News Category: Arts & Poetry
article written by Ananya, a news team contributor
This week, I interviewed my very good friend and extremely talented musician, Andrea W. Andrea is a high school junior at Tilden Preparatory School in Walnut Creek.
1) If you weren’t playing your current instrument(s), which one(s) would you play? Or would you even play at all?
I would be playing the violin because it’s what I played before switching to cello.If that happened, I would probably become uninterested quickly because of how common it is for people to play violin. Also, I’ve been hearing violin music from my mom’s lessons (she’s a private teacher) from almost my whole life, so I’ve already drilled the violin repertoire into my head.
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2) Why is music important to you? Has it helped you get through any obstacles in your life?
When I was in late middle school, I went through a period of extremely poor mental and emotional health for many reasons: issues with friends, imposter syndrome in class, joining ensembles that were a bit shady to me and others…I was becoming more and more socially anxious by the day, I wanted to disappear from the city, and there was nothing more appealing to me than the thought of me and my music making only. My cello was becoming my best friend, kind of an escape. Of course, this wasn’t a very sustainable solution for my health and I’m getting better at setting aside a part of me to be happier without dependency on, say, how good I am at the cello. It definitely helped me find a voice and reason to keep going, but I don’t have the same codependent reasons for keeping music in my life anymore.
3) How has this extended time at home changed/improved your music skills?
Honestly, it’s both motivating and discouraging at the same time. On one hand, I have the opportunity to take time to inspect my playing and rebuild much of what I need to rebuild. But the loss of contact with the live aspect of music is so sad. Even if I’m trying to work on basics again with my teacher, I have to do it over a video call, where the sound and video can distort. It’s so terrifying knowing that I haven’t performed live for so long and won’t be doing so anytime soon. And I’m already a junior, so not having performance experience under my belt worries me (I’ve barely done any live performances, even before the pandemic). Recording is necessary and entirely different, though. For serious recordings, you spend so many takes and lose much energy the more you do. As for the virtual ensemble playing videos a lot of musicians and editors have made—those were fun for a minute and a minute only. Yeah, I did a few with some friends and they did not go well…Never doing that again.
4) what do you hope to achieve in regards to your music career?
Tough question. I guess it’s just to wake up every day and make music? And that’s not really restricted to a certain profession. I know that’s such a vague and cliché statement, but I’m not great at making outward announcements about my future plans unless I have to because things are still malleable to a certain extent (also, it’s just scary to announce my goals). I’ve never thought I was meant only to become a soloist, orchestral musician, or chamber musician, etc. I just really enjoy playing my instrument, generally.
A huge thank you to Andrea W. for being so kind as to let me interview her!
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