A wonderful night on Monday at the Queen’s Hall playing Schubert with violinist Erich Höbarth (see photo). We were pleasantly surprised by the size of the audience and even more so by their warmth. After such a long build-up to this particular concert it felt very good to be on that stage, playing the lovely new Steinway piano for that appreciative roomful of people.
I must say I was helped by having watched one of the recent BBC4 programmes about the brain, presented by neuroscientist David Eagleman. He explained that when you have trained in something to a high degree, an awful lot of information has been lodged in the unconscious, and if you have done the preparation adequately, then you can and should trust the brain to deliver when the moment comes. Interfering consciously, checking up on yourself and asking yourself whether you really know what you’re doing is not as effective as trusting the security of your specialist knowledge and being in a ‘flow state’.
I knew all this really, but it definitely helped to be reminded in such an articulate way. Eagleman’s explanation stayed with me, helping me to be enjoyably ‘in the zone’ during Monday night’s concert.