Post originally published 28 April, 2009.
Does this sound like you or anyone you know? Calloused hands, a closet full of full skirts and/or ‘comfy’ black pants, referring to people in strange code languages (“I was just thinking about GGP” “I can’t believe how long it’s been since I saw something new on CelloDonna’s page”) or long discussions about disarming the little voice inside your head?
You may have Dementia Violoncellis.
According to recent polling data, 1 in 64 bloggers is affected by this devastating disorder. Knowing the signs is the first step on the road to recovery. If you see yourself in one or more of the following examples, seek help immediately.
One of the common symptoms at onset is an obsession with bow technique, frequently resulting in attempts to do non-cello activities maintaining the grip that finally feels comfortable.
At midpoint, symptoms include a devotion to the “metronome”, which appears to be a relic of ancient times, pre-dating foot tapping and even conductors.
During times of travel, the madness becomes truly apparent as “cellists” consider stowing themselves in the hold of the plane so their instrument can relax in the cabin for transatlantic flight. Vegetarian meal, please.
Sufferers in dry climates may go to extreme measures trying to adequately humidify their instrument.
Female “cellists” sometimes take to hoarding, moving from sale to sale in search of the perfect long black gown or skirt, failing to realize that their cards are maxed and they have 26 long skirts already, which is why their cards are maxed in the first place.
In the final stages, people suffering from Dementia Violoncellis make a dramatic shift into infecting others with their disease, some even deluding themselves into writing how-to books on more efficiently declining into the mania, and encouraging those who were not inoculated as children to step ever deeper into the twisted world of Cello. Watch as they drone on for hours, referencing “Potter” “Popper” and “Starker”, which appear to be hallucinations caused by this terrifying disorder. Observe as the patient goes on at length about pronation.
A rare documented shot of the paralysis this sort of ranting causes. Be careful. Standing too close to an enthusiastic cellist may cause interest or a switch in instruments. Very dangerous.
I’m afflicted. I have that bow technique obsession. Whatever is in my right hand (pencil, pen) gets the bow hold. And I’m frequently caught practicing vibrato on my right arm. And cello and all things cello occupy 110% of my thoughts. (When I go to bed, I think about my music and try to work out the problem areas and how to solve them. [go smaller!])
Love you, Emmy. Happy 2016. Hope you’re feeling better.
I am not a cellist, but I am married to one. I recognize some of these symptoms in myself.