Saturday, January 31, 2009

Happy Saturday

It's Saturday morning, I woke up at 10:30 and ate a delicious bowl of Alfredo. Life is good. Actually this whole week was a good one. Here are the best part of my week.

1. I made a midnight run to I-hop with some friends last night and we ate crepes. YUM!

2. Trio was and is a blast. The other two girls in my trio are so funny! The best moment was on Thursday as we were sight-reading; Meleece suddenly made the most peculiar noise over and over... why? Because she wanted to make the grand piano next to us resonate. Once we finished laughing she was finally able to explain that one.

3. MY PRACTICE ROOM LIGHT GOT FIXED!!! YAHOOOOOOOO!!! It means that as of Tuesday I no longer have to lurk around trying to steal a practice room.

4. The power went out in the HFAC! It was probably the most epic moment of my week (minus a few of the amazing quotes by Tae and Tia). I was down in the practice rooms and suddenly everything went pitch black (remember the practice rooms are underground with ZERO natural light). It was sort of fun. All the instrumentalists came out into the hallway and we just sat and waited for power again (since none of us could leave our instruments, and we couldn't really pack up either). The piano majors kept playing... show offs.

5. I found out that even the music profession is going politically correct: Collaborative Pianist = Accompanist. (Technically a useful move, but it made me laugh.)

6. I survived both of my tests this week. And my composition presentation. And life in general.

7. I FINISHED MY PARIS RECORDING!!! Now I just have to sit and wait... and wait... and wait... until March to find out if I've been accepted. The hard part for me is over.

8. I am listening to Qawwali music (pronounced Ka-bali). It's pretty well my new favorite, and makes me wish I was from Western India.

9. My family gets home in just over a week! I can call them again!

10. Denise, who is one of my favorite people ever, and I have a laundry date. Sounds boring but it's not. We head to a laundromat, and while the machines clean our clothes we party. Last time we watched Cars. Here's a picture of the two of us at her bachelorette party, thus showing how cool we really are. *grin*

Saturday, January 24, 2009

25 Things... Cause I like procrastinating

One of my friends on Facebook tagged me to do this... and well, I needed an excuse to do nothing... so now you get to see the fruits of my nothingness. :-)

1. I am very tall, generally one of the tallest in any given room.

2. That said, I am terrified of being the shortest in my family. Thanks to my mom, I won’t be the absolute shortest, but I have a sneaking suspicion I may sit at the bottom end of the family when we do height photos in future.

3. I limped my way through two half marathons this summer, killed my desire to run, and vowed only to run 10K’s in future… all in two weeks.

4. I love to swing dance!

5. I made my little brother take a swing dance class with me my senior year of high school, and even though I think he may have alternately hated it (or me) at times… I am convinced that someday he will thank me.

6. My family lives on the other side of the world. I spent my Christmas in China, which was AMAZING!!!

7. My mom is my favorite person ever. The best thing about them moving to China is that our schedules line up better so we can talk more.

8. I think my siblings are all pretty cool… Trent is one of my best friends (I am so excited for him to be here next year!), Todd is always fun to be around, Tanner always has cool thing to tell me (thus making me feel cool), and Morgan is the best little sister ever.

9. Both of my parents are Math/ Science people. How they ever sprouted an artsy musician is beyond me. (Although their love for math has finally manifested itself in my love for Music Theory).

10. My cousin Dalan named my flute last September… and it stuck. My flute’s name is Jonathan.

11. I love to cook, particularly Indian food or anything spicy. When I have spare money I make really really really good meals, eat them for a whole week, and then determine I don’t want to touch that recipe for another six months.

12. When I don’t have spare money I still eat the same meal for a week (although often of lesser quality). I dream of the day when I will no longer eat the same meal for seven days in a row.

13. I feel incredibly blessed on regular occasion.

14. I’m getting ready for an audition CD to go to Paris for a month this summer and study music. I’m nervous but I really really really want to get in.

