av8rmike: Penny Arcade Jesus, text: Wooooo/What can I say? Jesus is fucking metal (metal)
Oh, this was supposed to be a daily meme, not a weekly one? I'm definitely going to skip a few days, because some of these options are pretty stupid. I can't really think of a song/piece of music that makes me cry

Day 6: Your favorite band.

I still don't really listen to "bands" anymore (and I'm not going to count orchestras), but back in the day, my favorite band was the progressive metal band Dream Theater. From the first time I heard them back in about 1993, I realized how awesomely talented they were. They aren't just any old hair-metal band, several of the members met at Berklee College, the jazz-rock conservatory in Boston. They have an official YouTube channel, on which is posted the video of their first big hit:



All 30 Days )
av8rmike: (violin)
Stolen from [livejournal.com profile] coffeechica and [livejournal.com profile] dawna. There's no way I'll be able to keep this up for 30 whole days, especially because I don't listen to enough popular music or "songs" to fill out the list. Instead, I'll just pick & choose or skip where necessary.

Day 1: Your Favorite Song

There is no way I could pick out one song or piece of music as my absolute favoritest ever, but if I had to, it would almost certainly be something by Richard Strauss. I think he's viewed as something of an egotist in the classical music world, especially for writing at least two musical tributes to himself (Symfonia Domestica and Ein Heldenleben, "A Hero's Life"). Still, the man could write some beautifully lush music. This clip is taken from his orchestral suite to Der Rosenkavalier and is the instrumental version of the final trio from the end of the opera. The first time I ever heard this suite, I was transfixed through this entire section.

Also, what is [livejournal.com profile] mayerman doing in the oboe section? O_o


And if you're going to insist that to be part of this meme, there has to be vocals, here you go:


All 30 Days )
av8rmike: (violin)
I haven't talked about music stuff for a long time. I used to post once a week with amusing quotes from Jason, our orchestra conductor, but for a while I either haven't remembered things he's said or I couldn't properly take them out of context. Our next concert is the annual pops one, and this year is a strange mish-mash of some Broadway songs, some Gershwin, some Simon & Garfunkel(!), and even a little music from The Dark Knight and "Lord of the Dance". Usually I play in the first violin section, but for this concert my stand partner and I have been traded to the seconds, I assume for a first-round draft pick. I don't mind, because the pops concert tends to be a hell of a lot of work because of all the songs to learn. So, it won't be as bad playing second violin.

Monday night we sight-read the first movement of Mahler's 2nd symphony, the 30-minute-long funeral music. Jason had played it before with his youth orchestra a few years ago and must have wanted to see how we'd handle it. I wish I'd been playing 1st, but you can't have it all, I guess. Maybe in a few years we'll have it on a program.

There's also going to be a bit of a shake-up with my lessons. For the last six years, I've met my teacher at her different studios at the Peabody Conservatory. Last month we had a lesson when the school was supposed to be closed, and their security people found us and told her she wasn't supposed to be giving lessons, and to someone who wasn't a student. So now she's going to have to come to my apartment, which is fortunately only a block away, but which I have to clean up before I'd be comfortable letting someone in who doesn't know how messy I am.

Oh, and in case people want to know the particulars of the concert, it's Saturday February 13, at 7:30, at the Jim Rouse Theater in Wilde Lake HS, Columbia (MD). Ticket information and directions can be found on the orchestra's web site, or you can just pester me with questions.
av8rmike: Text: I can't. I have rehearsal. (rehearsal)
Yes, old QOTD is old. My top piece in the iPod playlist is a tie between these two, although not these actual recordings:


This one is much easier to listen to and even more fun to watch:
av8rmike: Futurama's Farnsworth, text: oh, I made myself sad (farnsworth)
I know, that's the worst, most clichéd headline I could come up with, but that's why I'm not in the newspaper business.

Baltimore Opera Company to close
Three months after seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and canceling the remainder of the 2008-2009 season, the board of trustees of the Baltimore Opera Company voted yesterday to pursue Chapter 7 liquidation instead and dissolve the 58-year-old organization. The company's assets, including a warehouse, scenery, costumes and technical equipment, will be sold, and the proceeds will be distributed among creditors.


Supplementally, Tim Smith's blog entry on the subject. Looks like I was largely correct that not only had they blown all their money last fall on Aida, but they hadn't even built up an endowment and were basically living week-to-week.


Still want to move here, Jamie?
av8rmike: (violin)
Apparently last Wednesday was my 5-year LJ birthday, and I completely forgot to mention it. Not like anyone pays attention to things like that anyway, but it's hard to believe I've been posting here for so long.

It's a significant week for 20th-century music, as yesterday was the 100th birthday of American composer Elliot Carter. I had no idea he was still alive and still composing.

This past Wednesday marked the 100th birthday of Olivier Messiaen, who died in 1992. One of his best known works, "Quartet for the End of Time", was composed while he was in a prison camp during World War II. There are a few interesting YouTube videos related to Messiaen, which I'll have to post when I'm not at work.
av8rmike: Photo of pile of Korean money (money)
Baltimore Opera seeks Chapter 11 Protection

After 58 years and more than 200 productions, the Baltimore Opera Company will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy-law protection today amid dwindling ticket sales and contributions.

