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Audition Challenge Week 7

And the countdown is on!

Seven weeks to go until audition day, one week until I've covered the whole list, and (mercifully) roughly a week until I get my flute back.

I miss her so much. If I wasn't renting something at an exorbitant price right now I'd set the stupid thing on fire.

Option B.

Needless to say, with my continuing instrument struggles, I kind of took it easy this week. All I know is that all the work I do on this shiny piece of junk will only make these pieces easier when I get the old gal back.

It's a perfect coincidence that I'm working on my biggest nightmare, the opening to Beethoven's Leonore no.3 this week. The number one thing about this excerpt is to play it in tune. Considering almost everything you have to play requires you to work against the natural tendencies of the flute, that's not exactly a small feat. Who would have thought that one of the hardest things I've ever had to work on is just a simple high G with a decrescendo going into a descending scale. For you non-fluties out there, that decrescendo makes the pitch drop like a stone, so you have to work extra hard to maintain the airstream so the pitch remains stable, while simultaneously adjusting the airstream for each note in such a way that they all speak evenly. If you so much as blink too hard the airstream will be disrupted and the result is chaos. Or, you know, there will be a break in the slur or a wobbly note, disrupting the determined and heroic character of the music. Then, once you've gotten a handle on the pitch issues, you must remember that rhythm is also a thing people kind of care about, and you have to worry about keeping a very steady, slow beat. Of course, all the recordings you listen to all use different tempi and the conductors are sometimes pretty loosey-goosey throughout the introduction, so using various recordings as a reference doesn't help because they're interpreting things based on feelings, not what's on the page, which is something you totally can't get away with in an audition because you need to show them you know how to do your job, which is to do what's on the page, but sometimes that's just really hard to do and then you freak out a little and forget punctuation and just go on a rambling sentence that doesn't even make sense anymore and i'm getting totally overwhelmed and it's just a freaking scale and some arpeggios!!!!!

Me, after some pretty intense practice sessions this week.

So, to maintain my sanity, I (in my infinite wisdom) selected this week for my first mini mock audition. This way I get to divide my time between over-analyzing everything I do and trying to see the bigger picture in every piece. I have to say, with complete honesty and not a drop of sarcasm, that this is the single greatest bit of planning and scheduling I have ever done. In the past I've neglected my mock auditions until maybe a little too late in the preparation stage, so I'm glad for right now I can take time every week to just look at the bigger picture and get my head out of the technique vortex that it usually resides in.

Originally I wasn't going to make a video for my mock, but I decided later on that I would add it on to this weeks video. I figured it's an important part of the process and should be included, not only for the purposes of honesty and openness about my preparation, but also because it's good for me and builds character.

His facial expression says it all.

Next week I'll be back with the good stuff, like that fancy bottle of wine you got from a relative that you've been saving for a special occasion. The French stuff. I'm talking Daphnis and Afternoon of a Faun. Be prepared for sensuality, perfume swirling in the air, and noodles. A solid page of noodles.

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