Since it was raining last night traffic in the NYC metro area was a complete nightmare and we all showed up late for the 6:30 rehearsal. It does not matter how much precipitation there is, as long as there is some a significant percentage of drivers will forget how to drive and get into all sorts of (minor) accidents. We finally got underway at around 7:45 and decided afterwards that we'll make rehearsals from 8-10 from now on to give everyone time to eat dinner and battle traffic.
We had the least amount of breaks yet which meant that I was playing for nearly two and a half hours. By the end of it my cheeks and mouth area felt as though I had been holding a smile all day long. My intonation was pretty good for the first hour and a half or so and then I got a bit sharp as I tired. My reed made it all the way through the end of the rehearsal. What a champion! It's very old and it was hard to play lower notes soft on it. But it still sounded quite nice in the middle register. I was happy last night because I feel like I'm getting better at blending my sound with the others. My sound was strident at the first rehearsal. At one point I was afraid that playing in the quartet would distract me from the things I should be working on with the instrument, but in reality the group is helping me more than I imagined. I'm learning to be a part of an ensemble in a supportive environment. We're picking pieces that are within my reach so I can focus on things I hadn't focused on much before like sound blending, dynamics, articulation, and expression. Last night I realized I am most expressive when I not nervous and overthinking. At one point I got really inspired on a little solo and at the end of the piece the others all remarked that I had played it quite well. Teehee! It was so uplifting and wonderful. I know it's going to be so awesome once I can get consistent tone. I look forward to being able to really get into the music once I have the technical things down better. But see, even this early on I can have a few seconds of pure glory. This is good because it serves as a motivation to go back and do more long tones.
I was a bit wired when I got home. This tends to happen when I've been involved in music stuff during the day. My hyper state didn't last long and I was able to get to bed at a decent time. What a peaceful feeling to go to sleep after you've done something you're really passionate about during the day. I think I fell asleep with a satisfied smile on my face.
Oh! And I tried out the latest reed I'm working on and it actually sounded halfway decent last night. It's a little brassy sounding but it responds decently well in all registers and is close to being in tune. Unfortunately, I don't have much hope for the other three reeds I made. Perhaps tonight at my reed lesson this latest one will be adjusted to become the first self-made reed that I can actually play on. I'm crossing my fingers.