Monday 11 February 2008 (10:41PM)
I'm right in the middle of re-discovering my tuba and loving every minute of it. I'm to perform the Vaughan-Williams concerto in June so I'm playing most evenings (much to the surprise of my neighbours, the local cats and my children).
When I play the tuba I imagine I am singing and try to make the tone of the tuba reflect the character of the voice in the music I'm playing (and hearing with my inner-ear). I love being able to do this.
In addition, I love getting it "right": nailing a technically difficult passage that at first sounded wrong but revealed itself through repeated (often slow) practice and experimentation.
Finally, I just love the feeling of playing the tuba. The tuba is a very physical instrument in the sense that it takes a lot of physical effort to play, blow, hold and carry! I always feel like I've just been for a good session at the gym!
Interestingly, this re-immersion in all things tuba led me to Øystein Baadsvik who has only emerged as a tuba player since I left the tuba world for philosophy, teaching and computing. This video of him playing his own composition "Fnugg" knocked my socks off:
What most impresses me about his performance is the virtuosic ease with which he communicates his playful sense of fun and experimentation on such an awesome instrument. His audience are all undoubtedly die-hard tuba fans as a result. What a great performance.
As a result I immediately found and ordered a copy of the music over the internet! What I'm especially looking forward to is showing off some dijeridu based techniques (they're also tuba techniques, but I suppose most people associate them with the dij).
(In case you didn't know, I've been having a lot of fun on the dij after Mary had one shipped over from Oz for my birthday two years ago.)