Live performance is an essential element in the recording process. Both before the recording (for obvious reasons) and even more definitely afterwards. This is when audiences respond the most to the solo performer… when they understand the long and personal association that is required to make all of this happen. Everyone can relate to this.
Making a life as a solo performer can seem like an isolating and solitary choice but it is more than that. Yes, it is essential to have lots of time to prepare but the trajectory of true performance goes far beyond once the interpretation is launched! I am in contact with all kinds of people who believe in the music, from students to fellow musicians to concert presenters. And most inspiring of all, the audiences who witness the moments when all the work comes together.
After years of working in orchestras and after an education that focussed obsessively on the goal of being in an orchestra, I then *discovered reams of solo literature for the bassoon. And of all this, the most attractive was concerti with strings, which combines my first love (orchestra) with my true love (dressing up and standing at the front of the stage).
*n.b. when I say discovered, I mean for myself… obviously the tens of thousands of solo bassoon pieces had been sitting there the whole time!
Now that I have done many concerts in many settings, I understand that music only comes to life when there is the alchemical combustion of long preparation, frequent opportunities to perform and massive support from the wider communty.
Difficult to achieve but not impossible.
I have done many tours in my life, mostly with orchestras, and increasingly with my recital duo with Guy Few. These are the best experiences of my professional life… playing different stages and meeting hundreds of people. I want to tour the Vivaldi project all across the country, and years ago imagined doing this with a group that I would call, “Like the Wind” —- we would travel to every kind of community and play the music that I have worked on all my life. I imagine, perhaps naively, that the players in the group could shift around depending on their life circumstances, rather like a flock of migrating geese… sometimes younger players would take the lead while the elders dropped out, other times the eldest goose would lead the flock. I guess that would be me.