Thursday, October 29, 2009

Honens: Coming soon

Splish, splash, sploosh, phwoosh, blubblubblub... That's the sound of my creative juices happily flowing along. Why are they suddenly flowing along?
Because I just got back from a really great, inspiring time at the Honens Piano Competition! I'll have a post up about it tomorrow.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I love Rachmaninoff. And Britten.

Stephen Hough (who is a fabulous pianist/composer/writer and one who I really really think is brilliant) posted on his blog today about composers and how some of them just click for people. You can read the full article here.

He says:
"Perhaps it’s like friendship, we just like certain people and not others; we resonate with certain composers; we are touched by the cracks between their notes; their music has a ’smell’ with which seduces us, leading us willingly into submission beyond analysis or logic.  A composer we love is one where we treasure even the dross, even as we recognize that it is dross. "

I can certainly say that's true for me. For me, two of those composers would be Rachmaninoff and Britten. From the very beginning, their music just enticed me: the textures, the harmonies, the moods, just the very sound. I just like them. It really is just like friendship: you just like certain people, for reasons that you may or may not be able to pinpoint.

What composers (or musicians/artists/bands/singers) do you like? Or heck, let's not limit it to music. What artists (in the visual art sense) or actors or dancers etc. do you admire and respect and just click with? And why (if you can pinpoint it?)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


So, people asked me questions! Well, two people anyway. Yay, this is fun.

So here are my answers.

Kathleen asks:
"What did you cook for breakfast this morning?"

Well, this morning, I had scrambled eggs and salsa rolled up in a tortilla. It was delectable.

Anonymous asks:
"Have you read every Shakespeare play? And which (ones) are your favourite(s)?"
and also
"How long do you usually practice your instruments?"

No, I actually haven't read them all of them. Out of the 37 plays that are expressly credited to Shakespeare, I've read 26 of them. And my favourites? Hmm. These would be my top ten in NO particular order.
  1. Much Ado About Nothing
  2. A Midsummer Night's Dream
  3. Twelfth Night
  4. Timon of Athens
  5. Othello
  6. The Tempest
  7. Titus Andronicus
  8. Hamlet
  9. Richard II
  10. Richard III
(Honourable mention: All's Well That Ends Well)
 So that's my top 10 (well, 11)

As for how long I practice my instruments: I practice piano daily for 2-3 hours and flute for about 1 hour. And then I usually don't "practice" singing per se, but I just usually sing while I go about my daily life. So I practice all day. Ha ha. :)

So, that was fun! I think we should do that more often, maybe, say, once a week. It's fun, because you suggest what I should blog about (see? It's just a plot to make you come up with my topics rather then me!)

Talk to y'all soon.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Questions. questions anyone?

Hey everyone,
I'd like to try something a bit different. I'd like you to ask me a question. It can be about anything: goofy, philosophical, religious, about me, musical, political, etc. And I'll do my best to answer it to the best of my abilities. It'll be fun.

So post a question in the comment section below!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Music Monday: The Golden Compass

Hey all, so my pick of the week is Alexandre Desplat's score to the recent film adaptation of The Golden Compass (Can you tell that I think Alexandre Desplat is a brilliant composer? First Benjamin Button, then this)

Anyway, the following Youtube video has some clips from the score (along with some film clips). Pay special attention to the very first clip. It's gorgeous. And listen to his instrumentation. Very mystical and mysterious. Love it!

Hey, today on the radio, they played a piece from the soundtrack of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button! I was very pleased.

Balloon boy etc

My goodness, how far are we willing to go for fame and attention? Have you been following the saga of  "Balloon Boy" Falcon Heene? Just google it and you'll find loads of hits. Obviously, I don't know the family, so it isn't really fair for me to make judgements, but it appears that this family is willing to hide their son in the garage attic and fake his danger just as a publicity stunt. Goodness me. What has our world come to?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I haven't posted for 10 days. I don't like that. I'm going to post soon. But not right now. Because I'm tired and I want to go to bed.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


A man's dreams are an index to his greatness.
-Zadok Rabinwitz

I like this quote. I once went to a conference and heard a very wise man speak (actually, I'm fortunate to have had that happen to me quite a bit). One thing that he really drove into our heads was in the importance of dreaming big. Like really big. Bigger than is realistic, bigger than is practical and bigger than you ever think is going to happen. It's important to dream really, really big. Because if you don't push yourself and think big, you ain't going to accomplish anything.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Britten violin concerto

Hey y'all, sorry, I left you cutting your toenails for a while there. (If you haven't the foggiest notion what I'm talking about, see the last sentence of my last post).

Gah, recently, I've been finding myself busier and busier. I had my first rehearsal with my musicians the other day, and so it was a cool experience hearing my music live! It went quite well, the minor glitch being that I found out that one of my musicians, um, can't read music. Which makes it a bit tough. But surely we'll be able to figure something out. I also found out that I have some more pieces to write for the show, but there's just three or something, so it's no biggie. But I'd like to rework a few of the pieces. The first piece, which opens the show, just isn't strong enough. It hasn't anything to do with the musicians, they're doing fine, just musicially, it's not strong enough. So I'm going to rework that and it'll be good.

As for your music suggestion:

Benjamin Britten's Violin Concerto.

Gosh, there isn't enough I can say about this concerto. It's a masterpiece. You'll likely have to listen to it at least 10 times to really grasp it (I know I did), but it's just amazing.

Here's the first part on Youtube.

Oh yeah, that's another thing. To really appreciate this concerto, I think you have to listen to it from the very beginning all the way through. It's a full journey. Really. By the end of it, I always feel different. Calm, but changed, because it really is this huge scope and you go through this whole range of emotions.  And it isn't music to vacuum too. You have to put your whole mind to it. I'm not sure what else to say about it. This concerto really touches me. Not sure if it will for you. But this piece is (honestly) on my top 5 favourites ever. It's been there for quite a while, and I'm quite sure it'll stay there.