24 3 月 thinking tools – Discover the stories – Elena – LAMY scala
Sheet music is the main thing in my life. I write countless notes every day, otherwise I can’t play. It’s part of my job.
Music and handwriting give expression to the innermost
The first time she held a violin in her hand at the age of five, Elena Ilinskaya was captivated – and still is. The violinist, who grew up in Moscow and studied music there and in Germany, is member of the Philharmonic Orchestra at Theater Dortmund.
Being asked how long she has been playing the violin, Elena doesn’t give a specific year. Instead, she hesitates for a brief, almost imperceptible moment and finally says, “For a very long time.” It’s an answer that reveals how intimate the connection to her instrument is. When she was a child, she would often beg her parents at twelve at night to still be allowed to practice.
Even though a musical career like hers undoubtedly requires strict discipline, Elena feels no compulsion to this day. Her instrument is her most important tool not only to express emotions, but also to bring them to light. “When I’m in a bad mood, I pick up the violin and start playing.”
In between, she’s always putting the instrument aside to write something down – like when she’s composing. These notes are especially important, Elena says, because they allow her to “arrive at a clear thought, a concrete idea.”
In this respect, music and writing by hand are very similar, Elena finds. There is a special immediacy in both, a directness of expression. Whether she plays the violin and strokes the strings with her bow or lets her writing instrument glide across the paper: In both cases, the interplay of neuronal impulses and muscle contractions gives rise to nothing less than – poetry.