When you wake up in the middle of the night, as I often do, people suggest several things to help you go back to sleep. For instance, drinking warm milk, counting sheep, reading a boring book, listening to soothing music. For me I wake up and I have a plan of what I would do, other than sleep. Like make a book, color. sketch, plan my outfit, or even want to work on a song I’ve had in my head. Tonight my plan was to play my violin and practice. But it now appears that I will be writing this thing. Quite honestly I just need to ramble for a bit and I afear that my violin would wake my next door neighbors. Not because of my playing. Violins are touchy things you see, and they are very loud even before you start playing them. First you have to unzipper the case, and in the middle of the night in my small room, it seems like the zipper is tearing through pure silence. Then you open the case and there it sits, your violin. Now most have a brown tint, my two our odd in this way. My first one, my Stainer (copy) has unfinished wood, so it is rough around the edges and actually has seperation in it’s wood allowing for one to look into the inside of it if you wish. I don’t play it as often it has problems staying in tune. My other one I call Antonio or Anthony. Depending how I feel, it’s German made and the deep notes of it sing to its mate. Anthony has the sheen that other violins have but it’s color is different. More of a yellow than anything else, it stands out from the other violins surrounding it that are of a dark amber color. Next is tuning, which even after playing for close to thirteen years my ears have been marred by the ipod generation and my violin has problem being tuned perfectly. The pegs crack and strain to reach the notes I want, sboinng, a string will pop on me and fly up into my face. Plucking and clucking as quietly as possible to get the notes I want. Once they finally reach the string’s intended notes I rosin my bow, it squeaks quietly creating the necessary friction. I clean my strings, nails on a chalk board but on different tunes. Then I play. Usually a Vivaldi piece, I often listen to him so playing the pieces for me is second natutre. Tonight though, I practice Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony Movement Two. I play second violin. For me it’s the same reason people choose to sing the middle part of a piece and not the Soprano or Alto, for the challenge of harmony. I try rushing through it as the notes begin to blend together.
I’m covered with music and my alarm is blaring. As I’m rushing out my door my elderly neighbor tries to stop me for a moment, “Brava, magnifico just like….”
“gotta go” It’s good to know someone enjoys my insomnia.