Wednesday, October 27, 2010


A week and a half ago, Myra, Ed, Abby and I all packed our bags (Myra and Ed packed Abby), and we traipsed off to Columbus, Georgia for the first performance of our little recital tour. We pulled up to our hotel late Friday night and after a deliriously exhausted search for the nearest Walgreens to buy some survival items we forgot at home, we collapsed into our beds in the wee hours of Saturday, hoping for a full night’s sleep before our first big step from the rehearsal room into the concert hall.

We had a leisurely day relaxing and resting up for the show (Ed, trying to make the most of his adventure out of NYC, wanted very much to experience the magic of Waffle House for the first time), and then headed over to the theater at 4:00 to rehearse a bit in the hall. Not having any idea what to expect, we were awed to walk into a wonderful, state-of-the art facility with a gloriously resonant recital hall and a beautiful Steinway. Myra played a few notes to test out the piano and turned to me saying, “Wow…we’re being spoiled…” The hall was a wonderful size with an incredible acoustic. Beautiful, warm wood surrounded us, and behind us was a fantastic-looking organ. We were excited to play with such a fantastic space.

After having spent so much time rehearsing all of this music by ourselves, both Myra and I had never felt more ready to take a recital program out on stage – we both felt relatively calm, and excited to see what was going to happen when we added an audience to the mix. It was a really fun performance, although I have never felt more exhausted from a program. An evening filled with a myriad of intense ups-and-downs and so much complex, intricate music, it took incredible focus and energy to give the audience all that we wanted them to have after our hours upon hours of rehearsal and discovery.

While in some ways performance is the end goal, it is still a part of the learning process and merely a stop on a long journey. Stepping out in front of that appreciative audience in Georgia, their energy foreign and fresh to our music-making, brought out in us a different kind of focus and adrenaline in which new intricacies and subtleties of the songs started to open up to us, and we started to scratch the surface of newer, deeper layers in many of the pieces. It’s one thing to talk to yourself, but it is quite another to communicate your thoughts to another person – through dialogue comes discovery.

It’s been a real luxury this past week to revisit each of those moments again in the rehearsal room, exploring those new possibilities of expression and depth. So often, once a program or show is up and running, there is no time or chance (or willingness) to revisit and build upon the discoveries that we happened upon once an audience in the room transformed our solitary music-making into a moment of communication and dialogue. Tonight, we take our recital out for display again, this time up at SUNY Oswego. I’m really excited to see what new things we discover tonight – which doors and pathways this audience will open up for us, and the new worlds to which they will lead.

1 comment:

Meaghan said...

I wish I had known the first stop on the recital tour was in Georgia, I might have tried to make it! Next time.