The progress of a recital

12 months before: Maybe, perhaps, possibly mention the recital when choosing repertoire.

6 months before: Consider starting the scheduling process for the recital. Decide against it, that sounds like work and you have plenty of time.

5 months before: Check the recital hall calendar, realize there’s only two weekends still open during the month you want to have your recital. Panic and get it scheduled ASAP.

4 months before: Actually decide what you’re going to perform on your recital. Choose at least two pieces because they sound cool even though you’ve never seen the sheet music.

3 months and 3 weeks before: Realize that the pieces you chose because they sound cool are REALLY FREAKING HARD. But you can’t change them because that would be wimping out. Apologize to your accompanist for what you’ve accidentally done to them.

3 months before: Actually start practicing stuff in earnest.

2 months before: Realize this is going to be the best recital in the history of EVER, you’re going to have this in the bag.

1 month before: Realize that there is no way this is all going to come together in time, it’s going to be awful, panic.

3 weeks before: Start practicing truly obsessively. Alternate with avoiding the practice room at all costs. 

2 weeks before: Finally memorize/solidify that one piece. Take a deep breath. Panic a little less.

1 week before: Do your dress rehearsal. Learn what still needs work. Feel calm.

6 days before: PANIC.

2 days before: Decide that you’ve hit the point of no return, and move into calm one final time. It’s gonna be okay.

Day of: Be a little numb, outside of obsessive, ritualistic preparations like drinking hot Emergen-C and doing lip-trill runs. Do the performance.

Afterwards: REJOICE IN YOUR FREEDOM. Become a little sad that you no longer have a goal to practice for. Remember the next thing you need to prepare for. Repeat from beginning.

Loco, no discriminés

¿Quién te creés que sos vos para tildar de careta a una persona porque nunca fue a un recital, o porque conoce menos canciones que vos, o incluso sólo las más conocidas? En serio ¿quién mierda te creés que sos para decir con tono asquerosito que estar muy manija por un recital es de pelotudo? ¿vos al recital vas a calificar la gente que va o a sentir la música? ¿vos una banda la escuchás por su público o por lo que te generan sus melodías y sus letras? 

Dejen de romper los huevos con quién sabe más sobre la historia de la banda, sobre sus integrantes. Dejen de joder la vida con cuántas canciones te sabes. Dejen por favor de hinchar las pelotas con que si te gusta el rock no podés escuchar otro género, y mucho menos la banda “contraria” a la tuya ¿vos te creés catador de públicos? Te aviso que no sos nadie, amigo. Que mientras vos sos un boludón que anda rebajando a los que comparten tus gustos, a tus hermanos, los que de verdad sentimos pasión, les compartimos conocimientos sobre eso que les genera intriga, curiosidad, y vos te negás a creerlo. 

La música es un folclore que gracias a algún ente, o lo que sea, en Argentina se propaga cada día más. La música es pasión, es amor. La música se siente. Es eso que te hace sentir estragos en todo el cuerpo, cosas inexplicables, te sube el corazón a la boca, y te da ganas de agitar los brazos y mover los pies. Y ni hablar de si fuiste a un recital, es cosa de locos. Un espíritu mayor a cualquier Dios se hace presente y se apodera de cada alma por un par de horas, te hace olvidar todos los problemas, te sentís libre. Porque es una marea de gente que va en la misma dirección, y si no vas con ellos, si no saltás, moriste. Es un ritual, o saltás y te la bancas o no entres. Y toda esa gente comparte con vos ese gustito por una canción, ese sabor agridulce de una canción que te choca (y si pinta llorar y abrazar a un desconocido, lo hacés, porque hasta el más marginal es tu hermano ahí) o esa euforia de tu canción preferida que te hace gritar hasta quedarte sin cuerdas vocales. Es un momento de la puta madre, lo esperás con ansias, lo vivís a flor de piel, y cuando termina no podés creer lo anecdótico que fue.

La música no es más que un sentir ¡Sientanlá, gritenlá, tarareenlá, bailenlá y dejen de romperle los huevos a sus hermanos!

“ A vos, ombligo del mundo,
el que siempre sale ileso.
Negate a tu no rotundo, 
decir que sí, no es exceso”



The Recital (c.1890). Henri Marius Camille Bouvet (French, 1859-1945). Oil on canvas. Leighton Fine Art.

Bouvet was a painter of many talents who managed to adapt to the different styles and periods of his time. He preferred to remain anchored in established, traditional values and showed considerable technical ability, as well as a sense of the poetic that set him apart. He was comparable in certain ways with James Tissot who worked in the 1870s.

30 Things Said By Musicians Preparing Recitals
  1. “Does this instrument make me look fat?”
  2. “What do you mean we can’t move the pianos out of the practice room??”
  3. “I’m considering buying a cot and just setting it up under the stairs so I don’t have to leave the building.”
  4. *crying because the vending machine filled with Starbucks isn’t working*
  5. “I will trade my firstborn for that cookie.” “Wouldn’t your wife object?” “She’s a teacher she can just steal a new one.”
  6. *bribing their accompanist with coffee in exchange for upping the tempo*
  7. “So I almost broke the pedal board on the grand trying to practice, so I went home and screamed into a pillow instead.”
  8. *oboist crying because their professor knocked over a concert reed*
  9. *vocalist actively swearing because their significant other has strep*
  10. “If you touch my bass, I will kill you and hide the body in its case.”
  11. “Is wine bad for your embouchure?”
  12. ‘My larynx feels like a pogo stick after this song, I think I need to take a day off.”
  13. “I will be you slave for all of next semester for half a slice of that pizza.”
  14. *happy crying because they finished memorizing 90% of their repertoire*
  15. “Three of my classes today were cancelled, it was great!” “What did you do?” “I, uh, practiced an extra two hours and ate lunch for the first time this week.”
  16. *yodeling because their professor said it might help*
  17. “I should just take up a super rare instrument, then virtuosic performance would be waaaaay easier.”
  18. “Were you playing a kazoo in the practice rooms?” “SHUT UP IT HELPS.”
  19. “I drank caffeinated tea today and I could feel the entire vocal faculty judging me.”
  20. *tells a freshman on New Student audition day that heard them practice that yeah, they were totally auditioning into the program later*
  21. “Is it a good thing or a bad thing that I’ve cried in my lesson the past three weeks?”
  22. “Is it a good thing or a bad thing that my teacher cried in my lesson yesterday?”
  23. “****ing Brahms.”
  24. “**** TRILLS.”
  25. “I’ve taken some business courses, opening a coffee shop in Maine is TOTALLY a viable career path.”
  26. “Are those pajamas you’re wearing?” “I call it ‘Musician Chic,’ and it’s what happens when you have to choose between food and getting your favorite practice room in the morning.”
  27. “How is designing a poster SO HARD.”
  28. “Do you think my professor would notice if I submitted last year’s program for this recital, too?”
  29. “I fell asleep on the piano so I decided it was time to go to the lounge to sleep instead.”
  30. “You should all totally come to my recital, I think it’s going to be amazing! :) :) :)”