Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Violette Vortex

Today I had a near miss with a force of nature that mainly exists onstage and in audition rooms. Many collaborative pianists have also encountered the phenomenon that a colleague of mine aptly dubbed: "The Violette Vortex".

Essentially, a singer begins Alessandro Scarlatti's Le Violette, and suddenly realizes that they are underprepared, hungry, nervous, stressed, and/or nauseous. In that moment, gravitational anomalies create an environment that will "defy gravity, bend light, scare animals, twist plant life into contorted shapes, and cause humans to feel strange". At least that's what some random website reports about vortexes. And that seems the most reasonable explanation for the following:

Repetition of wrong phrases. Missed entrances, early entrances. Absolute confusion. Anxiety and desperation heighten. Mentally the pianist prepares themself for a train wreck. The song continues . . . and then the pianist wonders - what if the song never ends? What if they keep saying, "Violette, violette, graziose, violette . . ."? How long will they keep going before admitting they are lost?

Science probably doesn't have any answers, so I suggest prayer.

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