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Music Making


Shing Ann Yeh

This post coming to you fresh from the Yeh kitchen, as Mr. Turkey makes friends with his neighbors Butternut Squash, Carrot, and Potatoes in the Oven.

Today I was practicing again.  Such is the life.  Anyway, I had the strangest feeling: the realization of the complete disconnect among the fingers of my left hand, which tapped the wire strings against the neck of my cello, and my right arm swinging back and forth like a pendulum- right, left, right left- and the noise which was just coming out of the body of the cello.  It was so bizarre.

I was practicing a few different things.  After the recent, fabulously performed opera shows of Operas in One Act that contained two one-hour contemporary operas, Later the Same Evening and Three Decembers, which was surprisingly enjoyable for which to play in the pit, seeing how contemporary music isn’t really my go-to playlist, there’s been one more chance for an ensemble.

Featured on the Blair website, the operas.

Fellow cellist, Alex, and I are going to be playing the complete Vivaldi Double Cello Concerto, the first movement of which we played in middle school together!  Apparently Alex has dug up the video from way back then…. we’ll see if we can play it any better now!

In addition, a sophomore recital is in the works and its date in early December is imminent.  Though it isn’t required and performances send me into almost nervous breakdowns, in the actual performance, something changes.  Perhaps it’s the adrenaline rush or perhaps it’s just that moment of no return after you’ve stepped onto the stage before your professors, friends, colleagues and complete strangers, but when Dmitri and I perform, we oftentimes forget that we are being judged by our audience.

Those fingers in the left hand and that right arm, to put it elegantly, just go.  And then something sonorous and mellow is brought forth from that decorated slab of wood.  Mix that with a bit of emotion, musicality, good intonation and rhythm, and performance isn’t so much of a nerve-wracking experience.  The best part of it is when you get this rush of playing simultaneously with other people.

Chamber music is my favorite type of performance, over solo and orchestral playing.

Because then, playing the cello becomes more than just making making for my own ears.  Sharing music is so much more fulfilling.

Oh, the timer has gone off to check on Mr. Turkey!  Hopefully, this time I’ll remember to move back from the oven so my glasses won’t fog up.

Happy Thanksgiving!


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