So those of you who read this blog regularly (all three of you) may remember that about six weeks ago, I posted a list of goals. Those of you who don't read the blog regularly can click the link! Anyway, I've been cracking on these pretty hard the last couple of weeks, and I just knocked off a pretty solid practice session, so I thought hey, let's update the mothership goals!
1. The trombonery is actually going fairly well. I've been paying close attention to beginnings and ends of notes, and while I'm not completely happy with them, I think they're getting better. I think I could almost perform the Prayer of St. Gregory, although I would need some time with an accompanist. I think the Tuba Mirum is coming along nicely, I can play it well enough to play it for an audition for the level of ensemble I usually play for probably six out of eight times I practice. Still a little ways to go on those!
The Grondahl is coming along, but is not perfect. I still have trouble with endurance, especially with popping out the E-flat in the ossia in the third movement consistently, and with that lovely string of high Cs at the end of the piece. But if I'm careful about where in the practice session I work on them, I can get through any of the movements straight through and play most of the notes in the right place with some vague semblance of musicality. Much better than it was!
I am still having some note issues with the Ride excerpts. That's probably because of my general dislike of the excerpts; I'm just not taking them as seriously as I should be. But I've been trying to pay attention to things like accents and dynamics, so I'm making progress anyway. I've been thinking a lot about whether I like a brassy, brash tone for the B-major section, or just an oppressively large fortissimo. I've been working on trying to play it both ways, as well as trying to play it like comic relief on horseback. That's definitely an interesting mental exercise!
Bolero's a pain in the neck. I used to knock this off all the time and get ridiculed for being a showoff, and now I just can't pull it off. At least I'm having problems with the hard parts. I added some more lip slurs in the high range to try to help with the string of D-flats, and have been working slowly through the falling sixteenths to try to get that down.
2. I've gotten through Blood+ (which I really liked), Romeo x Juliet (which I also really liked) and the first Evangelion movie (which I thought was not as good as the tv show, which I didn't really like in the first place). I've started His and Her Circumstances which is fantastic and a complete surprise for a Gainax show, and Spice and Wolf, which I am really liking. Victory on the sitting around watching cartoons front!
3. I've cleaned most of the mothership, but have not yet ventured into the hold. Still some work to do there!
4. I haven't even started FFVIII yet, but I've been working on Half-Life 2. Does that count for anything?