I just want to say it again:
Thank you to all who came for my concert! I hope you enjoyed it just as much (or more) as I enjoyed presenting an evening of music! You took that leap of faith to join me despite not knowing what will be performed, and that takes guts and curiosity!
It's going to sound way off tangent, but bear with me for a second! When I was at Peabody, there was a senior I looked up to. He's a nice guy who was hardworking, played really well, sounded great, and is currently a member of one of the up-and-coming percussion quartets in the States. I remember watching his senior recital and was blown away! I went up, congratulating him on a wonderful and spectacular performance, and his response was kind of a mood-killer (not the exact meaning, but I couldn't think of other words to phrase it better). I remember him shaking his head while saying it could have been better, that things went awry, that he did not sound as good as he wanted to. A few semesters later, I took a class and the lecturer said something very interesting. I don't remember his exact words, but it went something like this,
"Do not downplay someone congratulating you. They came and chose to spend their money and time with you and are congratulating you with their earnest hearts. To downplay that is akin to not acknowledging their presence and their time."
... something like that....
Anyway, as enjoyable as it was sitting as an audience member, it was pretty nerve-wrecking on the other side of the table! Honestly, I made more mistakes than I wanted to, and there were more mishaps than I could have hoped for. And at the end of it, I found myself in the same mental state as that senior from Peabody - shaking my head and downplaying people who came up to thank me for the music. On hindsight, it wasn't the smartest thing to do and for that, I apologise to those that were in the same shoes I was in when I congratulated my senior.
But ultimately, I did what I set out to do, which is not only to create more exposure to what classical percussion is, but also to inspire young students and even professionals to take that risk and chance of organising a solo concert. Actually, not just a solo concert, but taking that step to doing something you wanted to do - whether it's setting up a chamber group, a duo/trio/quartet, collaborating with someone or a group, forming a rock/jazz/metal/indie band, and the list goes on. It was truly heartwarming to hear friends tell me that the concert was inspirational and I hope they take it and play it forward too!
As performers, we will always be critical of our playing and especially hard on ourselves if our playing does not go according to "plan" and we do not deliver the music as it is. But we have to look beyond the imperfections (something I will be writing about in the coming weeks) because music is ever-changing and I'm coming to the realisation that every minute emotion we feel really does affect how we play the piece.
I guess this post is also a reminder to myself to see the bigger picture and not just harp on what went wrong or what could have gone better. As always, thanks for reading! Do let me know if you ever felt the same way I did and if you did, how did you cope with it? I hope everyone stays safe and well too.
And again, thank you all who came to watch the concert. I am really blessed to have such support from you all :)