June 2013

Summer Orchestra!

June 18, 2013 16:56

Last year, I wasn't able to do this because of Driver's Ed, but this year, I sure can! :)

Summer Orchestra is basically working in an orchestra... in the summer! We have fourteen days to prepare three or four pieces (she hasn't given them to us yet) for the concert July 10th (four days a week, excluding July 4). Rehearsals are from 11:30am-12:50pm. To get there, I ride my bike, so I adjusted the strap on my violin case so I can wear it 'round my back, sort of like a backpack. I feel like some sort of street musician when I do this! :)

Anyways, yesterday and today we were just sight-reading random music, and it was pretty fun! We jumped all over the place, some Baroque, some modern... It was a fun couple of days. Tomorrow she is going to give us our official pieces we're playing for the concert, so I'm excited!

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An Incredible Summer Morning Recording Session

June 12, 2013 08:46

This morning, at 10am sharp, was an amazing experience - I got to go into the future! Not really, but I FELT as if I was going into my dream career.

I was recording this piece (Please read the video description if you want to know more about the piece itself, that isn't the point of this article.). I had spent 7:30am-9:45am working on brass and choir and flute... A whole bunch of epic instruments. I even had written my two violin parts, and I recorded them through Garageband's MIDI. I didn't try to catch the fast notes, as I knew I could easily get them on the violin (It's actually pretty tough trying to play music with Garageband). Anyways, it was around 9:53am and I was practicing the violin parts. Basically, the last eight or so measures of the piece are Murray Gold's quoted work. That bit doesn't really matter. Just playing that with my violin (and only hearing the violin) gave me goosebumps... I played that epicness? It was incredible. Then, I quickly put my headphones on and clicked record, keeping the other instruments on. So that meant I head the rest of the orchestra I had spent the earlier hours of the morning working on blasting in my ears while I played my epic violin parts on my violin. It was a magical experience, and it almost made me think of sitting in the orchestra, the recording lights on, recording my own film soundtrack for an actual film. So now, I think I'm going to record the rest of the orchestra first. Then I'll go back and do the violin parts so I can recreate this experience, because it was mind-boggling and amazing! Then, just to add to the excitement, I should mention this: listening to me playing my violin and the epic nature of the orchestra I had made, while looking at the screen which showed basically characters from the story's plot... Words cannot describe how I feel right now, but it feels as if this could be a (shortened) version of what could possibly happen in the future!

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Bonding with my Violin

June 10, 2013 05:26

Note: This entry is a bit more of a personal rant for my future self to read. However, I still think you may be able to agree with me on some points. Or you can think I'm weird. I think I'm weird... Anyways, here's my post. (I wrote it last night; I'm just posting it this morning so that I don't have two entries on the same day. Personal preference.)

My violin, Amber, as you may or may not know, has now become my favorite thing ever. This started last year, when I first started uploading on violinist.com (or maybe it was a bit earlier… I think February 2012?) Anyways, ever since, we have truly begun to bond, but I think we could become ‘closer’. It’s sort of awkward to talk about, but when you really think about it, it’s not. Many people here on violinist.com (or people I talked with when I was finding my violin) talked about finding the quality and sound that you like best. It’s like Laurie mentioned in one of her posts – the violin is like a Harry Potter wand. The violin chooses the player. I think that definitely resonates close to me. ?

Last night, I worked on a piece of music for a soundtrack I’m beginning (see link below). As I did in the very first piece (which is what I worked on yesterday), I used my violin. You may have to listen closely, but it’s there. This is what I plan to do not only in the recording of the soundtrack for this summer, but also way in the future. I want to play within the orchestra of my movie soundtracks for official cinema that will hopefully be made decades into the future. I don’t have to worry about that now, but that’s why I want to take my violin everywhere I go (i.e. to collage, my new home, when I’m composing, work before composer, etc.). In other words, I want to keep my violin – THIS violin – forever. (But doesn’t everybody?) That’s really how special I think my violin is to me. Although it doesn’t quite seem like it (because I don’t always find time to practice every day and at times I can get very frustrated when I can’t play something), at the end of the day, Amber is a really special friend who will be mine forever, and who I will be able to keep, like the Doctor keeps his TARDIS and bonds with her. I want to use my violin as much as I can, whether it be playing in orchestra, classical music, or music I wrote. I want to record as much music as I can now, so I’m ready for the future. Basically, I want to be inseparable with my instrument. That will become much easier once I get to collage. I want to keep playing, way beyond. I want to stay inspired as I am now. And I’m sure I’ll have no problem getting that done.


