It’s vexing that there is only so much that one can do well at any particular time. I have countless creative projects at any one time that I want to be pursuing and never have either the time or the physical endurance to carry them all through. Lately I’ve been making a project out of becoming well. I have neglected my mental and physical well being for many years to make a go of a career in music. I was largely okay with this until it started to negatively impact my playing. Now I choose to fight back. I’m slowly getting better. I probably will be for most of my life. Good mental health is like good fitness or musicianship – it’s about the daily work that pays off in the long run.
I was feeling pretty worn out by the end of last season but just as I imagined, I was bored out of my mind about halfway through the summer (the KWS has a 38 week season and the musicians are temporarily laid off around June each year until the next season begins). The orchestra season started on the early side this year, right at the beginning of September, kicking off with a program of mostly standard encore fare with Time For Three as our guest soloists. TF3 are fantastic – fun, accessible, and musically stellar. The reaction from the audience was lovely. Orchestras all over have spent the last couple decades trying to figure out ways to integrate popular music into the orchestral concert paradigm and most of these efforts have been pretty bad. It’s refreshing to hear a group like TF3 who make artistic quality an up-front priority and genuinely own what they do on stage. Plus they’re nice folks. Check ‘em out.
This concert also brought with it a “modern orchestra musician” moment for me when I was asked by Edwin to do an impromptu on-camera interview before one of the rehearsals about my favourite music from the show. When it came time for me to speak sounds came out of my mouth and failed to assemble themselves into anything a linguist might recognize as speech. The final product was edited into something quite coherent by someone who also handles many administrative affairs, sets up chairs and stands for rehearsals, works to keep our guest artists comfortable and content, arranges the odd christmas carol for the orchestra to play on our Yuletide Spectacular, and has played some smooth and soothing piano to set the atmosphere for gala events. The folks who keep the KWS running wear many varied and stylish hats!