I love school, whether as a teacher or as a student, but I love summer holidays more. There's something about the combination of the environment coming alive around me while ideas and knowledge are mingling in my brain, birthing creative energy that I'm all too eager to let out.
Summer and holidays, time away from school, are inextricably linked in my mind to developing relationships with people. Maybe it's because I have met so many great friends at summer music festivals, or maybe it's because I fell in love with my wife, and knew that I wanted to marry her, in the summertime.
It's mingling that makes me feel most alive. Mingling with people. Mingling with ideas. Mingling with the peaceful outside world.
But interpreting a piece of music is another form of mingling.
People change and our relationships to them change. Sometimes that means they leave our lives, but I wouldn't want it any other way. I'm going to grow and change as a person and the way I interact with everyone will, too. The depths of how I knew my wife on our wedding day seems almost superficial today, but it felt profound then. There’s nothing I would trade for the profundity of our relationship today, and I expect to say the same thing every year from now on.
Music is similar. The longer we study a piece, the better we know it, the more profoundly we understand its depths. Yet, unlike people, it’s never changed, only we have. It stays the same, and we understand it better.
We can constantly mingle with a piece and explore its depths. It will never change but it can still provide that sense of wonder, profundity and exploration that summer time or mingling with people does for me.
That’s why, paradoxically, though the beautiful nature of late spring and early summer is so inspiring to me, it often inspires me to go inside, to practice, and explore. We get to learn so much about ourselves and our relationships with other people because a musical piece acts as a mirror, showing us how we’ve changed and grown.
"Modern performers seem to regard their performances as texts rather than acts, and to prepare for them with the same goal as present-day textual editors: to clear away accretions. Not that this is not a laudable and necessary step; but what is an ultimate step for an editor should be only a first step for a performer, as the very temporal relationship between the functions of editing and performing already suggests." -Richard Taruskin, Text and Act