Posts Tagged ‘weather’

I was just about to go practice, but a thunderstorm started and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to restart this blog. So… here I am. It’s been almost a year since I updated, and although I don’t know how precisely I can describe it, one of the major changes I’ve experienced in the past months has been a transformation from insecure, to a girl daily gaining in confidence.
See, one of the reasons I stopped updating was that I felt as though I could never provide you, readers, with any worthwhile insights on the bassoon-playing world. I’m just a student, after all, what do I have to tell you? The thing is, maybe I can’t tell you with much certainty which bassoon to buy or how to make amazing reeds or a practice strategy that will make you a thousand times better overnight.
The only thing I have to tell is this: my story. I’m a bassoonist at the Eastman School of Music and I am working hard and getting better and every day I learn so many new things. I want to share them with you, here.
Of course I’ll still be sharing tips, suggestions, and my views on the bassoon & music, but I’m sitting here hoping, not just that this thunderstorm passes quickly so that I can go practice, but also that this blog will be a story in progress about a bassoonist in progress. And I want to invite you to take that journey with me — let’s see where it takes us.


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Today has been filled with a lot of emotional highs of all kinds and right now, I am almost sad to go to bed soon because then today will be over and who knows what will happen tomorrow?
Clearly my neuroses are completely opposite of Little Orphan Annie’s: while I’m guessing the sun will come out tomorrow, what if it’s not as bright or beautiful as the sun was today? And so on.

I played the Shostakovitch Symphony 9 solo in studio today, and I feel really happy with the results. I got a lot of really excellent feedback (even if it included encouragement to keep working on long tones!) and I’m really excited to keep working on it. Also, it makes me even more pumped to play the David in two weeks, because a) I’ve been working on it for longer than a week, b) playing with an accompanist is always less stressful than playing solo, and c) apparently I can perform at studio without forgetting everything I’ve worked on.
So if you’re going to be at Eastman on February 5, you should come to bassoon studio class and watch me! I might not fail miserably, even.

It’s been snowing a lot, which puts me in the most fantastic mood. What I’d really like to do is go sledding, but I guess that practicing in a room with a window is an acceptable alternative.

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We had an amazing snow-storm today with somewhere between one and two feet of snow. Needless to say, I’m delighted — and tomorrow we’re supposed to get thunder-snow. Is that not the most exciting concept? I’d been wondering the other day if you could have a thunderstorm with snow, but having never experienced it, couldn’t come to a conclusion.
Apparently it’s possible! I’m excited to see.

Today the lower rotation orchestra gave a concert with the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto and Brahms 2. It’s a lot of music to prepare in three weeks, but they were pretty amazing. The soloist on the Mendelssohn was a tank. After nine ineffective years of violin lessons, I may be easily impressed, but honestly? It was commanding, expressive, gorgeous playing. And this is someone who walks in the same halls that I do?
Granted, Judy LeClair (the principal bassoonist of New York Phil) walked down these same halls too. That’s either really encouraging or thoroughly terrifying.

Before I head off to bed, some fun reads:
They Just Don’t Get Us is one of those rare articles on Christianity that I read and agree with completely. No matter what your religious beliefs, I highly recommend it — not all of us Christians are insane! Some of us even vote as liberals, which I know is hard to believe, but true.
And I know I have a link on the left, but Think Denk’s latest post definitely brought a smile to my face. See, music majors need to know more than just how to play their instruments!

Music majors also need to sleep. I’m going to go work on that.

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let it snow!

As requested: four to six inches of snow today!
I know, weather is supposed to be what you talk about when you have nothing else to talk about, but snow is simply far to exciting not to talk about. Maybe there will be snow angels later today? Hopefully!

Right now I’m reading One Hundred Years Of Solitude, and I really love how Marquez manages to carry such an epic novel on such a simplistic narration.
For instance:

Remedios the Beauty was the only one immune to the banana plague. She was becalmed in a magnificent adolescence, more and more impenetrable to formality, more and more indifferent to malice and suspicion, happy in her own world of simple realities. She did not understand why women complicated their lives with corsets and petticoats, so she sewed herself a coarse cassock that she simply put over her and without further difficulties resolved the problem of dress, without taking away the feeling of being naked, which according to her lights was the only decent way to be when at home. (p. 216-217)

It’s such a beautiful passage to me because of its simplicity and honesty. Marquez isn’t bragging about how amazing his story is. He’s just telling it, so of course I want to read more. (Remedios the Beauty is, for the record, one of my favorite characters in the book so far, so I love this passage a little extra.)

At my lesson today, Mr. Hunt told me I should start looking at a new piece over break, and we agreed on the Vivaldi Concerto in E Minor (Vivaldi, having written thirty-seven bassoon concerti, effectively doubled the repertoire). So I went to the library — keep in mind, the Sibley Music Library at Eastman is the largest in the hemisphere — and it was nowhere to be found. And this is the most popular of all of Vivaldi’s concerti! Silly Sibley.
But luckily for me, I found a free copy on the internet! (Super!Internet to the rescue!)

And when I start turning the internet into a superhero, it is clearly time for me to move on to other things. I’m thinking that “other things” in this instance involves a little break: some quiet time with One Hundred Years Of Solitude. Rock on.

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My favorite kind of winter days are cloudy with the threat of snow, and my favorite winter nights are the ones with thousands of snowflakes falling, glimmering in street lamps. Today was my favorite kind of winter day, so hopefully (this is Rochester!) I’ll luck out with my favorite kind of winter night.
A girl can dream, right?

So I have all kinds of meals left on my meal plan. These don’t carry over after the semester, so essentially I lose them if I don’t use them. I’m trying to round up everyone in need of more meals (read: every junior and senior I know) so that I don’t end the semester with eighty meals left. I mean, there are starving kids in Africa, so someone had better start eating!

On Saturday I got my hair cut and the guy did all kinds of razor work (being me, it definitely reminded me of shaping cane) and I’m really enjoying my new hair. I just take a shower and dry it off and it looks messy and fun and fantastic.
Which, given my hair, is actually pretty impressive. Maybe I’ll post pictures eventually, but that would be awfully girly of me.

I was reading Time Magazine’s review of the Golden Compass, which made me decide not to see the movie. After I spent so much time defending it, too! Way to fail, Hollywood. I’ll save that money and watch The Atonement instead, once it comes out.
I love how college towns have artsy movie theaters; I’ve always wanted to watch more indie movies than I do, and now I have no excuse. Except a certain need to practice.

Speaking of practicing, I’m off!

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