My last post mentioned that I was playing my recital this week. I practised a lot for it and felt comfortable that I had prepared as well as possible. I had to play really early between 9 am and 10 am. I find that playing early in the day is harder. I never practise until the afternoon and evening as it takes that long to get going properly. Musicians are a nocturnal breed of people. Never in bed until the small hours.
The actual playing went OK. Not perfect but the feedback from colleagues was good. I felt I played the Shetland reel as well as I had ever played it - its very exposed much of it solo - with improvisation. But it was great and I enjoyed playing it.
Everyone who played did well.
Its good to have it behind and to start new material. I am going to play a lament next time, as well as a slow Strathspey and reel. I am concentrating on tone, bowing and am practising vibrato. There are very mixed views about vibrato in folk. Many think it should never be used. But I think I should have it in my toolbox.
I have been percussive dancing recently. I enjoy the Quebecan fiddling style where they play along to percussive footwork. I have been scottish step dancing and tap dancing for a short while. This week I tried flamenco. I am hoping that if I can internalise the rhythms I will be eventually be able to do it while playing. But even if that doesn't work, its great fun, music related and the rhythms soak in. Stepdancing and tapping seems relatively intuitive to me. I am so used to the music and rhythms that its only the footwork you need to concentrate on. Flamenco rhythms feel much more alien.