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Friday, April 13

It really is warming up. I cut the hedge this morning wearing nothing more than a sweater. Not exactly summer warmth, but bright sunshine and temperatures above 10 C.

Something of a day off – only a short Akademen rehearsal from five to six thirty. I needed one, as well.

I am quite relaxed before the rehearsal. There is not much to do. The piece that is most disconcerting is one I have to conduct to a click in my ear. We know the piece really well, but the click makes me something of a robot. I feel so uncomfortable! The reason for the click is that there is a video that is precisely timed to the music. So I offer my comfort for the sake of art – I can live with that.

Any other problems have more to do with the acoustics than with our preparation. Today is more about creating confidence and adhering to a method than anything else.

***

Ha, I was liberated of the click! From robot to artist again.

I came up with the idea of singing with ‘ding’. First some exercises and the even the repertoire. It worked wonders with a few problematic places. It seems that the singers got a good idea of a higher sound placement and sang with a better balance of head and chest voice. I now have a signal for tomorrow, which means ‘think ding’. Let’s see if it works in the more problematic space.

We also had a composer present to hear and comment upon his work. Not the greatest idea the evening before the concert, but fortunately his wishes were quite realistic and I think I can incorporate them without too much chaos. All in all, I feel quite calm.

In fact, I felt calm enough to go to a concert this evening. My daughter is playing in a combined symphony orchestra of the Lahti and Helsinki Conservatories. The conductor used to conduct the orchestra my wife played in about 20 years ago. Ars longa, vita brevis.

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