Standard: I’m Committing Musical Suicide

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My little desk side companions stare at me in disbelief. The student portrait of my father is stunned but not surprised that I stupidly try to do everything, the cow thinks I better start squeezing him in order to exercise my fingers for this challenge and my little turtle smiles evilly because it is pleased to see me have such beautifully challenging music to play because it knows I will make a fool of myself in doing so.

This post is about one person’s rational decision to do the impossible.

First of all, new chamber music! New music, new music, new music.

Introduction & Allegro – Maurice Ravel

It’s for 2 violins, viola, cello, flute, clarinet, harp. Incredibly beautiful. It’s one of those epic pieces scored for harp which only the gods can play but ‘Mazas’ was half sight-reading it (like all of us) on Tuesday so she’s gonna b gr8.

Charles Ives Piano Trio
I’ve listened to it: it’s madness. For violin, cello and piano, it has 3 movements. The second movement is called TSIAJ – This Scherzo Is A Joke.

The Head of Music hasn’t given it to us yet. Only letting us do it if we really really want to do it. He says it’s really difficult. It must be impossible if someone like him finds it hard! Why we are crazy enough to do this, I don’t know.

• • • Now for the impossible • • •

The Southbank Centre in London have a project to perform ‘Carnival of the Animals’ by Camille Saint-Saens next month, involving members of NYO most likely to include…


One of the most popular works ever (Classic FM style), it has several movements, each about a different species or character. For example Aquarium is about underwater life:

I got asked to do it yesterday. Being both a demon and a saint, one out of the two pianists has dropped out and now I’m close to accepting the invitation to learn this part in NINE DAYS.
Nine days.
Neuf jours…
That’s when the first rehearsal is.
Why so soon…
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I understand many other first study pianists will find this a piece of cake and will be able to learn it for next Saturday; I am not an average first study pianist, I will find that this will increase my current piano practice routine by 900% in order to prepare a single page of this work and I also have barely enough time to breathe during this period in school anyway.

Implying that I’m already laxed, my Mum’s advice to me is,

“Don’t be lazy.

…I sigh.

Asking my piano teacher for his advice, I already knew that this was an opportunity I could not refuse (he thinks it’s too soon and that I’d put too much pressure on myself). I knew that in 5 years I’d kick myself for not doing it. It’s in London and Southbank Centre will pay for my travel expenses – extremely nice bargain. So here I go. First step to insanity. He thinks so too:

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Playing in an orchestra wasn’t bad because you couldn’t really hear me. But this is different! Not only will the other pianist be flawless but the ensemble is reduced dramatically to a chamber group, not 165 musicians. Every error will be exposed.

In the end, I can only do my best. They made the choice to contact me and will have to accept what I can/can’t do.

Prelims (mocks) begin. First one tomorrow. This is going to be an interesting few weeks. In order to survive I should sleep now.


PS. We are learning a routine in belly dancing and apparently we will perform it in a Hafla (belly dancing event/show thing I assume). The thought of me dancing in public frightens me as well.


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