And we're back. Let's get right on those questions, shall we?
You seem to be racking up quite the musical arsenal. Violin, piano, singing, composing. What does this do for you?
Well, first of all, I've spent most of my musical career studying only one instrument. The past five years of my life have been dedicated to violin almost exclusively. It's only been within the past year or two that I've expanded my interests into other instruments. It gets tiring to study one thing so intensely for so long. It really got to the point where I was unenthusiastic about violin, and that was truly dissatisfying. Singing and playing piano have really breathed life back into my pursuit of music. I'm thinking about picking up either guitar or mandolin in the near future. I think being a multi-instrumentalist would be a big help in the music industry. You never know what you'll come across.
Do you still love the violin?
Yes. I will always have a special place in my heart for the violin. That's why I changed my path. I couldn't let the rigor of practicing destroy my love for the instrument, and that's exactly what it was doing. I will never let that happen again.
So, practicing too much is bad?
Not necessarily. I practice myself silly on piano and voice sometimes. The important thing to remember is to never stop enjoying the instrument. If you stop enjoying the instrument, something is seriously wrong. Burn-out is a terrible plague in the music world.
And you haven't experienced burn-out yet, have you?
I define burn-out as a complete loss of interest in something that used to be interesting. In that sense, no, I have not experienced the entirety of burn-out. However, I very nearly destroyed my interest in violin by pushing myself past my limit. I think that was my main problem last year. I was trying to figure out how to transfer my interests away from the violin, and it wasn't easy.
That said, what do you think will be your biggest challenge this year?
Hmm, I have to think about this one. I'm taking on a lot of work this year, and I'm hoping that at least some of it will be meaningful. Honestly, if all my work was meaningful, I don't think I would have any problems. It's not easy to appease yourself and the outside world at the same time. I think that is the perpetual challenge I face in my life. It takes many shapes and forms, but it's always there.
Have you faced any challenges this summer? You've seemed to have a good handle on things for a while now.
Well, thank you. I'm glad it at least appears that way; and yes, there are always challenges, even if I'm at home. Being at home is not as musically or mentally demanding as school, but it has other ways of challenging me. I have to get used to sharing my life with my family again. All of the sudden, I can't just disappear in the middle of the night for a walk around the lake like I can at school. I can't practice late at night, and I certainly can't write as many songs as I do at school. It's pretty annoying, actually. But I think an even greater challenge has been dealing with the many thoughts and memories which have collected in my head during my stay. Not having much to look forward to at home forces me to look into the past and analyze. It's not always pleasant to look back.
What kind of memories? What do you look back on? Anything you regret?
I try not to regret. I don't think it's worthwhile regretting anything, simply because everything that happens has both good and bad consequences. Regretting something is looking at the bad side and not the good side. I think most often about someone from my past who was instrumental in shaping me as I am today.
Just one person? Who was it?
Yes. A girl.
No names? Perhaps we're treading on sensitive territory, are we not?
Perhaps. No names, just because I am polite that way. This girl changed me in many ways, and I can still see the affects today. That's all I need to say. Next question please.
Right. Are you looking forward to anything in particular this year?
Two things specifically, but there's a plethora of things I'm excited about when it comes to school. I'm joining choir this year, so that should be a real trip. After doing orchestra for so many years, I can't wait to see how choir is different. It should be a real eye-opening experience. I'm also starting my composition work this year. Those classes should be interesting, at least I hope. I don't really know what to expect, but I do think this year will be more exciting than last.
Are there any girls at school worthy of your attention?
Depends on what kind of attention. Professional? Definitely. There are plenty of talented young women who I'd like to collaborate with. Romantic? I can't say I've made that kind of connection with anyone yet. That's not where my focus is right now.
Where is your focus?
These things compose the triumvirate of focus in my mind, and they are all connected. As far as I'm concerned, everything else is secondary to these.
You have a very one-track mind, don't you?
I just want to live the best life possible, and I believe I am following the right path to that goal.
Well that's good to hear. Thank you again for taking the time to be with us! We are always happy to have individuals such as yourself come on and talk with us. Thanks for listening folks, and have a good night.