Friday, February 14, 2014

In pursuit of rapid calm

Many of the pieces I'm working on need to go faster. It's a little tedious having a number of pieces in that stage at once.

But it puts me in mind of a wonderful phenomenon when playing something that's both fast and well prepared. For a long time during practice, increasing tempo is just a struggle, a fight against the metronome. I alternate fast and slow repetitions because I find it more efficient than faster and faster, and to mitigate the struggle a bit, but only a bit... Then once in a while a couple of repetitions come out not only fast but surreally easy.

When that happens, everything just feels calm and relaxed, like I'm not pushing the music anymore but instead it's cooking along under its own power. I can then enjoy the ride and pay attention to the bigger picture. I might be making rapid movements but it doesn't really feel fast. It feels calm. It's magic. Then of course the next repetition goes crashingly wrong.

So it's time for a lot more practice...

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