2.17.2007

Flute Impressions

Having just shared some impressively heinous flauteling (Can you believe I actually used to sound like that? Yikes!) I thought I should also point out what inspires and moves moves me, and gets me going in the morning.

This is sunlight streaming through the window, a gentle breeze setting life and greenness all aflutter, a mountain spring right here in my living room.

With a big tall glass of freshly squeezed orange juice to go with it all.

This is what the flute is all about.

Nina Assimakopoulos is probably my very favorite instrumentalist. Her technique is flawless, and I'm not sure how to describe her tone, except to say that it is alive. Now soft and tender, now rich and powerful, now soaring and brilliant, now playful and exotic... it constantly changes according to the spirit of the music she plays. I've never heard anyone else play Briccialdi's Carnival of Venice non-ironically, but Ms. Assimakopoulos enters fully into the playful spirit of the virtuoustic showpiece. As you listen all you can think about is the shimmering vitality, and it is only after the last note has died away that you realize just how impressive it all was. Whether it's Chopin or Debussy or Korsakov, or even something as simple as Amazing Grace, she draws out the full force of the music, so that the listener is sucked in and overpowered. But somehow, always, she holds her own.

This is how I want to live, and this is how her music inspires me to live, awake and alive, serene and tender and strong.

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