January 2007

January 27, 2007 19:47

I was digging around in the archives of my music on my desktop and it's amazing the treasures one can unearth when it's been a year or four since they last looked through and really cleaned up their computer - not that I was actually being constructive and cleaning my desktop up, that's too much like work. In my "cleaning" I found a little tune I wrote for a dear friend of mine and fellow member of this site for her birthday sometime ago - isn't that the way it goes, a person is hard to shop for so what do you do? You write a song! Or I did anyways.

I have a venue booked! My recital to try out my audition repertoire and a few other favorite pieces of mine is on February 23rd. The program includes the entire Dvorak Sonatina just because I love it and it's light-hearted and fun for the audience, a piece my brother wrote for me (which he'll be back to play the piano part for!!!), Rachmaninov's Vocalise, 1st and 2nd mvt from the G minor Bach sonata, Lark Ascending, an Eckhardt-Gramatte Caprice, Lotus Land arranged by Kreisler, and part of the Wieniawski D minor concerto! I think my work is cut out for me. I'm really excited about doing the recital and people have already told me that they've marked the day off on their calenders and that they are planning on coming!

Lately I've been doing more reading again and am currently re-reading "The Ice Master" by Jennifer Niven. Back when I was around 12 years old a couple of friends of mine and I participated in the BC Red Cedar Book Awards where we had to read a certain amount of books and then nominate one for the prize in each category - fiction and non-fiction. Both years that I was involved I read almost every book on the list and both years my two favorite authors were Kenneth Opal (for Silverwing and Sunwing) and Eric Walters (Trapped in Ice and Diamonds in the Rough). Eric Walters' book "Trapped in Ice" got me interested in an historical event that I had never previously heard anything about. A great northern expedition in the early 1900's to discover any remaining northern continents that had not yet been discovered. Walters story was a fictional adaptation of the actual expedition but the experiences and journey made by those aboard the doomed Karluk were not. I fell in love with the book, re-reading it many times and even getting my copy signed by the author then one day when I was 13, I was in Chapters with my family looking through books and I saw this book called "The Ice Master - The Doomed 1913 Voyage of the Karluk" . A lightbulb went on, that's the same ship and story as Trapped in Ice! I quickly picked it up and started glancing through it - there were pictures of the crew and the dogs from the day they set off on their journey documenting the crews demise through to the rescue over 1 year after they first becamed trapped in the ice. My parents gave me the book for Christmas but it was a difficult read for me at that point and it took me a long time to get through it, so now, 5 years later I have pulled it out and am well into it, reliving some memories from my early teen years and once again being horrified and awe struck at the journey of the Karluk and it's crew. It's truly an amazing story of survival and friendship and the necessity to stick and work together when things get tough. It took strong leadership and cooperation from all of those involved and I really can't think of too many instances where people in today's world are actually looking at situations like these and doing the same thing. I wonder what things would be like and how we would react if we were in the same situation as the crew of the Karluk and how many of us would have the coping skills and will-power to make it out alive?

Speaking of the arctic, ice and cold and being trapped in ice, it seemed as though it was going to warm up and melt all of our snow this past week. We had two very warm days and a lot of the snow in town was melted but not here and now it's dipped below freezing again and the tempretures for the next week are supposed to remain below freezing so I guess my winter wonderland here at home will remain so for awhile yet.

As a final note - you should all listen to Adiemus and the choral music of Karl Jenkins.

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from fiddle to fog to fodder

January 17, 2007 23:48

I came home last night and thought to myself, I'm tired, I've been gone over 12 hrs today and have spent that entire time either practicing, teaching or studying for my big final exam coming up - I'm going to do something that I want to do for a change! So what did I do? I sat down in front of the computer and began to respond to the multitude of emails I had received over the past couple of days that needed responding to and working on application stuff for university - wait a minute, do I really want to be doing this? No. So why am I? hmm....what has society done to me, or technology that says I can't have a half an hour to, oh I don't know, read a book maybe, have a hot bath, have I really lost the ability to think for myself and actually differentiate between what I want to do and what I do just because it's routine and it's the right thing to do in today's etiquette books (or is it?)? When did that even happen?

January has reached its middle already and the very real pressure of the university audition phase which begins all too soon is setting in around me. Luckily, I have coping skills or gigs, or playdates or....well you get the idea. I have two somewhat major solo performances in the last week of this month that will allow me to try out my full slate of audition repertoire for an audience, and in one case some of the audience will be not only musically educated, they will be my mentors and colleagues at work. No pressure. Not. But still, it's a chance to try out and debut some of this stuff in a lesson stifling setting than an audition. Never underestimate the power over the nerves you have that lie dormant through a performance.

Speaking of universities, where are they and what features do they all have? Well I guess within the next 5-6 months I'll know if I'll be living in the "up-with-the-times", very much in the 21st century, bustling city of Vancouver BC where my daily routine will include a caffeine fix on Starbucks, either that or because I can't afford the rent I'll just stand outside of the Starbucks and inhale the intoxicating fumes - why does coffee have to smell so good anyways?? If it's not that wet mass of land on the Canadian West coast, perhaps it will be the land of great seafood (did I mention my love for seafood ends pretty much at shrimp and scallops?) and everything wonderful there is to know about Canada in the bustling, stunning, historical city of Halifax Nova Scotia or the land of good drinking, or at least a lot of bars in the coastal community of St. John's Nfld. Wherever I end up, I am guaranteed at least 3 things. 1. That there is ocean. 2. I will only see that ocean in my mind most of the time because the rest of the year it's obscured by fog, rain, low cloud cover or blowing snow and ice! 3.There will be some awesome music making going on this year in all three of those places and I get to be one of those people who makes that music!

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January 5, 2007 15:41

It's always fascinated me how holidays are deemed as being "breaks", you don't have to go to school, you don't have the same regular work hours as during the rest of the year. Despite such things that are supposed to make our lives more relaxed, Christmas time, more than any other time of the year, is continually the most stressful and busy time of year. There's the panic of trying to get your Christmas shopping done, more concerts, recitals and events to attend and take part in (I think I was involved in 7 this year), there's the visiting with friends and family and travel time for all of those things. It gets exhausting as much as I love it all. Right before Christmas I was on edge with several deadlines and stresses all seeming to pile up on one another. Christmas day for a change though was very relaxed and a relaxing day. I've really enjoyed getting to see friends and family this holiday season but now I'm looking forward to and am very ready for a break for my few days of genuine break - no school, no plans to go anywhere, just to be at home, compose, practice, work on university stuff - and then by Monday I should be ready and set to go back to work and school with a clear, relaxed mind that is able to do the best I possibly can.

Bach (pun intended) to the music stuff though now. I've officially applied to Dalhousie University and UBC. They both have their supplemental music application forms up now to do and my gosh there's a lot of information to include. I'm franticly trying to recall all the repertoire I've played in the last three years and all the concerts I've done and it's time consuming! Once I get this all documented I'm saving it somewhere in my stuff so that I don't have to do anything like this again. I've also made a New Years resolution to save every program of concerts I do and stick it in a box specifically for those sorts of things. It's probably a good idea to begin with and I should have been doing it all along but I guess better late than never. I'll be happy when I have this next step in applications and scholarships done and over with though.

Facebook is a cruel and evil addiction to put out there for musicians who have no life outside of work and school and practicing. It's in all honesty been really great because I've been able to meet up with some of the people I've played music with over the years with whom I've lost touch or just didn't have the opportunity to get contact information before having to leave.

Alright, and here's what you've all been waiting for - well ok, no you haven't - the picture of me with my new hairdo and violinist.com t-shirt!!!

Happy New Year everyone!!

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