So, in just over one month, on 2nd July, I will be embarking on my VIOLIN MARATHON for Matilda Mae, to raise money for The Lullaby Trust and so the time has come to start fundraising and training (i.e. practising in increasing amounts every day) in earnest and write an update on how it’s all going to work.
My donations are at £156 now (thanks in part to a very generous donation from my sister… Thank You Jen!) so I have exactly five weeks to raise another £844 to reach my target of £1k!!! I’m confident I can do it but only if I start plugging, so apologies if you get sick of the sight of me on facebook, twitter and the bloggosphere in the next month or so… The best way to get rid of me is to donate! ;)
The Violin Marathon day is 2nd July which is the day after my birthday so friends and family, please instead of presents and cards this year, consider sending me a donation to help me get £1,000 to The Lullaby Trust: http://www.justgiving.com/cocoazoitei
What I’ll Play:
My plan is to get up early and start around 8am with a scales warm up, when no one’s around. This won’t sound very nice but will set me up for the marathon and is really good for me. Fellow string players will understand if I say I want to play my way through the Carl Flesch book (which will kill a few hours straight off) which will be hell on earth but if I can get through that I’ll feel like I can nail anything you throw at me. Later in the day, I hope that a kind of relay-team of pianist and other musician friends will come over and accompany me in a load of sonatas, concertos and smaller pieces which will make the time pass quicker for me and be more of a concert atmosphere for anyone watching and listening. If I manage to keep going into the night I’m guessing I’ll be alone! but any night-owls are welcome to pull an all-night-chamber-music-fest with me… I’ll keep the wine flowing! ;)
The Violin Marathon will be an Open House event, meaning anyone can drop by for a drink and a listen. If you haven’t already donated though I will be asking for a donation at the door and/or you can donate to get me to play your choice of music (no amount too small, so you want to torture me with Paganini at the bargain price of £1? Go right ahead! It all counts.. ;-) ) I will lay on plenty of drinks and nibbles for any audience members.
I need to live stream the marathon on the internet so that people can check that I really am playing for as long as I say I am and timing my breaks and everything. I’m hoping my sister Jen will be able to help me figure out livestreaming.com or Ustream or one of the other platforms, but if anyone else has knowledge or expertise in this area, please, please give me a buzz on 07966 446152 or contact me on Facebook. I really need some help with this!
Guinness World Record:
The only arrangement which is not working out too well is my hope to turn my marathon into a Guiness World Record attempt. I hoped to make it the first ‘Longest Violin Practice’ but apparently there is already a longest violin-playing record of 32 hours!! I can make an attempt at beating it but their stipulations and terms and conditions are really complicated and would make it quite a different event to the one I’m planning… for a start you can only play things through, not practice, which means not stopping and not repeating anything. That works when you’re playing easy stuff but if I want to work my way through substantial works like Sibelius Concerto and Paganini Caprices. This is not stuff you can play without stopping to work on it, or to rehearse or repeat bars. I suspect the holder of the 32 hour title was not a professional violinist playing the kind of stuff I’m planning, but I need to look into it. I couldn’t do 32 hours I don’t think, following their rules, playing full-on repertoire like I have lined up, I would injure myself. I think they took sleeping breaks, whereas I’m going to stay awake and just play straight though but I plan on allowing longer breaks than the five minutes for each hour completed that Guinness allow for the record.
So now, I’m not sure what to do. I’m not sure if I should keep an open mind and line up the official timers and witnesses, rotating every four hours throughout which they stipulate, in case I do manage to keep going that long, if I should try to apply for a different category altogether, like longest house concert or something, or if I should just go ahead with my Violin Marathon my way, the way I want to do it and focus on making it a great event and raising the money. Let’s face it, it’s all about the money! Although attempting a Guinness Record brings attention and is great for raising awareness. I don’t know, I will call them tomorrow and discuss my options.
In the meantime, while I work out all of these details, I have started my practice “training”. Today I rehearsed, played a Classical Babies concert and then practiced for another 90 minutes, totalling about 3 and a half hours of fairly intense playing. I ached a little becuase I haven’t practised in a while, but I could have done much more if I’d had the time (and the boys weren’t climbing all over me!) … so today was my first day of building up muscle and strength and stamina, both physical and mental. Tomorrow I need to play more.