January 2006

January 29, 2006 16:50

One thing I love about going up to New York for lessons is it means that we can get Starbucks at the Joyce Kilmer rest stop of the New Jersey Turnpike on the way! Yummy! Okay but more importantly is the lesson, which was really good. I played the third movement of the Bruch, and we talked a lot about articulation in the beginning. My teacher suggested that I use less bow, and be more into the string, and it sounded a lot better. She was asking what recordings of the Bruch I had (Stern, Kyung-Wha Chung, Midori, and Heifitz) and she recommended we get Milstein, and I could use it to practice along with also. There is a very conveniently placed Tower Records Store across from Alice Tully Hall, so we went there right after the lesson, and listened to it in the car on the way back.

I think I like Milstein's recording the best. He has really fat sound, and in the opening cadenza he doesn't vibrate the whole time, which I like a lot, personally. Out of all the CDs, his grabbed my attention the most. Unfortunately, a lot of the things he does are different than what my teacher (my home teacher, not the NY one) is recommending. So I probably can't do it. Oh well, I can still admire it!

But anyway, I really like Ms. Cho. She is a great teacher and she's really smart and communicates ideas in a way I can understand well. I get to have another lesson with her before the orchestra concert!

--alice

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January 28, 2006 19:25

Well, I've changed my name again, to a better, but still accurate name. "C Smith" was so awful that my eyes bled every time I saw it. Thanks everyone who listened to my Zigeunerweisen recording and gave their opinion. I decided to go with that one, because it was in a better hall, on a better day, and it was more technically good. So now most of my apps. are in for camps. Tomorrow I have another lesson in N.Y., should be fun. I'm doing a lot of listening to various recordings of the Bruch, and trying to memorize it quickly also. My teacher suggested that we order the "Music Minus One" CD (the sound of the orchestra with no violinist, so you can practice along to it.) They have a slow and fast version you can practice to! That's awesome. I can't wait to get it.

I've had a pretty easy week because we had "Theme Week" in school. Every year we pick a country (this year it was France) and spend the whole week doing French-y things. (One of the days I made frites--ahh, they were delicious). So that meant no homework, and no classes (for regular subjects). Also, since we're starting the second semester, it means we're getting new electives, which means...dah dah DUMMMM...the musical! YAY! So many kids want to be in it that they choose by lottery--which means a lot of kids are weeping, since there are limited spots. Luckily for me, a new rule was made this year that, if you applied or plan on applying to the performing arts high school in my city for music, which obviously I did, then you're automatically in! This seems a little unfair...but you know, I'm not complaining.

The first plan was to do "Once Upon A Mattress" but there were some complaints from parents, as one of the main female roles is a pregnant woman...and they find it unsavory. Also the music is awful. So other ideas were: Fiddler on the Roof (nice, but we want something a little more light-hearted I think) Grease (which would be EXCELLENT! All the kids in my school love it) Cinderella (ehh...) Aladdin (ehh...I want a real musical instead of a Disney movie one.) So I'm REALLY excited about that.

Today my quartet performed our collaboration with the dance company. We were dressed as gypsies (long flowy skirts, bright-ish shirts, cool belts and other jangly things). It was quite a success. Watching the ballerinas and ... male dancers? out of the corner of my eye made me really wish I could do stuff like that. I was a serious gymnast when I was about 7 or 8 (that sounds strange...but I was going to the gym 6 days a week for pretty long and I was doing all this competing and stuff) and I absolutely loved it. But one day I broke my right arm on the uneven parallel bars....and that was it for me. I was a serious violin student by then, with my current teacher and everything, so my mom took it pretty badly and said I couldn't do it anymore. I couldn't practice for six weeks with the cast and everything, which was pretty awful, but I was mostly upset at the thought I couldn't do gymnastics anymore. Since then I've been on diving teams and stuff...but it hasn't been quite the same. And ballet is so pretty and you can wear awesome costumes and such. Okay, well, I'm rambling anyway and I need to go to sleep since I have to leave early for New York tomorrow!
Zzzzzz....

--alice

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Zig-oo-ner-whoozits, the file

January 26, 2006 18:40

What do you think?

