Ack Ack Ack Ack Ack!!!

Newly reinstated Don't Panic reminder
Two minutes later...
That is the sound my brain makes when I have to learn music quickly.  Actually, it used to be my inner monologue anytime I played music, because it never felt secure.  Fun thing about not having technique.  But since I've been working on it, the panic only sets in when I have to learn something really fast. 

Yesterday, I had to learn a couple scenes from a new opera for a last-minute rehearsal gig I picked up.  Because of that, I have to play catch-up on Ray Charles today, because, heaven help us, Arthur and I are going to record tonight.  Ack ack ack ack ack!

The problem with "ack ack ack ack ack" is that the panic gets into your muscle memory, and while music may sound frenetic, it should never feel frenetic to play it.  A few months ago, I printed out an image of "Don't Panic" from Hitchhiker's Guide and taped it to my piano.  Then Diesel ate it.  He's also a fan of post-its and corrugated cardboard, though not so fond of veal cat food which is the only flavor carried by the ghetto bodega next door.  I ask you, who feeds veal to kittens??!!? (It was a cat food emergency.)

But I digress.

I was pretty happy with my work yesterday - I stopped panicking long enough to get it semi-under-my-fingers, and to analyze which parts were important to nail and which parts, not-so-much (rhythm and cues notes for singers = important; getting every note of a series of 5-note tone clusters = not-so-much), and I was not the total disaster I feared in rehearsal (I don't dip my toes - or fingers - into the opera world very often).

So.  Back to the piano to hang out with Ray.  I printed out another "Don't Panic" sign for Diesel's eventual nibbling pleasure. Ack Ack Ack Ack Ack!! Don't panic, don't panic, don't panic...