It’s called woodshedding for a reason.
The Urban Dictionary reminds that the term finds its origin in the old woodsheds, where musicians would go for privacy so as not to be heard.
Music, not meant to be heard?
Oh, my dears.
Back when Ego drove everything (and, some would vehemently argue, Ego always drives performers?), we’d eagerly set the ticker and get started on our incremental repetitions, determined to be the fastest gun in the west. Being the fastest equated with being the best. Or, not.
And, frankly, in college, everybody WANTED to be heard in hot competition for that seat.
Hardly. Doors open, baby.
Virtuosity was expected. It was built in. Audiences wanted to be dazzled.
But, what of [mere] beauty?
All wonderful offerings, lest they be the bequest of the Divine, take time to accomplish.
And, I think I’d rather spend mine perfecting the turn of a phrase, for all its delicacy and subtlety, and tone for its palette of color. The body of music waiting in silence to be found and played that requires not a moment of pyrotechnique is enormous. And, that which waits to be created: infinite.
Perhaps it’s a phase of life. You know, seeing the end from the beginning. Only, in this case, it’s not the end of the piece; it’s the end of the world, for God’s sake.
Just how much real time is there remaining, in any life, to wait for a metronome to dictate the next move?
If you find me in a woodshed, I hope to be heard playing Bach.
With the windows open.
© Ruth Ann Scanzillo 9/4/16 All rights those of the author, whose name appears above this line. Sing on, call birds!