My week away was magnificent, but devoid of music of any kind.  I was in New York, and occasionally I thought about the palpable lack of music in my environment, mostly Chelsea and the lower west side.  “Not even a street musician?” No, not even a street musician.  The closest I got to music was people with earbuds on the plane.  What looked like it could have been a pop-up event involving music in the now seasonally dry fountain in Washington Square Park never went anywhere in the couple of minutes I stood around with a friend waiting for it to turn into something.  I didn’t see instruments, but the attractive crew gathering a crowd might have been dancers with a boom box.

I did see an ad for a Rufus Wainwright show at Carnegie Hall in the not too distant future and was a little saddened by my timing (I missed him the last time he played Chicago too).

I managed to get to a museum and to a few galleries; even the multimedia work I encountered was not musical at all.  Laura Poitras has a magnificent, powerful exhibit up at the new Whitney that casts a compelling narrative arc of the US response to 9/11 in three evocative videos and other installed materials – all eerily silent except for one, which depicts the (non-“enhanced”) interrogation of Afghan men.

But breaks, in my playing at least, are actually good, I’ve discovered.  I always seem to pick right back up with no problem, technically speaking, and can even find a fresh perspective when I approach the violin after a few days away.   Indeed my Monday and Tuesday practice sessions went great.  It was fun to come back to something I’ve barely started – the first few lines of this new Bach Bourree.  Talk about magnificent.

Thanks for reading.


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