If you follow me on Twitter and/or Instagram (or just have a stalk of my accounts occasionally) then you'll know that I had two concerts recently. On 13th October, I travelled down to Brighton to play a solo recital of South American music and on 15th October, I was back up in Liverpool playing Rossini and Beatles tunes in the Caledonia.
The gig in Brighton was amazing! Really, this was my first (paid!) solo recital since finishing my degree, so I was really excited - especially as it was in a place I'd never visited before. The journey took about 5 hours and once I arrived, I met the lovely concert series director (who made me a lovely brew) and had a little practice. The venue I played at was St. Paul's Church and it was a 30 second walk to the beach - it was lovely! Check out my Instagram for all the pictures!)
My programme was:
Um Toque de Si - Renata Montanari
Preludio No. 1, Vals No. 1 and 2, Choro No. 1 - Carmen Guzman
Canción de Cuna - Leo Brouwer
Lejanía - Maria Luisa Anido
Tres Colores Porteños - Claudia Montero
Danza Brasilera - Jorge Morel
Overall, I was really happy with how things went. A few errors, but I know why that happened and what I can do to improve it so it was a great learning experience. I also got some great video and audio recordings which will be a useful resource to help me improve. Does anyone else record and watch back as a learning resource? How can you get the most out of it? Once I've trimmed the clips and added the audio I'll be uploading some stuff to YouTube so keep an eye out!
The gig in Liverpool was a bit more relaxed, but the music was quite challenging (perhaps due to a slight lack of enough preparation…) I had two rehearsals with Davide prior to our performance during which he gave me some good advice and lots of musical knowledge. We played:
Ouverture Il Barbieri de Siviglia (Rossini) - Giuliani
Variazioni Concertanti Op. 130 - Giuliani
Let It Be - Beatles
Yesterday - Beatles
This gig was also recorded so hopefully I can get hold of that footage to upload a few snippets! Although I'm not a big Beatles fan (is that a crime for someone from Merseyside to say?), the arrangements were really great and I also loved the Giuliani pieces so I'll keep the music safe because it'd be nice to revisit them some time in the future.
Something I noticed after the performances was that I don't suffer too badly with nerves. I really make a conscious effort to calm myself before playing and I think I'm starting to get a hold on the issue. My top three tips are:
1. Breathe! Deep breaths, in and out...
2. I convince myself that what I'm feeling is excitement rather than fear.
3. I try to remember that people are coming to the concert because they enjoy music, not because they want me to fail.
What other methods do you use or tips do you have to keep the nerves from getting the better of you?
I'm finding that I really enjoy performing so hopefully I'll have a few more engagements to work towards in the coming months. Thanks for reading and don't forget to follow me on Instagram and Twitter for some more classical guitar musings...
Bye for now!
PS: A blog post about flamenco coming soon...