15. I love reading. When I was little and got in trouble my parents wouldn’t let me read. Now college doesn’t let me read.16. Generally I only read historical fiction and non fiction. I love English history, particularly from about 1350-1603.

17. Elizabeth I of England is my all time favorite historical figure… I own far too many books about her, and have read even more. When I’m not reading about Elizabeth, I read about the War of the Roses, which I find FACINATING!

18. I want to travel and see the world, particularly Eastern Europe, and more of China. I also want to see India.

19. I am terrified of snakes. Over Christmas we went to a show in a restaurant in Beijing and part way through the show one of the actresses brought out a six foot long monster snake and paraded it around the room. As she came by our table I miraculously moved from my seat, across the table and onto my dad’s lap. I have no recollection of how I got there… all I remember is seeing the snake, and then the next thing I knew I was five chairs over.20. I love water parks, particularly the really big slides.

21. I pass out extremely easily. You name the place; I’ve passed out there (including early morning seminary). It’s a family thing. We’re all wimps. If you are ever bleeding, don’t show me. I can and will pass out.

22. I am convinced that my Dictation class this semester will give me an ulcer.

23. I wrote a piece entitled Bird Call yesterday. It’s all based on combinations of a 0146 chord, and I’m pretty excited about it.

24. I’m quiet when you first meet me… but those who know me well know that I’m rather obnoxious.

25. Denise & I used to dress up weird and go hit on boys at the Creamery on Ninth… she’s married now so we can’t really do that any more, but I miss it like crazy.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I think I'm onto something...

practice rooms:

small padded white rooms... often with strange impliments... occupied by a single human being for many hours of time... said human often produces peculiar sounds... particularly those who are not given alternative noise making devices and are forced into the blatant abuse of the vocal chords (and surrounding eardrums)... upon release from padded cells humans often need time to adjust to the change in light and air pressure... said humans seem to be drawn to these rooms in an uncannily repetitive nature... they often re-enter hours later to once again begin noise making...

how odd.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Dear Piano Teacher... You win.

JS Bach (1685-1750)

I love music (a real surprise I know... but I thought I'd get it out in the open). For years my stance has been "the later the better." Meaning, I "sort of" gravitate to anything from the Romantic Era on. However, I'm beginning to have a revolution of sorts in my thinking. For years I've avoided a certain composer who's name I considered to be somewhat profane, B*ch (note, only one missing letter, not two.) I appreciate anything from the baroque era, but I love the chromaticism that begins to show up later, and I love how thick and syrupy (that's not a word... but I'm using it) things can start to get with composers like Ravel, Brahms & Mendelssohn and their fellow Romantic Era composers. Do I still love Ravel, yes. Some of his Orchestral works will forever hold my heart... but this week in my Theory class, we began an in depth study of Berg, Schoenberg, and Webern.

Some of the music written by these composers is pretty cool. One of their contemporaries (George Crumb) wrote a piece for flute called "Voice of the Whale" and I will not die happy until I have learned to play it (IT SOUNDS LIKE WHALES CALLING BACK AND FORTH!!!! IT IS SOOOOOOOOO COOOOOOOOOOOOL!) The theories and level of thinking behind some of the things these composers wrote is incredible but I detest listening to it. I love chromaticism, but there are some times in their pieces that I would give anything for a simple I IV V progression.

Enter good ol' J.S. Bach. I've never been the most avid fan of his. His flute music irritates me because I can play the notes... but good grief, the musicality is IMPOSSIBLE! In freshman theory we began studying all theory from the ground work of J.S. Some of his rules can be directly linked to the drop in my GPA. (I happen to be an expert at writing hidden fifths and octaves, so if you ever want some, come visit me.) Recently though, with Theory classes delving into poly-tonality, tone rows, and goodness knows what else, I've started to long for the steady progressions and simply beautiful musicality of Bach. My real breakthrough came today as I sat in Sacrament meeting. We sang 197, O Savior Thou Who Wearest A Crown written by Johann Sebastian Bach. It was glorious. The chord progressions were steady yet perfectly written, and the elegance blew my mind. I determined I really like J.S. Bach.

