The Naked Cello

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As a young cellist, I dreaded the unpredictability of the ‘outside’ performance, wind blowing music off stands, sun torturing the delicate finish of the wood, but most of all, I hated the way it sounded, often dry, exposing all my technical and musical cellistic flaws, that oh so very ‘naked’ sound.

Cycle touring has, through necessity, helped me to overcome this personal limitation.  With my practice room now firmly planted in nature, a result of this ongoing Vagabond Cello Tour (from nowhere, to nowhere), I have the pleasure to frequently bask in the ‘naked’ sound of my cello, in diverse and dynamic wide open natural settings.

Where once I was filled with dread, I am now filled with excitement, for I am discovering the colourful palette of the ‘naked’ sound, provided freely and unconditionally by nature. I am delighting in its nuance, for in every natural setting there is a delicately different and ever-changing acoustic character, complementing my wonderful 130 year old French cello, whose temperamental nature is matched only by my own.

Sea Eagle hovering above as I practice the Bach Cello Suite Prelude in D major.

I notice a Blue Bottle on the sand, not just one….

 And the reality check….

In this moment of personal connection with nature, because I am playing cello on the beach, a camera is shoved in my face, whilst the husband of the offending woman fails hopelessly in his attempts to keep his tenacious dogs from barking and thus spoiling the mood.  A photo is taken of me, without my consent.  Somewhat bemused and frustrated, I wonder, “is it not enough for people to simply experience the beauty of the naked cello sound in nature, as they wander by? Must they try to capture that which cannot be held?”  The intrusion brings my connection to an end, but this is only temporary.  

Ofcourse, I too am guilty of this very thing, in attempting to share this experience, I am reducing something quite special into a distorted digital view of 1’s and 0’s.

I hope you enjoy :)