Saturday, May 9, 2009

Blogging as a cure for insomnia?

You'd never know it from reading this blog, but I rarely suffer from insomnia. If you do read this blog, it may appear as though I have it all the time; this is not true. What is true is that when I can't sleep and don't have the mental capacity to do anything else, I blog. Lucky you. I am unsure why this is happening right now; I did have tea today, but it was before 1 p.m. No outrageously long naps (in fact, no naps at all). Hmm. Maybe it's post-choir concert adrenaline rush? I think I played pretty well, aside from one really LOUD clunker in the piano solo in 'Homeland'* (what can I say? It was a crescendo to ff, at least I played musically) and a little bit of rushing in Alma Caribe, which, oh yeah, was put together YESTERDAY for the first time. Lots of tricky rhythms in that one, like one downbeat followed by four measures of syncopations. But overall I was happy with how I played. After six semesters, this was my last Camerata concert (bye-bye TA, bye-bye funding, sniff). Anyway, I looked and looked for someone to go out with me after the concert, and no one would (seriously, I don't care if your boyfriend has 'pneumonia'), so instead of going out to eat pizza and drink beer, I came home and ate a handful of wasabi almonds and some dark chocolate. Maybe I should have had a beer. 

*Gustav Holst's 'Jupiter' from the Planets is one of the greatest melodies written. Ever. No one should be allowed to set patriotic clap-trap lyrics to it. Ever. And yet a certain Z. Randall Stroope did. His name says it all. Why oh why did Dr. Stalter allow this to be programmed? I hope that I forget these awful words immediately if not sooner. And if I don't, Z. Stroope, if I am cursed to forevermore associate you with 'Jupiter,' I wish only that there might be a special place reserved for you in the seventh layer of Dante's Inferno. 


Play a million and one voice recitals, check
Take listening exam* for post-1960 music**, check
Play choir concert for Camerata, check
Play portative organ for Kantorei, tomorrow (didn't have my camera handy tonight, but I hope to score a sweet picture to post here re: this organ)
Play penultimate voice recital, Sunday
Play ultimate voice recital (of the semester), sometime in June? [thanks be to incompletes]
Play C minor violin sonata by Grieg, Tuesday
Fail piano lesson because I've been doing too damn much accompanying, Tuesday
Go to Hawk Wok and have a Simpsons and beer marathon before collapsing, Wednesday 

*If I have calculated correctly, I think I got a 93 on this exam. Not as stellar as the 100 on the mid-term, but passable nonetheless. 

**What I loved on this exam:
Berio, Sinfonia, 3rd mvt. I think I could listen to it all day long.
Rochberg, String Quartet No. 3
Tan Dun, Death and Fire, Insert 2: Senicio (incidentally, Paul Klee's Senecio happens to be one of my favorite paintings)
Schnittke, Concerto Grosso No. 4, 1st mvt

What I liked on the exam:
Elliot Carter, String Quartet No. 3
Boulez, Notations, 2nd mvt
(both surprises, yes?)

What I never want to hear again:
Crumb, Night of the 4 Moons (bongos? seriously?)
Takemitsu, Piano Distance (Boulez already did all that, and I don't want to listen to that either)
Berio, Piano Sonata (Too. Damn. Long. There is no need for 23 minutes of this)

Finally, finally, my eyelids are drooping. I still sort of want that beer, but I want a complete REM cycle even more. Let's hope this attempt at sleeping is successful. 

Monday, May 4, 2009

Meet Me in St Louis


Actually, I was in St Louis yesterday, so it's too late for us to meet there. At least for this time around. This brief two-day trip was my first time ever in Missouri; I played a recital with my friend in Jackson, about 90 miles south of St Louis yesterday afternoon. Despite a few wrong notes, I felt that I played pretty musically and was able to stay in the moment -- so I consider it a success (especially at this crazy-busy time of year). On the way back to Iowa we detoured briefly through downtown to look at the arch and get some dinner. Here's the arch; it was a little rainy (sadly, the vignetting has crept back into my camera, since I STILL haven't had it fixed). 

Dinner was at an Irish Pub: 

We split a pretty good dessert, but I don't know if it's blog-worthy. My dinner was, though. It was decidedly not Irish, but it was delicious: spinach salad, chevre (melted in my mouth!), strawberries, candied pecans, red onions, blackened shrimp (mmm, spicy) in a honey-lime vinaigrette. YUM!  


Ok, this youtube video is really cute. It's not very long and you should take the two minutes to watch it. 


5 big things down; 6 things to go:

1. Listening exam.
2. Choir concert #1.
3. Choir concert #2 (the easy one).
4. Voice recital.
5. Violin sonata.
6. Other voice recital, but who knows when that is really going to happen. 

In a week it'll be almost over!  

AND, what's even better than that is this: going to Oyama on Wednesday night (friend's birthday) for the second time in a week. Oyama = Best. Sushi. Ever. Current favorite roll = Bellisumo Roll. Who'd have thought that macadamia nuts would be so good in sushi?