Sunday, March 27, 2011

My secret garden

For over a year and a half now, I have had a new love in my life: an ornate harpsichord that lives in room 310 of the Conservatoire de musique in Rodez.

The first time I saw it, it took my breath away. Sometimes it still does.

I love unlocking the door and sitting down at this flowery creature. For the moment I'm producing relatively simple music, but it transports me far away from my workaday world.

I have been plunking away on it for nearly two school years now, and apparently I am making progress.

That progress unfortunately didn't show up too well at my first recital, where I was stricken with panic mid-sonata and somehow lost most use of my left hand - not a good thing for playing keyboards. But I got through it.

Stagefright is a strange thing. I can play the violin in recital situations or speak in front of hundreds of people and stay cool as a cucumber. But performing on keyboards (I used to study piano) has always been my bête noire.

Next step is a non-exam called un bilan de premier cycle on April 7. I will be playing two pieces in front of a jury, which is supposed to give constructive criticism and suggestions for the continuation of my musical efforts.

Stress, stress, go away! I would so like to be able to approach this bilan with the same calm and joy I feel when I practice...


  1. Good luck when sitting down to play for that jury; they will all be music lovers :D.

    You might kno this already, but a lot (?most) of what makes a person calm during performance is the calm breath.

    Have a little calm breathing session before going in . . .

  2. I get "la traque" whenever I have to play solo. I'm glad you got through your performance even though your left hand wasn't cooperating:)

    Your instrument is beautiful!

  3. Thanks Sally and Meredith for the encouragement. I know breathing is important, so is slowing down a bit from time to time...but things seemed just to fly out of control anyway. Maybe having more or less blown it once will make me calmer for the jury...who knows!

  4. I admire your ability to play in front of an audience, even with a tiny bout of stage fright! I'm sure the recital was heavenly...
    Especially when playing on that beautiful instrument.

  5. What a beautiful instrument! I love the colorful flowers painted on it. And good for you getting through your recital! I'm sure the next one will be even better.

  6. The harpsichord is so pretty! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Gosh, with an instrument like that even I could play well. Good luck.

  8. @louloufrance The instrument was made in Montpellier!

    To all -- thank you for the encouragement. I'll need it!

  9. What a gorgeous instrument! It must bring you such joy just to play it. Bonne chance!

  10. That's such a beautiful instrument!

    Also, I'm awarding you with the One Lovely Blog Award! Check it out here: