My (personal) 2016 Reflections!

December 31, 2016, 9:21 AM · Compared to 2015, I think I really took another leap in my musical growth this year, even larger than last year. Of course, the big violin thing that happened for me was, well, purchasing a new one to call my own in late-February. I've continued to be close with it all throughout the year, and with putting new strings on it and performing one of my own compositions ("Painting of Japan") on it in October, I've really gone on to love its sound and love playing it. It will be a fantastic musical vessel for me as I continue to perform my own music and others, and, of course, will just continue to hopefully be one of my great passions in life in general, just playing the violin!

In terms of my compositions, I think I've also begun to settle into my own personal style. Whereas last year I was still discovering this new musical style of my compositions (and Ravel, my favourite composer), this year I've been continuing to perfect it and make it my own. I've also been exploring more themes - like Japan, and traditional Japanese music - in my compositions (for example, "Painting of Japan" which I mentioned has movements that mimic traditional Japanese instruments like the koto or the erhu, and others that discuss Cherry Blossom Festivals and Shintõ Shrines - something which I'm sure will be of importance tomorrow!). Even in pieces that aren't necessarily Japanese, like I did with one movement in "Birds of Prey" in 2014, I do continue to include the pentatonic scale for some of my melodies. I've also taken this year as an opportunity to explore more instruments - like the oboe and harp, but also the saxophone, which is a piece I will be recording and perhaps performing next year, me playing piano. (Do I look like a saxophonist? :P) (Actually, speaking of the piano, my main new project has been the Webern variations for piano, which was my first introduction to (playing) 12-tone music.)

I've actually written quite a lot of violin duet music (violin/oboe in January/February, violin/piano in May, violin/harp in July/August with the aforementioned "Painting of Japan") and my Strings Suite, playing on the Baroque dance suite style (Allemande, Courante, Serabande, Gigue), inspired by Ravel's "Le Tombeau de Couperin", a piece I actually acquired the score for for Christmas this year!). My latest composition project right now is a string quartet, which I have taken a little break for because of my Ravel Sonatine orchestration project, but will probably still retain the swing jazz feeling I'm trying to give it. I've gotten so many recordings of my music this year, which has been very exciting, and I'm excited for some of my planned projects in 2017 - obviously, continuing and finishing the quartet and orchestration in January, but also for at least the first few months I want to write an a capella choir piece and a sonata for violin and viola.

Overall, it's been quite a year, and I haven't even mentioned traveling to Vienna over the summer, which was almost (if not more) exciting than Italy in 2015. There were so many other little experiences and projects I did, like my little game soundtrack to Superhero Adventure I was obsessed with in July (even recorded with my new violin for that!), and playing in the opera "Amahl and the Night Visitors" this fall (and our amazing repertoire for our fall concert!), and premiering my composition teacher's new piece. I'm sure every musician's life has so many moments every year like that, and I know I haven't mentioned everything! But reflecting on this year, and reflecting (a little) on past reflection entries I've done on the site, really helps me to put all that I've done into perspective. It has been very fun to reflect on the incredible musical year we've had, even if in respects to other worldly events (like Hollywood...) things have not been as jolly. For my personal life, and perhaps for everything music, I think it has still been a very successful year. Looking forward to what new music comes my (and everyone's!) direction in the New Year!

Happy New Year everybody! Hope it'll be a great fresh start for all of us!

(And come March, that'll be my 5th year anniversary blogging on this site! I know I've been slowly dwindling in my blog entries, and a lot of things are just my musical reflections... But in my eye, even from the start, I think I've always seen this blog as my "Musical Journal" where occasionally I can go back and reminisce in my memories of various musical moments in my life. I hope my portion of this site will bring everyone else reading something to take away, even if it isn't as meaningful... I think all of us as violinists (and violists) and just musicians in general have a unique story to share (because every human has some story to share!), and it does make me happy to learn about everyone's! Not really sure where this postlude thing is going, so... I'll just leave my mark of 2016 right about here...)

Wait, I lied - I just don't know when to quit! I forgot to say Happy 20th Anniversary to! And though I'll probably do a little something for my personal 5th Anniversary with the site, I just wanted to say how important this site has been for me! It helps me to not only continue my growing passion for this wonderful instrument, but of course for all music in general. I love being able to have joined a place (pretty much exactly at the time when I left my childhood world to this new world of violins and music) where everyone has something to say about this small object we take with us everywhere. Even though I don't do as much playing as I'm sure most do, the violin will forever have a special place in me, and I will continue to love playing it, writing for it, and hearing it in concerts or soundtracks. (Also, I was born in 1996, so I've pretty much just grown with this site, even if I didn't hear of it until 2012!) So thanks so much for providing me a place to keep my own musical diary of sorts, where I can spill my own section of musical passion and love, and I hope this site keeps on growing in the future!

There, now I'm done. Phew!

Don't forget to keep on practicing. :)


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