Chamber music, and basement clearing

Today I got together with a violinist and violist of my acquaintance, and we read through the Beethoven String Trios, Op. 9. I have played one of them before (can’t remember when), but haven’t ever worked on them properly. We are going to perform one of them (we picked the third) on a concert in February, and so I am floating on cloud nine over the fact that I get to spend a bunch of Sunday mornings rehearsing the trio with two dedicated and fine musicians. So much of the time being a professional musician means getting things together in a very short space of time with limited rehearsals. That situation isn’t conducive to gaining coherence and cohesion as an ensemble, and it can be somewhat frustrating. The fact that now I have time to practice, to nail every detail of my part, as well as to spend time with my friends matching articulations, deciding on phrasing and dynamics, to experiencing that adaptation in which we learn how each of us plays and we come into consonance with each other is expanding my heart and making me feel like there’s more oxygen in the air. For me, there is no more keenly felt joy.

Expertly written string trios are a lot of work; the absence of a quartet’s second violinist means that no one gets to rest. But they also can showcase each instrument, and with three there is still plenty of power in the group. This will be an exciting musical journey.

My cat Chester spent almost the entire session today with us, sleeping curled up on a cushion on a kid’s chair next to the violist. It was so lovely to spend that time centered in my professional and pre-baby self, bringing that forward into my current life. Ted took the kids to the zoo and had a good time with them there, and they arrived back just as we’d finished, perfect timing.

Then, this afternoon our nanny gave us seven hours. Three of our friends came over to help, and in a very full six and a half hours we finished the basement! The only things still down there are the arcade games and a supremely heavy CD tower. They are right in the middle of the space where they’ll be out of the way. One of our friends took down all the extraneous walls, and so now the space beyond the studio will be one big open area in which we can play games, lay out train track, set up a matchbox car track, do big art projects, or do physical therapy or Qi gong exercises.

And, all of our stuff fit into the dining room and living rooms. There is a respectable pathway to the rest of the house, and we have a few more things to get rid of, so it’ll open up some as we do that.

Hooray!

Now we are super tired and sore, but very satisfied.

The next weekend babysitting time we have, we are going to do something fun. We might even go see a movie. We haven’t done that since we’ve had the twins, so it might be a year and a half.

And tonight, we’re going to bed early!

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