Taking an audition is very small percentage of music making in the world. Super small.
Liz, my hostess, is also a cellist but specializes in Irish music, to the point that she lived in Ireland for a year to study it after attending Berklee in Boston; and she's written a method book for adapting Irish fiddle music and fiddling ideas for cello. She gives monthly workshops to groups of cellists and teaches Skype lessons online to people as far away as Germany. And this morning she allowed me to sit in on one of her workshops. In the midst of audition prep panic I got to witness three high school cellists work together (under Liz's guidance) to create an arrangement of an Irish folk tune. They planned the order in which they would take turns playing the melody and experimented with different ways of accompanying, taking care to think about texture and register and how the structure of the whole work would be. And by the end of the ninety minutes, they completed the work that had begun at their last meeting. Something they created, without any sheet music, employing melody and ear training, with little direct attention given to the things that I obsess over- pitch, articulation, exactness of rhythm, bow usage, vibrato, and on and on..... And yet a number of those things started to fall together.
There are so many facets of making music. Liz, herself, laments the amount of expertise that she has in her area in that it has somewhat put her above a number of opportunities that might exist. We train to find some perfection or level of skill to allow us to enjoy our art, and sometimes it gets away from us. I still enjoy the pursuit of perfection that preparation for these auditions encourages, but just spending a bit of time seeing this other part of music, one that occupies a much larger percentage of how people generally interact with it in the world, was interesting and inspiring and a bit relieving.
We only have so many senses, what more are we missing that is around us? Is it still possible to de-differentiate, to open the pool again, to see more that what is right before me?
Things to think about. An open world. And an opportunity tomorrow.