Let us take a moment to reprise and break down our ‘Hat-trick’. For the record, this is a very old magic trick, of which the methodology is not a guarded secret, at least in the present day; nonetheless, apologies for the spoiler:
A hat is placed on a specially made table or chest. Both the hat and the surface on which it is placed, have a hidden opening, allowing an object to pass through. Using sleight of hand, and misdirection, the magician convinces the audience they are pulling an object (usually a rabbit) out of the hat.
Now, my fellow musicians, please forgive me; of course, I am not equating your efforts and labour to a simple magic trick. However, this equation does indeed amount a musical performance to a routine, designed, deciphered, rehearsed and delivered to an audience, who then, if executed correctly, believe it to be something supernatural; magic.
As musicians, our routine does not start with the trick itself (the performance), it begins with our understanding, in practice, of our hands and body, our instrument, our ear and the notation. All this, before navigating the intricacies of the mind during the performance (such as anxiety, fear and panic), and the etiquette, expected from us towards an audience.
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After all of this has been said, the question I would like you to ponder, is:
As a musician, when you practise, are you, analogically, trying to pull a rabbit out of a hat, or are you rehearsing your routine, working on your craft?
Dylan completed his music training with honours at Colchester Institute, where he studied piano with Australian pianist Lesley Young, and composition with British composer Dr Mark Bellis. While studying, in 2009, Dylan won Colchester Institute’s Canon Jack Award for Solo Piano adjudicated by Andrew Ball. A composer, promoter, and advocate of contemporary classical music, Dylan joined the membership of Colchester New Music in 2014.
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