Day 152 – March 1st – A bit of whimsy

To go with the start of a new month, today really was beautiful English springtime weather. I spent most of the morning Skyping and didn’t get onto practice until relatively late-on. My technical work was a bit of a mixed bag – some of it went really well and then other bits were sloppy. While getting through No. 4 of Boehm’s Twelve Studies from memory was a struggle, the much more difficult No. 1 was easy.

Since Christmas, Trevor has been introducing more and more variations on his technical exercises in class. Some are relatively easy, like playing page 90 of Complete Daily Exercises alternating major and minor each time. Others are tricky, particularly Taffanel and Gaubert-style scales with added mordants on the descent! The variations on page 96 are positively endless, and at once fun and difficult. I like exploring all the ways we can play around with a very simple pattern, but then struggle to apply it to the last bar of the sequence – the dominant 7th of the next key. I know exactly what the notes should be, but don’t relax enough with them and am constantly second-guessing myself. That said, at the beginning of the course I couldn’t imagine playing most of the exercises from memory at all!

This afternoon, I took advantage of the lovely weather to go back to Spong Wood. I took my flute and zoom (microphone), and, after wading through quite a bit of mud, improvised for a while in a glade. I’ve been meaning to do it for a while, and loved the experience. It was sunny, almost warm, and I was alone with the trees and the birds. I’ve recorded the improvisation, and will play around with it in Max 7. Stay tuned for the results!

After that, though, it was back to studies. I feel like Altès No. 24 is finally working, after spending quite a while this week getting my fingers around the tricky mordants, but am not convinced that Andersen No. 16 is ready. Hopefully we’ll spend plenty of time planning our Bodsham Primary School concert and my Moyse, Altes and Drouet studies will be enough!

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