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Re: Recital 45 --- Call For Submissions
outo #2614263 02/14/17 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by outo
Unwanted thoughts creep up while trying to record. I am often able to play the piece the way I wanted until the last measures when THAT thought completely throws me off. "Don't screw up now and you don't need to do this again". I cannot resist the temptation to screw up then. Which means I have to try again but lost the desire to play for the session and any subsequent attempts just become worse.

I can totally relate to you. The recording process can be extremely frustrating. You can actually feel and hear my frustration in certain passages in the CPE Bach piece I submitted for this recital.


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Re: Recital 45 --- Call For Submissions
AB Forum Recital #2614270 02/14/17 10:13 AM
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Perhaps we have set too high of standard.

It is the recording aspect, I think. In a live recital it is over and done with single pass. With recording we have opportunity to get this little section better (as we know we have played it better), or correct this mistake, as we know we usually don't make that mistake, or phrase this section better etc.

The way I look at it now, is that if I really think I can play a completely clean perfectly phrased pass, then I listen closely to see if I can do it when not recording. No, always not, there is always something wrong with it. However, if I can come close, then I can come close again. So accept the fact that there will be some misses as you are recording and keep going like you are practicing a complete pass.

Anyway, sorry to hear of this Outo. I've struggled with it as well and still do. As we get better, we expect better. Fine to a point, but expecting perfection is not.

Re: Recital 45 --- Call For Submissions
Sam S #2614291 02/14/17 11:35 AM
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Well said, Sam S! I, too, have noticed a pattern of performers on these E-citals being IMO excessively self-deprecating concerning their own recordings. And, it's mildly irritating to me; it comes off either as suggesting to others that they're really much more accomplished than the recording indicates -- fishing for compliments, so to speak -- or that every blemish and imperfection needs to be called out as such -- and there, just simply -- Why?
The bulk of listeners are not that smart, but not that stupid, either. I can sympathize with, say, 4 - 5 takes, and then pick the best overall effort, but anything beyond that just strikes me as unhealthily neurotic.

Re: Recital 45 --- Call For Submissions
Tim Adrianson #2614306 02/14/17 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Tim Adrianson
Well said, Sam S! I, too, have noticed a pattern of performers on these E-citals being IMO excessively self-deprecating concerning their own recordings. And, it's mildly irritating to me; it comes off either as suggesting to others that they're really much more accomplished than the recording indicates -- fishing for compliments, so to speak -- or that every blemish and imperfection needs to be called out as such -- and there, just simply -- Why?
The bulk of listeners are not that smart, but not that stupid, either. I can sympathize with, say, 4 - 5 takes, and then pick the best overall effort, but anything beyond that just strikes me as unhealthily neurotic.


I'm not smart enough to know what self deprecating means. I usually make it to the toilet on time . . .but I'm not fishing for complements on this tissue . . . .



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Re: Recital 45 --- Call For Submissions
Tim Adrianson #2614307 02/14/17 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Tim Adrianson
Well said, Sam S! I, too, have noticed a pattern of performers on these E-citals being IMO excessively self-deprecating concerning their own recordings. And, it's mildly irritating to me; it comes off either as suggesting to others that they're really much more accomplished than the recording indicates -- fishing for compliments, so to speak -- or that every blemish and imperfection needs to be called out as such -- and there, just simply -- Why?
The bulk of listeners are not that smart, but not that stupid, either. I can sympathize with, say, 4 - 5 takes, and then pick the best overall effort, but anything beyond that just strikes me as unhealthily neurotic.


Hi Tim
You need to understand that most posters to the e-citals do not have formal training, nor extensive performance experience. Some have no performance experience outside of these recital posting.

Therefore, what may appear 'neurotic' to a seasoned professional will not be the same as a beginner with limited experience. It would be great if we could all accept our flaws, but doesn't that acceptance come with experience? (and therefore time???) IMHO, the standard for 'neurosis' changes.

