excited about Goddard House: Part II. There have got to be a ton of stories to tell from the summer. I am looking forward to it and I know the residents are looking forward to it.
I finished up my last Tanglewood project on Saturday. It was called the “Piece-a-Day” project. It had each of the composition fellows writing a three pieces, one each day. I was assigned to play with a trumpet player for six pieces. We learned the music and put the pieces together in a week and stepped out on the stage and played them. It was really cool getting to know each of the composers through that process. Because of the time constraints, everyone was forced to do what came naturally – we couldn’t prepare very thoroughly. So the composers had to let their ideas flow when they wrote them and Mark, the trumpet-player, and I had to let the rehearsal process flow. It’s freeing, in a way because there is simply no time to let any kinds of doubt or hesitancy creep. Just gotta go for it!
I’m spending some time now, while I still am staying in the beautiful Berkshire area thinking over some big concepts. Came up against some interesting questions (and for once, I’m not immediately trying to answer them). Take this one:
We all can identify when a musician gives an authentic and moving performance. What does this represent? How can a performer, who is merely interpreting someone else’s ideas, deliver such a performance? What is the meaning of interpretation of music? What does it mean to communicate in your own voice as a performer?
It has led me to look at communication as a two-way experience. Interpretation involves relating the composer’s ideas to your own life-experience, digesting it, and sharing it with someone else. I think authenticity can lie in the depth of that digestion and the performer’s courage in opening it up to someone else.
A mentor of mine here in the Berkshires told me this: You do not truly understand, unless you are confused.
Grappling with ideas is the best part of the game!