Wednesday, April 12, 2006

How's Your Practicing?

A newish friend asked me "How's your practicing going?" and my brain short circuited. As I just never seem to get when someone is resorting to small talk, I assume that these questions should be answered. "Fine" would have been the easy answer, but the real one's coming forth in the next paragraph. If the questioner happens upon this blog, perhaps you'll get why I got "a look" on my face in response.

What do you do when you're sure that what you're practicing is wrong? I'm extraordinarily opinionated and I know the way these pieces should go. Of course, I also know for whom and with whom I'm going to be playing these pieces. I'm positive....stark, raving positive of how they, the check signers, will want these pieces played. Of course, I'm also quite sure that my way is better, and closer to the composers' intents. Yup, I'm selling out. Musical honesty? Nope...Rent is a necessity. I've gotta be able to get the callback.

If I play these pieces as they should be played, I will spend the next two weeks fighting for my realization of the composers' wishes. Of course, I won't win. Even if the groups were democratic, I'd lose a vote. Especially if they're democratic, I'd lose the vote. There's a good chance I'd not get a shot at paying my rent through those groups again.

So how do you answer "How's your practicing?" when that's all you can think as you pervert perfectly good music in a practice session? Here's how that conversation should have gone, although I'm positive that it would have been just as confusing for the questioner:

Q: How's your practicing going?
A: I feel like a whore.


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