I am so excited and honoured to be premiering a new concerto by Sid Robinovitch for Marimba and Vibraphone with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra at Westminster United Church on January 12, 2016. With only a week (tomorrow) left until the performance I’m starting to get into that weird space before a big show or audition where you suddenly feel like you have lots to do and also like there is nothing left to do.
Does anyone else know what I mean? Somehow everything changes in that last week, I feel like I’m starting to see the big picture more clearly and focusing on things that are more important than the notes. Its always a strange transition for me, but its one that I like. You stop worrying about the little things because at some point you have to let go and realize that there may be one or two things you can’t fix, but that the phrase and the ideas and the shapes are more important anyway… I’ve met with the composer on a couple of occasions and he seems happy (phew!) and I think that other than 2-3 spots that are tormenting me that I am feeling good about this performance.
I’ve never been someone to air a lot of my personal life or feelings on the internet, but I’m going to give it a go here tonight. It’s been posted on Facebook, which, I assume, is the same as “common knowledge” but for those who might not know, quite suddenly and very sadly, I lost my sister Olivia a few weeks ago on December 12, 2015. It only hit me a couple of days ago that I will be premiering this concerto on January 12, 2016, one month to the day since she passed away. It seems completely absurd to me that in the span of one month I will have experienced something so personally devastating, as well as having one of my biggest professional dreams come true. I don’t know how to talk about it, really, its the worst thing I’ve ever been through, and one of the biggest accomplishments of my career. It will be so completely surreal to go and give this performance and know that my sister won’t be there. But I’m not writing this post to be a tear-jerker, I’m just taking a moment to say that life is unbelievably odd. I’m not someone who’s going to stop making plans or working towards her goals because of a tragedy, I’m more likely to be the person who buries herself in her work because having something to focus on is a lifeline.
A close friend who has been through something similar shared the idea that a stage could be a safe place in a time like this. It seemed like an interesting concept and I feel that the notion resonates with me. Being on stage is a place that is both exhilarating and comfortable. After enough performances, it starts to be a place that feels like home. This may be my first concerto premier as a professional, but it won’t be the first concert I’ve ever played and it also won’t be the last. There’s some kind of security and serenity in knowing that. The knowing that even in the midst of a life-changing event, there is a place where I can be myself and continue to do work that I am proud of.
I’m looking forward to sharing some of who I am with the audience and with my colleagues in the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra during this performance. I hope to see you there.