Final Violin Projects for these Last Five Weeks (of undergrad).

April 14, 2019, 2:50 PM · I suppose paralleling a similar entry I did towards the end of my time at high school [April 2015]... I thought I'd share what's happening specifically with my violin during these last few weeks at Augustana, before summer starts... and I start looking ahead towards my future at University of Illinois! (I am also sketching for a possible Symphony I will compose throughout the summer as my main project.) I'm going to focus on the violin for this entry, but I also have a couple performance opportunities on piano performing a few of my own compositions as well - one of them being my Chaplin film score I was blogging about a few months ago!

First, the week after Easter is Concert Week for my last main concert full of dance music! I have explained our repertoire in March on my blog I believe. I am very excited to perform some fun music and to have a great time working up to it - including a performance of a chamber piece alongside the Symphony orchestra!

The following week, my orchestration of my String Quartet, which I blogged about working on in my early July 2018 entry, will be one of three student compositions to be read by our orchestra by my other senior composition colleagues! It will be fun to finally get some performance of my 2015 String Quartet, and a nice book-end to my undergraduate composition career - I wrote the original piece before I came to college (with a video of me playing a couple excerpts from the full Quartet in August 2015), and I will leave college with this new orchestration I worked on while preparing for my senior recital over the last summer. I am excited to take all my new orchestration skills as I work on my next big project to transition me to graduate school! (Of course, I know this will go by much faster than my time at Augie.) - And this weekend will be the weekend I will finally present my Charlie Chaplin film score as the final thing I need in terms of my Music degree to graduate!

Finally, I thought I'd mention my electronic piece I'm working on. A few weeks ago, I had the idea of taking the piano part of the Elgar Violin Sonata I am working on in private lessons (and am finishing up now, just for fun) and rewriting the piano part in electronic sounds, so I could essentially play my violin alongside the electronics accompanying me. This has proven to be very difficult because of the Romantic nature of the piece, so my teacher suggested I switch over to Webern's Four Pieces for Violin and Piano, Op. 7, since they are based more on sound color than notes - a different style that may mesh better with my idea. Yesterday, I took my violin to the microphone and Mac I use in my little office, and recorded myself playing the first piece of Webern - for an exercise, it is nice they are so short and I am not panicking trying to get through an entire movement of the Elgar. I actually changed my approach to only using the single recording I did of the violin part, and will only manipulate the violin, and not bring in any other sound sources into the piece. It has turned out a little differently than what I had envisioned with the Elgar, but it has been really fun to work on so far and I think it will be a fun piece on its own.

That's about it for now, besides my continuous sketching for orchestra - and my secret book of musical activities I'm working on as a graduation present for my friends and teachers (and family members who might be interested :P) that I could pick up and play some of the pieces in it on the violin in the future. :)

I've also noticed I've had a different outlook on my life ever since I've had to think about the future, about my time after Augie. I am excited for my future at graduate school, and I know I touched on this before when I was thinking about the possibility of not playing my violin in graduate school much, but thinking about the future and what is to come has made me more excited to look at the world as a whole - not just the violin, or the piano, and not just films or games, which are some of my biggest passions in life. Recently, I've been checking out books from the library about science, or the Irish culture, and am enjoying the last of my liberal arts classes on Asian literature, and am writing a paper on sci-fi and another Doctor Who fan fiction using some of these ideas. While I will surely find time for learning about the world whenever I can, I know as I get more focused on my music, I may not have as much time to write little stories like this. It feels nice to allow myself to try and enjoy the other aspects of my life I have loved since my childhood, in addition to learning about parts of the world and what we have done as humans besides music I do not know about, like science and anthropology. Who knows - some of what I learn may become invaluable to me as I prepare to write for a documentary or film score in the future, or I'll just get inspired by some scientific phenomenon for a piece of music - which happened for a piano duet I wrote in January 2017. I have been loving listening to TED talks in my spare time, or another great British YouTube channel, Objectivity. It's just really cool to me to see other minds at work in different fields around the world, as if they play totally different instruments in the orchestra than me and we are all together performing a Symphony that has been written for us... or something. Ultimately, I hope to continue my love of the whole world and everything in it, academic or community interests or just loving my family and friends and all the lovely people in my life.

Life sure is beautiful, and I'm so happy and lucky music can be a big part of it. Let's enjoy it - ALL of it - while we can!

Replies

April 17, 2019 at 01:11 AM · Congratulations, Joshua!

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