Today I had a strange experience recording Se Ela Perguntar: a kind of weird dilemma where I enjoyed recording a piece I dislike!! and I was able to make a decision I usually have great difficulty making.
Today was the last day of my paternity leave, and Auron was out with his grandmother. I thought I'd take the chance and record Dileremando Reis's Se Ela Perguntar (link below) and Leo Brouwer Etude 11 and 12 (on my channel).
My A level student brought this piece to me after I told him to go to youtube and pick three pieces for his music performance requirement. He told me he enjoyed Russel's recording of this piece and wanted to record it. We both worked on it for a month or two but then gave up on it due to various reasons. Having said that, the fingerings were done for the piece on my draft copy and I thought I'd munch on it during the precious little time I had. Most of you know, due to a very busy schedule and complicated factors, I almost stopped playing guitar. Se Ela Perguntar, with its short and simple melody, made for a perfect breather whenever I had 5 minutes or so.
Fast forward few months and here I am recording it, I did not have the chance to perfect my transitions nor really nail it down the way I want to with my other pieces. However, I had some musical ideas, and the melody was clear enough. I felt I can do a decent job in a 'demonstration' video for future students who want to look at my fingers (since this a melody driver piece, the fingers hold musical value in them since they alter the theme a little bit).
Before I move on, I want to say that I developed a slight hate relationship with this piece. At a time where I am learning about the Classical period in depth, analysing Sonatas, String Quartets, Symphonies, and thematic development in depth, Se Ela Perguntar seemed like a let down. It is a simple ABA' lyrical piece in Waltz rhythm characterized by its starting motif that repeats infinite amount of times. It stays in e Minor for the entire run and does not provide much food for thought. However, it is an excellent medium difficulty piece that allows more advanced players to experiment with tone control, and variations (if they have the freaking time!).
Having said that, I stuck with it because I felt it would be a 'waste' to just drop it after learning it. It is short, easy to memorize, and technically not the most demanding piece. I thought my youtube channel could capitalize on it and possibly teach it to further students doing level 5-6 classical guitar.
I sat down and had about 2 incomplete takes (where I stop after 1 minute) and 1 full take (the one you hear on youtube). To my surprise, while recording the take, I felt a huge relief knowing I probably won't play the piece again! Moreover, I had a surprising feeling that I was getting the job done despite occasional mistakes with string noises, buzz, and missed harmonics. While recording, I could hear my teacher's advice saying: think about what your goal is, have you achieved it? great, move on. Combined with Kannengeiser's video on youtube where he mentions how little time he got to practice once he had family, work, children, and so on. On average, a recording takes me 8 to 10 full takes before I satisfied!
So, in all, Se Ele Perguntar provided me with a taster of what its like to learn a piece, having to do it quickly, record it, and accept results despite them being against my musical standards. In the end, the only thing I was not happy with is the lack of Camera angle shots and not having the ability to 'edit' the video.
Which means, I'm now shopping for more video cameras :D.
Will Se Ela Perguntar stay in my repertoire? probably not, maybe it will enter my Wedding gig set. Regardless, it is a small learning experience on my ladder to excellence!
And, drum roll: I am motivated enough now to restart playing guitar. Master's Audition program here I come!
**dusting spider webs off some Bach, Aguado, and Lobos.
These are short comments I post as I navigate through waters.