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December 2008

It's time for me to move on

December 31, 2008 23:51

It is 10 minutes till the beginning of a new year. I am left wondering what I will become.

I’m not, nor have I ever truly been happy with myself. My entire life I’ve heard that a person needs to love themselves; I’ve even said it to many people myself.

I don’t love myself and I don’t think I ever have. In a sense I’m comfortable with whom I am but deep down I’m not. I love a part of me and I hate another.
The part I love is that of me which is open to change and accepting of others. Many people believe that if a person is not religious and does not love God, that they are not a good person. I find extreme irony and shock in a statement like that (if you don’t understand what I mean by that, you can ask me and I’ll elaborate). I don’t believe in that. I think that I have my faults just like anyone else, but I’m still a good person.
The side which I hate is doubtful, concerned and anxious of what is to come. I’m trying to decide of what I want to adapt into my life. Do I no longer live in the past? Do I no longer live for the future? Do I drop everything and live in the now? I don’t know yet.
I have hated others before but I now understand that the fault lies within myself and to stop it I need to confront the problem which makes me uncomfortable. I’m going to do this in two ways: I need to be confident with myself on the outside, i.e. having a body that I’m comfortable with. And I need to be happy with my self image, i.e. being happy on the inside.
Huge change is going to come to my life in the next few years and I need to start to prepare for that. I’m not a kid anymore and being a teenager isn’t that different from an adult. The only difference being that we are shielded by our parents from the real world. Exposure to things in the “real world” is something that has happened to me in my life. I believe that I am truly more mature than many people my age because I’ve had this exposure and I don’t see life as a game… I know what’s out there and I know to fear it and when to ignore it. Most kids my age will be talking on the phone, doing stuff on MySpace, or watching TV while I’m dealing with issues way beyond them. When I overheard conversations about how kids my age are drinking and partying every weekend I was shocked. I had no idea it was that real. Then I look at myself, who has never taken a sip of alcohol, a puff of cigarette smoke, nor any drug, and I am proud. I will never take a substance, as I have developed a quality in myself that is not subject to peer pressure and I’m not willing to conform.
Another way I want change to come is that I want to better develop my writing skills; they are absolute rubbish at the moment.  These very few past few weeks I’ve been lacking motivation through music and my writing is changing (for the better…I think.) I have written many personal journals in the sense that I would be sharing them with an audience like you, but have chosen to keep them private in the sense that I think you would not find them interesting. I’m thinking I need a major fall-back in case something happens and music is “not in the picture” for me. Performing on a stage with an orchestra behind me and a conductor to my left is something that I want dearly. It is where my heart is and I want nothing else for myself. But this sense of realness is upon me and the fear that it won’t happen is starting to surface.
Consider this my one New Year’s Resolution and nothing beyond that.

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I'm leaving you behind

December 29, 2008 09:51

Doubt... It makes me apprehensive. It stops me from pursuing things. But most importantly, it pushes me.

I have three simple dreams to have accomplished by this time next year. Have The Lark Ascending to performance standards, and completely learn Adagio & Presto from the G minor sonata.

One of the ways I want to be taken away from doubt by is performing the piece The Lark Ascending. Something is magical about it. Everytime I listen I get chills down my spine. The movement of the orchestration is amazing to me. The other way is by playing more Bach. It is the most difficult music for a violinist to play. The structure of Bach's music is astonishing. It moves with the violinist's heart and swells with emotion.

You may have noticed something. Everytime that the pieces I mentioned are played, an instant mood is cast upon the whole performance and is unmatched.

I am leaving doubt behind and will never let it hinder me again.

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2008: A Year in Review (Album Reviews)

December 24, 2008 00:15

 With inspiration from Rosalind’s comment on my recent blog, I’ve decided to do a review on albums purchased by me in the year 2008.

