World Premiere of 'Moved' with HK Philharmonic Orchestra
On 25th March, I had the immense pleasure of performing one of my own compositions, ‘Moved’, with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HKPhil) at their annual fundraising concert at HK Cultural Centre. Friends who couldn’t be at the concert asked what it was like to perform my own piece on stage with eighty-six musicians playing in sync with you, and here's my answer, so keep reading...
The most vivid memory I have from the performance were the thoughts that went through my mind whilst I played. I could go as far as describing it as an out-of-body experience since my mind was so heavily engaged with the ongoing dialogue it surprised me to see my own fingers somehow carry on flurrying away on the keyboard, unbothered by my suddenly chatty brain. I know about muscle memory and how it works, but this was honestly something else.
The whole experience was oddly reassuring, and I had no alternative but to literally sit through it and listen to this voice speak into my inner thoughts. Those silent moments of dialogue gave me a calm I had not experience in a while, and everything that was previously in turmoil left in an instance. This long lost stillness in my heart helped me see the purpose of being on that stage, of engaging in this spontaneous internal conversation. It showed me that I had no reason to fear, to be nervous, or worry about whether the next note would fulfil its duty or my expectations. I knew all this in my head before, but it was suddenly real and happening.
Ironically, I had been practising religiously in the weeks leading up to the concert, doing my best to eliminate any room for errors or memory slips. When I heard that voice say, ‘Joanne, relax. Enjoy this, just be, and listen to your heart,’ it instantly swept me into this unforeseen dimension of tranquility. I was suddenly able to take long deep breaths, to forget about the audience and players around me, and to forget everything I had trained myself to not forget.
It was a moment of choosing to trust this unusually kinder inner-voice, to trust that what’s inside was enough, that my heart and my intentions were seen and they too were enough. Yes, the hours I had put in were indispensable. However I realised most of that seemingly pure-hearted devotion was subconsciously driven by the fear of disappointing myself or others, and perhaps a way to relieve the doubts I held towards myself. Whilst it was painful to realise I had missed this voice in the process, I was overwhelmed with thankfulness by this voice’s persistence in getting my attention right up to the very last minute of that performance.
Well it certainly worked, and it is by far my favourite performance to date. I'm so thankful, so full and utterly undone.
Needless to say, thank you to every person who has cheered me on in words and action.
I really couldn't have done it without your love and support. I hope to post the performance online once the content is released by HK Phil, so stay tuned!
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