Time seemed to accelerate during the final segment of the tour. "Wake up - eat breakfast - hop in the van - dress rehearsal - concert - head to hotel" became the familiar routine. And yet, we found ourselves trying to shirk any sort of musical routine; digging deeper and continuing to discover new and beautiful elements to share with our audiences. Subtleties in timing and dynamics that may have been left to chance early on in the learning process were now significant decisions that could alter the entire energy of the performance. We explored the balance of staying honest with a score and infusing it with our own interpretation.
I'd like to share three aspects of musical exploration that I feel are essential to finding this balance:
As performers, we should remember that the majority of the audience usually does not have a relationship with the pieces we are playing that is nearly as intimate as the one we develop through the learning process. The audience is not looking at scores as we play (thankfully!). They are there to enjoy, feel, and experience the soundscape we convey to them. But, because they get to hear the music that is second-nature to us just once - we must help them connect with it instantly.
What a neat challenge and special responsibility!
Elizabeth Borowsky is a pianist, teacher, and composer. She is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music in Piano (Music Teachers National Association).