When I started the concert challenge with Dr A. N. in September I thought it would turn out to be a little sweet addition to my life. Like an extra motivation to check the concert programs and keep an eye on my favourite musicians.
Where this challenge has led me and how it has impacted my life, I could have never anticipated. It has turned out to affect my life in much deeper and wider ways than I thought. Here's how.
First, it has soothed my mind in a way I didn't expect. Often when I'm in a concert hall, Great Peace descens, and sometimes also Great Joy. There is something that makes me so joyful and I sit there, grinning from ear to ear, not even quite sure what I'm happy about or why. And on some very rare occasions it also has a reverse effect. Like this past Sunday. On Sunday night I was in Estonian Concert Hall, listening to the Nordic Symphony Orchestra's 20th anniversary gala concert. The orchestra was superb, the soloists (with whom they had worked together over these two decades) absolutely amazing. The trumpetist Sergei Nakariakov did with his trumpet what I thought was humanly impossible. Mihkel Poll to whose concerts I've been to quite often lately (and whose name, Dr A. N. is sure, will be tattooed on my neck before the concert challenge is over hahaha!) played Rachmaninov in a way that took my breath away. And the young Russian, Sergei Dogadin, created magic when playing Tchaikovsky's violin concert. And in the very end there were two encores which, obviously, were not on the program. So there was no way I could have put myself ready for Edward Elgar's Nimrod. For some reason I have always thought that this is how things will sound like when Jesus returns. A very naive thought, I know. But they played Nimrod and suddenly something broke inside me and I wept like a child. I had had a rather tough weekend, with some conversations I wish I didn't have. I can't say much about them but if there are two things I absolutely hate then it's hearing my friend's name and the word 'cancer' in the same sentence, and hurting someone I deeply care about. Well, both happened last weekend and I was rather shaken by it. So the music just made the emotion come out with such a force I didn't think was possible. But it was. After I had got back home, I was still crying, crying for my friends and for myself, and for the terrible longing for Jesus, and for the music.
But this is only one side of it. Something else has happened - which, honestly, I had no way of knowing could happen. It was the day after I came back from Christmas at my dad's that I cut my long and pretty fingernails, took out my violin from under my bed, and started practising again. I had thought I was so done with this. But something has inspired me to take it up again. The beginning, let's be honest, has been painful, in every sense of this word. First, it has hurt in a very direct physical sense. My fingers are not used to the strings any more and after first two days I had a blister on my finger tip and I could not practise for more than half an hour because of the pain. I've grown really weak. And secondly, I found in my old music folder two pieces that I can manage to play. Vivaldi's concerto in A minor and Telemann's Fantasy for solo violin. They're decent pieces, it's just that the first one I played in the second grade and the other one in the fourth grade. I know it is very unusual for a nine year old or an eleven year old child to play them but I did. And now, twenty years later, I'm back to them because I can't play anything more complicated, and it kind of hurts one's pride, let's be honest. But it's alright, it's good to eat some humble pie and to start from the second grade again. I just need to keep on going.
And even that is not all there is. Now I've taken to my head I need to study singing too. I took classical singing classes for a year before I went to Newbold and it was an amazing experience. Now I want to do it again. So I've written to the Music Academy and of course you can just take pretty much any classes from there. The price, goodness, is eye-watering but fortunately or unfortunately I don't have anyone at home who would shake their head and tell me - oh, come on, we're not going to spend money on that, are we?! So. I'm spending my money on it. I'm planning to take 10 classes to begin with, and am just waiting for the final confirmation from the Academy. Oh, how very exciting!
Who on earth could have believed something like this could happen? It's all quite amazing. And it reminds me that all the stuff I want to do, I need to do now. Because one day my name could be in the same sentence with the word 'cancer' (given my family history, it's more than probable) and even if it doesn't, sooner or later I will run out of time anyway. And that's why I want to do as much as I can now.
Sorry for the morbid ending. I didn't mean it. :)
Here's Tchaikovsky's violin concert. I mean, just listen to it!
|I have the most photogenic violin!|