The remaining two productions of the 2008-2009 season, Rossini's The Barber of Seville and Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, have been canceled. Ticket holders will not receive refunds. Singers engaged for next season are being released from their contracts, but the company plans to continue fundraising in an effort to resume productions in the future.


They must have mortgaged the farm to stage that production of Aida, but apparently the ticket sales weren't enough to make up the shortfall. I know several contract musicians in the opera orchestra, and I can't imagine that the loss of this income is going to make things any better. I can only hope that the company can manage to find a new source of donations and emerge from Chapter 11.
av8rmike: Text: I can't. I have rehearsal. (rehearsal)
This past weekend ended up being a lot busier than I'd expected. Friday night I had a ticket to see the Baltimore Symphony play Berlioz's Symphony Fantastique with Yan Pascal Tortelier conducting. Or rather, as Casey and Art put it, "doing an interpretive dance while the orchestra played." Still, it was one of the most exciting performances of that piece I'd ever seen, and I'm not the only one who thinks so.

Saturday I had to be up early to drive out to Westminster for a 9:00 rehearsal with the college choir out there. The rehearsal went pretty well, but it sucked having to drive 45 minutes each way, then be home and tired at 12:30. I actually ended up napping for most of the afternoon (even though it was really nice outside) because I had to be out at the school in Columbia that evening. Three other orchestra members and I had formed a string quartet to play background music for a silent auction, all part of the Howard County Arts Council gala. Our quartet had rehearsed a couple of times, but I guess people weren't concentrating enough, or were distracted by heat, lack of light, etc., because we actually had to stop and start a few times. I was a little disappointed because I thought we could have done better, and I don't think I was to blame. (Anyone who's watched me play would probably find me was tremendously easy to follow.)

Anyhow, we only had to play for an hour, then we could sample all the vendor's food. After all the hors d'oeuvres, cake, bread pudding, etc., I think it was safe to say I was ending Passover early. The other exciting thing was when the chef from the Elkridge Furnace Inn nearly set me and the building on fire when he decided to de-glaze his skillet with alcohol. I'm standing there eating and all of a sudden there's a three-foot tower of flame next to me. However, it was fine and we all escaped with our eyebrows intact. It certainly drew a lot of attention. =)

Sunday I had to make that drive to Westminster again for the actual concert. The concert went well enough, but I think people weren't expecting the conductor to go slower in some sections, so there were a few places where things weren't really together. The hard parts of the Beethoven were much easier, though. At least tonight's rehearsal is a sectional and I don't have to have everything learned, because we're going to spend most of tonight learning it.
av8rmike: Mythbuster's Adam, text: I reject your reality and substitute my own! (reality)
So, an update on yesterday's fine discussion of MP3 players, since I knew everyone was on the edge of their seats...

I went home and counted up my CDs, and got about 100 between the classical and non-classical. Depending on the average CD length and bit rate used for the encoding, I'd be looking at 6-8GB for everything. That's about where flash memory-based players top out, and I don't much like the idea of spreading my collection across multiple SD cards. A trip to Best Buy or similar may be in order for the weekend.

Hey, look, it's snowing outside.
av8rmike: (harmless)
I'm slightly more intrigued by this idea of carrying around my entire music collection with me in some form of "MP3 Player", as the kids call it. However, I'm not suggesting an iPod, since iTunes is a terrible program and doesn't work as well with PCs. I'm actually considering a Microsoft Zune 80, which is by many accounts better than the iPod and costs the same. Although, my CD collection is relatively small and probably wouldn't make a dent in 80GB.

Weekend

Aug. 19th, 2007 09:54 pm
av8rmike: Star of David (jewish)
I don't talk much about my weekends anymore, but there were a few things that happened that were worth mentioning. On Saturday I came home from a shopping trip to Arundel Mills to find a little sticky note on my door. My upstairs neighbor, a Hopkins School of Public Health first-year, was having some people over and invited me to stop by. I thought it was really sweet of her, and told her so, but I was already going to my friend Ilana's housewarming in Owings Mills, and I'd committed to that weeks ago.

I'd parked my car by the park in front of Peabody, and when I got there, there was a wedding taking place in the park. Wedding photographs aren't that unusual, given the number of people that get married at the Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church, but this was a Jewish wedding. You can tell by the hundred or so people wearing kipot, and the prominent chuppah. I thought it was interesting, but promptly forgot to ask anyone at the party if they knew who the couple might have been.

Today I spent about 3 hours listening to musicians of varying abilities auditioning for the orchestra. It was certainly a different experience being on the other side of the table (so to speak) for once. In an orchestral setting, that is. I'd been a part of dozens of auditions for the a cappella group. I just found this time to be more enjoyable.
av8rmike: (violin)
Today is a big day for musical birthdays. Not only is it the birthdays of Johann Sebastian Bach and Modest Mussorgsky, but also Arthur Grumiaux, the violinist; Nobuo Uematsu, the composer for the Final Fantasy series; and most importantly, Kevin Federline!

