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Kelsey Z.

November 15, 2004 at 6:07 PM

It's a warm but breezy morning here today. Last night when I arrived home on the bus I was almost blown over by the wind and the chill in it. It was refreshing but not exactly what I was dressed for and expecting when getting off the bus. Vancouver had been relatively nice the day I arrived then rained on and off the rest of the time I was there which I really didn't mind at all. There's something about getting out and walking around in the rain in the morning that's very refreshing and the smell of rain is something I really like.

There is something to be said for getting at up 5:30 in the morning. It's hard. There is something about getting up when it's pitch black outside and you are in nice warm covers you know that the air around is going to be much less warm and comforting then the covers. Once you get up and move around it's alright. It reminds me of the Saturday morning trips to youth symphony. I'd have to get up in between 5:30 and 6 depending on the weather and the sun would always just start to light the sky from behind the mountains as we'd pull out of the driveway and then as we'd be driving around the south end of the lake the sun peaking over the mountain making all the sky brilliant colors before it finally fully breaks away from the mountain tops.

Vancouver was fun, but also a bit tiring. I hadn't had much sleep the whole week leading up to the trip from still trying to adjust after very late nights (or should I say early mornings?) after the symphony tour last weekend. Why must they do road construction at 1 in the morning????? Anyways. :) Moving on!

The masterclass with Pinchas Zukerman
was really neat! He's a very funny man and he really helped the students who played with their tone and one with their vibrato. Three people played and the pieces that they were playing were a section of the Strauss Sonata, Bach G minor Fugue, and Ysaye Ballade. The Strauss was probably the most musical of the three performances. The Bach was enjoyable but you could sense and see the nervousness in the performance. The Ysaye was probably the most secure and solid of the three performances. She had her piece memorised. I saw the same similarities between the three performers with their vibrato which I think probably was partially related to nerves. I've been nervous to the point of nearly throwing up before for one specific teacher so I can't imagine what it would be like in front of Zukerman. The tone production points that Zukerman worked on I was excited to see that I had been taught that earlier in the year to improve my sound, volume and overall tone so it was nice to have it re-affirmed but another teacher that I was doing the right thing and to see and hear the difference in front of me and not trying to hear it in my own playing which is hard to do when you are trying to focus on playing and the mechanisms to create that sound (though I do notice a significant improvement in my tone from one year ago to now). The vibrato focus I found less helpful and informative as he didn't really seem to give a specific exercise but something must have clicked between him and the performer on stage as her vibrato loosened up somewhat but the key thing for her was she was double jointed and needed to strengthen some more muscles. People were able to ask questions during and after the masterclass which was interesting.

After the masterclass it had been announced Joseph Curtin would have a couple of his instruments on display so I felt the need to check that out before I had to meet up with my sister again. I had no idea who Joseph Curtin was until after doing some more research on the internet. I got to listen to Andrew Dawes try out both the violins that Mr. Curtin had on display there which was quite neat and he commented on how he liked them. I was asked if I was a violinist and handed a violin upon response of "yes" and I instantly fell in love with the instrument. It had this hugeness and richness to it that was just amazing. One thing I really liked about it all is that Joseph Curtin wasn't trying to sell his violins to you he was just there to answer questions and watch people play. He was a very personable man and it was neat to get to talk to him and try out one of his violins. *sigh* so anyone who wishes to donate money to the "get Kelsey a Curtin violin" fund, please feel free to contact me through the contact page. :) ;)

While in Vancouver a visit was paid to the Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver where I got my hands on a couple of used cd's of Kreisler and Thibaud playing Mozart's 4th and 6th violin concertos and another cd of Pinchas Zukerman and Daniel Barenboim playing the complete Brahms sonatas. The two cd's together came to under 18 dollars! After the visit to the Quay, we couldn't not pay a visit to the International Icecream Factory! They have over 488 flavours according to the site and keep 208 on site at all times. There are some really bizarre flavours and you can try the different flavours. I tried a whole bunch of exotic fruits and combinations of things and then for an "odd" flavour I went for the "Balsamic Vinegar" Yes, that's right the stuff you put your focaccia bread in with olive oil, balsamic vinegar. It was actually not half bad! I liked it. It had a weird after-taste but the initial flavour was quite yummy!!

Well on that note or flavour..I need to re-aquaint myself with my violin!

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