Day 40, Paradoxes

Practice: about 3 hours, Rehearsal: 2.5, Lesson: 1.   Altogether I’ll count that as four hours of practice.  Concerts attended: 1.75 hours, Jogs jogged: 30 minutes.  It was an all-around great day today.  I accomplished everything I set out to, all because I planned everything the night before.  Gotta do that more often.

A contradiction that keeps popping up is the mechanics needed to play slowly and lyrically.  When I think of a physical analog to this sort of music, I think of words like gentle. Except what has to go on “behind the curtain” is anything but.  If I let my air or fingers be gentle the sound will lack presence and definition.  The contradiction is that the air must be firm and fast, and so must the fingers.  Except in your heart, you still have to think gentle.  It’s kind of like juggling. :)

A paradox discussed briefly in my lesson was: fast air, but play soft.  Quiet dynamics are almost defined by slower air.  How do you work around this?  Focus the air stream.  Add a very “un-gentle” embouchure to the pile of “un-gentle” things (air, fingers) and you get a recipe for some very refined lyrical playing.

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