Sunday, 1 November 2009

I miss my violin

My good friend and former quartet/jam sessions cellist, Cz, sent me this link the other day

The Impossible Duet - Handel Halvorsen Passacaglia

Even if you don't play a musical instrument, it's clear that this guy is amazing. I recognize the piece as well. My brother (who's an infinitely better violinist than I ever was) used to play it. I can't remember whether he ever successfully tackled it, or whether he just attempted to play it, because as you'll hear and see - it's a freaking difficult piece.

I haven't touched my violin since moving here. I miss it. Even though I was never very good, I still love playing music. Some of my happiest memories involve music...whether it was late night jam sessions with my Kameleon crew (who said you can't play Aerosmith on violin??), or the traditional Harvey's dinner with my orchestra friends before our MYO concerts.

Like every other Chinese kid on the block, my parents put me in violin lessons at a pretty young age. And like every snot-nosed, spoiled kid, I hated it. I never practiced, I practically threw up every time I had to go on stage, and I won't even get into how I was before auditions and exams.

As the years went on though, I grew a newfound respect for my violin. Sure, I wasn't really good at all - but I was good enough to play with other people and appreciate the music we made together. I learned to practice - and took pleasure in the end result from hours of practicing the same passage over and over again. I loved performing in ensembles. I loved rehearsing even more, the sense of camaraderie and sheer fun that comes from spending hours together, working as a team. When I play violin, I don't worry about my job, my failed relationships, where I'm going in life... I am 100% focused on reading the music and translating that onto my violin.

I may not be good, hell - I'm actually pretty awful for someone who's had over 15 years of private lessons - but I'm glad I stuck with it. Because so much of what I've experienced in my short 27 years has come about because of that wooden contraption of gut strings and horsehair.

1 comment:

  1. Mr. Hou would be most proud of this blog post. And at least your musical career was not a complete waste - just think of all the Chinese history you picked up from his stories about the cultural revolution!