Re: Recital 45 --- Call For Submissions
Tim Adrianson #2614314 02/14/17 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Tim Adrianson
Well said, I can sympathize with, say, 4 - 5 takes, and then pick the best overall effort, but anything beyond that just strikes me as unhealthily neurotic.

hmmmm.....
neurotic like, - worrying about not having "piano hands" to play the piano? (I do that)
because -- there's composition and cakewalk tts-. grin

All jokes aside, I appreciate the exposure I get to classical and other styles of music much more than a perfect performance.
Whatever that may mean , ( although I am impressed by the payers here, effort or expertise) for instance, i would think the most "perfect " performance of a string quartet would be at a dinner table on a cruise,- hopefully not sinking. help
So, whether someone chooses to be more or less confident in their description is really no matter.
The flip side is that- a beginner would or may feel less intimidated with someone who chooses to describe the possible difficulties in playing a piece , rather than boasting, but like I mentioned, it is no matter overall.
I would hope unless someone really doesn't want to, they should submit their piece to be in the Abf as part of a record of what they're doing at the time,without any concern for perfection. If you impress, kudos to you! (or even not ) .




Re: Recital 45 --- Call For Submissions
AB Forum Recital #2614315 02/14/17 12:22 PM
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I just think people are obsessed with producing the perfect recording. And are disappointed in themselves when they can't. However, the truth is, there is no perfect recording! Not for us amateurs.

I know it might be too much to expect everyone to do what I have imposed on myself. I do one take and that's it. This makes my recording more like a performance. And it truly is a snapshot of what I can do on the day.

But I think more people should try this at least once for a recital. I'm telling you that the world won't come to an end if the submission is not your absolute best ever attempt. The pendulum has swung far towards the direction of expecting perfection. Maybe time to get more realistic and just give it a good honest attempt on the day and be done with it.

This is only my humble opinion. I just think so many recording efforts to get that perfect recording has gone to the extreme. Participation should be the goal. Not perfection.


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Re: Recital 45 --- Call For Submissions
peterws #2614321 02/14/17 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by peterws
I'm not smart enough to know what self deprecating means. I usually make it to the toilet on time . . .but I'm not fishing for complements on this tissue . . . .

Next time I am near by, I am taking you out for pint, or two.


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Re: Recital 45 --- Call For Submissions
scorpio #2614327 02/14/17 12:47 PM
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LOL! May I join you? And can we have a European Piano Party in Britain please? Even if by then it won't be Europe anymore grin

Re: Recital 45 --- Call For Submissions
AB Forum Recital #2614342 02/14/17 01:46 PM
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I was recording multiple takes previously, but ultimately still had to choose the least worst one. Once you realize that you're choosing least worst instead of perfect, then it gets much easier. For this recital I did one recording, flubbed a bunch, deleted it. Did another, which only had a couple minor issues, but tons better than the first, and then submitted it. Life's too short to obsess about unimportant stuff smile
Alternatively - if you think it would go ok in a live recital, then it's good enough.

Outo: we do all hope you reconsider smile


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Re: Recital 45 --- Call For Submissions
dynamobt #2614358 02/14/17 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by dynamobt
Participation should be the goal. Not perfection.


I probably made it sound like the problem was not getting a good enough recording today but that was only a small part of it. After all I already submitted a recording that's not worse than what I have submitted before.

What happened today is that I realized I need to break this obligation to "not miss a recital" even when I don't really want to record anything, because it is interfering with my studies too much. I spend far too much time on pieces we have already moved on from with my teacher.

Sometimes the time just is not right, because nothing is in the "play through" stage. Or I am done with the pieces that are for now. So I need to be able to say "next time" to myself. NOW is always the best time to break a habit. Not that this is a bad one! smile

Shouldn't have said anything I guess, no-one would have noticed...

BTW. I have only tried to record 3 times for this recital and I agree, there's no point in trying endlessly.

