Saturday, June 13, 2009

Now what?

One of my favorite exchanges* in the movie The Princess Bride happens at the end of the movie.

* - High praise, given that this is one of my favorite movies.

To set the stage... it's the end of the movie. Good guys: triumphed; villains: vanquished. Inigo Montoya, the Spanish swordsman played so masterfully by Mandy Patinkin, had spent his entire life seeking revenge for his slain father. He has tracked down the evil six-fingered man, exacted his revenge, and then says to the hero Westley...

Inigo : Is very strange. I have been in the revenge business so long, now that it's over, I don't know what to do with the rest of my life.

Westley: Have you ever considered piracy? You'd make a wonderful Dread Pirate Roberts.

I sort of feel that way right now. Not about piracy, mind you, but about what to do with myself. For most of May, at least in terms of piano-related activities, I did nothing but polish up I Due Fiumi for the recital. I don't think I made it to more than one lesson; I gave up my slots to Jason, since I was out of town for work and volleyball. As to the lesson I DID attend, it was, yes, polishing the recital piece. I shelved what I was doing in Alfred's Book 2, making zero progress there for nigh on 2 months now. I feel like now that the recital is over with... I don't know what to do with the rest of my life.

One thing is certain: no (or very few) lessons for me this summer. During the school year, our PT conducts lessons four nights a week, from 3 to 8 PM. Which means evening slots are typically available. During the summer, PT condenses her work week into two days, the theory being that since the kids aren't in school, she can have morning and afternoon hours available. In this way, she can cover her full clientele in just two days, rather than four. Makes sense, but I can't commit to a daytime slot, so Jillian and Jason are the only ones in the household taking lessons this summer. Their day is Tuesday, 4:30 and 5:00 PM. If one or another can't make their time, and if I can, I may get a 30 minute session here and there.

But mostly, I am on my own. I figure what I will do is return my focus to Alfred's Book 2, in hopes of making serious progress on it this summer. My goal will be to cover 12 Alfred's pieces before Labor Day, roughly one per week. I am off to a reasonable start with the first of those, Joplin's Mexican Serenade (aka "Theme from 'Solace'"). I have never heard of it by either title, and the music was unfamiliar. But it has come together quickly, and I may have a recording ready in the next few days.

Then, come September, maybe I will restart my regularly scheduled lesson slot.

As for fun pieces, who knows? I am tinkering with I Giorni, but haven't yet committed myself to it. So far, it seems approachable. And, like many Einaudi pieces, it plays shorter than it really is*, since it tends to repeat its patterns quite a bit (or vary them ever so slightly).

* - Pardon the golf term.

I'll take any suggestions. Particularly from you non-Einaudi fans... any fun stuff you'd recommend? I feel like I may be lacking simple pieces from standard classical repertoire, like say, Bach, Clementi, or Kuhlau (there were two of his sonatinas in our recital).

- Aw2pp, who would make a lousy Dread Pirate Roberts.

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