P.S. It's still alicelizard...but with a boring (and necessary) name. :-(

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zig-oo-ner-whoozits

January 25, 2006 20:37

Well....today I recorded the Zig**nerweisen again today, so now I have two (also Monday night, a student recital at my music school). I don't really know which is better. The student recital one I felt had more OOMPH! because I was pretty pumped for it and there was a big audience. The other may have been more technically sound. We even dragged in a few people standing around outside to be an audience, but it wasn't the same. Ahh, I don't know. It's hard to decide these things!

Tonight my quartet rehearsed with the ballet company (we're doing a collaboration). There's a tango, a serenata, and a Csardas. The first is a big group choreography, the second is 10 and 11-year-old girl/boy couples (they are very cute!) The last one is done with older (16, 17 years old) couples. It's a lot of fun. I got distracted a lot by wanting to watch the dancing instead of my music!

Another interesting thing that happened today. I opened up String Magazine and...there's a picture of me in it! Weird, huh? It's a paragraph about From The Top. But that doesn't happen everyday, so, that's neat.

I am working on the Bruch like crazy! And I'm pretty confident about it. The third mvt. is a LOT easier two years later.

And I had a singing lesson today. That makes me very happy. I think I'm getting better! Whopeee!

--alice

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January 22, 2006 18:47

Life has been very exciting, as of recent. I've learned that, instead of doing just one movement with a local orchestra, I get to play an entire concerto! And I was planning on doing the third movement. of Wieniawski D originally, but another girl, one of my violinist friends, is playing the entire Wieniawski D. So, now I get to pick a different concerto, and I've decided on the Bruch! Which I haven't played for a couple of years. And back then, the third movement was pretty challenging, so it'll seem easier. This will be my first time playing a whole concerto with orchestra. I wanted to do a Mozart, since I really love them, especially the D. But my teacher's advice was, since this is the only full-concerto orchestra solo I'll have this year (besides the Bach Double in March), to go with the Bruch, because it would be harder, and a better experience.

My sister got another black bear hamster, after the previous one died, a few days after we got him. This one is big and fat and waddly. A perfect hamster.

Upcoming From The Top shows include:

Feb 2 Carmel-By-The-Sea (can't wait for this one)
Feb 4 Palo Alto, CA
Feb 12 New York, New York
Feb 23 Tallahassee, FL

So as you can see, I'm going to have a pretty busy February! I've been to neither California or Florida before, and I'm especially excited for Carmel because I've been told it's beautiful. Also, the name is pretty awesome. Carmel. So if anybody lives near these places and is in town, I think they'll be pretty good shows!

I've been practicing a lot because I'm making tapes for summer camps and such. But they have different requirements. ENCORE only needs audio, but the Perlman Music Program, which sounds like heaven-on-earth, requires video as well. I'm not really expecting to get in there, but I would love to go, so why not try? It's supposed to be modeled after Kinhaven, which is my favorite place on the face of the earth. I'm going there this summer, again for viola, but it will be my last year in the junior session, and since I can't go to the senior because it conflicts with whatever camp, ENCORE probably, that I would go to otherwise. I can't really imagine my life without Kinhaven, so I'll be very depressed when my time there is over.

My 16-year-old sister is starting to study for the SATs, so I sat with my mom and her today while they looked it over, and I wrote a practice essay off the quote, "Is an individual's financial status the most important factor governing the quality of his or her life?" I find it hard to write a 300 word essay of any quality in 25 minutes! I did a 250 word essay in 30. But...practice makes perfect, as they say. So I'll keep trying.

--alice

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holocaust museum

January 18, 2006 12:37

Has anyone ever been to the National Holocaust Museum in D.C.? I went yesterday with my class, and--boy...well it was intense. I took a class on the Holocaust this past semester. Also in English, we were reading Night, so the whole junior high took a day trip there. The bus was about three hours each way, so we spent more time traveling than we did at the museum but I'm really glad we went. There were a lot of very disturbing parts, of course, like pictures of the medical experiment victims, I won't elaborate. But for me the hardest part was at the very beginning. Our whole class was riding the elevator up to the top floor, and one of the parents who came along on the trip said to us, "They designed the elevator to look like the interior of a gas chamber." I'm sure she said it purposefully right then when we were smushed together, wall-to-wall, and let me tell you...that was pretty horrible. That made it real.