Last edited by outo; 02/14/17 02:25 PM.
Re: Recital 45 --- Call For Submissions
Tim Adrianson #2614381 02/14/17 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Tim Adrianson
Well said, Sam S! I, too, have noticed a pattern of performers on these E-citals being IMO excessively self-deprecating concerning their own recordings. And, it's mildly irritating to me; it comes off either as suggesting to others that they're really much more accomplished than the recording indicates -- fishing for compliments, so to speak -- or that every blemish and imperfection needs to be called out as such -- and there, just simply -- Why?

Why indeed? There are many kinds of people here from different cultures and they express themselves differently. So it could just be a habit. Where I come from the positives are not often mentioned when presenting one's work. It is usually very factual and honest about the deficiencies. An outsider listening to us speak would probably think that we hate everything. The type of self promoting common elsewhere seems still out of place here.

Re: Recital 45 --- Call For Submissions
outo #2614407 02/14/17 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by outo


Sam, of course we are too hard on ourselves. But that kind of comes with getting better, doesn't it?



Yes and no, I think I put more pressure on myself in my earlier submissions, when my technique was lacking but I still wanted the piece to sound good.

I understand why you did not submit, but I fear you may simply have put off your fear until the next time when it may well have magnified. I actually find the recitals quite cathartic in that at some point I will have to reconcile that I am submitting a piece less than up to an illusory standard. In submitting the piece it is often a case of letting it go, never to be played again, and at the same time releasing all the tensions it has created.

It should be pointed out that performance is a skill, but for most of us an unpractised one bar our recital submissions. We really need to spend more time learning how to perform because ultimately it should be one of our goals.








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Re: Recital 45 --- Call For Submissions
AB Forum Recital #2614412 02/14/17 05:38 PM
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It is certainly a ‘mental’ issue for me as well, but I believe I have somewhat identified when those ‘intrusive thoughts’ emerge while recording, and have found some ways to work around them. Since I do video recording, I have kept some of my recording sessions and noted when I’ve stopped, made mistakes, and tried to find out why. There are certainly patterns across these sessions. For me, intrusive thoughts are more likely to arise when the recording context is even so slightly different from my regular practice situation. I remind myself never ever to try to play differently (e.g., that overenthusiastic change in dynamics during recording) from the way I did during practice. Even a slight volume change in a passage will throw me off. I also make sure that I set up my microphone and camera and incorporate them in my practice running up to the day of recording so that I am not bothered by their visual presence. I even start wearing clothes similar to the ones I’m likely to don during recording. For example, in my current ABF submission, I rolled up my shirt sleeves but had to get used to the touch of the shirt on the inside of my elbow. In the past, that sensation would distract me if I’ve never rolled up a sleeve during practice. As for the unavoidable intrusive thoughts due to a slight mishap (e.g., that negative self-judgment due to a ‘forgivable’ wrong note), I’ve gradually learned to deal with them through daily mindfulness meditation where thoughts are allowed to come and go. In the long run, they are simply acknowledged and disappear faster than usual. In my current ABF submission, for instance, there was a moment when I suddenly became worried that my palms might start sweating while playing, but found it quite easy to simply recognize and then let the thought go away with no ‘drama’ involved. Sweaty palms (which never occurs during practice) was a big issue for me in the past that I’d stop recording and wipe on a hanky, wash my hands, and even considered rubbing an anti-perspirant on them at one point! Lastly, in bigger scheme of things, I remind myself that I am human, and not a machine, and that others experience the same performance issues. Even Meryl Streep forgets her lines. :-) Anyway, I also found this book by Sian Beilock called ‘Choke’ to be really helpful. It is a highly informed work (based on empirical research) on why and how we ‘choke’ during performances:

http://www.sianbeilock.com/books.html


Re: Recital 45 --- Call For Submissions
outo #2614421 02/14/17 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by outo
Originally Posted by Tim Adrianson
Well said, Sam S! I, too, have noticed a pattern of performers on these E-citals being IMO excessively self-deprecating concerning their own recordings. And, it's mildly irritating to me; it comes off either as suggesting to others that they're really much more accomplished than the recording indicates -- fishing for compliments, so to speak -- or that every blemish and imperfection needs to be called out as such -- and there, just simply -- Why?

