22 March 2006

Oh Ishmael, How I Missed You!

I picked up my violin for the first time in years (honest to goodness years) today.

I feel apologies are in order to Ishmael (my violin) and myself for ignoring this for so long! My fingers are currently in excruciating pain - after only thirty minutes of tuning and fiddling around (ha!) I couldn't stand the pain from the strings, and had to put him back in his case.

In case you were wondering, I am terrible. I kept playing on the next string over, and my fingers move so slowly! Snail speed! It was all I could do to read through the Montagues and the Capulets without crying! Ok, so to be fair, I was reading through some pretty difficult pieces, but it's all I had in my case aside from the Etudes book that I think I will be starting with next time.

I'm currently over at Southwest Strings browsing for a new set of strings (another problem was that every last string on that instrument is at least five years old and false! I think my gold E string was a gift from Aaron, which means it was probably a string from his instrument and is thus even older - he used to change his strings before concerts, unlike yours truly, and he sometimes gave me his "castoffs" if I broke a string) - and some rosin. I could probably use a tuner, too. I don't know what to do with this, but something tells me if I'm serious, there's probably a community orchestra in Somerville or Cambridge to be found. There's something very gratifying about being a part of an orchestra. I can't describe the feeling I get when I know that I'm contributing part of myself and working with the other people to make music. Sometimes it's much better to be part of an "us" than it is to be a "me."

I used to play in a community orchestra in El Paso. It was even a paying gig - not much in the way of money, but the check gave it even more of a sense of accomplishment. At the time I was one of the youngest people there (most were in their 30's, 40's, and up), and because of this was seated in the second violin section, no question. I ended up being much better than some of the people in the first violin section (the back of the section, though, not the front!), but now, I'm pretty sure I'd be at least as bad as some of those people I reserved that special kind of judgement for - the jealous kind that knew I should be above them based on talent alone. Karma, my friends - always remember that.

Now Listening: Grant Lee Buffalo - Truly, Truly

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