Ever the masochist, I have decided to go crazy on concert studies. In addition to the audition repertoire, I have added the 4 Bukinik studies, with a special focus on the 2nd one. People, if you don’t know these, well…I suppose a kinder person would advise you to run. They are awkward and lumpy and sort of poke at you with this unrelenting demand for fingerboard gymnastics. I find that the practice of pieces like this can lead to transcendental experiences of ability and confidence. Or aggravated assault. One or the other. I am not writing to you in jail, so it’s safe to assume that things went well today in the sweltering heat.

1) Warmed up only briefly with vibrato exercise, because I knew I was going to:

2) Run through entire audition at half speed.

Haydn D
Don Juan
Brahms 2
Beethoven 5
Mozart 35
La Mer

3) Get up and debate between scotch and cucumber/lime water. Chose the water, but only because it was cold and I take my scotch neat, thank you very much.

4) lots of Beethoven. Repeated each section 5 times at the same tempo before moving onto the next one.

5) La Mer bottom part. If I’m not careful, my D string really stands out, so I did reverse dynamics (loud where supposed to be soft, etc) and then even, loud dynamics, then even, soft dynamics, and then back to the markings. Better.

6) Bukinik. Thumb position 3rd shapes. Scales in 3rds. Worked on finding some of the opening cadenza’s gnarly chords blind. (I close my eyes, drop my left hand to my side, and then try to bring it back up with the chord shape already articulated) Ended with a work up of the arpeggios and the rare occurrence of 20 straight rips without faltering.

So there you have it. As much as I loathe 100 degree days, they improve my practice by a lot. Any of you find that certain weather creates an ideal ability to focus?