Why indeed? There are many kinds of people here from different cultures and they express themselves differently. So it could just be a habit. Where I come from the positives are not often mentioned when presenting one's work. It is usually very factual and honest about the deficiencies. An outsider listening to us speak would probably think that we hate everything. The type of self promoting common elsewhere seems still out of place here.


I completely understand what you are saying, outo. There are numerous studies on cultural differences in self-regard, self-evaluation, self-expression, self-presentation, susceptibility to positive illusions about the self, etc.. I find it fascinating as a psychologist and as someone coming from an Eastern culture.

Re: Recital 45 --- Call For Submissions
AB Forum Recital #2614424 02/14/17 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by earlofmar
In submitting the piece it is often a case of letting it go, never to be played again...
This is has happened to me in a couple of the themed recitals because of the time constraint. In the quarterlies, though, the pieces I've submitted are among the most treasured pieces in my repertoire and all but one of them is still current and in memory.

Originally Posted by earlofmar
It should be pointed out that performance is a skill, but for most of us an unpractised one bar our recital submissions. We really need to spend more time learning how to perform because ultimately it should be one of our goals.
I have for some time now recorded parts of upcoming recital pieces to see how they sound. I always find it enlightening but I also see how well I can play the pieces when it matters. Mistakes are often due to poor practise techniques and having the weaknesses exposed really helps me sort them out.

Eventually I develop a confidence that I can do a good job with each section of a piece even though the full play through doesn't quite hit all the marks. You never get rid of the physical consequences of the nerves but regular exposure to the red dot does help abate the worst of the psychological ones.



Richard
Re: Recital 45 --- Call For Submissions
outo #2614439 02/14/17 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by outo
So I need to be able to say "next time" to myself.


That I can agree to.


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Re: Recital 45 --- Call For Submissions
earlofmar #2614474 02/14/17 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by earlofmar
Originally Posted by outo


Sam, of course we are too hard on ourselves. But that kind of comes with getting better, doesn't it?



Yes and no, I think I put more pressure on myself in my earlier submissions, when my technique was lacking but I still wanted the piece to sound good.

I understand why you did not submit, but I fear you may simply have put off your fear until the next time when it may well have magnified. I actually find the recitals quite cathartic in that at some point I will have to reconcile that I am submitting a piece less than up to an illusory standard. In submitting the piece it is often a case of letting it go, never to be played again, and at the same time releasing all the tensions it has created.

It should be pointed out that performance is a skill, but for most of us an unpractised one bar our recital submissions. We really need to spend more time learning how to perform because ultimately it should be one of our goals.



But I feel no fear... I think I have not missed an abf recital (except for the pop one) for the past couple of years or so and just need a break. The recording problems were just the last straw...in fact my subconscious mind was probably sabotaging the recordings on purpose to give me an excuse smile

I was referring to the general rising standards. The more one can, the more one expects of oneself.

I already performed this piece to a group of my teacher's students. But unlike you performing is not and never was my goal. I don't hate it but it does nothing for me. My goal is to retire alone with a piano to a place in the middle of nowhere smile

Last edited by outo; 02/14/17 08:45 PM.
Re: Recital 45 --- Call For Submissions
AB Forum Recital #2614479 02/14/17 08:54 PM
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The deadline approaches... We've got 50 submissions right now, a nice even number. But there's room for more. wink

Re: Recital 45 --- Call For Submissions
AB Forum Recital #2614548 02/14/17 09:51 PM
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Aha! We did get one squeaker. laugh Another great recital in the books. Good work, all!

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