Clarity of intention

by Jan 2, 2018

Gaining clarity of intention when creating is vital and liberating.

Too often we muddle our way through a learning process without really taking care to ask ‘what do I really want?’ When we consistently stop and ask a few simple questions about what we really want, allowing your imagination to soar without imposing restrictions, the way forward then becomes much more clear.

This clarity of intention is a key to unleashing your creative potential, to finding your own voice and developing your self-expression.

Clarity of intention through objective listening:

As a performer, in order to discover and evolve our intention, it is both powerful and imperative to be able to objectively listen to our playing in order to notice what we want to change. Once we are able to notice how we are currently playing, we can pay attention to what we like and dislike about it. Again, once you notice these things, it is then usually pretty clear what needs to be done to evolve and improve them…that is if you are truly listening objectively, with absolute honestly, and impartiality.

Through this process, you can evolve and fine-tune your intention…and by doing this over and over again, and evolving both your quality of listening and clarity of intention, you will improve and get closer and closer to your expressive potential, unleashing your creativity and imagination.

Clarity of intention through objective feeling:

Noticing how you feel as you move and play, and then asking ‘how do I want to feel?’ and ‘how do I want to move?’, the body often has great wisdom to inform a better way to feel and move. To develop a clear intention of how you want to move, and what you are going to feel is expressively liberating.


Fully listening and fully feeling for what we want has the effect of unleashing our creativity in the moment. 

Listening and Feeling are vital keys towards developing our creative potential as performers.

Silver linings the second time around

Having performed the complete cycle of Beethoven’s violin sonatas in February 2020 with American pianist Kate Boyd, we had originally planned to perform the cycle again later that year. But of course, COVID had other plans for us and the soonest that we could rearrange for our second cycle was for 10-17 January 2023 – almost 3 years later.

With the first of these concerts now just a day away, I’ve been reflecting on the new opportunities that presented themselves because of the enforced ‘change of plans’, and the silver linings have been numerous and rather wonderful.

Building Confidence

Radio New Zealang Concert asked me for advice around confidence, and in particular if it can be built.

I believe it can.

You can read what I had to say about it all on their website: Confidence Tricks – some tips for musical performance.

Effort, Age and Survival  

It is over a month since my last blog post and with the 6 weeks that have passed, we are well and truly in mid-summer here in Central Otago.

I have been systematically working through the 10 Beethoven violin sonatas, regularly inspired by the awesome landscapes outside my window, and accompanied by my trusty sidekick – Coco the cat.

It turns out one of the biggest current challenges is physical fatigue.

A reset from the inside out

Having previously performed 6 of the 10 Beethoven violin sonatas more than 20 years ago, it has been a lovely process coming back to the familiar, as well as discovering the new. Primarily due to the work I have been doing over the last 2 years getting to the nitty-gritty of my performance philosophies, these incredibly pristine works of Beethoven are proving to be an absolute gift for me.

Where to from here?

The next three months are super exciting for me, with 3 concerts confirmed in Mid-Feb 2020 for the performance of all 10 Beethoven sonatas within three days…and all in my new gorgeous neighbourhood of Central Otago.

It’s quite possible that I am naïve to the full enormity of this project – but one thing is for sure, sinking my teeth into these works again is a true treat, and the magnitude of the project is just what I am now needing at this point in my life.

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