JR and I performed again– some things went really well. Many of the pieces rely on coordinating precise timing between the two parts, and our practicing in that regard paid off in concert, much to our relief. There were a lot of rather musical, lyrical moments– I think as a duo, we’re becoming more comfortable playing together. A colleague of mine remarked on how well our sounds blended. An audience favorite was a piece called 3 X 2, by Lita Grier.
I did improve upon some things from the previous recital. The neck strap helped considerably with the issues I had with my right hand– no pain, and greater control with the movement of my fingers. However, I’m still having problems with breathing, which is directly related to having flexibility with phrasing, as well as overall physical endurance. I may need to re-emphasize diaphragmatic breathing, perhaps practicing this away from the instrument. It’s better than it has been, though.
Some other things to consider for next time:
1. Consultation/lessons with professionals. I have the names of several folks– hopefully, they’ll be able to help me out.
2. Experimentation with trying different components of the instrument. The clarinet has five parts to it– swapping out parts often changes how well it plays. I used to shy away from doing this, because I’ve known folks to be so obsessed with this to the detriment of their actual playing abilities, but it’s worth looking into.
3. New venues to play– if anyone has any insight, please do let me know.
4. Combinations with other musicians– this is a work in progress.
Thanks go to Gridley and Ashy for coming to the recital. I’ll try to put a short clip here when I get our recording back.