The misleading media… (“The Arthur Conan Doyle Quartet”)

Dearest Media,

Please stop being misleading. We, the players, are not the “The Arthur Conan Doyle Quartet”. This name belongs to the instruments. We, the players, are just students from a music school who aren’t even put together as a quartet at school.

In the past, Modern Studies lessons taught me how you can twist stories to interpret other things, but only now do I realise what this really means.

Yours sincerely,

YeYe Xu

PS. All the respects to the maker, for I am happy to play in the concert this Saturday, showcasing his instruments.

After I avoided seeing my face on the local television news that night, I soon forgot about the whole event. Some people at school saw it, and later on I saw a bit of the video without any sound (I look like a man when I play the violin). But then, along came another horror. A photo in the newspaper/website:

What... is with my face? Seriously?

My friend, Fug (upper right corner of photo), showed this to me. It was from the Evening News. I look the stupidest by far –  I’m not even looking at the camera – I look like I have problems. I cannot stop laughing at this photo. But anyway in the text, they make us sound like the official “Arthur Conan Doyle” quartet. (This is not the truth…)
 
We’ve been invited back to play in a concert this Saturday 26th November, in the Usher Hall. It’s called “Concert For Trees” and it’s…
“…one of Scotland’s official celebrations of the UN’s International Year of Forests,  highlighting the exciting and creative work being done to preserve and enhance woods and forests in Scotland and worldwide.”
For more information go to the event page here.
We don’t know anything more about it. No rehearsal times or anything. The players haven’t even rehearsed what we’re playing yet! We were maybe thinking of the second movement from Dvorak’s ‘American’ Quartet in F Major. Two of us know it well and it’s quite simple to pick up. And it’s instantly likeable and ‘pretty’.
 
We’ll see what happens. I just wish it would take place on another date because this week we have technical assessments in school. This is where the teachers watch us play scales, arpeggios etc. and studies on all our instruments. A few of us get stressed, partly because it contributes to your overall mark in the entire assessment period (we have ‘repertoire assessments’ in February where we play to an external teacher/professor).
 
If you don’t do well, you get a mark you wish you didn’t get, and it’s ‘published’ on the noticeboard (without our permission…). Everyone gets to see who did better than who and who did worse etc. It’s quite an uncomfortable thought – people comparing their marks. They are published as either Excellent Plus, Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Unsatisfactory.
 
In the past I’ve freaked and stressed over these things but somehow this year the feeling isn’t there anymore. I feel happy to make mistakes and play wrong notes. It isn’t really a clear representation of what everyone is like in school anyway.
 
***
 
Meanwhile, other exciting news is about the National Youth Orchestra. All the course mailing and music has arrived! This is what we are playing this Winter:
 
  • ‘Hammered Out’ by Mark-Anthony Turnage

For a full length recording of the piece scroll to the bottom of this page. Or if you’re too lazy watch a clip of it here.

(I’m playing the piano part in this! How wonderful, I finally get the chance to have an ‘individual’ instrument in an orchestra. I’m terrified though.)

  •  ‘Cello Concerto by Edward Elgar, soloist – Natalie Clein
  • Symphony #1 by William Walton

 

Lovely music. I’m not too sure about ‘Hammered Out’ yet but I think it’s quite fun and funny.

I’ll write again after the busy week is over. If I am awake… I slept all day today. 😦

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