Saturday, January 27, 2007

Kim's here!

Kim's here! Northwestern Kim, as opposed to LA Kim, who's obviously always here. And who needs knee surgery :( I'm really glad to have her, I think we're meeting some oboe friends at the Huntington Library tomorrow, perhaps catching an LA Phil performance with Gil Shaham. Things have been crazy busy lately, and will be again soon, so I'm glad to have this weekend to enjoy with Kim.

Jessica sent me a postcard AND a letter, and after quite a long time, it was good to hear from her. She's in Alaska now. I wish I could go to Alaska. I think I'm developing the need to travel again. Sometimes after particularly adventurous journeys I lose any desire to travel for quite a while, but it has been a long time, and I want to do something fun this summer. Which means I'm really stressed out about summer music festival crap. I still need to find a few more to apply to that I can actually get into, since at this point I might not have any summer plans. Urgh. Must stay sane.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

random concerts and conversations

I finally got to see the LA Phil tonight! I had a lovely time with Jenny, Kim, and Julianne. We saw Mahler 7, with Esa-Pekka Salonen (who's kinda hot. am i allowed to say that? well, he is. plus i think i developed Finnish Fascination while working on my thesis last year). It was a good performance, though I didn't love the sound of the first clarinet or bassoon, especially compared to those I'm used to in Houston & Chicago. The oboe section sounded great, though. And the giant churchbells at the end were pretty cool. The piece didn't have as much emotional oomph as I would have liked, but I think that might be my reaction to the symphony, not the performance. Actually, maybe because the Webern didn't really involve emotions, I preferred its chrystalline performance. Anyway, I'm really glad I finally got to go.

The crappy Aspen tape has been mailed, but I have a lesson tomorrow and nothing to show for it (hi Allan, I went to the LA Phil last night instead of practicing?). I've been really frustrated lately, especially because I've been spending an exorbitant amount of time on reeds without any results. Maybe Allan will set things right.

It was good to have quintet again, and Wind Ensemble wasn't so bad because there are mainly chamber pieces and a several good people in the rotation. I'll need to practice the parts a bit, though. Playing with Lot is fun, though I'm having issues sitting next to someone else playing English horn solos. At least I'll be playing Galadriel with Debut very soon.

Missing someone still. As always.

Odd that I mentioned Gustavo Dudamel the other day, because today on line at the post office I had a long conversation with an older Korean gentleman about him, and the Venezuelan youth orchestra system, and how nice it would be if we could implement that system, or part of it, here. It was a nice surprise to have a conversation with someone who actually knew and appreciated classical music, and didn't ask what an oboe was (he commented on my backpack, which I explained was actually an oboe case).

Well, I guess that's all. Goodnight!

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Saturday, January 6, 2007


One of the conductors from the YOA tour, Gustavo Dudamel, received this glowing review in the LA times. I wish I could have gone to the performance. I have to admit that although I liked Dudamel, he wasn't perfect two years ago when he conducted us, but I am extremely hopeful for his continued success. He came from the amazing Venezuelan youth orchestra system (toccar y luchar!), and he could truly be a positive influence for the growing Latin community in the states, both in terms of drawing an audience and inspiring kids to play instruments and become involved in classical music.

Friday, January 5, 2007

lux aeterna luceat eis, domine

Unfortunately, I have more to mourn today. I found out from a friend's away message that Tara Davis, a euphonium and music ed student I knew at NU, died Tuesday in a car crash. I didn't know Tara very well, but I liked her. She was only 24. It now seems frighteningly apparent to me how delicate our bodies are, and how easily they are broken. Having spent my winter vacation with families who have experienced losses, thinking of LHL and Cynthia Steljes, Marijane Carr and Eleanore Schoenfeld, John Mack and James Caldwell and Vincent Cichowicz, Sonja Bedikian, and now Tara, I'm feeling closer to the abyss than ever.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

grinding to a start

Today I have something to celebrate, and something to mourn. I am PISSED OFF that I failed the early history exam AGAIN, and wonder if there is a way around it. I am somewhat resigned to theory now. I could probably use the review, as much as I hate it. But I was so close with history, and I refuse to admit that I ruined my spring break by trying to prepare IN VAIN.

Oh well, at least my leg isn't broken! (Sorry, Kim!)

I have a million things to do before school starts, not least of which, FIND A REED, for both oboe and English horn. I am unfortunately in Wind Ensemble again, but I'm playing second to Lot (yay!), and Adam is playing English horn. And summer music festivals, gah!

Well, now that I think about reeds, perhaps I should get to work . . .