Saturday, 29 March 2014

Classical Recapitulations


If any music buffs are reading this. Ignore the following bit because you know (or should know) the meaning of recapitulation. Then again, if you are reading this period you probably know the meaning regardless of your ability to string a series of notes together in a pattern humans call music.
Last post I alluded to being mostly different to the me who I was three years ago. The "mostly" comes into play in more of a literal sense in some cases than some of you may have twigged upon. See, three years ago I was fantastically hard-headed. Still am. Siamese cat temperament of stubbornness.  

Stubbornness is fantastic, especially if you have a lot of people giving you the sort of look that one little sister gives broccoli. The look that among adults translates to wondering if the person being poked delicately with a stick should go somewhere safe, preferably with Peter Rabbit cotton padding. How stubborn would you say you are? Does it help you in any way or is it generally a huge hurdle of hindrance?

On the other hand, (in my experience), stubbornness is about as useful as learning to fly by swimming in water. That is to say, you end up swimming in a potato stew masquerading as the one labelled by the cook book as vegetable stew. Disgusting, lumpy and full of more stuff to climb than liquid to float through. 

My stubbornness (at least in terms of three years ago) equated to trying to complete my Accredited Royal Conservatory Teacher's (ARCT) certification while working through a full five course load of second year university courses in the departments of English and Greek and Roman Studies. That equates to doing about three degrees in one go. Okay, I am sure some of you are laughing because that is nothing to your biochemistry and astrophysics, or three jobs and full time school.

Regardless, my piano teacher did not approve of the examination period I pushed for. Also, I was living on campus, in a unit with three other girls, two of which were so Extroverted, if the scale of Introvert to Extrovert got wrenched into a circle we would hit each other on the forehead. Plus, I had just run myself through a summer trying to prove to the entire Lifeguarding Squadron of Tiny Hometown that I was, in fact, quite adequate, (fantastic in fact), as a lifeguard, despite the fact I did not strut like the fat Persian-Siamese cross from down the street or crack the air with authority like quail at six in the morning. I continued that milieu of physical and mental bashing trying to be someone I was not simply because I had to prove the following: 

1: I could flipping well do my ARCT eight months ahead of when my piano teacher said they thought I should. I practiced 4-5 hours per day. (Generally this was done all in one go, though occasionally I did two sessions of 3 hours in a day).

2: I had school, mid-terms, papers, piano, writing and a need for me-time so I was not going to listen to another boy problem, problem of a problem or go to some party thank you very much.
Go away I am working.

3:  *insert negative body image opinions here* Run at 6am. Forget to eat most of the time. Swim in the evening.

Any of that sound familiar? Maybe you've done worse, maybe you were not quite as bad, and yes I am not going to blab every gory detail because reflecting on bad things is about as pointless as reading them. (Unless that bad thing sparks a positive action. Well, in moderation, that is). 

Moderation. I still don't comprehend that term apparently because those three bullet points led to a series of physical injuries and mental dark spaces that were about as pretty as the sludge that comes out of over-enthusiastic children dumping every colour of the rainbow into one glutinous circle of paint.
I finished school last December. With two degrees in five years down one's jean pocket you would think I would be off and merry. Nope. Currently I am having a recapitulation of that paint sludge year. 

If you wondered, (I wouldn't but maybe you're different, most are), why on earth I would bother inflicting my thoughts, and occasional opinions upon a world so inundated with blogs and blather? Well, I will admit it was heavily suggested a Good Thing for me to do plus past blogs I've done where generally character role-plays. Thu here I am, attempting to reflect on the series of detours my life has made so far and how they are making avalanches that aim to bury or burst out something in the grand 42 ticks on a chalk board that make up the meaning of life. (I'll get around to chatting about Douglas Adam's brilliance at some point for those who did or did not catch that loopy reference). I am also hoping someone out there might actually have some interesting comments to toss in the mix regarding their life lesson experiences. 

I'll end with this, recapitulations might repeat theme 1, the bridge, theme 2, the codetta, and probably add a coda but sometimes, there happens to be a composer who fiddles with the dials just enough that a theme 2a pops up, or maybe the bridge goes on for so long you never even realized how short theme 1 was in the first place and now you find the song blathering about in a soup of keys. 

Mostly though, recapitulations are about breathing through a fear of mistakes, patience to focus through a thirty minute long Sonata and ten fingers of grace to remind you the purpose behind the brutal sixteenth runs were not to punish you or push you to shatter your metronome but to gracefully recognize you are who you are and every detour you have builds the snowy avalanche a little higher so next time maybe you will end on a Beethoven fortissimo rather than a clatter of a-tonal 20th century triplets in a 18th century piece. (Also known as a mistake...unless you have a TARDIS, time machine, and accidently invented atonality a few centuries early).

How do you regulate your personal drive? Your motivation? Your stubbornness? 

Having a moment of wandering.

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