From closing shift to a recording session
This past weekend, I recorded a flute video for the Iris Music Project.
After three weeks of not practicing (my flute was in the shop for maintenance), I'm reasonably happy with this recording. Crucially, my sound is back. Playing feels like home again.
My flute couldn't have come back sooner. In addition to Ears Engaged's residency, I'm practicing for a couple multidisciplinary collaborations in November.
For now, here's another practice video. Buried in hours of video-editing, I began reevaluating the purpose of these practice videos. At first 1-2 minutes of audio to show how I work on a phrase, I eventually added text to share my thought process, and video to diversify representations of being a classical flutist.
Now, I see these videos as a form of teaching, drawing from 12 years of studying flute. However, my current format doesn't allow for much depth. Only so much text can fit within every few seconds of music.
If you watch this latest practice video, I'd love to hear what you think: If anything, what do you take from these videos? What would you change about them?
When I recorded these — right after closing shift at the bakery — I was so tired, I didn't bother to change clothes or put on makeup. After all, it was about the music, not how I looked.
But as long as your audience can see you, it's never "just" about the music. For performers, putting care into your appearance is a way to communicate respect towards the audience & the opportunity to perform.
However, this can blur into seeing my appearance without makeup as inherently inferior. At the very least, I could have dressed more nicely. But the reality is, I felt drained & pressed for time.
Besides, there's something satisfyingly authentic — a sense of flow — about looking as tired & plain at the bakery counter as in a recording of classical flute music.
Yet part of me fears offending residents with my careless appearance.
(My opinion is that in the USA, white-skinned people are given more grace for a careless appearance than brown-skinned people.)
To some, is it even classical music if it lacks that veneer of prestige?