Horrors of tip-toeing into the unknown…

As I dip the tip of my toes into a pool of unknown liquid

As I peek into a room of darkness

As I start to dabble into uncharted territory

All sorts of emotions overwhelm me

Curious, yet fearful

Overwhelmed, yet determined

In my life, I’ve always seeked clarity. As an introvert with ADHD, I needed my life, daily activities and goals to be well planned out. Any lack of planning causes anxiety and makes me feel disoriented.

However, knowing this aspect of myself also enables me to push myself into uncertainties and uncomfortable zones. During the process of exploration, areas of comfort are constantly being expanded. Darkness becomes lit, slowly but surely.

As I expand my comfort with expressing myself on the violin, not just through composed works, I have taken baby steps to clarify these processes for myself. While I become more comfortable with the unknown, I am able to look back and meticulously reflect on and organise these ideas for myself, bringing it closer into my comfort pocket.

Working with DBR has simplified some of my fears. How do I improvise? How do I do comping? All these questions are so broad and seems impossible. As an idealist, I get entirely overwhelmed when listening to music by the complicated accompaniments, and brilliant virtuosic or heartfelt improvisations and tell myself I can never do that. I never thought that just simply giving myself some parameters and working on each of these elements with a purpose will start me off on my journey.

Most importantly, I started off exploring what kind of skills I wanted to acquire but were lacking. As with these lacking skills, although they overwhelmed me, I enquired about them. How do I do this? How do I do that?

Well, just start small.

Comping? How? I’m so rhythmically retarded how do I do that? How do I accompany others with amazing chords and complicated rhythms? Well… Start with 4 quarter notes and repeat them. Then slowly tweak something else — bow stroke, rhythm, use of extended techniques, double stops, the list goes on of course and again, there’s so much to manipulate and it can get once again overwhelming! To make this learning more organised for myself, I have written down a set of parameters I would like to explore each day. Improvising? Start with a scale or any other parameters that are manageable. From there, exploring of different aspects start to happen.

This week, I’m aiming to record 1 comp/1 improvisation/1 etude a day exploring different aspects.

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