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New Projects!

It's hard to believe that all of my CHROMA performances are over. I've been working on some of this material for a year or more, and for the last month the recital project has been all-consuming, with every spare minute filled with CHROMA activities. If I wasn't practicing I was fretting about promotion, or calling around to confirm venues and projectors and ticket takers, or confabbing with Paul, or driving to Chicago for rehearsals.

All of a sudden, I can see my way to other projects, and I can't wait to get back to enjoying all of the other things I do. I've been running, some - but now I'll be really pushing my distance and speed to prepare for the Sunburst half-marathon in early June.

I'm eager to get back to fundamentals a little in my practicing - I have needed to spend my time thinking about the big picture of an hour-long recital and its pacing and performance, but now I can get microscopic with my playing again and work on a few ideas I've had on hold.

I can explore some new music - what a treat! I'm working on a truly hard and amazing piece - Extase II, by Qigang Chen, and finally I get to devote a little bit of real time to it. In addition, I'm taking an English horn audition next month, which gives me an excuse to work on that instrument. I like the EH, but I play it quite seldom and love taking an audition every year or so just to reacquaint us.

Paul and I want to record the material from Chroma and make it into a CD that I can actually be proud of (instead of the live recordings I get which always sound weirdly unbalanced and teem with little mistakes). I have never tried to do a professional-quality recording of my own, although I've played on plenty of sessions, so this should be a learning experience.

I'm embarrassed to admit how long it's been since I cooked anything beyond my couple of go-to meals for the family - things that I can throw together in 15 minutes and usually the baby will eat. I can't wait to shop at the farmers market, plan a menu, and prepare something that's not a plain boneless skinless chicken breast.

It's not that I have time off - there are still concerts and students and reeds - but that I can finally reallocate the time I have. Creative people are creative in a lot of ways, and the culmination of a big project, while immensely satisfying, can be stifling as well. I have lived and breathed Pasculli and Silvestrini for long enough - now bring on the rest of my life!

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