Another really interesting part were the piles of everyday items -- like toothbrushes and cheese graters and things -- that were taken away from the people. To know that they had actually owned these and used them and now we were standing three feet away from them.

In other, less interesting news, I still have an awful sore throat and a headache. I had to skip my voice lesson today! Ahhh! Well it'll give me more time to practice. I'm finding it hard to make the "e" sounds more like "ah" sounds without sounding incredibly pompous and well...stupid! Okay I should start trying to get something done.

--alice

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big weekend

January 15, 2006 20:44

Well, I am certainly overdue for a blog. A lot of things have happened! First and foremost, I got a voice teacher. He's very nice and a good teacher as far as I can tell. My sister takes singing lessons too, but she's interested in opera, and I really only want to learn the Broadway style. I got a lot of songs but my favorite so far is "Can't Get a Man With a Gun" from Annie Get Your Gun. Also, every year my school does a musical, and that time is drawing closer. It was pretty much decided that we were going to do Once Upon a Mattress (the musical of The Princess and the Pea, pretty much.) But there were some complaints from parents about the content of it....so we're considering doing Guys and Dolls instead. I don't really know it; can anyone tell me if it's good? We need a lot of strong female parts.

I just got back a few hours ago from a bat mitzvah in CT. It was one of my friends from Kinhaven, my summer camp. Since my friends and I from camp only get to see each other a few times a year, and we're really close, this was a really big deal. It was so much fun, as bat/bar mitzvahs always are. There was a lot of dancing and running around...hahah. I was supposed to have a lesson in NY on the way back, but my teacher's husband called and said she was sick (and they were taking her to the emergency room! I don't know what happened...I hope she's okay) so my mom and I went home, which I was grateful for because I'm pretty worn out from the party. Also I have a sore throat and my voice is about a fifth lower than usual.

In other exciting news: my sister's boyfriend and friend gave my mom a saxophone, which she has wanted for years. She was just tooting away on it in the other room. :-P

--alice

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2005: A year in review

January 1, 2006 18:29

1. What did you do in 2005 that you'd never done before?
Went to Ireland, was away from home for 6 weeks, and saw a musical on Broadway.
2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Yes, I did keep it. And I have ones for this year too.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not really.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes.
5. What countries did you visit?
Ireland, only.
6. What would you like to have in 2006 that you lacked in 2005?
More hours in the day
7. What dates from 2005 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
The day my sister's viola teacher died. The day of the Big Bad Orchestra competition. And all 14 days spent at Kinhaven.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Probably being in the documentary, and getting the Roving Reporter job.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Hmm.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Not any major ones.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
My violin!
12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Whoever did not pee on the office floor.
13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Some of my friends.
14. Where did most of your money go?
My violin, mostly
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Going back to Kinhaven!
16. What song will always remind you of 2005?
any song from Wicked, and "Don't Phunk With My Heart" by the black eyed peas -- haha
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Hard to say. It keeps switching.
b) thinner or fatter? Fatter.
c) richer or poorer? Me, personally -- richer.
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Practicing, exercising
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Internet.
20. How will you be spending Christmas?
It's gone already, but it was spent well.
21. Did you fall in love in 2005?
No
22. How many one-night stands?
none!
23. What was your favorite TV program?
America's Next Top Model :-P
24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Yes.
25. What was the best book you read?
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.
26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
possibly discovering the musical Wicked
27. What did you want and get?
a new violin
28. What did you want and not get?
a kitten!
29. What was your favourite film of this year?
I really liked The Producers
30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was 13, and had orchestra rehearsal.
31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
There's too many to choose from.
32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2005?
Hello, these are my flannel pajamas.
33. What kept you sane?
my sister
34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Kristen Chenoweth
35. What political issue stirred you the most?
Ah, there were a lot.
36. Who did you miss?
My friends.
37. Who was the best new person you met?
New people at camp.
38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2005:
Instant gratification is not as good as getting what you want in the long term.
39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
Nice work if you can get it. And you can get if you try.

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