I will try to categorize the albums best I can.
The Bach Album by Janine Jansen is a wonderful collection and a very unique group of pieces. Included is the first movement from the Sonata in G minor, Adagio; the D minor Partita; Bach two-part inventions and three-part inventions. Jansen was very creative when selecting repertoire for this album. She did something never before done by recording the two and three-part inventions arranged for string instruments; teaming with Maxim Rysanov (Viola) and Torlief Thedeen (Cello). This album truly brought a fresh approach to chamber music. Her D minor Partita is among the best. Especially the thrilling thirteen minute Chaconne. Her interpretation is very pure. If purchased through iTunes, a music video of Jansen and Rysanov playing two of the inventions is included. This album is something that should be looked into if someone wants a fresh view of Bach classics.
Bach: Sonatas and Partitas- Nathan Milstein. Milstein’s way of playing was very much comparable to others  in the late 50’s to early 60’s; almost rough or “choppy” in a sense. But is still his interpretation and deserves to be heard. Milstein recorded the entire set of Sonatas and Partitas. This album is an interesting piece to buy whether to be just enjoyed, studied or compared to modern interpretations.
Bach: The Six Sonatas & Partitas- James Ehnes. I cannot tell you much about this album as I only have the G minor sonata. But I can tell you that Ehnes has a pure interpretation and it is very nice and worth looking into by anyone.
Bach: Violin Concertos by Hilary Hahn is an up-beat album and I think that Hahn has done Bach proud. She certainly did not make the composer turn in his grave like some artists have done. Hahn has a very proud and almost dignified way of performing the Bach Concertos. I think this album was performed very much like it would be in the days of Bach himself. This album is a great addition to anyone’s collection and with Hahn’s pure interpretation you can be sure you’re hearing the pieces the way they’re supposed to be played.
hahn by you.
Hilary Hahn Plays Bach- What a great set of performances. Hahn did not record the complete set but her way of playing Bach is still a force to be reckoned with. Hahn has a very unique interpretation unlike others I have heard. I have to say the heart of the D minor Partita is not the Chaconne, but Sarabande ; the piece is beautifully performed and makes the heart cry. The Partita no.3 in E Major and Sonata no.3 in C Major are incredibly up-beat and Hahn has a very special way of performing a piece at a fast tempo and keeping it extremely clean at the same time.  A great recommendation to anyone looking for a pure interpretation of solo Bach the way it should be played.
Elgar: Violin Concerto- Hilary Hahn. The concerto was tastefully paired with The Lark Ascending; Hahn’s interpretation of the Romance for violin and orchestra uniquely her own. Once again, the recording of the concerto is extremely pure and an amazing way to be introduced to the works of Edward Elgar.
The Essential Midori- Need I say more than the title? This album compiles recordings by the artist ranging from the years 1988-2005. The album consists of five Paganini Caprices; among the purest. A movement of solo Bach;  Praeludium and Allegro; Salut D’amour; Tzigane by Ravel. As well as movements of multiple concerti; like Tchaikovsky, Bruch, Mendelssohn, Sibelius and others. Many sonatas for violin and piano as well as a romance for violin and orchestra are included. This album is a combination of many of Midori’s works and they are all very nice. It’s very much a good album and a way to find exposure to many pieces.
Introducing Shannon Lee is exactly what was done when the debut album of this young artist was released by Telarc. The album consists of a variety of pieces by Wieniawski, Ernst, Kreisler and many more. I have to say her Chaconne (Vitali) is among the best and purest.  I see a rise to the stars in this teenage girl’s future.
*For some reason the video of Shannon Lee will not embed, so here is the link to it: -- Sorry for the inconvenience
Janine Jansen is the self-titled album of the Dutch violinist. I have to say that this album is one of the best and most exciting I have purchased. Her interpretation of Schindler’s List will bring tears to the eyes while Swan Lake, Op.20: Danse Russe will make the heart skip a beat. The album contains works like the above listed as well as Introduction et Rondo Capriccioso, Tzigane, The Lark Ascending and others. This album truly is beautiful and a must-have for anyone looking for exposure to non-concerto repertoire for the violin accompanied by orchestra.
The Mendelssohn & Bruch concertos were recorded by Janine Jansen in 2007. The Mendelssohn is astounding and it’s amazing as Jansen tangos with the orchestra throughout the entire piece. The Bruch concerto is rich and pure in interpretation. Included in the album are two lesser-performed, almost rare pieces. Max Bruch’s Romance in F Major for viola and orchestra is a beautiful piece and Jansen has a very special way of playing the viola. A chamber version of Felix Mendelssohn’s mini-concerto in D minor is the finale to the album. This album is something that deserves to be recognized and I encourage you to listen to it.
The Grammy Nominated Schoenberg & Sibelius album released by Hilary Hahn is a magnificent addition to the recording world. Hahn’s performance of the Sibelius is among the best and her interpretations seem to flow naturally and they are not over-influenced by emotion. Hahn has been very wise in selecting her repertoire and she definitely is performing some of the less known concerti.
Vivaldi: The Four Seasons were introduced like never before in 2005 with Janine Jansen’s recording. The recording took place in Amsterdam, the place where concertos were first introduced almost 300 years ago. Jansen eliminated the usual heavy orchestral sound by using only one player per part- Pure genius. Her recording is magical and I highly recommend this album to any Four Seasons lover who is looking for a fresh view of this classic.
With that I will close my review. I am sorry that it’s not the best, but it’s my first time so if I ever do it again hopefully it’ll be much better.
P.S. Laurie- sorry I’ve been flooding the blog section these past few weeks!

