On the sidewalk, in a residential area of Vienna, an old man asks a young garbageman for directions. The young man gave him really good directions, using garbage cans as landmarks.

Impending recitals are a great laxative, did you know that?

They are.

All in all, the cello business is going okay. Last week, walking down the hall of the music school, three music teachers greeted me in a friendly manner, one after the other. That was nice. And on Monday, a kid greeted me as I went into the school. “Servus,” he said. “Huh?” I said. I didn’t recognize him immediately, because he was wearing a hat and was with parents. I’m used to seeing him with no hat and a cello. Whoever I talk to, I assume they’re the same size as me. So seeing a kid with grownups threw me off, because in such a situation the grownups are of course my size.

I eventually greeted the kid back. How cool is that, kids greeting you on the street.

“That’s that old guy I was telling you about who can’t do vibrato,” he probably told his parents when I went around the corner. Well, he’d be wrong. I’m the guy who is on the verge of almost being able to do vibrato.

I can, in fact, do vibrato as long as it’s a long note and nothing else tricky is going on. I saw a kid doing it to beat the band at an orchestral performance, jesus, his vibrato! So I went home and tried it, inspired, and it sort of worked.

Now if I could only remember to breathe. I had a practice with my teacher last night and forgot to breathe again. He sat there breathing, sort of loudly at certain parts, to remind me to breathe, and that worked okay. I got more oxygen. Now if I can just remember to breathe at the recital tonight. Remember to breathe, and not to think too much, especially not, “hey, this is going great!” because that’s what I think right before the notes tangle up.

Also, two guys asked me if I want to be in a string quartet. One is a viola, the other is a violin. Now all we need is another violin, hopefully a real ringer who can play the hard parts and make us sound good.

6 responses to “Directions

  1. go for it! merde with respiration!

  2. You will, no doubt, be swooning at the vibrato you produce.

    Good luck with the recital.

  3. I can’t wait to hear your proposals for naming the string quartet.

  4. mig

    Thinking hard.

  5. Voila.. the thinkinghard quartet.. almost sounds Austrian

  6. mig

    First thought, best thought, I guess.

    After I posted that comment, the same thing occurred to me.