Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Music and mime

In a recent obituary of distinguished music critic Andrew Porter, I was struck by and agree with his sentence describing a well-known conductor's antics on the podium: … if one averts one's eyes one hears something less extraordinary than the performance he mimes. 

In my own occasional efforts at conducting, I am well aware of this danger and find it usually preferable to direct whilst playing the violin which is preferable also for the musicians being directed!


I’ve never blogged before so hello people out there!  I warmly invite you to reply with any thoughts you might add to my own.

Now that I have given up most of my orchestral playing, I find myself with time to reflect on the continuance of life as a musician. I am well on in my 7th decade, but not yet entirely decayed. The Beach Boys album Keepin’ the Summer Alive springs to mind. Many of us are happy to turn to other occupations and put the instrument to rest as fingers get stiffer, hearing less acute and stamina reduced, but more than anything I just find I want to carry on trying to play the music I love. I actually enjoy practising and preparing for the occasional concerts I do more than ever before and I would love to hear in this blog how others are dealing with the reduction of professional work vis à vis one’s confidence as a musician, albeit an ancient one.