Featured in The Strad – Thursday, 24 July 2014 (August 2014 issue)
The double bassist on what she would tell her younger self:
I knew I wanted to be a musician when I was 13 but I couldn’t get proper bass lessons until I was 22. For many years I felt a deep sense of urgency to refine my technique and ‘catch up’ with the people I admired. It was incredibly difficult for me to accept myself and my musical level. Every imperfection in my technique felt like a knife in my heart and the task felt insurmountable at times. I pushed myself hard but it came from a place of fear.
I would tell myself to bring more joy into the practice room and relish my mistakes as opportunities rather than failures. I would also ‘make my mistakes to learn how to get to the good stuff’, as the music producer Quincy Jones once said.
Life isn’t about being perfect, and neither is music. It is about telling your story with honesty and clarity. It will never be perfect, so stop trying. Just be your best self and have fun. A lot of technical difficulties will go away when you breathe and remember that your goal is to bring joy and beauty into the world.