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Hate me for who I am. Don't love me for something I'm not. - My View Out

December 22, 2008 09:28

That sentence is going to shape my life. It's meaning is many, but the main points being that I won't change for anyone, I won't try to over impress, and I won't allow myself to be labeled... This blog isn't about that sentence for the reason being I don't believe it can, nor needs to be explained beyond it.

I'm sitting here immersed in solitude. I look out the window peering into a scene of beauty. It's magical. The snow is dancing around. Just when I think I've learned it's pattern of movement, it changes. I see the most beautiful group of birds. They are happy, content and not fazed by the snow which is pounding them. The perch outside my window which they've set themselves upon is undisturbed and calm.

I have it all this morning. Beauty to the eyes as well as the ears.

I am content, happy, and yet unsettled. With this snow which I see as beauty, lays a sense of danger. The roads are not safe, thus making my trip to the music store today impossible. Many people would view this as being a prisoner to their home. Not me. I see this as my whole day being opened up for me to do with it what I please.

It's quite amazing what can lay beyond a window and the concept behind it. What is a window there for? To seperate yet provide a view out. What lay beyond mine is amazing to me. Such simplicity yet complexity from the same view.

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Truly a Night to Remember

December 17, 2008 22:28

Tonight was the Holiday Concert for my school. And... I don't really know if I'm going to be able to put what I experienced into words!

I arrived in the room and was hit with a wall of sound. It came from every instrument, every musician practicing to their heart's content.  A clarinetist playing the fastest arpeggios and sclaes . A cellist playing a part to Gershwin's "Summertime". After this scene of events took place for 20 or so minutes the choir went to the stage to begin. I wasn't listening to them and I can't give you the "gist" of the first half of the concert.

It was a haunting sound as the mens choir sung to the beat of some of the nicest percussion I've ever heard. Then the percussion ensemble, then jazz band performed. After them another choir performed. Then it was OUR time to shine :)

We walked onto the stage (behind curtain) and set up while the choir was singing. As the curtain opened our director readied us.

The first piece was "Once upon a December". It opened with the quaint sound of pizzicato and moved swiftly to the music box sound being played skillfully on the keyboard. The first violins were introduced with a slow waltz-like theme. Then the seconds. I have to say that the dynamics and the percussion at the climax of the song were the first thing to give me chills in quite a long time. This was without a doubt our best song.

We then moved to "Faeries", an arrangement from the Dance of the Sugar Plum Faeries. It was an interesting piece but the second violin part isn't that fun... Not that I'm complaining.

Then, after a few more groups performed it was time for the....

Finale. The band, orchestra and all choirs performed together. The band and orchestra being on stage and the choir surrounding the audience. It was an explosive ending. After the last note, and the ringing of the instruments still in the air, the audience went wild with applause and did that for about 30 seconds, then proceeded to a standing ovation for 2 or 3 minutes. Not bad for a high school production in my opinion:) The standing ovation was one of the greatest feelings I've had in a while and all of us couldn't help but smile.

So that was my night. Sorry that this blog is so horribly written! I'm tired and it was difficult for me to get feelings into words.

7 replies | Archive link

Our Changing Society

December 14, 2008 17:56

I was recently required to write a persuasive essay on whether the world is changing for the better or worse. My answer? Well, if you can't tell by reading the essay, than I guess I didn't do a very good job! In the essay itself, I did not include the ways it will affect classical music. But I may in an upcoming blog. I just wanted to share the essay which has already been completed.

