Yesterday I had the good fortune of attending Mihoko Watanabe's flute recital. We collaborated together last semester, and from our work then, I knew this was a concert not to be missed! She opened with a very cool modern work, for flute and recorded sound by Elizabeth Brown. In recent years, I've had more exposure to music that utilizes live musicians with recorded sounds, and my appreciation for the medium has grown a lot. I'm actually performing such a work later this week at the SCI conference that Ball State is hosting. That said, the Brown was mesmerizing. I'll admit-- I was really tired yesterday, and I'd considered not going to the recital. Thankfully my brain won out over my body, and I went! One of the coolest things about music is the way it can engage you, and believe me, I was engaged by the Brown! The colors Mihoko produced, and the way her line flowed seamlessly into the recorded sound and vice versa was really impressive. I had to pay close attention to hear when she was making a cool sound, and when it was the recording. It was fascinating! And by the end of the piece, I was awake and exited to hear more.
After the Brown, Peter Opie and James (Jim) Helton joined Mihoko for a von Weber trio that I'd never heard before. It was an interesting and expressive piece, and I enjoyed it very much. The different colors of the flute and cello against the piano left a very pleasing effect on my ear.
After the intermission, Mihoko and Jim took the stage again and performed the Franck Sonata. Now, as you know if you've been reading my recent blog posts, I'm performing this work on my own recital in a few weeks. I am a firm believer in hearing the same work performed by many different people, because you learn things about your own playing and interpretation by attending others' performances. Because Mihoko has to breathe in order to play, her phrases were different than I hear and play them, and hearing her interpretation in turn expands my understanding and interpretation of the music, and even colors how I approach it the next time I play it. It's also interesting listening to editions for different instruments because some of the octave leaps are different than the original violin part, which this again expands your understanding of the music. Music, after all, is not about the NOTES, but about the EMOTION.
It was a great recital, and I am so happy I went.