Last week, I spent an afternoon at the piano in the sanctuary of my church to record two CDs. I have been through the process a few years ago, but this time it involved a different setting and a different production team. Here are a few things that I have learned about myself, recording, and music.
First, I am a huge critic of myself. Regardless of whether we are talking about my writing, playing, relationships, or leadership skills, I can always see where things could be improved drastically. On one hand, this is a great asset because I am constantly pushing myself to new levels of excellence in everything I do. On the other hand, my perfectionism can be crippling -- never allowing me to accept that anything is good enough. I cannot count the tasks that I have left undone because I couldn't execute them in the manner in which I wanted.
The recording session reminded me of the importance of practice. For various reasons, the repertoire selection process for these CDs was delayed a bit longer than I would have liked. This resulted in learning some of the passages rather quickly and figuring out how to navigate them musically. While the performances might be acceptable in a public performance, it drives me CRAZY to hear the errors----er, shortcuts---repeatedly on the recording.
I'm not going to continue blogging an evaluation of my playing right now. I have to do some more critical listening to the CDs and don't want to become overcritical of myself at this juncture. Once the entire process is complete, I will probably write a bit more about it.