Sorry if this post is a little weird… I think I’m writing it more for my future self to look back on and reflect, and feel better. Thanks for bearing with me, though, on my personal journey to finding my violin.

Check out my new Doctor Who score! I think I'm going to call this playlist (or the process of putting it together): "Bonding with my Violin [Amber] through Composition and the Doctor". And when it's listened to by others or me in the future (like right now, Future Self!), it will hopefully help me and you to remember all of this about this amazing musical instrument: the violin.

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Assess my Resolutions from Jan. 1st

June 9, 2013 06:27

It's about halfway into the year. Now would be a good time to access those New Year's resolutions I made back in January. I can read over each one and check out how I'm doing. Let's see what happens!

1. Practice violin at least an hour per day (or six hours per week, getting a day off). If this is too hard during the school year, then shoot for half an hour per day.
-This is not going quite as well as I'd hoped. Part of the reason is that I practice in phases - some weeks, I'm really into just practicing like crazy (or I have to for an audition or performance like those in February, March, or April); other weeks are more relaxed (like last week when summer began, but hopefully that will change soon when Summer Orchestra and private lessons start up again!). I do still try to at least play stuff from my random binder of stuff, although I do have things I can practice, so... maybe I'll take those out a few times this next week. Oh, and I certainly will be doing practice when it comes to recording the score for my movie! :)

2. Learn and record some new songs on Garageband with an all-violin orchestra.
-Hmm... I've recorded some songs, but that haven't really been 'all-violin'. And I will be doing some recording for the film score, as I just mentioned. I don't know about 'all-violin' music; maybe I can write some pieces and try recording them out sometime.

3. Compose a movie soundtrack. (This will most likely be done in the summer.)
-Well, I can tell you, I've been working hard on my soundtrack! (And in the summer, too, although the majority so far has been late-May...) I have been slowing down lately, though... There's only so much music I can accurately write before I see the screen. After a while, I get stuck, like I am, now, although I do have a lot of music written down for use. Hopefully we will start filming relatively soon, and I can, after editing the clips down, figure out more to do with the music. I'll also be more motivated to do it once I see my characters on-screen, and feeling like I'm telling their story in a way I truly enjoy and will use in the future!

4. Upload more classical music violin performances to YouTube; I've barely any.
-Um... I guess I have? But yes, I do want to upload more violin videos to YouTube. The last violin one I've uploaded was just back on March 28, 2013, so... yeah. I have uploaded a couple classical pieces, but maybe soon I can record a piece my teacher helped me finish up before the break, and others I feel like recording. Recently I've been in the movie music mode, so I haven't been listening to as much classical music... If that doesn't change over the summer, and I just listen to Williams and Shore and such (to get me in the mood for my film score), then... that will probably have to change come September!

5. Continue work on Symphony No. 1: Mvt. II! (And just compose more in general!)
-Does writing the seven-minute finale to this symphony count? I haven't been inspired to doing either of the middle two movements, and certainly won't be in the near future. Perhaps come September, after the excitement of my movie soundtrack (ugh, noticing a theme?), I can write a bit for that. We'll see... For the composing more bit, yes, I have definitely been doing a ton of stuff! A lot of small projects, a few larger ones, and I will be continuing to compose (and hopefully play my compositions on my violin!) for not just this summer, or this year, but most definitely for the rest of my life. :)

Okay! That took a while. I think my goals are actually going pretty well! I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical writing those down back in January, but I really think I can pull them off, as I have been doing. Maybe in December I'll do a full-year assessment... Then, in January 2014, I'll have a whole NEW list of resolutions... yikes. I wonder how I'll think up that list... Oh, well. I'm not going to think it up now... Anyways, thanks for reading, as always!

Oh, and, by the way, if you're curious to see how my soundtrack is put together (maybe that will spark for both me and you once the film's complete and online), I will be posting a long entry of a little journal I've been keeping on a Word document every day I work on the score. In it, I describe everything I did on that day, and any progress I've made from last time. So far it only has two entries, but that will change! I'm not even going to tell you why. I think you already know. I've repeated it at least a dozen times! :)

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The Art of Just Playing

June 1, 2013 15:55

It's fun just sitting (for me, standing) and playing violin on a rainy afternoon. I played things from my big binder of random violin music and printed out more stuff from imslp.org to sightread. From 4:40pm-almost 6pm, I played Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Mozart, Holst, Debussy, a little Vivaldi, and... I think that's it. So I was all over the place. Either way, it was a fun (and better) way to spend the afternoon, taking a break from studying, then sitting at the computer playing a video game. I didn't dare compose, because then I wouldn't be focused on my finals. Tuesday at noon, I'm heading home and, after re-listening to everything, I'm getting started right away! :)

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