Sunday, February 22, 2009

pizza-eating people

An article I was just reading had this quotation:
“Pizza-eating people have representation,” Mr. Singh said. “Burger-eating people have representation. Bagel-eating people have representation. But roti has no representation.”
I just thought it was funny.

Monday, February 16, 2009

here's looking at you, kid

For Valentine's, I went to Casablanca with a group of friends, and loved seeing it in a theater! Also, when we were on our way into the theater, we saw Madeleine Stowe with her family on their way out. It was an odd sensation for me, because when she went out she kind of looked at me and smiled, and I had this feeling like, "Do I know this person?" It took me a second to realize that no, I do not know her, but I have seen The Last of the Mohicans so many times that her face has become as familiar to me as that of someone I actually do know. Anyway, I am so glad I got to see Casablanca!! Next time I see it, I think we should do a drinking game--drinks for the following:
•anytime they play or say "As Time Goes By"
•whenever Bogey says "Here's looking at you, kid."
•when someone in the movie has a drink (wait, then maybe we would all pass out by the end of the movie . . . nevermind)
•whenever Ingrid gets a soft-focus close-up with slightly teary eyes
•for "Major Strasser has been shot. Round up the usual suspects!" and "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship." to finish things off.
•I'm open to further suggestions!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

supermetronome returns, and MBAs

So a little while a go I posted on the idea of a supermetronome. I didn't see until just the other day, but someone very kindly posted a most helpful reply. If you are at all interested, I suggest you check out Brendon's comment. I just made myself one in GarageBand and practiced with it this evening! It was quite beneficial, I think.

Also, I went biking to the beach on Sunday with my friend Kate from Northwestern (who randomly lives 3 blocks away from me now!). Kate is currently working on her MBA at UCLA, and during the course of our conversation, we discovered that despite what one might think, there are actually some strong similarities between getting an MBA and an MM. In both programs, your summer plans are important. For most serious music students, every winter includes a slew of auditions and tapes for summer festivals. For MBA candidates, the winter includes a slew of interviews for summer internships, which can affect what kind of job offers you might get when you graduate. While summer festival attendance does not affect a musicians job opportunities, there certainly is pressure to get into the prestigious festivals in order to study with good teachers there, play chamber music with other talented musicians, or participate in high-quality orchestras with good conductors.

Also, while getting my MM, I took music history classes that had regular reading but no homework assignments, so that technically you didn't have to read the assignments until the midterm or final, which would inevitably result in me (and most of my friends) CRAMMING like crazy for these tests, because of course we hadn't done the reading until we HAD to. Apparently, there are MBA classes just like this, and students who do just the same!

We also get a little burned out for similar reasons. By the time a person does a masters, in anything, they've already gotten an undergraduate degree, which means they are probably a little tired of school. They are also probably getting a masters with a particular goal in mind (ie, a job). Therefore, when the degree itself actually seems to impede one's ability to get a job, internship, audition, etc. a person can get frustrated. Just as classwork takes away from time musicians would rather spend practicing for auditions, even though it probably helps us learn important information about our field of study, classwork takes away time from MBA students who would rather be preparing for interviews, even though those classes are also pertinent to their field.

Anyway, it was a very interesting conversation. I spend so much of my time with musicians, it's really nice to have a good chat with someone who is not immersed in the music world! Plus, a bike ride on the beach is so wonderful, it helps me survive and destress here in LA.

Friday, February 6, 2009

cover letters

I am considering taking an audition for which they ask for a cover letter in addition to a resume in order to apply. While I have heard of orchestras asking for this before, I've never taken an audition that has asked for a cover letter, so I was asking friends' advice on what to say. My friend Tim's suggestion:

"I would like to play in your orchestra because I need money. I am the greatest English hornist on the planet. You would be stupid not to choose me for this position. Also, I'm dead sexy."

This made me laugh, so I thought I'd share. Somehow I don't think that my cover letter will include any part of that suggestion.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

California living

Hmm, there are a number of things I feel I should have blogged about but didn't, so I'll try to make up for it a little right now. Let's see, last weekend I saw Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious for the first time in many years, and it was even better than I remembered it. It was also AWESOME to see it in a theater, not only for the film but to experience it with other people. Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, and Claude Rains (for some reason, I just love his name) were all great. CG & IB just played off each other so well. Anyway, it was great, and if you've never seen it, I recommend.

I also went to the San Francisco Symphony Symphony on Tuesday evening, and that was really fun. They sounded really good. I liked the Berg piece they played quite a bit. The oboes sounded good (although I could have used a little more, actually!) and it was fun to hear a new orchestra for me! It was also kind of a weird experience because people insisted on clapping violently between all movements of every piece on the program. This was annoying during the Berg, but whatever, I subscribe to the belief that if people like a piece they should be able to clap if they feel like it and not be made to feel like ill-informed morons. Anticipating this issue, MTT made a very polite announcement before the start of the Brahms, asking people to please refrain from clapping until the very end so we could better enjoy the piece as a whole. I thought his message was very polite and very clear and not at all condescending. And yet a small number of people INSISTED on clapping LOUDLY between each movement of the Brahms, and of course by now it was accompanied by angry (and equally annoying) SSSSSSSSHHHHHH!!!s. I thought maybe that it was kids who were clapping, and that since this is LA, their parents didn't bother to reprimand or explain to them why not to clap. But I don't know, it was very strange and pretty annoying.

Anyway, I enjoyed the concert very much, and I ALSO enjoyed meeting up with an old NU friend, then going out with a bunch of trombone players after the concert and watching them drink LARGE quantities of beer (in liter mugs, no less). I myself partook a bit, but I am a complete novice in comparison (well, to be fair, also quite a bit smaller).

Finally, I was rear-ended on Friday. It was a rare rainy day in LA, and it was under an overpass, where the rain made things slick but it never washed the oil and grit away since it was covered. It was a minor accident, no one was hurt, it wasn't my fault so the minor (I hope--it's driveable, anyway) damage to my car should be taken care of soon. Although the girl who hit me's car didn't look so hot. Anyway, it was still kind of scary. I've actually never EVER been in a car accident before at all, not sure how I managed to make it this far, but I am grateful that after 2.5 years of frequent freeway driving in LA, this is all that's gone wrong so far. (knock on wood). It kind of freaked me out that there was a fatal, head-on collision on the 10 soon after (how that happened I don't know, seems kind of hard to go the wrong way, but . . . ) which closed down the freeway for hours and cause a traffic nightmare on the entire West Side. Not to mention that there have been several small earthquakes here in the past few weeks and I have felt them all. Guess I am just living the ultimate California life.

Oh, and tonight I played an AYS concert, just one piece, Barber's Knoxville Summer of 1915, which is beautiful, but nerve-wracking to play. There is only one woodwind a part, and our principal was generous enough to give it to me since it doubles on English horn. So everything is exposed, needs to be in tune, and there is doubling. Very stressful. But it went well, and I enjoyed playing it. Diana Newman sounded great, again. Her voice kind of reminds me of Heidi Grant Murphy, very pure and light. Maybe that's because I've also heard HGM sing both Mahler 4 and KS1915, which are the two pieces I've heard Diana sing. I wish I could have heard the rest of the concert, but I had to go and practice/reed for some upcoming auditions and performances. I hope everyone played well and had fun!