Here it is, Our Changing Society:

Our world is a changing place; it is constantly developing new characteristics in culture, visual aspects and history. As it changes, many views are lost and may never be found again. Freedoms and rights are being tested, and sometimes lost.  The world as we know it is changing rapidly for the worse because hate and violence are on a social high as people are inflicting attacks on each other fueled by hate, groups of people are being discriminated against and people are being labeled for what they are, not who they are.
Discrimination and hate are spread around like greetings in the world today. Groups of people such as the gay community are having their rights put before America on trial. Something that should never happen has, and continues to unfold before our very eyes.  A quote from The Bill of Rights: "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of laws."  That simple quote may mean many things to some, and yet nothing to others, but wars have been waged, lives have been lost, property and items destroyed over it. "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States", yet it seems that sentence has been ignored. The California ballot proposition, Proposition 8 broke that.  The proposition eliminated the right for same-sex couples to marry, thus making rights unequal for a growing population of people.  This example of discrimination is just one of many.
People are discriminated against because of skin color, country of origin, physical appearance, social standing, and moral beliefs.  Racism is a major form of discrimination. Racism has many definitions, some being prejudice, violence, discrimination or oppression. This form of discrimination is extremely hypocritical as everyone is different and there is no "superior race". Often, American groups who will hate, or attack others because of country of origin are hypocritical in the sense that America is a country made of extremely diverse people. The United States of America is one of the most ethnically, culturally diverse places in the world. Groups are indifferent and everyone within, and without its borders should be treated equal.  
Hearing about an attack on a group of people or their place of dwelling is a common event, and rarely shocking anymore. Attacks are made simply because of hate or because someone is different. These attacks appear on many levels and in many forms. It can start as someone physically beating someone in an alley, or a teenager starting a fight in school. These can then escalate to large scale attacks, rampages, killing sprees and wars. The United States of America and its allies began the Iraq War on alleged thoughts. Prior to the war, Iraq's alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction was claimed to pose a threat to the security of the United States. After the invasion, The US- led Iraq Survey Group concluded that Iraq had ended its WMD programs in 1991 and had no active programs at the time of the invasion. Some may argue this war has brought change to Iraq; however, the number of casualties on all sides is mind blowing.  
The Holocaust was the genocide of approximately six million Jews during World War ll. Other groups were persecuted and killed including the Roma; Soviet civilians, Soviet prisoners of war; ethnic Poles; the disabled; gay men; and political and religious opponents. The total number of victims would be between nine and eleven million people. The fact that people would be killed because of life style or beliefs is disgusting. People should learn from history, so that it will not repeat itself. The world today is a changing place because people aren't learning from the horrible events that have happened and continue to unfold, and they are not trying to stop them.  
Labeling is a horrible thing. A person will label another because of the way they look, talk, act, or simply the financial standing of themselves or family. Labeling divides people. Everyone is equal, yet different. Difference is what makes the world exciting, life worth living. If everyone was forced to do the exact same thing; talk the same, dress the same, have the same hair, life would be extremely boring! Labeling can start in small degrees such as children on a playground calling one child fat, weird or stupid. Then it grows to a larger; High School students dividing each other. Labeling who is a geek, "emo", "fake", who is popular etc. Then it can grow into the entire world where one community of people is labeled simply because they do something different than the group who is telling them what they are.  People should not be ignored, hated or told to change because they are different. In many cases, they can't change who they are, and shouldn't have to. No one should be told who or what they are. No one should change for anyone but themselves.
Some may argue that the world is changing in a good way, however, that change for the better isn't good enough and it is being smothered by the horrible events which take place. Humanitarian efforts are being forged throughout the world to try to change things. Medical aid is delivered to places in poverty like Africa. Before the side of good is seen, the reason for which this aid is required must first be observed. If so much hate and violence wasn't an issue, there would be no need for all of the lives lost and the money and resources required to help an effort like this. Many people will argue that war technologies are important and necessary, are all the lives lost necessary as well? Entire villages and cities have been completely wiped out because of weapon technology. Are all the lives and resources lost, to achieve this "protection" from one group to another worth it? There are people worldwide who live in fear because of weapons and war technology. The parents of children taken away, entire lives lost and the thing that causes it? Simply the click of a button. The amount of power that can be put into the hands of one human being is astonishing and horrifying. One person can have the power and resources to erase an entire race of people forever. These reasons are why the world is changing for the worse, and the arguments pledged by some do not play out.
Change is inevitable. It has always happened, and always will. It will continue to develop, and lose features that will never be seen again. New cultures and ways of living will be seen. New places will be explored while some may be ignored. Unless something unforeseen happens, people will continue to hate and destroy each other; possibly leading to the end of the Human Race. Hate is something that destroys people. If it doesn't stop, the world will continue to spiral downward. Our society and world are changing for the worse and something needs to be done.
The essay is not my best work by any means, but for some reason it got a 6/6 holistic score from the submission website. I am sorry if you don't agree with me on some of the topics I included, or if they offended you in anyway. You don't need to agree with me; I don't need to agree with you. But I hope you got the point of my essay and that it may have changed your views on things or made you a little more educated in some way.

