Posts Tagged ‘baroque’

A Story of Failure

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

When I saw that Indaba Music was holding a remix contest for Daft Punk, I had to do it. I had the amazing idea to remix it in a Baroque style; I was pretty sure nobody would think of adding a continuo to an electronic dance beat! How deliciously nerdy!

Unfortunately, I am not happy with my submission at all. Even though I had over a month to prepare my piece, unforeseen circumstances at work caused me to work 60-84 hours a week since the beginning of April, and continued through the entire month, unbeknownst to all who were involved. My only chance to work on it narrowed down to the two days that I had off after an 84-hour work week, on the week that the submission was due.

I spent the first day developing the themes and writing the music. I spent the second day recording the parts on violin for hours until my migraine became unbearable, forcing me to stop. Just as I predicted, I had no time left over for the editing and mixing that evening. I had to finish it up when I came home from a 12-hour work day the following day, which ended up being a marathon of editing through 6am. I submitted my piece, changed my outfit, and went straight back to work again for another 12 hours.

So, was the 38-hour stretch of awake time worth it? At least I can say that I finished what I set out to do. However, I’m not going to promote this one as widely as my Steve Reich remix last year, because the concept, however fresh and imaginative it may be, is poorly executed. It was the best I could do in the limited time that I had.

But don’t let that stop you from voting for my piece!

Choir never gets old.

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

Yesterday was my first concert singing with Cantori Domino. As one of the biggest choir dorks I know, the past two choirless years were a kind of hell for me. It feels good to get the cobwebs out of my vocal cords.

We sang Claudio Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers, 400 years after it was written. We performed it with soloists, double choir, and orchestra. What amazing music; I loved the intricate counterpoint and how he weaved the Gregorian chants into each section. Monteverdi’s was the perfect time period where the Renaissance sonority met the rich Baroque sound, two of my favorite things.

I even had a tiny solo. Well, it wasn’t really a solo, because I sang two verses in Ave Maris Stella (one of my favorite tunes) in unison with two other people. I was even able to emit sound despite my customary stagefright. It took many cups of hot cider and the entire first half of the concert for me to warm up my voice.

I’m getting to know the choir members slowly. Even though rehearsals are no-nonsense (with a few jokes thrown in), I often snicker in the back row quietly to myself. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.

If you’re curious about the piece we performed, I’d highly recommend the John Eliot Gardiner version.

Thursday, September 23rd, 2004

Today I saw a live student performance of J. S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto #5. Wow, it was so amazing.

Friday, May 16th, 2003

I just discovered something very cool.. The ringtone on my cell phone is “Quia Respexit” from Bach’s Magnificat, but when I was putting it on my phone, I was lazy so I took it down a whole step so I wouldn’t have to deal with the two sharps in the key signature. Today, I found out that even though I’ve been listening to it in the wrong key for a few months, I still have a D in my mind as the starting note (I checked on the piano). It always sounds weird to me whenever I hear my phone anyway, so tonight I’m going to modulate it to its right key. It was meant to be in that key! This proves once again that Bach is a genius!

Tonight I might also make a ring tone for my mom. Right now the two options I’m thinking about are the Turkish National Anthem (it’s really pretty) and Mozart’s Turkish March. I’ll ask her if she has any other ideas.

Sunday, April 20th, 2003

Bach is a genius! I sit there playing his stuff and I’m always amazed at how cool it is. What I love so much about it is he keeps repeating a motif over and over again in different keys so it’s always exciting. *sob*

Thursday, February 20th, 2003

Wow, I practiced piano again.. learned three more scales (well, all had the same key signature) and another hand exercise which made me feel like my fingers were going to fall off. Then, I noticed that I’m actually improving. Today I played the fast part of my Bach piece almost up to tempo. It was the closest I’d ever been. Yes!! I’m really excited. I’m also getting really good at my interpretations of Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” — before, I didn’t really know what to do with it. Well, I knew a little. Now I understand it a bit better. Hopefully my efforts will be noticed, although this week I’ve spent the majority of my time learning scales and Hanon exercises. Oh well!

Wednesday, February 19th, 2003

This is amazing… I think for the first time in my life I willingly started doing scales and Hanon exercises every day. I’m learning scales one by one, since I never did bother to learn them as a child. Well, I don’t have trouble with the key signatures, but I have to work on the fingering a bit. And I learn one or two Hanon exercises each day, and play them all together. It tires out my arms.

The thing is, I want to play this really fast Bach duet with Jocelyn, and I need to be well toned in order to play it well. So until summer, I’ll be a pro!

Monday, February 17th, 2003

mi la sol fa mi re do ti do re do ti do la ti do mi la do ti la ti si la ti mi ti re do ti do la do mi la sol fi sooool… etc. etc.

I need to abstain from days like yesterday. They make me feel as though I have no purpose in life. At least I practiced piano.

Yes, I noticed I always talk about what it is I do every day in this blog. You’re going to say there isn’t much to say but you’d be surprised. At this point in my life, I feel like if I don’t do something, I’m wasting away all the time I have.. Gr. Ew. Sometimes I sit and ask myself, “What do I do now?” and find no answers, so I go online.

Friday, January 17th, 2003

Okay, sorry about my recent lack of posts. I was going to post something last night, but Blogger turned out to be down for system maintenance, so I just went to bed.

Yesterday, I was going to say that I love open fifths. I like holding down the pedal, playing a low open fifth, and listening to the overtones. It’s very calming. I also love minor 7ths. So of course I love playing stuff that includes plenty of those.

I started learning a new piano piece entitled Firefly. It is so amazing, but incredibly simple. Well.. at least, it’s not like Debussy.. it’s faster to learn. Actually, I only looked at the first two pages so far. Today I turned the page and discovered quintuplets (um.. what are they called? they’re like triplets, but five per beat). So I was like, “Whee, okay, I guess that’s enough practicing for today,” and put that away. In other news, I finished learning Debussy’s Clair de Lune. It’s soo beautiful, but I suck at playing it. I need to practice more.

Firefly is pretty simple, and Debussy has pretty complicated chords, but they are both beautiful just the same.

Right now my head is feeling woozy from all the music. I love the Renaissance stuff we’re doing in choir, and the pieces I’m playing for piano are great. These past few days I’ve been listening to my CD of Bach motets, too. Bach still rules, don’t worry about that.

I have so much homework, and next week is finals week. *sigh*

Wednesday, November 20th, 2002

Today I practiced piano for a while. I practiced a bit of Bach and then some Debussy. In my favorite part of Clair de Lune, each line makes me imagine a different scene. First I imagine dark, beautiful clouds. Then, a calm, green lake. Then orphaned children. I play that part over and over again, it’s so great.

Anyway, the feeling described to some as “melting”.. to me it feels like my insides collapsing on themselves. Like imploding. It reminds me of a cookie crumbling. A very warm, soft cookie, steaming hot. That’s the sigh that comes out, and my body bends, like the cookie.

I like just sitting around. I like doing a lot of other things, too, but nothing beats sitting around. My heart soars.