15 Mar 2014
Living Music
Playing Beyond the Notes by Deborah Sinn
Playing music? Oh my! Listening to music? Wonderful! Thinking about music? A treat. Talking about music? So interesting. Writing about music? Who, me?

This is what I’m doing at the moment, diving into the realm of writing about music - transforming what for me is an imaginative, aural, mental, and physical art into the written word. Thankfully, I am writing about interpretation, one of the things most interesting to me, and in particular today – structures and their challenges. This means trying to condense certain ideas of when to do what – or rather, what things to consider when deciding what to do when. 

Deborah Rambo Sinn wrote a very effective book for Oxford University Press called "Playing Beyond the Notes", a book for pianists juggling these very issues, and she has been asked to put together a collaboration of string players to write a version for string players. I admire her book so much – she manages to juggle huge issues and address them without leaving holes, nor minimizing the question at hand. I am proud to be on a team with Melia Watras, Michael Jinsoo Lim, and Monique Mead, collaborating with Deborah.

My favorite thing right now is all the listening I’m doing. I’m analyzing Beethoven Sonatas, covering as many of the Haydn quartets as possible to get the perfect example I’m looking for – and what would be better than spending an afternoon listening to all the Haydn quartets reading scores? It’s a luxury that, outside what we are currently learning as professional players, we don’t often allow ourselves. But what an incredible reminder of the context in which we create and interpret! I’m humbled that I don’t do this more often, that obligations get in the way, and that practice comes before learning and creating context. This music is a true joy, and I’m hoping that the writing will convey that – in its performance.

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Bloch: Suite for Cello solo no 3
Sessions: Pieces (6) for Cello solo
Harbison: Suite for Solo Cello
Lutoslawski: Grave
Stucky: Dialoghi
Waggoner: Le Nom (Upperline)
Weesner: Possible Stories
Boulanger: Pieces (3) for Cello and Piano
Carter: Figment

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