“Either it’s easy, or it’s impossible, in which case it’s easy”


Graeme Jennings on the phone to me today said something I’ve heard him say before, but which resonated with me especially well just now. I think I might make it a bit of a practice mantra over the coming weeks, given I’ve got a good many notes to be learning!

Either it’s easy, or it’s impossible, in which case it’s easy.

I spent the evening getting stuck into Mauro Lanza’s The Skin of the Onion, of which hitherto I’d only really looked at the bass flute section. This turned out to have been a good decision, as it’s by far the most difficult section of the piece for me – all the concert flute stuff is eminently playable. Lanza is either a flute player or has worked closely with one (I would probably guess the latter, and hope he has done the same for the other instruments in the piece!), as he has included a detailed fingering guide for all the quartertones used that is actually very useful, as the fingerings work very well in context. The work is also very repetitive in an off-kilter mechanical kind of way. Easy!

Here it is so you can have a listen to it (before the Kupka-Interface performance of it on Sept 27 & 28):

Other repertoire I am preparing for Interface’s (imminent) arrival includes Donatoni’s Arpège (also for pierrot + perc sextet), Maderna’s Honeyrêves, and some new stuff by Liam (Flenady) and possibly Luke Paulding (not sure if I have a part in that work just yet). And I’ll play Carter’s Scrivo in vento and Takemitsu’s Voice for Bettina, and for Laura Chislett-Jones in Sydney next week. Lots of fun things! Most of the notes I’m reviewing now (easy!), but the Donatoni still has a lot which I’m bashing my way through – some of which, due to some pretty extreme grace notes, probably qualifies as impossible (easy!).

Thank you Graeme for making everything feel that bit more doable!


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