Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Lost Musician

Its hard for me to believe I used to play the violin. Yeah, its gotten to the point where I have to say I "used" to play the violin. I haven't touched that sacred instrument in more than a year. And I feel ashamed. I felt the exact opposite 3 years ago after performing in my first ever concert (I am listening to the audio of that piece right now! Seriously, I cannot believe I actually played that quite fluently!). I used to be incredibly satisfied with the direction my music was going.

Today I miss all that. I should have learnt violin for longer. I should have performed more (performance practise sessions are so rigourous, they'll make anybody an expert in the instrument!). Basically, I just shouldn't have stopped learning.

Each step in my academic life seems to take me one step away from a chance to dive back into classical music. Singapore doesn't seem half as bad an option right now to pick up the violin again. My latest excuse - USA is not the place to learn classical carnatic music on a violin!

If I miss playing the violin so much, what's preventing me from just going against all odds and picking up from where I left off? Fear. Its as simple as that. I am scared of failing, of finding myself worse than when I left off, of having to start over again from the beginning (Sarali varisai!!), of having forgotten to tune the violin, of so many things. Right now its just so much simpler for me to sit on my rear and say "oh yeah, I used to be a violinist in an orchestra, but I cannot play anything for you now because I didn't bring my instrument... luggage problem, you see".

I wonder if I will gather the courage to take the next step. To get myself an instrument, find myself a mentor, and start playing an instrument I am so fond of, and that I miss so dearly....

P.S.: I also miss my orchestra and organising concerts every semester! If anybody from my orchestra is reading this, you people rock! The classical way! \m/

P.P.S: Its like the blogging gene in me has been knocked down since I moved to the USA. In spite of having so many things happening around me, why am I not writing more often?!

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey i totally know how u r feeling...and trust me, this is a clue. if u feel this way, jus go for it. dont think tht u r in the US n all tht...

n regarding the writer's block...m sure thts jus a phase:) tht will pass soon...

Anonymous said...

What would be so wrong if you have to start all over again from Sarali Varisai? Within a matter of a week or two you will be back on the saddle and start playing the violin like you used to play. You are sacred of failing, but what is worse is that you are not even trying hard enough, even before you try you think of failing? that is not good. Try again and see. if you happen fail it is not going to be the end of the world. Atleast you tried and not sat on your rear and wondered!!

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

Dear MG..
take it from someone who quit the violin early on- blaming academics and perhaps didn't actually have the knack- I really really really regret it now. Grad school life will take you through phases during which a hobby - that you can indulge in by yourself- really helps. And what better than music? which imparts a great feeling of peace, diversion and discipline at the same time? Dallas is quite "Desi-fied", and if you can find desi groceries easily, a violin teacher might not be as hard as you think. start with the indian community and indian students association and u will find some teacher somewhere. u may not even need to have an instrument at first.
Sorry for the long lecture- but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to warn someone to not follow the path i took and regret badly.
I also brought my violin with me from bombay- and its a showpiece here. The only thing that stops me from giving it off to someone who'd make better use of it (like you?) is the fact that my grandfather got it made for me.

Whew. long rant. please find a teacher and try to stay in touch with your violin. you will come to appreciate the time and effort invested. best of luck.

Clueless said...

My mom always tells me that having a hobby is one of the most important things as you go along in life. You need something to distract you, something you can just lose yourself in when everything else gets too overwhelming, and playing an instrument is ideal for that. You picked up so many skills in 3 months ... I don't see why you can't pick up where you left off. Of course you're going to be a bit rusty, but trust me, it only takes a few days to get back in shape. I sat on my ass for long enough, putting off joining a pattu class, but when I finally did, I felt such a profound sense of relief. Three people have already given you the "go" sign ... let me just add my name to the list! :)