dreaming
or
playing
cello

Shadow / ernst reijseger / Harmen Fraanje / Werner Herzog (by fourstringbassclef)

Wow. This gentleman is fantastic. I remember needing to know WHO?! after seeing Cave of Forgotten Dreams… and lucky for me he has several fantastic albums.

Som Sabadell flashmob - BANCO SABADELL (by Banco Sabadell)

The best songwriters are brutally efficient.

When recording pitchy instruments, strings a great example, don’t wear the headphones tightly over both ears. On the ear closest to your instrument (left for most if not all cello players) only put the headphone halfway over your ear, or even all the way off. Leave the headphone on your other ear. It’s amazingly easier to judge intonation this way. Works for vocals too! I wish I had learned this years ago.

(via onesungover)

midnightdoor:

Wonderland by Midnight Door (by theMIDNIGHTDOOR)

Landfill Harmonic teaser (by LandfillHarmonic)

Dang.

(Source: Spotify)

Music Problems: Hey, musicians.

celloproblems:

You are not a number.

You are not the number of your chair.

You are not the number of years you’ve been playing.

You are not a score on an audition.

You are not a graduating statistic.

You are not your grade on your instrument.

You are not the size of your instrument.

You are not the number of hours you practice.

(via theinvader5)

1 year ago - 2353

Audition Tales. Not good ones.

Was at an audition this morning. Fairly casual for them, though not for me as I haven’t auditioned for anything in years. I’m into what I’m doing with bands and composition, but I’d LOVE to be playing in more ensembles. I love making music. 

Anyways, I thought I’d tell you about my shitty auditions so that you know that you’re not the only one who doesn’t adore being judged by a room full of expert strangers. 

Shitty Audition #1

Today’s audition wasn’t that shitty. It was just sort of shitty.

I get into the waiting room and I can’t even practice. I just sort of froze inside knowing I wasn’t able to focus enough to run through notes, wondering the consequences of that state of mind when I got on stage. I just stood with my cello and stared at the floor, and thankfully another cellist was there and I channeled some nervous energy into conversation.

The moment came and I went in the room. There are seven or eight people. They are nice. But I have no idea what to do or say. I say something idiotic like “oh geez I’m nervous” or something really lame. Then I get hit with the “so what piece did you prepare to play for us?” and I was like… um… I know. I know. It wasn’t clear that we were to prepare something. So, I played one of my songs. Yeah. One of my rock songs. It sounds really really embarrassing but the theme of the ensemble is kind of rock-based so I think maybe it sort of made sense. 

But I mean, I was totally floored by the very first thing. 

And then they’re like “play these measures from this piece”, pretty standard. And all the sudden I have no idea where B flat is. I mean, my ears literally do not understand intonation for a minute. So I can’t find my note. Which is unfortunate because I start to play anyway. Totally flub it of course, because I’m like a half step flat and it’s so bad I stop. I mean, I’m nervous, that’s obvious. But right there the audition is basically over. It’s nice that they didn’t just say thank you and “next”, which would have been more efficient. Start over and play passably, flub a couple more times. Ugh. 

And then, Mr. Perfect Technique “I’m in a ton of groups and have a super expensive cello” goes on stage after me. He is a very nice guy and I don’t hate him but I hate hearing him play as I pack up. It’s like… that guy is at every audition. Or girl. They will be there at your audition and they will either play directly before or after you. They are meant for this. They don’t flub. You should quit today and forget it and why did I even bother to show up oh shit oh fuck I hate the world. 

That’s how you’ll feel for three minutes and then you’ll pack up and go home. 

Shitty Audition #2

Several years ago without deserving to at all I was given a chance to audition for the Oregon Symphony in Portland. I lived there and that is probably why, they probably had some quota of locals they had to let try out. People were flying from Singapore and Vienna and South Africa and they all were RAD cellists and this was or a fourth chair spot and I was just out of my league in a way. 

But I thought, hey you never know. 

Here’s the part of the story where I tell you that I got the music an worked on it non-stop for weeks, not sleeping, just telling myself that I could do it and learning it inside and out. 

Nope. I don’t know at all what was going on in my life that this would be considered reasonable behavior, but for some reason I didn’t have the audition music, I was probably too broke to buy the book of it. Also, the symphony said they’d provide the music the day before if people needed it, and somehow, in some… just… amazingly naive way I figured I’d brush over the pieces that night. And then, in the hour in the practice room before the audition. 

Yeah. Good plan.

So I go and it’s very cool to be in the beautiful symphony hall in Portland, and everyone is really nice and they show me a practice room and there are like eight totally and completely amazing cellists playing through the music in ways I had never heard live before. Amazing. And I go to play the music and I really can’t even begin to tell you how much faith I was putting in the bullshit of happenstance. Like, I really thought I could wing it. 

And then, no hour to practice, more like 12 minutes, they call on me. So I grab my stuff and my cheap (I love her but really) beginners cello and plastic bow and am led to the stage and almost sort of coerced out onto it.

Which is good because I would have turned the other way no doubt had I known: a huge empty stage with spotlight and a totally empty symphony hall room save for a BLACK WALL covering an unknown number of musical experts and critics. They are not allowed to speak to me at all except to say my number and not my name (we were given numbers) and they are not allowed to say anything but which passage to play. 

I sit on the black stage feeling like I’m in the pull of a distant galaxy from theirs and the rest of the world and I actually make an attempt to play. But I’m so overmatched by my nerves but mostly my own incompetence that after two passages, very short ones indeed, I take the initiative and simply say “I’m sorry, I don’t want to waste your time. Thank you for the opportunity” because the noises that came out of my instrument were truly terrible and not Beethoven and I think a 5th grader could have done MUCH better, well I KNOW certain 5th graders would and probably did do better. 

Thanks to the heavens that the very sweet guy who ushered me off the stage had the compassion to act as if what had happened was just nerves and he said something like “it’s ok, this happens to everyone” and I really needed that. I was pretty crushed it was just a singularly embarrassing experience. It made me feel like a complete and total novice/loser/slacker/bad cellist. 

And I got over it, kind of. I learned from it in some way. I learned to be prepared for an audition and spend $46 on the audition book ahead of time. 

Actually that experience was terrifying enough that a lot of public speaking/performing gigs really can’t phase me now. So. That’s good. 

And I learned that auditions are hard. 

And I learned that they ARE about judging you but that you really should not care. “Go ahead and judge me” is what you should publicly present and privately try to believe. 

So. Your audition can’t and won’t be that bad. Surely. You’ll get in, rule over it and it’ll be over faster than you know it. 

Break a leg. And tell me your audition stories if you have any…