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.