October 2004

October 26, 2004 14:14

Last night I stayed up later then originally I had intended. I was checking out the line-up for one of my favorite radio shows to see what they would be playing and see if it was something condusive to studying with and I saw that Canadian composer, Colin McPhee's Balinese Ceremonial Music was going to be aired. I love that piece! I didn't really look closely to see who was playing it or anything, but whether it was the piano or orchestral version I wanted to hear it! So I stayed up until it came on. I got a suprise when it came on! It was the piano transcription of it and the performers...Colin McPhee himself, and Benjamin Britten from a New York recording in 1941! It was so neat to hear it. I stopped what I was doing to just listen to it and absorb it. It's not every day that you get the chance to hear such a recording!

I felt I had been pretty productive yesterday, had had school in the morning then went to my grandparents place and practiced for a couple of hours, went back to school for another class...back to my grandparents place then I hitched a ride to work and was there for a few hours, so I felt that I would actually be able to sit down and watch some TV without feeling guilty about it. I hadn't watched hardly any TV in weeks! So I watched some TV and couldn't really find anything of particular interest, then I came across Madame Butterfly being done (with english subtitles) and having studied the work a fair amount last year for music history and having never actually heard much, if any of the opera I watched the 1 hour or of it that remained to be watched. It was kind of interesting! I'm not really big on opera, but I actually enjoyed it!

When I was working today, the house I work at overlooks the lake here, which is one of the most breath-taking views around here, and there is a garden and lawn space in the front of the house. The house is very open and spacious, which is really nice. Something caught my eye as I was unwrapping stuff and this little tiny bunny rabbit was hopping about in the lawn and eating the plants! It was a very cute little bunny and it hopped around in that area where I could see it for quite some time.

Tomorrow at school, as part of a Terry Fox Foundation Fundraiser, the principal of my highschool is going to be duct taped to the gymnasim wall and students have the oppotunity to pie our teachers in the face. Talk about a fun way to raise money for cancer research!


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October 23, 2004 22:07

Today I felt the crazy need to practice thirds in three different keys for nearly a half hour. I'm not really sure what compelled me to do that but lately I've been struck with this need to practice technique and lots of it. I think it's really starting to help things. I've realised that one thing that I've had a lot of trouble with is jumping back and forth from different keys and keeping the double stops in tune so spending that time on the thirds today was a really positive thing and I plan to do incorporate it it more into my regular practice routine. Go technique!

Now as for today. I'm done reading Lord of the Flies! Yay! Wow, not really what I was expecting, but than I didn't really know what to expect. Things seemed to keep going in the general direction that I expected the book to go but with un-expected twists and elements coming into play. Such a thought provoking book and really puts perspective on how soceity is and how easily a person can be turned against another and the kind of characteristics it brings out in a person. I highly recommend that a you read this book and not just read it but look into the underlying message it presents.

My friend came out to my place today. We played violin together! Prokofieff Sonata for two violins and the Bach double. It was a lot of fun. I'm not sure Prokofieff would entirely improve on some of our "variations" on a couple of the sections, but it was a lot of fun and we were able to plough through it and make some of it sound like music. The Bach as a little, ok a lot, more straight-forward in putting together. That actually sounded somewhat recognizable and it made the parents smile and ask for us to take a bow. I wonder why they didn't seem to enjoy the Prokofieff the same? Hmm...

It's getting a bit later now and I think I should be going and doing more studying yet.

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October 19, 2004 13:37

Don't you just love those suprise quizzes and essay tests? I can honestly say that I don't. As much as I love to write and write on topics that make a person think and try to exspress my views on something, I'm not so fond when you get a suprise test on an essay read the previous day and being expected to come up with something somewhat coherant that shows your argument, the authors and gives other examples and quotations that will help in favour of either argument.

English aside. I'm having a great deal of fun with the Souvenir d'Amerique right now! I've been trying to figure out a fun concert piece to play for awhile and thought it would be a fun piece to learn for the school talent competition. The competition isn't until the spring, but with everything else happening right now, it will be an acheivable goal to have it learned by. I can almost hear the laughter or groans or maybe cheers (!!) of the highschool crowd when that un-expected main theme comes in towards the end of the first page....

Practicing has been going very well. I've been pushing myself technically a lot in the past while, working on nasty keys, and really challenging my speed and precision, trying to take it to the next level. It's kind of fun challenging myself, doing different rhythms and bow strokes on scales, picking nasty keys and using the metronome, it's a fun personal challenge, though I'm sure if you asked me after two or three weeks of doing this I'd have a different answer.

