a musician’s chores 1

clipping and taping

Today, the last pdf belonging to an upcoming concert with Le Chardon plinged into my inbox. A related pile of miscellanea is already waiting downstairs on top of one of the instruments (a law of nature: every horizontal surface only waits for objects to be put on top. The more scratchable the surface, the scratchier the object – the more hygroscopic the surface, the raincoatier the object).

Waiting for what? Processing. It took me a while to understand that the work we really do was actually not taught at the conservatory. I learned to play runs and trills and to play polyphonic pieces and to avoid pulling a face when I missed a note and such stuff, but here I sit, paper cutter at the ready (I love those things with a slicing wheel hidden under a plastic handle), a spare tape roll waiting in happy anticipation beside the tape dispenser, a ring binder on the floor (table full), and a stack of music-to-be-dealt-with.

Since this work cannot be avoided, it’d better be embraced wholeheartedly. Ultimately it is just so useful to have well-prepared page turns, no missing sheets, and no harmonica-style taped monster scores that, in the middle of a concert, will slide down on the floor in a long rustling trail. If it takes time, it is worth every minute – I even suspect that if everyone would invest the necessary time in getting order into their parts, that time would collectively be saved during the rehearsals. I have no statistics to prove this, but I do keep a book in my backpack to keep myself happy while others storm to the Xerox machine.

Anyhow, tomorrow is going to be clipping and taping time.

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