Never Too Much Viola!

The Viola Concert last night was WONDERFUL! I can’t begin to tell you how great of an experience it was playing with the orchestra. If you don’t know about the International Viola Congress, check out my previous article on it here.

I played for the Takemitsu work composed for violist Nobuko Imai (who I’ve fallen in LOVE with). She has such a humble and endearing personality when she’s onstage, but the sounds and colors coming from her viola…were…kind of bad ass. At first, when I saw her…I was a little skeptical…how is this petite little Japanese woman going to play this Debussy-esqe work, filled with all these fantastic colors and rich sonorities.

Sheesh, what a performance, she’s got such control, such demand, and such presence. I’ve never really heard colors to that extent on the viola before – and it was really inspiring and motivating to hear.

I’m not quite certain, but Richie Hawley is supposed to be playing the Bruch 8 Pieces for Clarinet and Viola…with Nobuko on Saturday. This should be an exciting event – two power house musicians.

Something I learned, as a bystander of this event, is that musicians have such close minded concepts of other instruments in the world and are unable to get out of their conceptual “boxes .” And by that I mean, we avoid things that are foreign to us. Not that I learned this from the violists, but more from the other musicians, the “none-violists.” I guess it’s a little strange that I’m a clarinetist floating around a bunch of violists…

Nah, I beg to differ. Even my lowly clarinet playing self can learn a tremendous amount from the swarm of violists that have…taken over CCM. “Violist dominate all things Cincinnati…”

Last night, after the concert, I sauntered off with a bunch of violists (and various other string players) to a quaint bar in the Gas Light District (sounds awfully French, doesn’t it?!) They’re just a GREAT group of people to carouse with, laugh, and overall, have a really down-to-earth and wonderful time.

My life is continually evolving and I’m learning new things everyday, not only about myself and my playing but about the world and other instrumentalist.

We’re so fortunate to have the mental capacity and ability to understand, live, and learn from the atmospheres we’re in – and it always strikes me rather odd when others fail to even look for the good in their “current” situations. I don’t think it’s so much that they choose not to care as it is just plain apathy. People always seem to be more concerned about themselves than living a well-rounded and secular life. Which to me, is the essences of being a musician, or at least a part of that life.

Sorry, the brain’s more scattered than I’d like today.

Let’s just say, I should probably avoid SkyLine Chili for a while….

Happy Music Making!

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