Musical Photo Albums / Another Reason to Revisit Repertiore

Something that occurs in my household during the holidays, and I'm sure I'm not the only one, is when the family pulls out the photo albums to reminisce about years passed. I don't think I really understood the reason my family did this when I was younger, but I have begun to realize that the purpose of doing this wasn't looking at the physical photos themselves, but the wish to relive those moments of happiness, humor, and joy in our lives that were depicted in these images. Photos have the ability to transport our memory back to moments in time and have it be as clear as if we were presently there.

image via gallery leather.com

image via gallery leather.com

You don’t take a photograph, you make it.
— Ansel Adams
Iannis Xenakis (1922 - 2001)

Iannis Xenakis (1922 - 2001)

John Cage (1912 - 1992)

John Cage (1912 - 1992)

Perhaps as I get older and begin to revisit old repertoire at a different point in my life, I have noticed that, for me, moments and people I first learned these works with have become undeniably linked. These works, in essence, have become a "Photograph" that I can revisit, from time to time, in order to vividly remember what my life was like. This year in particular I have had the chance to revisit and perform two pieces in particular, “ Third Construction” by John Cage and “Ohko" by Iannis Xenakis that, ten years ago, were a big part of my life in terms of time spent in the practice, rehearsal and performances with a group of friends. I suppose that it is fitting to perform them on what would be the 10th year anniversary of my receiving my Masters Degree from The University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Much like going back to a high school reunion and reminiscing about "the good ole' days" I find myself enjoying performing my old repertoire in a deeper way, because it brings me back to times with friends that I don't see nearly enough in real life. Because we performed those pieces together so much, I feel as if their presences and emotional energy are with me in the hall ready to perform.

Pictured left to right: James Smith, Ian Hale, Daniel Pate  

Pictured left to right: James Smith, Ian Hale, Daniel Pate

 

 These moments of clarity that have come from performing old repertoire has got me thinking about other pieces that I have performed and taught and how each is tied to a particular moment in my life and a particular group of people. In that sense, performances have a deeper meaning because we are focused on the present, but a bit of our hearts are in the past with the people we care for. For everyone that I have ever performed with, you will always be on stage with me and I thank you for being there with me.

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