Usually I spend each birthday writing down the same number of thoughts as the number of years I've clocked up. But this year, thought no. 1 would be that numbers aren't as important as I used to think (either that or I can't hold thirty thoughts in my head at once).
Or rather they should be less important as I make them out to be. I always aim for a round number in the balance of my bank account when I go to the ATM. The same goes for my fake money in Pet Society. I tend to adhere to keeping my practice schedules to the 12 or 6 minute-hand on the clock. Which doesn't quite apply to going to sleep, coz I usually stay up till I'm ready to downright collapse. Something else you shouldn't quite do at the big three-uh-oh.
Just finished a workshop at KLPac, for the HSBC Classics annual music festival. Made me think that we all work for different things. A lot of musicians work for the pure reason of sound, and the ability to produce it at the best level one can achieve. I personally found that the benefit I got most from the workshop was how much I learned in the research process... to have a job where the major component is that you learn, and grow - well, that's what working in academic is all about. And that's the best advertising I can find for a life in the halls of learning.
I don't know where I heard it, but getting easily distracted is a sure sign you're just not that into what you're doing, and you should look for something better. So true.
I think that the so-called talent to make music is essentially having the ability to adapt. That's how some musicians get things faster - because they're more "in tune" with what their fingers, arms, legs, lungs, lip, and whatever else are doing, all the time. Put another way, it's a positive, and selective, hypersensitivity.
If you're up to grow and develop, by the time you're thirty, you've changed certain world views enough times to know that almost every perspective has merit in some sort of way, and the best answers to most questions in life are maybe, sometimes, why not, and all of the above.
I've been inclined to think that if you listen closely enough, you can not only hear a musician's personality... but a small shadow of the quality of his or her character. Watch an orchestra's reaction when a soloist makes an error and you'll may find an interesting clue too.
That being said, having a musician with a good attitude doesn't necessarily make the music tangibly better. It just makes you enjoy the same thing, just a little bit more. And isn't that what music is supposed to be about, anyway?
You don't need to understand to accept, so says my Vietnamese friend. I've mentioned it before, and it's worth mentioning again.
People judge too much, too often, sometimes.
When we're young we like one colour, and then suddenly drop it for another. Orange, then navy blue, you know? Somewhere along the line we end up gravitating to some preference and stay there. And I think it's a pity that we do. I think life would be far more interesting if I woke up tomorrow with a sudden inspiration for purple.
They say the important things in life are small - or come in small boxes. Some of those on my list are ear-plugs, viola strings... and a cheeky grin.
Lastly, for posterity's sake, a bit of a repeat of my Facebook status. My friend asked me to describe my role as a violist in the simplest form possible. To which I replied, "I AM LOVE."