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PRACTICE JOURNAL

P R A C T I C E    J O U R N A L

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A bit spent after a fun but compact group class and a couple of sessions with students, but I had this beginning facetious turn furious section in the first movement of Ysaÿe’s Solo Sonata no. 2 rampaging in my mind throughout the entire day. Truly an “Obsession”.

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Most of the times, the character of a particular passage has to be fully enacted by the body - body language. For instance, fragility is enacted by the smaller joints, and aggression perhaps by the body as a whole. The tough part of it all is to never equate musical tension with physical tension... the joints still remain free. Resistance and power comes from how a player uses the space around her while respecting the natural suspension system of the arm (also essentially a system of springs) and her body’s alliance with gravity... Marveling at how much kinesiology and anatomy teaches us players.

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#violin#violinist#ysaÿe


Exploring various soundpoints with relatively fast bow strokes - using Rode’s Caprice no. 6 as a vessel!

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The bow hand I feel needs to undergo consistence maintenance, especially as it is easy for the bow hand to succumb and play along the line of least resistance (sliding towards the fingerboard as the string is sloped downwards in the direction towards the top nut). Hence, here is a bit of maintenance work.

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Besides monitoring the bow’s course of direction, I’m trying to kinesthetically attune myself to the specific needs of each string and each soundpoint: each string has a favorite soundpoint for a characteristic sound with good quality, and each soundpoint has an ideal ratio between bow weight and bow speed (and therefore bow length). Generally, putting in efforts to play with full hair has large benefits as well. Like intonation, tone production is explorative work (for the most part).

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This particular caprice helps with intonation as well. With each particular scale, giving relatively more focus on the tonic, mediant, subdominant, dominant, and subtonic (leading tone) helps center one’s attention on the inherent beauty of a simple scale.

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#violin#violinist#pierrerode


Playing with a bit of abandon - relearning the Preludio from J. S. Bach’s Partita no. 3 for solo violin after many years away from it. The prelude’s endless, crystalline energy seems to reverberate in a chamber lined with glass walls - that’s what comes into my mind. Some feelings of high brilliancy and splendor seems timely at this moment...

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The prelude establishes the key of E major, and is an example of perpetual motion (at one of its finest in my opinion!), characterized by unpredictable emphases and phrasing. Also derived some inspiration from @christhile’s rendition of it on the mandolin!

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Work in progress, as always - with rhythmic integrity...

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#violin#violinist#bach

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