More than a year ago I wrote a blog-post for the Swedish Radio P2 about relating my performance as an artist to who I am as a person. Developing skills as a musician and stage persona oftens means spending hours of self-analysis, mapping out your strenghts and weaknesses. You really need to cleanse yourself and face the fact that the only thing standing in your way is you. How can I play this even more beautiful? How can I be able to play this difficult passage? Why the hell can't I play this difficult passage?! Why am I nervous? What if I get completely lost during the concert? What will they think of me if I play poorly?
Practising an instrument is truly self-terapeutic and in good times it is amazing how you can manipulate your own mind into a creative, constructive and positive thinking which brings you to levels you didn't think you had. But in bad times it can also be really self-destructive which makes you almost depressed. Relating your performance to who you are.
When I was writing that post back then I was kind of living in denial and thought I had it all figured out. Turns out I didn't, because I'm still as neurotic about my playing. I will probably never solve the puzzle how to not relate my playing to who I am, because who I am is also how I play. Instead I'm starting to question if you're actually supposed to figure it out at all? What if it always will be like this, and that the way to go is to accept yourself and the fact that there will always be ups and downs? Or I'm just thinking way too much again... Anyway, playing music and being an artist means the world to me, and that's probably also why I'm so emotionally attached to my performing at times. I do not wish that I someday wake up and stop caring about doing my utter most to express music as I would like it to be.
The past week I've had much fun rehearsing for a project together with my fellow musicians and friends Mikael Rudolfsson and Filip Draglund. On Wednesday we're heading to the BadiaMusica festival in northern Italy. The ensemble-form is completely new to me and even though I've played duets with both of them before, the trio gives a whole new spectra of colours, sounds and expressions which is really exiting. I've also enjoyed exploring music that is completely new to me. We will be playing a very varied program by known and less known composers such as Giuseppe Verdi, John Cage and Jacques Castérède, check it out in the calendar! In november we will be reuniting again on tour in northern Sweden. On the tour we will also be premiering a piece composed to us by the fantastic pianist Roland Pöntinen. The hype is on!
Finally this weeks post will be dedicated to the never ending questions/comments I keep getting from some people I hereby will be referring to as "People who say I look like Lang Lang". When I hear them nowadays I switch on the auto-answering-machine-mode. So to avoid having to do that I thought I might do a short FAQ so that I in the future instead can refer "ppl who say I look like LL" to this post. Saves us both time, win-win!
Q: Where are you from?
Q: No, I mean, where are you really from?
A: The end.
Q: Oh, you're a musician, what's your job?
A: The end.
Q: Do you make good/enough money in music?
A: The end.
Q: You look like Lang Lang! .. Oh don't be so sensitive and misunderstand me, it was meant as a compliment!
A: I do believe I have enough self-awareness to say that I don't look like him at all. So in the end, the only resemblence which concluded your comment was that we're both chinese and happen play the piano? Like the 15 million other asian pianists on this planet? Brilliant. The end.