How does one define a sucessful day? Getting up when your alarm clock goes off and only after hitting the snooze button once is a good start. Then, follow that with a couple of classes at school, one with a test that you felt good about and the part that stumped you and that you tried to sound like you knew what were writing about in your answer was only worth 2 marks out of 36. Following that test with the world's most boring class and while the teacher lectures, you get the homework assignment completed. Having a meeting for a talent week thing at school and having someone look through the people signed up and in reference to you have someone get all excited and exclaim "It's that crazy violin chick from last year!" and then to top it all off, have your English teacher tell you that you've done well and you have a realisation that you have no homework for the rest of the day and no more tests until Friday, that's the makings of a good day. On top of that, I've managed to practice some as well and I still have a few hours left in which I'll probably practice another hour or so before I go to bed. *sigh* 'tis the life!
Spring time here in the valley! Can't get much nicer than this. I'm not big on the allergies but the perfect tempreture for being out and about and the clear blue sky are addictive!
Yesterday a friend and I went for a walk and I took my camera along and snapped a couple of pictures that I thought I would share with you all! These are both about a 15 minute walk from my place.
Have a great day everyone!
*goes back to the books*
Back to Vancouver and back.....again. How many people do a 6 hour drive to Vancouver (and back) twice in a week? Apparently my Mom and I do. Ah to sleep in my own bed tonight and not on a dusty, apartment floor!
One thing that I cannot believe I forgot to mention in my last "Vancouver" blog entry was my lesson! This gives you an idea of just how much (or little) sleep I got all last week.
I had a lesson! Ok, there I've told you. It was a good lesson. My Bach Fugue chords are losing their once worthy "crunch fest" name and thanks to that fugue my bow would be greatly happier if I got it rehaired in the near future. After Bach there was Wieniawski and I now have some good ideas that work much better for fingering as well as some musical ideas and elements to keep in mind. Technique came into question as well. I have some studies to keep me busy and I'm more determined then ever to work really hard on my technique. I wonder how long this will last?? I just have to keep listening to something technically demanding that I dearly want to play and then use that as a motivator to keep me going at technique for the bulk of my practicing this next while.
I am going to be performing at a school talent show soon and I've actually been allowed enough time to the Vitali Ciaccona. Originally I was going to do the E major Preludio from Partita No. 3 but now I'm doing the Vitali! My Mom and I discussed it on the drive home today and we've decided that I'm going to treat it as a real, full on concert. Around 1000 students come to watch it each year. I'm going for my dramatic blue concert gown.
Going to Vancouver again yesterday was quite the experience again. This time it rained the whole time I was there (which was probably a grand total of 15 hours - including the hours slept). I went to try out the violin that I really liked and get my teacher's opinion on the instrument. I've decided that I'm going to try out some more instruments before I decide to get one (or this one if it's still available) for sure which I feel quite contented and settled with. I don't really have the money at the moment to get the violin (yay student loans.....:P) but I will need my own instrument that's better before school starts next year.
And with that I'm going to go and make some dinner! And practice! And read a book! And do homework!
The link at the bottom of my blog that is non-existant has disappeared, once again, into my "EDIT" option (Robert or Laurie do you know why this happens everytime I hyperlink an online web address??) so here it is to copy and paste into your browser.
Ah, home again...my own bed....a good cup of tea...practicing when i please.... Vancouver was overall very great though!
I won't go on for too long here tonight though because I want to get to bed and get some more sleep tonight so I can be refreshed for teaching tomorrow and for practicing!
The first highlight of my Vancouver trip was probably the noon hour concert on the UBC campus. Jasper Wood, violin and David Riley, piano = an amazingly enjoyable concert. They did a Schubert Sonatina which off the top of my head I believe was the D minor. Very effective and hard to pull off but I enjoyed it very much. The next and final piece (since it was a noon hour concert with no intermission) was the one I was the most excited about hearing, Prokofieff's F minor sonata. Everything from the haunting first movement to the bombastic second movement to the ghostlike, hair raising 3rd movement with a firery finale that nicely ties in themes from all 4 mvts, makes this sonata a real treasure and a workout for the violinist! It captivating me from beginning to end. I really should only do 4 hours of technique a day for a month after seeing that sonata performed in person! It was intense and the contrasts and moods evoked truly held my attention from start to end! The only interruption during the whole thing to my attentiveness was the two people who fell asleep on the row behind me and started snoring in the 3rd movement of the Prokofieff. That kind of disturbed me but someone quickly smacked them and they woke up.
Next day...I got addicted to trying out nice violins and had some Japanese food!
