Thursday, October 8, 2009

Back to Orchestra!

At last, at last, I have returned to the little orchestra of adult beginner musicians I had started to play with a couple of years ago.  Our first rehearsal was tonight, and we worked on a couple of really enjoyable pieces:  Vivaldi's Concerto in C Major for Violin, Strings, and Continuo, and Ginastera's evocative Impresiones de la Puna - a challenging work filled with "crunchy chords" and interesting rhythms and moods.

I can't describe adequately enough how healing it can be to make music with others.  There's something almost hypnotic about it - the way we have to listen to each other and to ourselves, blend our rhythms and harmonies together, use sound and time, mathematics and physics, to evoke images and feelings and give life to a composer's musical ideas.  It's a kind of consubstantiation; there's something almost sacramental about it, a moving of breath and light through the small community we form every Thursday in our little room at a local college.

There was such disharmony at work today that I really, really needed a rehearsal like that to recalibrate my mind and spirit.  Opportunities like these confirm for me that despite my inability (for various reasons) to make the progress I would like playing the oboe, the effort to stay connected to it is entirely worthwhile.


Kim said...

I miss playing in an orchestra...I haven't played in one since highschool. I recently tried starting lessons again so I could get back into playing my violin, but ended having to quit (money and two year old not letting me practice).lol It was nice while it lasted though...and I was surprised at how well I could still play even though I had not picked it up in years. When circumstances change, I certainly will start playing again...something about playing an instrument eh? (sighing with a smile)
BTW, I'm still going to watch the lecture you sent me...I've just been in a funk lately. I truly want to watch it...just need to be in the frame of mind to actually listen. We will talk soon though, and I look forward to more discussions. Take care T. :)

Jo said...

I'm so glad that you are still enjoying the orchestra. I adore playing with mine, and I find that no matter what sort of a day I've had, I will always end up feeling better at the end of a rehearsal. Conversely, if I miss a rehearsal for any reason, I am out of sorts for a week until I can get back (you can imagine how bad I was by the end of a 10 week night school class which happened at the same time as orchestra!)
There is something about being able to lose yourself in the music - having to concentrate on yourself and others and the noise that you are making together which means that everything else just falls out of your head.
Our current pieces include parts of the Snow Maiden, Dans Macabre, a medley from Oliver, and last night we got out a new arrangement of We Wish You a Merry Christmas, which is absolutely glorious (even if the oboe line comes through a bit strongly - three oboes sharing one part, all trying to play pp? It doesn't happen!)

Dragonfly said...

That is awesome. I miss music, but had to stop for financial reasons after leaving home and had had a really bad experience with a crazy piano teacher which put me off the experience for life. When I am over intern year I will totally look into that.