Daily Archives: September 25, 2003

The Congress of Autumn’s Hands

The Congress of Autumn’s Hands will now come to order.

Left Hand: We have several grievances to bring against Autumn. The first is that in a two-month period where she was not required to attend rehearsals for chamber orchestra, being trusted instead to keep up her level of skill independently, she picked up her Violoncello (hereafter “cello”) only twice.

Right Hand: Honestly, is that kind of attitude towards your art going to get you anywhere? I ask you!

Left Hand: As a result of this shameful, neglectful act, the return to the regular orchestral season was fraught with unnecessary difficulty on the part of the hands.

[Exhibit A displayed: a close-up of Autumn’s left fingertips]

Left Hand: Here we see the lamentable state of the fingertip pads. The act of producing a variety of sound from the cello, as with any stringed instrument, naturally involves altering the string length, known as the “stopping” of the string. This “stopping” is achieved by pressing down the string with the fingertip. The deliberate choice to ignore her commitment to practice during the summer session has produced the gradual loss of callouses acquired over the regular season. A callous is formed by repetitive use of the fingertip, enabling the area of flesh to accomplish more without succumbing to pain and inflammation.

Right Hand: Unlike last night, you slacker.

Left Hand: Our second grievance involves the length of the fingernails on the left hand. By not trimming these, efficiency of fingertip use in the act of stopping the string has become severely compromised.

Right Hand: And just let me add that your shabby treatment of the bow hand extended to forgetting to stretch before playing, as well as not trimming the thumbnail so that you could actually grip the bow correctly? Your bowing during the Presto of the Schubert Second Symphony was crap.

Left Hand: Grudgingly, we must admit that your vibrato was pretty good, despite the aforementioned faults. And you were promoted to second chair, so you must be doing something right.

Right Hand: Legs? Lower back? Anything you want to add while we’re here?

Legs: No, we’re good, thanks.

Lower Back: The new chair she sat in really worked for me. Although they were temporarily relocated to another room, so I don’t imagine it will last.

Left Hand: This, then, concludes the Congress of Autumn’s Hands. Please take our grievances under advisement. If matters necessitate, we will be contacting you again later on in the season. By the way, nice sight reading. Although you really ought to recognise a B flat scale when you see one.