Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The unseen, but the important

I have heard a Chinese saying that goes: "Tai2Shang4 Yi4Fen1Zhong1, Tai2Xia4 Shi2Nian2Gong1", which literally means "one minute on stage requires ten years of hard work backstage".

I could fully appreciate the meaning behind this saying today. We were rehearsing for the double bass quartet programme that will be performed on 10 Jan 2007. The entire programme that we were to put up on that day will be approximately 7 minutes in duration. However, we have at least rehearsed 4 hours today for our programme, and we will be having more rehearsals.

But the eventual product is not just a result of all the hours of rehearsals that we have had as a double bass quartet. The many other hours that we had spent individually to play scales, to play studies, to learn to be more proficient in playing the instrument, to learn to listen, to learn to play as an ensemble, etc, all contributes to the end product. It is humbling to know this.

The things unseen on the stage, can be the more important elements that we may often fail to give due credits to. Behind the scene, there could be unsung heroes (for example the tutors who have taken time to coach and guide us). Unseen to the audience, there are the many hours of hard work and refinement.

Perhaps in our lives, there could be many things unseen from the surface? Only if we were to become more aware, could we realise that what were unseen could have been the more important ones? What are some examples that come to your mind as you read this post?

Meantime, I wish I could have more time to practise and work on what will not be seen by audience, but will matter to my playing and my performance. It is very satisfying to play music well.

(On my mind: How to make the best out of the next rehearsal?)