Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I liked this post Jason's Double Bass Blog.


Well, recital's over and I have time to breathe for the first time in months. It went pretty well. Not everything was perfect, of course, but I was happy with it for the most part. It was enough just to get through the Dorati. Loeffler was not our best performance, but it was decent. Remember went quite well, I think, as did Poulenc, and the Vivaldi was a fun way to end. I think my general comfort level with playing a recital was much better, so I was able, once the Dorati was done, to relax and enjoy the music. Not a lot of people came, a lot less than last year, but it seems that there were just too many other things going on at the same time so lots of people couldn't make it. Anyway, we had fun eating cookies afterwards :)

I had fun with my mom over the weekend at the Huntington Library & Gardens (the roses were in full bloom and looked great), the Norton Simon Museum (wonderful art), shopping at the Promenade, and in Malibu at Point Dume, with was gorgeous and cooler than the rest of LA. I'm not sure why it was so hot this weekend, but it was pretty horrible. Now it's back in the 60s. I just have my viola jury (eek! I need to pratice those doublestops!!!!) and one exam left. And Prokovief 5 with AYS this weekend, but that EH part is way more fun than stressful, so I can relax and enjoy it. And I can actually hang out with people and be social!!! What a concept.

Monday, April 28, 2008

malibu & shell / chevron

pretty multi-colored starfish

a perfect cowrie shell that i was excited to bring home until i realized it still had an inhabitant
cute little starfish

can you read the price of gas at the stations down the street from me? be careful you're sitting down.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

random LA photos

Well, tomorrow's my recital, so I'm having fun distracting myself tonight. Just baked some cookies for the reception. I just felt like putting these random LA photos up.

cute little boat in marina del rey

this spot is for the sheriff.

igor stravinsky's hollywood star

sunset in santa monica

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

daaaa dum, daaaa dum, RING RING

On Sunday I played 2nd oboe / English horn on Symphonie Fantastique. It was a blast, but Natasha was not exaggerating when she said how difficult it is to do both parts. I think that normally in big orchestras the part is split between the second oboe and the English horn. Or sometimes they have someone play the offstage oboe solo so the principal oboe doesn't have to walk offstage. As it was, I had to play the first oboe part on the end of the second movement and then immediately play that English horn solo so the principal could go backstage. Starting all by myself on that scary C on an instrument and reed that I hadn't played since tuning, probably 20 minutes ago by that time, was VERY SCARY. The first few times we rehearsed it I didn't play that oboe part at the end of the second movement, and even just leaving that out was much easier. But I never really figured out exactly how long and when to wet my EH reed or how best to warm it up in order to go from the second to third movement. So anyway, I did my best, and Jenny played the oboe solos beautifully, but I wasn't terribly happy with the first solo with regard to pitch and sound quality, especially at first. To add to my discomfort, someone's cell phone rang THREE TIMES during that solo. Jenny couldn't hear it, because she was backstage, but I must admit I found it a mite distracting. Honestly, the thought that ran through my head as I heard it was, "Why would shepherds bother to communicate with pipes if they had cell phones???" Anyway, I was a lot happier with the solo at the end of the third movement. And by the way, it's also a really bitchy second oboe part, especially the "religious" moment at the end of the first movement. The low register, with Es and Gs that tend to be flat (and the G in particular CANNOT be flat since it's the fifth), ppp, is so scary. But the 4th and 5th movements are fun :) I was very happy to have the playing experience, and I enjoyed playing it with my colleagues.

Monday, April 7, 2008

big violas

argh there is the most annoying violist i have ever met sitting next to me for an upcoming concert. he always speaks loudly, and when he plays, he sits in such a way that despite his music being to his left and my being to his right, most of his body faces me. he seems to use up more space than necessary, and his bow arm comes dangerously close to hitting the reeds on my instruments when they are sitting on their pegs to my left. (i suppose i could switch sides, but if you've ever doubled, you know how weird it would be to suddenly have your instruments on the wrong side. plus, USUALLY there is more room on that side!) now he actually asked me the other day if he was too close to my instruments (perhaps catching my concerned/annoyed looks) to which i responded, yes! his response: "well, it's just i have such a big viola . . . you know what they say about guys with big violas, right?"

i just KNEW as soon as he uttered the first part of that quote that he would follow it with the second. he's just that kind of guy. and i don't appreciate it. not one bit. not when he's that close. because did he move over after that? umm, maybe an inch. not nearly enough. he's just so weird and makes me uncomfortable (and i'm not the only one in the orchestra who feels this way). what's even more frustrating is that this same guy subbed with my orchestra for a concert last year, too, and did the same thing, minus the big viola comment. i thought i'd never have to see him again, but no. oh well, at least for the concert we'll be on risers so it won't be a problem. but if he damages my instruments or reeds in any way (or makes another such irritating attempt to flirt with me, if that is what he was aiming for) i will LOSE IT. i miss the regular violists!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

escondido falls, malibu

So here are some pictures of a hike I went on in Malibu over spring break, to Escondido Falls. Jenny took some great pictures with her super-cool camera.

Here it is, the hidden waterfall:

Here are some salamanders that were in the pool at the foot of the falls: (we saw 5 or 6 different salamanders!)

We met a gopher (at least, I think he was a gopher) along our path. He was putting in a new addition to his tunnel.

And here is one of the few frogs we actually saw, though we heard lots. Apparently, it was frog mating season at Escondido Falls. Jenny took a picture but I'll spare you and keep my blog G-rated. Anyway, here is one cute, innocent, single froggy.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

yum shostakovich

Tonight I heard my immensely talented roommate play a recital with her immensely talented piano trio, and I loved it! They played Dumky & Shostakovich. It was great! I got goosebumps :) I was also proud of my friend Ginni who shone on her oboe recital. She sounds great on her new rosewood Loree. Speaking of people to be proud of, Tim got a job in the SFS (!) and I think Will got a job in St. Louis, both principal positions. Greg just got into New World. I feel like such a slouch compared to all these successful young people!

I'm trying to gear up for a concert tomorrow, in spite of an ear infection, and an audition on Friday morning which I am seriously considering chickening out of. But I agreed to give someone a ride, so I feel obligated to do it. Oh well, maybe if I just don't care about it, it well go better. Just wish I had more time to prepare. And now I am starting to freak out about my recital. Program: Vivaldi, D minor concerto; Dorati, Cinq Pieces; Jolas, Remember; Poulenc oboe sonata, and the Loeffler trio (oboe viola piano). I'm excited, but I need to practice A LOT before April 24!!!!!!! And the reeds, urgh. Plus I'm playing Symphonie Fantastique (2nd/EH) somewhere in between. Also pretty exciting, but again, the reeds. I really hope my ear infection goes away soon. Argh. Time for bed so I can get rid of this thing.