Cosmic Soirée recording!; summer updates and projects

June 8, 2021, 10:59 AM · It's been a bit over a month since I posted, and plenty of things have happened I can share! First of all, I graduated from UIUC! I'm currently in my apartment on-campus, focusing mainly on finding jobs... eek! I'm taking a gap year before I consider going on for my DMA; if I do end up going back, hopefully life will have had time to become more "normal" and I could audition for the lower-level orchestra? Playing for a community orchestra in the future once I'm settled is still something I'd love to do! Currently, I've been fine with recording things at home.

Speaking of, I'd like to share one of those recordings here! One of my good friends Caitlin Thom from Augustana wrote me a piece to play with her for our third New Music Collage Facebook Live concert, that happened at the end of last month. The piece is called "Cosmic Soirée, and is inspired by my "Music for the Galactic Palace" I wrote for the Augustana Symphony Orchestra in 2017. Knowing my love of Ravel and how we played "Introduction et Allegro" together for the Concerto Concert, she snuck in a few references to that piece in hers. It was a really lovely piece to record, and I hope to one day play it with her in person, even if it's just for fun! Here's the recording for your listening pleasure - be sure to subscribe to her channel if you're interested! I also recorded a lullaby for another Augie friend I can share in the future - I do have to re-record a few things for that and do some final mixing, but that was a really nice project to be a part of, too!

That was my main update to share, but I am also slowly getting started on a new project for my CityFolk66 gaming YouTube channel: an Animal Crossing album! I've already recorded a couple of Animal Crossing medleys, so I thought, why not take my love for this series and develop it into a full album? Just like last year insaneintherainmusic finished his Pokémon: Diamond/Pearl/Platinum album (4+ hours of jazz music, it's insane!!) to celebrate his love of that series, I'm hoping to do a much shorter album but involve as many musician friends as I can who play Animal Crossing (or at least the latest game on Nintendo Switch). I think it will be a ton of fun, and I will probably share on here whenever I make a new arrangement! I'm doing it one track at a time, and it's very much in the background right now; but it will be really fun when it can all come together! (I've got a small video involving my violin coming out tomorrow at 8pm... a bit of a reference to the singing dog in the game. :P)

Speaking of my violin, it's been a bit hard to practice lately, since it's hot in my apartment and at some point, my bow seems to have warped! It's unfortunate, because I've loved this bow since Christmas 2014; but I have a back-up at home, and perhaps this might be a good excuse to get a wood bow in the near future, something I've always wanted to have. We'll see - something to worry about later. I also would like to change out my A string - had some difficulties changing all my strings, but that's been mostly resolved. I am definitely overdue a full violin check-up, so that's something I'm hoping to do sometime soon. I've been going into the shop but only for very specific needs.

So even if I'm playing my violin less, I still have lots of music projects to keep me going, and am hoping to start listening to more violin music (Heifitz' arrangement of Gershwin's "It Ain't Necessarily So" after reading Laurie's post!) and watching (some) videos online - I just caught one of my favorite violin YouTubers, StringPlayerGamer, live yesterday afternoon before my evening walk (and recording my short violin video for tomorrow)! He's rocking a great red electric violin now, and it sounds great! Even if I much prefer the natural sound, it's still been cool to recently hear electric/amplified violin sounds through his channel and Crumb's "Black Angels," one of the concerts I was able to see live back in fall 2019.

That's the plan right now! I'll try and keep updating here this summer for my music projects, which I really hope to start focusing on. I'd love to start doing some more video game music covers on my gaming channel in addition to the album, but starting these may just have to wait a bit longer till I have a job and definite free time to focus on them. I'd also love to do some violin request livestreams as well...? We'll have to see!

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