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Unpacking Musical Memories to Ring in 2013

The Sensible Flutist: Unpacking Musical Memories to Ring in 2013

Monday, January 7, 2013

Unpacking Musical Memories to Ring in 2013

I rang in 2013 in a new house surrounded by boxes. I consider this to be one of the ultimate ways to ring in the new year: a fresh start in a new location and in an idealist way, it actually had the potential to be pretty empowering. In reality, the first week of 2013 put me in a funk because instead of thinking about projects (and starting) that I would like to accomplish this year, I had to acknowledge that the week was all about unpacking and settling in.

There's still unpacking left to do, but this is the week to begin piecing together what will make 2013  a successful year. While I unpack, I'm reminded of myself and nothing fired up the spark more than unpacking and organizing my music library.

As I sorted through all the music, I thought about why I owned the piece, if I've learned it (or asking why I haven't learned it yet) and finally thinking about the times I've performed each piece.

I put away my copy of the Reinecke Sonata and I smile at the memory of performing it with Erica Sipes in 2012. For the first time in a long time (and perhaps ever), I collaborated with a pianist who truly and happily supports the musicians she plays with.

On stage, I felt that I could do anything and Erica would respond to me. I felt safe and cocooned and the Reinecke is the perfect memory of 2012 and future performances with Erica.

I was first exposed to the Telemann Fantasias in high school when I learned the second one. I returned to them in college and I have regularly returned to them ever since. I love them for their complexity and the way Telemann transformed the flute into a harmonic instrument with harmonic and melodic material written on a single line.

Perhaps the most amusing memory is performing No. 2 during a church service back home in SW Virginia, and people not quite knowing what to make of it since it wasn't an overtly sacred choice. I think it was the closest I've ever come to hearing crickets chirp after I finished playing.

Finally, the copy of Robert Beaser's Mountain Songs for flute and guitar. I programed several of the movements on my senior recital to honor the memory of my grandfathers who both died in 2006. I appreciate the guitarist that came to my aid to learn the difficult part in a short amount of time and allowed me to keep the piece on my program.

Mountain Songs blends Appalachian folk songs and sets them within the classical tradition, blending my two sound worlds together that meshes my identity with that of my grandfathers'.

Just looking at the music brings forth these memories, and I can keep making more memories with the music in my library. Every move is attached to a specific memory and unpacking my music library will stick with me for this move.

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