On Rehearsing

Soon I’ll be working directly with Third Angle on my string quartet; the first open rehearsal of my piece will be this Friday. It’s starting to get very, very real. I’m a bit nervous because the piece has no central score, so this will be a challenge not only for the ensemble but for myself, especially when trying to work on specific passages and point them in the right direction. How can you point someone in the right direction without a map?

I’ve always felt a bit apprehensive when it comes to “coaching” ensembles or performers who are playing my work. Everything I have to say about how the piece should be played is already written into the score in the form of dynamics, articulations, etc. To me, anything beyond that is subject to interpretation on the performer’s part. I seldom feel like I have anything meaningful to say in that area. Sure, I could wax philosophical about the piece, but really, how is that more helpful than figuring out bowing or fingerings or breaths, or delving into the mechanics of the form? Anyone could come up with something that could be just as interesting (or more so) than what I have to say, when it comes to interpretations  Maybe I just have a hard time because I spent so much time wading through every little detail that if asked I just get lost because all the information about the piece has over-saturated my mind.

At any rate, I’m looking forward to working directly with Third Angle. This will be my first time working with a professional ensemble, so I’m hoping my lack of insight won’t be a hindrance.


By Jay

Composer, guitarist, husband, father, pun enthusiast.

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