Sunday, October 5, 2014

Picking Up Your Beloved Instrument!

Thinking about stage fright, mentioned in yesterday's post, I was fantasizing about how different it must feel to be a violinist walking on stage, tucking under her chin her own beloved violin, knowing her rapport with its every aspect, conversing with it as with her dearest friend.  How different the experience of a pianist!

It took me decades to realize that whenever I performed I should not touch any instrument that day except the one on which I was to play in public.  No warming up backstage, no trace of the memory of a different instrument.  The piano of the day had to be that one and only public instrument, even if it meant playing without a warmup, as sometimes happened while on tour.

I learned from this to respect how fragile and fleeting the touch/tone memory is.  By observing this rule I eliminated a great deal of the otherwise inevitable shock of addressing a strange instrument.