I would like to use this opportunity to wish everybody a happy, healthy and very inspirational 2009! These are interesting times for everybody, since we have arrived at a time where real choices have to be made. Which direction are we going to take and are we going to be fearful or hopeful for the future? Global warming, economic worldcrisis, ongoing global terrorism, dispersing of countries or ‘Unions’ and the election in the USA of a new president; Barack Obama. These global issues can be an opportunity for new hope and real positive change..
On a personal level I will continue to give my best to bring light and positivity and touch the ‘hearts or souls’ of people through my music and teaching. For me, this week was a pinnacle of playing great music after all the cramming I had to do, due to the ramifications of cutting my left-hand finger and suffering from a somewhat frail health. Playing Schumann’s celloconcerto, a recital with partly new repertoire and playing the continuo part of Bach’s Weinachtsoratorium all in the same week… it’s hard to top that!
My wish for 2009 is that we may all give positive energy to the world, making an effort ‘to see the other’ and show some true interest in the people around us. To give a smile to the people we randomly meet and accept ‘the other to be different’.
That’s my New Years wish… Happy New Year!
I was thinking the other day about the fine line of balance in life. For a musician it is one of the most important things we need to master,.. or more accurately.. to juggle with. Of course this counts for many more professions and people in their lives as well, but for the moment I’ll stick with pondering about my own profession.
My experience as a professional performing musician is that we never seem to have enough time to do what we would like -to be able- to do. The one comment I come across the most is ‘I didn’t find the time’, or ‘I have no time for..’ Pieces need to be performance ready at a given time, business calls and administration work never seems to be done and having a social life…? Ha-ha! However, I do find it very important to have some kind of balance between my life as a musician, my family and friends. At times posing to be a challenge, since a day only has 24 hours in it!
And I have not yet talked about the physical aspects of balance! Personal worries and sorrows, like when my father suddenly passed away last March, made me neglect to keep my battery charged. Having had an extreme and busy year, I had not played any sports for a long time like I usually do. I do love sports. I love playing table tennis or snooker, but physically speaking, right now the balance definitely tipped over at the wrong side..
Last week I was cutting some bread that had a yummy crispy crust. And yes, as you might have guessed, my knife skidded from the crust right into my lefthand ring finger. Crap..! Bloodbath. I tried gluing the skin flap back on, hoping this would work.
Well, it didn’t.. Rest is the device. With a couple of recitals coming up -some of them with new repertoire- and having to prepare the Schumann concerto, this is definitely a set back. The finger will be okay though, but it made me realize about the fine line of balance in life.
This year was a year of frail health anyway. When I finished playing a recital in Edinburgh, I wanted to take some time off and roam the city with it’s beautiful surroundings, but my body had other plans. It must have decided that it had worked enough and went on strike. Having suddenly muscle aches all over my body made walking the streets not a very enjoyable experience, let alone walking the hills! I also recently just recovered from the flu, that took it’s sweet time getting out of my system. Five weeks to be exact, sneekily accompanied by mononucleosis. Finally that was finished and now this! For someone that usually is never ill, I will eat the humble pie and learn my lesson in this.
To keep the balance. Not only between professional and private life, but balance between mind, body and soul…
Today marks the rebirth of my website. It was high time to move with the computer era times and improve the functionality, so the site has been completely revamped with a new look and improved functionality. I for one am very happy with the design and the user-friendly functions the site contains. I hope you too will enjoy the site and find its content informative, interesting and entertaining. By the way,.. the scroll positioned at the right side of the site is of my very own old cello. A sweet beautiful Italian little scroll from 1800. If you have any comments (positive feedback always welcome!) messages of questions you would like to share with me personally, please send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be happy to interact with you and promise to try to answer any question you have for me. That is, till after the 7 August, since I will first fly to London to perform at the Proms..
Despite the fact that I often find news not very newsworthy, or only after the event has passed, I intend to write something at the site more frequently. If you don’t find it interestingly enough you can simply go to another chapter, right?
Maybe it is good to share with you that the audio samples are not yet quite ‘up to date’. Why? Well, lack of time really, to listen back to the recorded concerts, but mainly because of a stubborn computer that, despite the many desperate pleas, simply refuses to save the audio samples on hard disc. Truth be told, even at the previous site the audio samples had for years not been updated. Not only because I just had been busy (and a tad lazy..) and postponed getting around to do it, but also due to failing recordings. Had a concert finally been recorded, it still appeared destined to fail due to someone in charge not knowing the recording machine very well. Afterwards there were comments like ‘Oops sorry, I forgot to turn on the microphone’ ‘Oh, was this the record button I had to push?’ Or the microphone had been turned open too much, making the sound of the recording distorted.
Aah, the joys of computers and recording machines ..
for now I will just stick with the cello!