October 2006

Once upon a time, mes amis, while I pondered the need for mental therapy....

October 27, 2006 12:23

Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata plays in the background as I prepare my afternoon snack. Yays.

Beautifully orange Orange juice to the right of a perfectly round plate. On the plate, an equilateral slice of carrot cake rests, still warm from the oven. What symmetry!! I gasp with delight as I clasp my fingers around a square napkin, at the same time taking in the scene with pleasure. The setting, ah, is so pleasing to the eye. So neat, so delicate, so orderly, so calming...Oh, and so delicious.


Now I look upon the empty plate, the empty glass, and the stained napkin, becoming more and more crestfallen with each. Nothing but a crumb left of the tasty morsals. -licks- Well, not even a crumb now. All I have left are dirty dishes to wash. How depressing! And yet, as I plunge into deep sorrow and regret for the poor carrot cake, the Moonlight Sonata still plays on.

Somehow its melancholy ways give me the energy I need. My spirits rise. I think, "I want and I can. So I will. Nothing can stop me! Don't try to, because I'm invincible! Muhahahaha!" I run around the house, flinging my arms wildly.

Maybe I should lay off on the carrot cake.

10 replies | Archive link

Bonding with Beethoven

October 14, 2006 13:38

Two years ago, I used to think that music was just about playing the right notes at the right time. Apparently, the right notes just aren't enough.

This morning, after the complaints about portamento, vibrato and clarity in Bach (Bah for fugues! I'm getting better though!), my violin teacher asked to hear what I had so far of the Beethoven. Technically, I had about three pages down, so I rolled up my sleeves and began.

At the end of the first page, he stopped me and asked me if I knew whose concerto I was playing. Not knowing whether or not to answer, I just glanced at him and nodded.

"That's right. BEETHOVEN. So make it sound like BEETHOVEN." I started from the beginning again. At the end of the first line, he stopped me again and told me I was putting the emphasis on the wrong note. “I should not feel the main pulse in the grace notes,” he said as he tapped the beat with his pencil, “The quarter note, yes, it should be played on the down beat… not the grace note.” He continued to tap as I tried again.

“Mmmm…no, no. You are giving the grace note too much attention—too much fame. You are giving it nearly half the value of your quarter! And your string crossings, oh me! They can be heard! No, no, no! Again!”

I do so, making sure to follow his instructions. This time, the emphasis on the quarter note is too strong and the string change is still accented. My violin teacher picks up his violin, tunes it, and demonstrates for me. “This is how you played it the first time. (He imitates me) That, it is not Beethoven! And this is the second time you try. (Imitates) No, we are not trying to march into town. You are not a soldier. The bow should glide onto the higher note with ease and style. Like a WHOOSH that cannot be heard. Yes, yes, like this. (Demonstrates)”

I must have repeated the first line a thousand times before he said, “YES! That’s it! You got it! Now practice it like that!” and allowed me to continue… for about two measures more. Adjustments, suggestions, comparisons came my way for the next two lines. You ask yourself, “How many suggestions can be made on 8 measures?” The answer? A LOT. Enough to make my head churn and stomach ache.

By the time my teacher allowed me to play the part right after the ascending broken thirds scale, I wished I had brought a tape recorder, because there was no way I was going to remember everything. Expect for the name of the guy who wrote the concerto. Because in the beautiful melody after the ascending scale, my violin teacher asks, “Do you know who wrote this?”

“Yes. Beethoven,” I said, with the hair on my head beginning to fizzle.

“Well, then… make it sound like Beethoven! Pretend you’re going to war! You’re fighting a man! The sound should be strong. Close to the bridge! Boxing! C’mon! Sweetly now! Do it for your country!” He played it for me, sending chills down my spine. I took notice of where he was bowing—so close to the bridge that he was on it!

At the end of the first page, he nearly threw me out of the room! Taking the music of the stand, he warned me, "Don't learn this too fast. Bond with every page. Yes, you're a bit young for Beethoven. It's not your fault--You just haven't lived life long enough. However, it is in tune, so just touch up on the few spots I told you about musically. And remember the bow arm!" With that he rushed up the stairs and out of the room. I gaped after him. Few spots? *dies*

It's amazing how such a beautiful concerto can be so taunting. How evil.

5 replies | Archive link

Brief study on the sense of humor

October 13, 2006 12:19

It's Friday the 13th, and I can't think of an appropriate entry. So here's for randomness!

Over the span of the past week, I went up to people I knew well, knew slightly, and didn't know at all to ask the following question: "What are you doing in this land of magic?" Twas a simple question. And I got rather simple answers.

"So, what are you doing in this land of magic?"
-Uh... *chuckle* What?
"So, what are you doing in this land of magic?"
-What does that mean?
"So, what are you doing in this land of magic?"
-Eating tacos
"So, what are you doing in this land of magic?"
-Looking for the Magic Flute
"So, what are you doing in this land of magic?"
-Well, you see... I'm just about to *sticks out foot, causing me to trip* trip you. ;)
"So, what are you doing in this land of magic?"
"So, what are you doing in this land of magic?"
-What land of magic?
"So, what are you doing in this land of magic?"
"So, what are you doing in this land of magic?"
-Are you trying to speak Italian again?
"So, what are you doing in this land of magic?"
-You're so random!
"So, what are you doing in this land of magic?"
-I'm doing the boogie-woogie-doogie-manooggie!
"So, what are you doing in this land of magic?"
-My name is Sheila! My name is Sheila!
"So, what are you doing in this land of magic?"
-I have a football game tommorrow.
"So, what are you doing in this land of magic?"
-Huh? You're crazy.

From these results, we can conlcude that 93% of the average high school population should spend some time on Violinist.com, replenishing their share of humor. Or tone down on the PEZ a little.

Eat pomegranates instead. They turn your fingers red.

WARNING! By commenting, you risk be redirected to a page where my profile picture is visible. Trust me, I did not spend all my time traveling for nothing this year. Muahaha. :)

3 replies | Archive link

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