Also, who would have thought that Matthew Broderick and Rosie O'Donnell are the same age (45) today?
av8rmike: (rolleyes)
Jamie and I are both complaining about the Baltimore Opera Company's tagline:

"Opera: It's better than you think. It has to be."

What was the alternative? "Opera: It doesn't suck. Really, we swear!"
av8rmike: (violin)
Quote from Jason at last night's rehearsal, to the cellos and basses during Beethoven's "Pastoral" Symphony, The Storm: "Beethoven knows that part is impossible to play. Just make noise."

Quote from Jason during Saturday's Young People's Concert: "This is a piece called "Hoe-down", from Aaron Copland's Rodeo. It's a ballet about... cowboys who dance. Kind of like Brokeback Mountain."

Saw this icon over at [livejournal.com profile] grrliz_icons and it seems perfect for Jamie:
av8rmike: Text: I can't. I have rehearsal. (rehearsal)
Grrr, still sick. And, now I see why people say these medicines without pseudoephedrine don't work.

Went to the Baltimore Symphony performance last night with the members of the Peabody Symphony. I was a little surprised that Marin Alsop programmed the Alpine Symphony before Rite of Spring, given that the latter is so much more dissonant and jarring. I guess that doesn't matter anymore; it's not as shocking as it was at its premier nearly a century ago. I must be getting jaded in my old age, because the performance seemed to be lacking a certain energy. Or maybe I just couldn't get past how lucky the 50 or so Peabody students were to be sitting on stage with members of the Baltimore Symphony. Interestingly enough, Alsop stayed later to do a brief Q & A session with audience members, but few of the questions were particularly insightful. Too bad there doesn't appear to be a review in the Sun; I'd have liked to see what the critic thought of the concert.

I had to go last night, because tonight is the dress rehearsal in Columbia for tomorrow's "Young People's" concerts. I hope my head can stay clear long enough. On Monday we got copies of "Russian Easter Overture" to read tonight (for fun), but it won't be on a program anytime this year. This sight-reading thing Jason is putting us through is getting interesting, and actually a little fun.
av8rmike: (violin)
Is there a better way to start the day than a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latté? Well, maybe a Gingerbread Latté.

There's a dress rehearsal tonight for Saturday's concert in Columbia. I guess it's safe to say that if there are parts I haven't gotten down yet, I probably won't before tonight. Especially considering that I won't be practicing before then anyway.

I was remarking to my teacher last night that it's a busy weekend for concerts: Besides ours, there's also the opera, Concert Artists of Baltimore, Hopkins Orchestra, and the Peabody Symphony, all on Saturday night. And, my old orchestra Sunday afternoon, to which I'm definitely not going. I guess it's nice living in a city with so many choices, but now I'm wondering if we'll get any attendance at all!
av8rmike: Penny Arcade Jesus, text: Wooooo/What can I say? Jesus is fucking metal (metal)
Yay! My birthday presents finally arrived!

Stuff

Jul. 17th, 2006 12:24 pm
av8rmike: (rolleyes)
I guess I just haven't had much interesting to say lately. I noticed that I stopped posting my practice logs after I was done working on the Beethoven Romance a few weeks ago. No particular reason for it, I just got tired trying to keep track of how much time I was spending on a specific item. Also, I've been spending less time working on "serious" stuff and more goofing off, despite the fact I should be working on the Bach E-major Partita.

Sorry to anyone who was expecting to see me at Gettysburg this weekend. I thought about it and decided pretty much at the last minute that there wasn't anyone I wanted to drive for an hour to talk to. I know that might sound harsh, but I've had so little time to read and be active on the boards now that it made more sense to me.

Not that I ended up having much better to do Saturday, anyway. I went to Beth Am's services in the park Friday night and re-connected with a few people. One person invited me out to see Superman Saturday night, but I never heard from him.

Work stuff

Jun. 29th, 2006 10:08 pm
av8rmike: (rolleyes)
Meetings, meetings, meetings today. I knew I wouldn't have to be in on that conference call, but they asked me to stay, anyway. At least I got lunch out of the deal, such as it was.

Tonight I attended an interesting concert at the college. It was a kind of "super group" of local brass players: a dozen or so trumpets, four horns, six trombones, a tuba or two and even a little percussion. They played some of the antiphonal music of Giovanni Gabrieli and a lot of music by an unknown Viennese composer who died in 1970 and with whom the conductor had worked in the 60s. Interesting stuff, especially that this concert was the first time it had been played outside Vienna in 40 years.
av8rmike: (webcam)
We had some really strong thunderstorms come through here last night just after 5:00, which actually knocked out power to the office for about a minute. It was just long enough to down one of the network switches or something, so there was no e-mail or Internet here until about 9:30.

WBJC is playing Schubert's 9th symphony now, the "Great" C major, which is unusual because it's like an hour long. I got to play it twice last year, and this classic recording is making me all nostalgic. Except for the fact that it was with the BPO and it's really tiring to play, it's also kind of fun.

OK, really should do work now.

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av8rmike: Futurama's Bender in Jeffries tube, text: I'm done reconfoobling the energymotron (Default)
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