The Small Things

Life is made infinitely better by the small things. For example, after a long evening of practicing and just as I’m about to crash from exhaustion I find this…

…nestled inside my clarinet case.

I may have squealed…or something to that effect.

Love those practice session where you completely lose track of time and what seems like only an hour or so is actually 4. I had no intention of staying at the conservatory until 2am…and it’s not pleasant walk home when all the campus lights are off.

Regardless – it was an excerpt night. I’ve just about finished up putting together my audition book for the Dallas Symphony orchestra, just need to hunt down a few second clarinet parts.

Things were gelling tonight – sound production was good, articulation was beastly, and consistency is slowly become a stronger and stronger trait of my playing (versus the catastrophe it was 2 years ago).

Of course the night didn’t start like this, I’d only be so lucky. After changing my embouchure a month or so ago, I realize that it hasn’t quite settled in yet and I’m not quite at the point where I can not practice without having to check-in and make sure all is gravy. Tonight, I noticed that my facial muscles keep moving around like a squirrel frantically searching for its acorns after a long winter.

It’s funny because you never really notice JUST how much the muscles move if you’re not paying attention to them. And you really can’t always feel them moving either – it’s not until you look in a mirror and realize to your horror that nothing is staying still. Then you have the epiphany and finally understand why NOTHING is working or feeling right. As soon as that was locked down…everything seemed effortless, or at least it felt effortless. Of course, it could have just been the fact that my bottom lip was numb after 4 hours of playing with a relatively short break to respond to emails.

I made some landmark progress tonight. It is the first time in…oh…20,000 years that I am content with the exposition of the Mozart Concerto. Even after playing with three different orchestras around the globe – and a few high school bands (it was for the kiddies) – I have never been satisfied or happy. I still haven’t listened to those recordings…and doubt I will – actually, they’re likely lost on the shelf of “things to be filed away” (after fours years, you’d think that I would have gone through that shelf by now…)

3:25am and I’m up at 7am for two quintet rehearsals, a slew of lessons, and a recording session.

Off to dream about Fingal’s Cave and why Mendelssohn hated the clarinet.



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