This has become my new favorite word. It concisely explains the last two weeks of my life. Its exact definition is “to become accustomed to a new climate or to new conditions”.
Moving into a new house.
Stocking the fridge.
Meeting the neighbors.
Music theory and music history entrance exams (PASSED!)
Going to the farmer’s market.
Meeting students, colleagues, and instructors.
Buying a parking pass (Did it really need to be $300?)
Exploring Tiffany’s. (That’s for all of you familiar with Kalamazoo)
While my whirlwind summer was in a constant state of flux, being in Kalamazoo has become a somewhat longer-term environment. Now that I’ve gotten through the first phase of this “transition phase”, things should begin to slow down, right?
Of course, being a musician means that change is continuous. Gigs come and go. Ensemble members and colleagues switch in and out. Students develop and grow. Even the linchpin by which our professional and personal lives revolves around, our relationship with our instruments, is a sort of paradox. The goal is to strive for the highest level consistently. Practicing is the foundation of everything we do, and yet at the same time, its essence is “to change” ourselves.
The members of the Avalon String Quartet once told me the origin of their group’s name. In Arthurian legend, Avalon is the island at the center of a mystic lake. Excalibur was forged upon its grounds. Moreover, Avalon is a self-sustaining land in which the fields require no plowing and the orchards no tending. Because of this the island is protected by magic. As you paddle across foggy waters you can see the island obscured in the distance. However, the closer the island appears the farther from it you actually are. Herein lies the ideal: We see a goal, yet closer we come to realizing it, the clearer we understand that we are farther from it than ever before.
There is no point in the musical life, or life in any profession, in which everything becomes “self-sustaining”. If you aren’t moving forward then you are falling behind. Perhaps the term “acclimated” is in-itself a fallacy, or at least, more nuanced than it appears to be...