Preparing for Success? I think not…

Often I wonder if there is a way to predict and bring about- through preparation- a successful performance. But the older I get the more I feel it’s not possible. Why? Well, tell me truthfully whether you have had one of these experiences:

1. You were well rehearsed but played worse than you usually do
2. You were well rehearsed but not spontaneous
3. You didn’t practice at all and played great
4. You did a lot of practicing and played very well and felt practicing paid off.
5. You were not prepared at all and played like shit
6. You were really looking forward to playing but then it was a disaster
7. You were really not looking forward to playing and it turned out really well

Can all of these things be true objectively speaking? I’m sure many people will try to find explanations to support “preparing for success”. But at best I would think that even detailed opinions would be at best, speculative. And also people like to take credit for things in hindsight that may have been just a fortunate convergence of positive factors.

And what about listening back to recordings? Has this happened to you:

1. You thought you played really well and you didn’t
2. You thought you played really bad but it turned out to be really happening.
3. You heard something that you thought wasn’t happening then later changed your mind
4. You heard something you really liked but found after a while-nothing in it.

For the most part, I used to follow the idea that immersion into the music was the best guarantee. But a recent experience where I felt immersed in the music and comfortable only to be disappointed in the result brought me back to square one.

I guess I will have to grow to accept that there is no formula and the the results speak to whatever the certain and peculiar interaction of moments and intentions dictate; also that it is also possible to perceive something differently as time goes on. The only truth seems to be complete variability and perhaps freeing yourself from dependence on “good results” or perceived good results is the only thing you can attempt to do.

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