2 practice videos & a thought
Since 2020, I've shared videos of my practicing for a couple reasons: 1) to be transparent about the up's & down's of being a musician, and 2) sometimes I just miss sharing music with people.
Two years ago, I made the mistake of reading news about tragic events when I had a lesson to practice for. Picking up my flute, suddenly I couldn't find what I needed to make music — an inner reserve of creative energy, and the optimism to believe making music was worth this energy.
I remember crying for hours. The next day, I wrote a blog post to articulate for myself why music mattered. Two years later, I've had to relearn how our emotions as individuals can't change the realities behind news headlines.
Today was one of those days when I made an effort to read the news, but all I could see was death. But also today, two things reminded me of how powerful joy can be: first, on a playlist this song came up that someone shared with me recently. Impulsively, I danced to it in the living room by myself.
Second, I finally got around to watching figure skater Nathan Chen’s performances at the Winter Olympics. Something about his astronomical capacity for artistry, technique, and athleticism — whatever it appears to demonstrate about humanity — moved me to believe that however dark this world, it was somehow every bit as luminous.
Art reminds us of this again and again. So when I practiced today, it didn’t bother me as much as it did two years ago that music couldn't reverse tragic events. I've grown not only to accept this futility, but to revel in some kind of ownership that at least in my corner of the world, at least today, there's more joy than despair.
Sharing videos (as opposed to audio clips) of my playing is actually excruciating. My face does wacky things when I play. But I share them because it attaches a human body to the experiences I write about & the music I make.
Thanks to Cheryl for recommending the book I'm sightreading these pieces from: "21st Century Masterworks: Eleven Pieces for Flute Alone."