The next day (Friday) my sister's choir was performing so of course I had to attend that! they performed a bunch of modern works by graduate students at the university. I made a quick trip down to the Canadian Music Centre to pick up a score I needed and ordered in another. I tried the above mentioned violins again and officially have a crush on one of them in particular. In the evening there was a free concert to attend with the UBC Chamber Strings. The highlight being Rena Sharon as a guest soloist playing the Bach D minor keyboard concerto. Jasper Wood's concert and hers were on the same par....completely spellbinding and I couldn't hardly keep my eyes off them and help being drawn in to their performances.
Saturday...more Japanese food and a walk on Jericho Beach.
Aside from that we did lots of apartment hunting for my sister(and with me in mind!) who's building is being demolished in May. So there you have it, short and sweet!
If you are inclined to watch a short slideshow of some pictures I took while in Vancouver you can view that here
Today I got in 4 hours of practicing and it's still plausible that I could do another 60-90 minutes!!! It's been a good day. Ah, I miss those blisters of long practice hours. :)
I leave for Vancouver tomorrow where my time will be taken up with practicing, going to a couple of concerts (my teacher's and my sister's), checking out the Canadian Music Centre.....Granville island! Should be a fun trip!!
Alright, I'll keep this short and sweet. See you all when I get back.
There's nothing like turning pages for your friends performance in competition to add a little bit of stress. I mean, she only played the Bach Ciaccona (which I didn't have to turn pages for, obviously) the Ravel Tzigane, the complete Prokofieff D major Sonata and the complete Tchaikovsky concerto. No pressure at all. None. Really. Not. How in the world does someone manage to have enough stamina to get through all of that in a day? The Bach and Ravel were basicly back to back in the mid-afternoon and the Tchaik and Prokofieff back to back in the mid-evening. I'd maybe agree to doing one of the "shorter" pieces with the Tchaikovsky with the exception of the Bach but really, that's like commiting a slow suicide over an afternoon and evening. Anyways, my friend did really amazingly well and my only mishaps in the roughly 130 pages turned were the book sort of fell off a bit (I caught it and got it back up without mucking the pianist up), two pages turned once, and the book wouldn't stay open once so i had to stand there draped over the piano holding the book open.
I'm playing a new violin these days!(did i mention this already?) I got it last week and have it on loan. It's a gorgeaus full, rich, deep, almost viola like sound. It hasn't been played in several years so at first it was rather closed in but still showed great potential and is proving to live up to it's initial sound!
I've been able to practice a bit more this past week (because I've been skipping school so shhh...) which has been incrediably enjoyable. All year I've been lucky to get in a couple hours a day, 4 days of the week which when compared to my 4-6 hours a day in the summer and all year last year is quite a significant difference and it really frustrates me but the end is near. I get a break starting next week and my course load becomes a bit lighter in May and then in June, goodbye highschool! Well...almost goodbye. Next year i want to go back as a "mature" student and take one, maybe two courses for the first semester to upgrade for university entrance but two courses in comparison to 5 should be fairly easy and managable.
And lastly - March 8th - We have snow (again)!
The dog is funny, I tried hyperlinking it but it mucked up my previous two posts so just copy and paste it.
One more week of school and then I get a break for a couple of weeks. I'll be working a bit during the break and will be down to Vancouver again for a lesson, a concert (my teacher is doing a concert featuring Prokofiev Sonata No.1, a Rosza piece and the Stravinsky Divertimento!!!!). It will be nice to get away for a few days and not have the pressures of school and everything to catch up on.
Gradually I'm starting to adjust to the quietness of the house without my dog. It's still so weird to not have her here when i come home and not have to be taking her out and playing with her. It's starting to get better but I'm still having my lapsing moments where something really sticks out and twanges the nerves and makes me remember her and cry again. But slowly it is getting better.
I thought I had avoided the political world of the music festival here this year. Last year, for those of you who have read my blog, know that I played a huge program consisting of the Barber Concerto, Beethoven Sonata No.8, Kulesha Caprice No.1, Robinovitch Adieu Babylon, part of the Bach C major Sonata, and the Souvenir d'Amerique. This year, I decided that since I've done that for the last several years and every year because of political favorings and pre-determined results the players who really deserve to win and move on, don't (and I don't mean me). So this year I decided I would take a break and just not play and go and watch my friend who's signed up to do the warhorses of the Tchaikovsky concerto and Beethoven Kreutzer Sonata among other things. This week I was asked to play viola for the music school's chamber orchestra, I figure that 1 violist to 20 other musicians seems a bit unfair so next Wednesday evening I will be sitting there, after having had the viola and music one day to practice and I'll be performing. Ah!
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