The Search for Meaning

I've finally reached the point in the summer where I feel like I've totally unwound from school and my summer plans, so I'm looking ahead to what I want to do going forward.

Among the many things on my mind today is the idea of continuing to learn piano repertoire. As I've been learning solo music for my collegiate auditions, I have also become more interested in the breadth of standard piano repertoire that I never explored.

When I say "standard" I mostly mean the small-to-medium length Romantic works by composers like Chopin, Brahms, and Liszt. When I was in college, I wouldn't give them the time of day, and in fact, until fairly recently I remained uninterested. But since digging into a Chopin nocturne, I have come to understand how he is creating his effects, and I'm more receptive to them as a result.

Today, I have the day mostly off, other than a recital this evening, so I have spent much of today listening and playing through piano repertoire. For example, this morning I listened through about half of the collection "The Library of Modern Piano Music" with mixed results. Most notably: I have no interest in playing anything by Ludovico Einaudi, a rather trendy new-age style composer.

In the afternoon, I listened through a few works by Tobias Picker, and I have been playing through my books of Christmas arrangements. As I go, I make notes on whether I am interested in learning, preparing, or perfecting the piece, or whether it holds no interest at this time.

Now that I have seen how my taste evolves, I'm not writing anything off totally, but I'm trying to find some direction for myself as the fall approaches.

Before I pick up anything new, though, I have a concert tonight! I'm performing with The Woodlands Chamber Music Project, a group I helped found along with my friend John Paddie. I'm playing a piece by Kevin Olson, and a movement from Francis Poulenc's sonata for Flute and Piano. I hope to be able to do more collaborative work in the future.