April Recital Videos

Yesterday I finally figured out how the new iMovie works, and I edited all of my recital videos from my April recital!  I'll be posting these videos soon, and will work on the Viola Day videos this next week. I hadn't thought much about my recital since it happened, but watching the videos yesterday, I am pretty darn happy with how it went. There were a few things here and there, but then again, it was live performance. Nothing ever goes as perfectly as when you're alone in a practice room, eh?

For your viewing pleasure is Bene, by Salvatore "Sonny" LoCascio. I was first introduced to this work a few months before my recital. Sonny submitted it to be performed at the National Society of Composers conference that was hosted at Ball State. It was chosen, and I agreed to perform it. I enjoyed the work so much I programmed it on my recital, which was a few weeks after the conference. 

What's very cool is that Sonny is now a Doctoral composing student at Ball State, AND he plays in the Viola Choir! Isn't that a fun full-circle story? He's currently working on a viola sonata, which I hope to perform one day too.

Until then, more Bartok! Happy practicing!

Improvising

Back in October, I played with the Muncie Symphony Orchestra during Muncie Art Walk, a really fun event that showcases artists and musicians in venues throughout downtown Muncie. After the short MSO concert, I wandered around, with my viola on my back, of course, and ended up in a little art shop that was having a reception. They also had a guitar-playing singer providing really excellent music for the event. I was enjoying listening to him (and eating the free food! Yum!) when he took a break and called me over (instrument cases are a great conversation starter). Turns out Bryce Taylor remembered me from BSU new faculty orientation. He works in the psychology department, but the reason I stuck out was that I'd gone to North Texas... as had he. So we struck up a conversation, exchanged cards, and eventually I went on my merry way.

A few weeks later, I got a really wonderful email from him that included:  "I did listen to some of your performances on your website.  I am not well-versed in classical music but you play beautifully, very expressively.  I would love to have you play on my first CD that I will be putting out in the next few months."

Shortly before I moved away from the Dallas/Fort Worth area, I had started playing on recording sessions. It's a very different kind of work than orchestral, solo, or chamber playing, and I really enjoyed it. I didn't have an opportunity to do it in Lubbock, and thought my session days were over. So I was delighted by Bryce's email, and we started a long chain of communication that has culminated in my recording with him. We had our first "real" session yesterday morning.

What's a little scary about it, is that Bryce is a true singer/songwriter, in the sense that he plays and sings what he feels. He writes out the lyrics, but not the notes!! So it's been a very interesting experience for me, because I am improvising to his pre-recorded songs. Aaaah!!!! Yes, that's my classically-trained-fear-of-improvisation coming out. I'm pretty darn good at playing music that is written down on a page... but when asked to play what comes to mind, I get scared. What if I play I wrong note, or something that sounds bad!? 

But Bryce is so warm and appreciative of my efforts, and it's not as scary as I thought it would be. We got some pretty good material for one of his songs yesterday. We'll meet again next week and work on another song. It's such a different experience than what I'm used to. I feel my "square" classical brain expanding just a bit, and it's exciting. I think the finished product will be most excellent.

Happy practicing!