I got to go and play viola in a string quartet last night! That was fun, it wasn't really hardcore, amazing playing or anything, but it was a lot of fun to just sight-read through a bunch of stuff. We looked at parts of 3 Beethoven quartets, a Schubert Quartet, two Haydn, a Mozart and then a fun arrangement of the third Brandenburg concerto for string quartet. We played until about 10 pm I guess, so a good three hours, then it was the second violinists birthday so there was cake and coffee to be had! Chocolate cake...yummy...that's a good end to a quartet session! :D

This has been short and sweet but I need to get back to studying.

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October 14, 2004 09:41

My "long" weekend is over! I start back at school today. *sigh* For Thanksgiving my sister came home for a couple days, and my aunt and grandparents came for turkey dinner and pie! It was a fun weekend. I kind of detested the school I had to do, but I managed to get it done before leaving for Vancouver, Monday afternoon. The drive to Vancouver was mostly done in the dark, but coming home from Vancouver and during the two, untypically sunny, clear days there you could see the beautiful colors of fall. Driving up to the UBC music campus on Wednesday morning you slowly drove into a misty fog, and the colors and the way the fog were was quite stunning! I love the Autumn colors here. *sigh*

The trip to Vancouver ended up being a little more busy then originally intended. I took my violin along to practice, and having not seen the person who made my instrument playable since I picked up the violin, we decided to stop in at his workshop and say hi, and play for him. He looked at the violin and offered to clean it up for me and make sure the pegs were still fitting...adjust the bridge and everything else that goes along with a routine matinence, so I was violinless for over 24 hours! That felt weird. When I went back to get it on my way home the next day, it was so shiny, and the sound was a lot brighter. I played my Bach for him. :)!

A really big highlight for me this past trip to great city of Vancouver, was a brief trip downtown. I needed to pick up a textbook for my history exam and a viola string, but I also got to go into the Canadian Music Center! I'm learning Adieu Babylon and hadn't received a postage return when I got the score out, so I wanted to pick one up and buy the score. I was in there looking at some of the commercially released cd's, then took care of getting the score ordered. After doing that, the man asked if I wanted to take a look at the library. (YES!!!) He showed me where the sound archives were and where all the different kinds of music scores were. I thought I'd ask on the slim chance that there might be a recording of Adieu Babylon, as it's an unpublished work that was a compulsory piece for the Eckhardt-Gramatte competition in 1991. To my great delight, he found a one! It was so neat to hear the piece. There was a little bit at the beginning where they talked to the performer and I was just blown away by getting to hear it! I could have easily lived in the CMC for a couple of days..months..maybe years(?) just listening to the archives and looking at the scores!

The other highlight of the trip to Vancouver was going up to UBC to hear Jasper Wood perform at one of the noon hour recitals. He played a Schubert Sonatina, Brahms A major sonata (my favorite!) and then the Ravel Tzigane and Sarasate Ziguenerwiesen. The Brahms was the highlight of the program for me. I love the piece a lot and the warmth and beautiful melodies of the work are quite stunning. (and were stunningly played!) The Tzigane and Zigeunerwiesen were probably two of the fastest I've heard. I thought they were fast to begin with and thought to myself it would be neat to see how the tempo holds out...to my great suprise the tempos were pushed even more, I was on the edge of my seat! It was so inhumanly fast, I couldn't belive those pieces could be done at such speeds, then to my suprise, the tempos were pushed even more! I don't think I've ever seen anyone play so fast before. It was amazing! I still like the sentimentality of the Brahms though. :)!

Well...I need to go and get my stuff together for school and practice before I have to leave.

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October 4, 2004 15:07

Yay! I'm home from school already. I went in prepared for a German quiz, which has been put off and made a little more difficult until Wednesday, which is fine with me. the class went well for me today, which is a big improvement upon last class. The last German class we had a substitute who couldn't speak a word of German and it seemed to be nicely timed that I get a massive headache. Substitute teacher = noisy class = really really bad headache from the class being in the dungeon. The Dungeon is all concrete so everything echoes, and with a large class that is prone to misbehaving it was a very long class. English today was hard. It was an AP essay, which was hard to write. It took me nearly an hour to complete the whole thing, but i think I'll have done alright, I'm keeping my fingers crossed anyways! I'm really looking forward to seeing the marks though! It will be nice to know how I did.

Violin and viola. Sigh...I'm so excited about performing the Arpeggione sonata on viola at the end of this month! It's finally starting to come along quite nicely. There are still a few rough spots towards the end of the first movement, just a couple shifts I need to get a little more secure with, but it should be nicely playable by Oct. 31st! For violin, my Bach is basicly memorised, which is really nice. I really love it and it's such a joy to play and practice. I'm looking forward to playing it in this masterclass. I know Bach is a completely individual thing, and some what risky to play, but it's still another idea and opinion.

well having said that. I need to go and practice some piano, violin and viola before it gets much later!

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