My 5 Year Reflection!

March 28, 2017, 5:20 PM · (I was considering skipping this entry, but I thought it would be fun down the line to read this analysis here as it is, so... Enjoy. This could take a while...)

It was probably March 17th or 18th of 2012, and I had been spending my spring break enjoying playing through the music for Orchestra Pops that year, the concert where we built a giant full orchestra and played lots of music based around animated movies (I believe that was the theme)... So some Disney ("Fantasia 2000" or "Toy Story") was of course in there, but we had other pieces as well. It was through this concert (more specifically in late February) that I discovered how much I loved the violin, and about a month later in March I discovered a fantastic website to house and store all my emotions for the violin: this one,! I realized this would be a great place to obsess over the violin, because that's just what many other people were doing. So I created my account, waited a couple days, and wrote my first entry! And the rest, as you may know if you've been reading some of my older entries, is history, archived for people to read at their leisure.

I am a little late in this, but it's been 5 years since I've started my blog! And boy, a LOT has changed and happened in my musical career in those 5 years! I don't really have to go through in detail year-by-year what happened, because you can easily go back and re-read any old entry you want, but I guess I could try and go through some highlights? Personally, my favourite Christmas thus far (still) has been in 2014 - the last Hobbit film, but mainly just getting my new bow I still use now and making my "Winter Wonderland" cover! It feels a little strange going back and thinking about the sound of my old violin... I was so festive that Christmas... Here, let's try this.

So on March 30, 2012, I wrote down a quote that I think I'd like to go back to, seeing as it's almost March 30, 2017 now, and that is the following:

"Music tells half the story." That's my latest philosophy.

Directly from myself 5 years ago. I think in the past 5 years, I can say more about this quote than just how I'd used it for film scores then (I mentioned Hunger Games then, since that film had just come out). On, I certainly see this quote working: I spend a lot of time mentioning lots of music, whether it be mine or other compositions (like my various posts about different composers). This quote speaks to my analysis or whatever I speak about the piece on my blog is the other half the music takes up. I suppose that works, even extending to my music studies at college in-class...

Lately, since I've been slightly obsessed with the new Zelda game, what little I know at this point (I'm just watching it on YouTube), I do know there is so much great music in it I've been listening to (see the links at the bottom), and thus for most of it I only hear it as half the experience. I can picture based on the instrumentation or melodic/harmonic structure of the piece where it's supposed to take place, but for a video game soundtrack, it is only half the story, but it is HALF the story - I believe it does add so much to the experience when it is (albeit sparingly, although I presume saved for special moments, my YouTuber isn't that far into it yet) used throughout the game.

Finally, I believe this quote is empowering for all of us in our everyday lives. I think it works for everybody in the world. For non-musicians, perhaps half is the wrong amount, but music plays a central role for everyone, even just turning on the car radio, or whenever they turn on the TV. Of course, for musicians, we're always practicing our instruments or composing new works or whatever. Every time I do any of those things - turn on the TV, the radio, even listen to that beautiful opening of Breath of the Wild, when Link first runs out to the fields of Hyrule and the piano, suspended cymbal, and strings crescendo: musicians take away so much more about music than other gamers playing through. Of course, musicians don't just listen to music from speakers; they seek it out, going to orchestra concerts, chamber music festivals, etc. They play/sing in orchestras or string quartets (or saxophone quartets!), or other various ensembles. The BBC Proms will still be one of the great concert festivals I will enjoy throughout my life - still hoping to go in person when I make it down to London someday! - and I'll still remember fondly the 2016 season when I listened live from the radio... And it's really neat to be able to hear music of many different cultures too, and as a composer I take the things I like from what I hear and blend it into my own style. So yeah, it just shows how important music is and how much it really is dominating our world, not just music even with our Western instruments in it but all music as a collective. It's so great and makes me extremely happy to think about.

So yeah! I can't really think of much else to talk about. It's amazing to see how it's been 5 years on this website and probably more like 4-and-a-half years of "non-stop" composing for me! And this August, 10 years of playing the violin I suppose... Wow! It started with my other violin, now I have a great new one, the reddish one you see in my profile picture I took last November 2016... It's really humbling that I have this space to write up a blog and share my thoughts with a great musical community, and I have been doing so for a quarter of my life now! (Since I'm 20. Math!) So... yeah, that's all I really have, I guess, don't really want to drag this out too long... Keep on being musical!

Before I forget... I had another performance of my saxophone piece on Saturday morning, a playthrough of "Apotheosis," my symphonic band piece, yesterday, and this morning, by the Del Sol Quartet who came in and visited, my "Nightclub" string quartet! (My 2015 String Quartet I wrote that summer was based on Ravel's early style and Quartet; my 2017 String Quartet was based on jazz and Ravel's later style with his Piano Concerti!) Lots of music performed by live musicians all at once, so lots of great stuff! Just my quick "present-day" update thrown in. Thanks for at least celebrating this virtual moment with me! Fun links below, enjoy. :)

Also, check out TwoSet Violin's amazing classical music violin kickstarter program! Bringing classical music to the world through their violins!

And I thought I had to share this great video with lots of music from Nintendo's new game, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Boy is the soundtrack to Link's latest adventure amazing! Even combining the Japanese erhu with a solo violin in the main theme. Lots of great violin/other orchestral goodies here. :) I've been listening to it while I write this entry. Sorry for so much about video games here... It's just this such a big game, thought I should celebrate it while it's still fresh... I don't think I can ever stop loving games even if I don't really play them myself anymore! ...Anyways. Been writing this for about 40 minutes now... Oh well. Till next time!


March 29, 2017 at 08:49 PM · Happy 5th Anniversary! : )

March 29, 2017 at 10:02 PM · Aw thank you! :)

March 29, 2017 at 10:47 PM · It's remarkable to think about the fact that when you began this blog, you were just in high school, dreaming about becoming a composer, and now you are making it happen! Congratulations!

April 2, 2017 at 03:14 AM · Aww thanks! Crazy how much has changed in that time, too! Here's to more great music-making for all of us! :)

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