Performing live music

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I have been trying to relax for a few days after Friday’s concert, but the reality is that I am just very happy working.  So yesterday, I worked on the kid’s school stuff all morning and at my office all afternoon.  It felt good.

The comments coming in from the concert have been interesting and I will address some of those things over the coming weeks starting today.  I appreciate the honest feedback I am getting.  I do not mind the negative stuff though I am partial to the positive stuff;)
The biggest surprise for many was that I did a lot of new styles of music.  For some, it was a pleasant surprise while others feel like I have abandoned ship, turning my back on everything I have done up until now.  I haven’t, but I will save that discussion for another day.
The most common question I have gotten is about the health of my hands.  The reality is I did hurt my hands.  Four fingers were bruised to the point where I could not play for a few days afterward, but they feel fine now.  No, that should not have happened.  I was playing way too hard and I am not necessarily proud of it.  I am very fortunate that the piano did not go out of tune and that it sounds great when played hard.
But on the other hand, there is one thing about playing too hard that I am happy about.  I felt a freedom that night to do things in a performance that I have never done before.  It is a very hard thing to explain but it was a great feeling.
The reason for it was that this was the first concert I have ever done where the majority of the music was improvised.  If you were there, you may have noticed that when we repeated songs, there were big differences, especially on the band songs.  The band and I were working from roadmaps (an overall plan for how the song would progress) but we all had freedom to improvise all over that roadmap.  It really brought the music to life for me.
I have been working for years to get to the point where I could safely improvise in a concert setting (especially a concert as pressure-packed as that one).  While I still have a long way to go, I am pleased with how it went on Friday.
If you have been reading my blog, you have probably heard me emphasize improvisation many times.  I am passionate about it because I know how it feels.  If you have experienced it, you know what I am talking about.  It makes performing music the way most of us learned it (memorizing a piece of music note for note) seem sort of dull in comparison.
On the other hand, the sensations it was creating on Friday led me to go a bit too far.  I need to learn how to control that better.
But it certainly was fun…

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