Archive for the ‘Daily Life’ Category

Starfish

Posted by Susan Tomes on 8 January 2018 under Daily Life  •  3 Comments

Yesterday a strange sight greeted us when we went for a Sunday morning walk on Portobello beach. At first glance we thought the beach was covered in long drifts of pinkish seaweed, extending almost the whole length of the beach. As we got closer we realised with amazement that the pink drifts were composed of […]

Different attitudes to the artist’s mental processes

Posted by Susan Tomes on 27 November 2017 under Concerts, Daily Life, Musings  •  3 Comments

Today I was at a major exhibition, ‘Ages of Wonder – Scottish Art from 1540 to now‘ at the Royal Scottish Academy of Art in Edinburgh (it’s free, and very enjoyable). As I went round, reading the plaques which explained the artworks, I was struck by how often they referred to ‘the artist’s practice’ and […]

Musicality and where to find it

Posted by Susan Tomes on 17 October 2017 under Daily Life, Musings, Travel  •  1 Comment

Last week, when I was in Italy, I went to a concert of a well-known ensemble (I’ll be discreet about who and where). Firstly I should say that the large audience appeared perfectly happy with the performance and applauded enthusiastically, but for me as a professional musician there were signs that the players were demoralised. […]

The cult of the individual

Posted by Susan Tomes on 3 September 2017 under Daily Life, Musings, Teaching  •  10 Comments

Yesterday I had a message from someone who organises the masterclasses I teach at a university. This year she told me that there won’t be any masterclasses. Students don’t like them and don’t see why they should have to attend them if the music being taught is ‘not relevant’ to them. Masterclasses are an ‘add-on’, […]

The lust for loudness

Posted by Susan Tomes on 31 August 2017 under Concerts, Daily Life, Musings, Teaching  •  1 Comment

Articles and letters in The Guardian recently have explored why some of today’s singers suffer from vocal problems, develop nodules on their vocal cords from singing so loudly, etc.  Curiously, the use of powerful amplification has not taken away the need to sing loudly: rather, it seems to create a vicious circle in which everything […]

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