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December 12, 2008 10:21

I've had friends and family start to ask me what I want for Christmas. My answer: Nothing! This is the first time I've ever had this feeling and it's kind of wierd, but welcomed in my opinion.

It seems like since the funeral which took place a few weeks ago, and being sick, I've really had a different outlook on things. I haven't been eating regularly, and some days only once a day; what that has to do with this I don't know. I've been trying to smile when I can. I've been biting my lip and trying not to complain when a situation I don't agree with arises. And most importantly, I've been stopping to take in the things around me.

Life has it's things that come up; I may not like them, I may flat out hate them. But I've decided to get over that.

I was asked in an assignment recently: "What are you most afraid of?". My answer: "Losing it all". My answer has a lot of meanings. The top being losing a family member. That is absolutely my worst fear in life. I've recently gotten over losing a "distant" family member fairly easy, but if it was someone like one of my parents I don't know what I would do. The other part being "losing it all". Interpret that however you want because I don't really know a way to communicate it to you other than those words.

With my answer to "What do you want for Christmas?" being nothing, people keep saying "Well there has to be something!!!" But theres not. I seriously can't think of one material thing I want and I have nothing to ask for. It feels like my life is "full" for the first time ever. I don't feel that there is anything I need that I don't have. I can only ask for something to be fixed with one of my family members. But sadly I know that Christmas Wish wont come true.

So I guess it's taken fifteen years of life for me to come to the conclusion that Christmas and The Holidays aren't about getting presents? 

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Labeling- Why do we do it to eachother?

December 4, 2008 11:13

Well, I was sitting pondering my thoughts today and a moment which took place last year came to mind... As all of you know, there is no one less kind than teenagers... But this event took place in one of my classes last year.

Some kids were making fun of a girl and talking behind her back. Well, she heard them and after a while she stood up and let herself be heard. She said "Why do you have to call me those things? Why do I have to be labeled? Why emo, ugly, wierd? Why can't I be Christina?" The tone with which she said it gave me chills.That qoute will forever be in my mind as I think it is one of the most important. Such a simple statement can have such a profound, eye-opening aspect.

As I'm typing this, my dog is sitting in front of the window looking out, as he does every morning.. I am not going to label him as any of the things he may be, I am going to think of him simply as Max.

I look at it, and I know that the Human Race is a horrible thing. You don't see a pride of lions laughing at one of it's members after it gets injured during a hunt. You don't see that. You see the other animals surrounding it, protecting. Does this happen with people? No. For God's sake we have TV shows celebrating the opposite! TV shows where the opening credits are a video of a dad getting hit in the crotch with a baseball bat by his son. We as humans think pain and misfortune are funny and I think that's disgusting. Many of the video games on Christmas wish lists this year will be about theft, gun violence and rape. I just don't get why people do what they do.................. I think that's why when I was younger, I loved animals so much. I had friends who "stabbed me in the back" but I knew that my animals would never do that and they didn't judge. I think it's amazing how animals will accept love back into their hearts after being horribly abused by humans. They don't go on rampages, hurting and sometimes killing people....

I just don't get why people do the things they do what they do, but I view it as a way of them discovering who they are. It is extremely wrong to judge an entire race by the actions of one, or the majority of it's people. So I will never do so.

I now have a new way of seeing things- I will forgive but I will never forget.

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