In one way or another my relation with the microphone remains stressful. First, I rehearse a piece and play it well and quite satisfactory. As soon as the record button is ON, however, I start having little troubles with concentration and there they are, the little slips that cause irritation with me.
At times, I am tired after a day of hard work, or frustrations on the job, causing that I am not able to play in a relaxed way. At other times, I am just doubtful whether I ever will be able to let the stress go, if I ever can play a piece of music for an audience or microphone without this struggle. Do not get me wrong, I am aware that a bit of tension is necessary for the concentration, but in this situation, I am getting a bit over-concentrated and that is not beneficial. It only causes some kind of overshoot.
In fact, I should catch that nice rehearsal without being aware that I am recording myself. Of course, that is impossible, you cannot fool yourself after pressing this Record button. In some way, I have to convince myself that it is not bad that my play is frozen in electronics, that it will not haunt and mock me forever. I can delete it if I am not satisfied. There is no loss in it!
A few days ago, I switched on the recorder at the beginning of my session, hoping to catch that happy rehearsal. Well, I did the rehearsal first and still I was inclined to record piece by piece! I guess I should not do that. Just record the complete session including all sighs and laughs and cut out afterwards what is useful. The flash disk of my recorder is patient! If I go on recording individual pieces, my overconcentration will be renewed every time.
Possibly an advantage of a recording of a complete session is that editing becomes easier, because you don’t change the atmosphere by pressing buttons. Next time I will try!
I never realized that there is so much psychology behind this subject!
The next day I made a try with the ‘long session’ experiment. It is actually true; the pressure becomes less if you don’t have to press the buttons for every individual piece. If a recording goes wrong, I’ll finish (not interrupt) the piece and give in a new try. Afterwards it is a matter of cutting out the pieces that were reasonably OK and throw away the ‘session tape’.
Well at least that’s what I did the first time. Maybe it is handy to keep the raw tapes for the duration of the recording, maybe some material is useful for editing. In that case I will have to memorize the gain settings or write them down somewhere.
It remains a matter of improvisation. One thing is clear: the preparation must be largely in order. That means being able to play the piece flawlessly and interpret it the way I have it in mind.
I still struggle with the thought of recording all sessions. After all: When do I listen to all that again, if a large part is practice and trying?