Now to my former piano teacher, with whom I argued relentlessly about Bach... you win. He is pretty darn cool. Not sure I'll ever love him quite like some people, but wow, he was brilliant, and his music was and is exquisite.

Oh, and on a side note, you know how they always do studies on what children who listen to Mozart turn out like.... well here is what the child who got stuck listening to Berg's opera "Wozzeck" turned out like:

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Life as a Music Major

You know you spend too much time in the HFAC (Harris Fine Arts Center) when the girl at the ticket counter says she doesn't need to see your student ID to get the ten dollars off. Why was I so lucky... she said she sees me around this place all the time and figured I had to be a student. Wow. I think I officially need to get out more. (and where am I typing this from... a computer in the HFAC on my practice break) *sigh*

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Cyclical History

This semester I'm taking a Humanities of Asia class. I love it! The teacher is very passionate about what she teaches and class is fascinating (even at 8am, which says something). Last week we began studying the Vedic Religions of India, particularly Hinduism. I find Hinduism fascinating. It's one of the oldest and largest religions in the world with a very long rich history. One of the key elements in understanding India and the Vedic Culture is the idea of re-incarnation. Not only does it mean that the pesky fly you killed could have been your Uncle Fred, but it leads to a unique view of life, the past, and the future. My teacher presented it like this: "Under the Hindu concept of time, what has not happened will never happen, and events that have occurred previously will occur once again." I'll admit I half scoffed at this idea. Being a history person, I understand that history does repeat. Those who are stupid enough to make the same mistakes as their predecessors often meet the same deaths, particularly those who try to invade Russia in the winter. This I comprehend and accept. I was a little more sceptical of the idea that this repetition occurred between generations in daily life.

Now to the point behind my mini history/culture lesson. Today I went apartment hunting with Megan and Noelle. Megan wanted to look at some apartments and I wanted to look at some condos. First we went to the apartments. I walked into the apartments and knew that I had found my next "home". We wandered around a bit after that, but nothing else fit. Now you are wondering how apartments and Hinduism tie together... ready...


No joke. Chalk up one point for Vedic time concepts and zero for Nicole. My dad lived in exactly half of the apartments in the complex, met my mom there, and I believe lived there until he married Mom. There have been Okeson's at this complex, and there will always be Okeson's there. Such is life.

The real bonus is I'll never need to give my family directions to my apartment. Just follow memory lane.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Two incredibly fast weeks...

Hello all, no I did not drop off of the face of the earth... just to the other side of it. My family lives in China, and so I was visiting them for Christmas. It was AMAZING!!! China is truly a facinating country and I loved every moment I spent there. The best part, obviously, was getting to see my family, but while visiting them at their home, we also made time to visit some of the main sites in Beijing, Xian and Nanjing.
So in a few posts maybe I can share a little of what I was able to see this Christmas. I'm posting a few photos on here, and then if you really are a glutton for punishment, I'll also post a link to my facebook photo albums of China.
One of the most unique parts of visiting China is that as a very tall American family, we are almost as big of a tourist attraction as the sites themselves. The Chinese were facinated with our height, but the real winner is my little sister Morgan. The Chinese love her, it's the blonde hair. Pictures like this, were a common occurance, particularly at the Birds Nest (Mom and I were just extra additions, they really just want Morgan's picture *sigh*).
My favorite moment though, was as my family posed to take a group picture at the Birds Nest, suddenly there were tons and tons of cameras coming out to take pictures of us. It was quite the moment. Pity we couldn't get a picture of all the people taking our pictures!
One of my favorite sites was just outside of Beijing, THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA!!! Personally I feel that it should be renamed to the Great STAIRCASE of China. It was amazing to see but the hike was a work out. Here we are at the top:
I'll keep updating this with more about China as I find time. If you want to see more pictures though, go look at my Mom's blog:
Once my facebook albums are done then you can look at those too.