Sunday, January 24, 2010


Is it true or have I made it a truth that the most difficult places to play a piece of music is the transitions? Is truth immutable or in motion & changing? No doubt about it transitions for me are tricky, demanding my attention, and in need of care.  There are different types of transitions. In performance the change in fingerings, tempo, rhythm, &  intensity can be subtle or dramatic and everything in between. Same holds true in composing, how is this piece of music going to alter it's path? Will it be different harmonies, rhythmic changes, or dramatic shifts of mood & emotion? In reality it is usually a manifestation of all of the above. Intense & jarring fortissimos giving way to peaceful & quiet pianissimos. Percolating melodies giving way to gentle meanderings. Solo voice evolving into rich choral tapestries. Transitions breath change into music and also into life.

In performance transitions breed nervousness (one of a hundred forms of fear) in me. Have I mastered the elusive fingering? Can I marshal the emotional force needing to be interjected or soften the wave of feeling already in play? Do I understand the relationships undergoing change during the transition in this piece?  In life? During the performance of my life can I accept, embrace, and allow the ambiguity of changing relationships during the sections of transition? Can I improvise the piece when I have lost my place in the score? When no score is provided?

In reality every breath is a transition and every micro-second in between. The music of changes plays on ... trust the muse; play the transitions; be available.

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