To Missy Dotty From Darkness

January 30, 2010

Currencies fluctuate capriciously ; the market whirls up and sown in a frenzy; and most nations seem to be on the escalator of inflation and rising unemployment, with their experts totally confounded by the seemingly insoluble crisis – yet your only concern Missy Dotty is why can’t I seem to reach the higher notes on my violin without so much effort?

Fair enough.  I’ve been meaning to tell this for so long a time; your pose is your undoing – you’re too upright, erect, as if standing ramrod for some sepia print picture to be taken; so only your arms and fingers move, but the rest of your body remains frozen, (you’re moving like the lady up there, but you’re not moving as much as the instrument is forcing you to move – notice how she has to pull and push with so much effort, she’s killing it! Notice how her head is superglued to the chin rest that there is no pitch and yaw – I bet it’s so stable, you can even put a can of tiger beer there as a side table – that’s why there is so little movement between the middle and upper bout: notice she is putting in so much effort – her breathing is also out, that why she’s turning blue and purple, if she keeps it up at this rate, she will die of lack of oxygen – she’s too preoccupied with the fidelity of the score; let me tell you, you can cut out parts of it without affecting the whole in any way to even make it yours, that’s the trick) – as I said, I’ve been meaning to point this out to you; but like little coughs and slight heaves; I felt it would all past, but it seems to be getting from bad to worse.

To reach the upper notes effortlessly; it’s a bit like turning familiar corners; the body moves as a whole, first the hips rouse, followed by the limbs that seem to clutch as it prepares for the subtle shift in gait –as for the arms, they can do what they like – then like the seasons we will never know; it simmers slowly to the rest of the body, till your arms and fingers begin to release their hold like a down pour that quenches the emerald green of the rice fields – the rest then falls nicely in place, your hands and fingers feel like a unfolding flower – there is no strain; you even don’t feel the timber against your cheeks (you shouldn’t even be aware of it) as your whole body seems to arch forward and backwards like dragon scales to the pitch and yaw – you don’t need to pull (who taught you that?); just exhale and allow the weight of your arms and not the muscles to do the job; and you certainly don’t need plough to reach the high either; rather lean into it with your body and you definitely don’t need to grit your teeth and put such a heavy weight on it like a Gethsemane olive press, if you want to underscore a note forcefully, simply twist your whole body like you’re throwing a discus and the instrument should be swung in the opposite direction in the way the boom of a sail boat moves left and right to tack the wind (it’s a bit like drawing out a Samurai sword -when the katana is drawn out the sheath is pulled back simultaneously – those opposite actions produce a centrifugal force that allows you to cut forcefully – in Aido / Kendo, its called Sayabiki ) – so use your hips ; that way you never ever need to use brute force and it comes out clean, clear and sweet – most importantly, you don’t need to keep to the fidelity of the score, you can add new cadenzas (better still mutilate it and la Callifa has plenty of room for improvisation, its closer to Rhapsody in Blue than something really corsetted like Rakhmaninov), or even decide to remove whole parts that seem to be encrusted to each other for no reason other than to make it really hard so score – but one thing is crucial: whatever happens must seem inevitable, or pretty inevitable, at least – my point is you can’t force it Dotty – somethings you make it happen; others you allow it to happen – this is very much the latter – that’s to say, it doesn’t pay to treat a score as if its a holy composition or vesper – there’s a lot of room for improvisation – that’s the only way I know how to devote one’s entire being into music to make it seem effortless, Dotty.

I can teach you to play like a gypsy. If you like?

It’s a weekend and I have taken a fall on my bicycle recently, my knee is busted – I have time. I can show you; if you like.

Would you like that?

Darkness 2010

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