The chops are a bit of a struggle today, but I keep working at it. Chris Martin (principal in the Chicago Symphony--phenomenal player, really nice guy, and--wouldn't ya know it--an astronomy buff) just issued a single-tongueing challenge to all us NU trumpeters. First, we send him a recording of Clarke Etude IV by Feb 1st using whatever tempo at which we can maintain a clean single-tongue the whole way through without stopping. Over the next month we are to focus on improving the speed and accuracy of our single tongue. Whoever improves the most by March 1st (again based on a Clarke etude IV test) will get a $40 gift certificate. $40 aside--this sounds like a fun project and a nice way to get my focus away from the embouchure and onto something a bit more objectively manageable. I'm in!
Today I bought my first full MP3 album from Amazon. This is surprising for me because I've been insisting for years that I much prefer owning cds to worrying about less-than-tangible music tracks disappearing if I hit a wrong button or about somehow losing everything if a device breaks. I love looking at cover art and reading liner notes, and I much prefer listening to whole (well-constructed) albums than single songs in some sort of random mix. I loaded my new mp3 album onto a little ipod Shuffle I inherited from Patrick and spent a good hour at the gym with it's pump-me-up rhythms encouraging my efforts on the treadmill. The music I picked (as well as the fact that I love it) is a bit condemning. Any guesses? Here are some clues: recent release, soundtrack, not entirely orchestral...ok, ok...it's the Tron score by Daft Punk.
I know, it's not Beethoven...but c'mon...you have to admit that if you listen to it while working out it sorta makes you feel like you can conquer anything--and I need a little of that feeling in my life at the moment.