catchmyfancy: (enchanted island - neptune and court)
FIRST WEEK DONE AND DUSTED.

To fully render my feelings of glee-n-squee unto you is not possible without the use of dancing unicorns, sparkly rainbows and kittens riding about on fluffy bunnies.  So I shall simply say: it was joyful to be doing this.

And I am (unlike many of the stewents there) fully mindful of the joyousnessness. Ness. Of the doing.

For example: there is this thing called Concert Class.  One is required to attend just over half of them. And long and many and varied are the dodges people use to get out the following:
  • sitting in a comfortable hall
  • watching and listening to amazing musicians (and they are superb)
  • who are playing a varied and fabulous program (all instruments and all manner of musickes: one saxophonist came out and played Bach partitas, one pianist came on and wowed us all with russian variations on Rondo alla Turca)
  • for two hours with only the requirement of
  • a few lines of critique per item.
So basically, they put on a Considered Concert every week (I like to think it's just for me but I let other people attend) and people try everything they can think of to get out of it, to the point where they have implemented the most bizarre administrative methods to stop them (probably it is unhelpful that the coordinator used to be a stewent and thought up many of the dodges. *snorfle*)  Cos they are unmindful of what this actually is.

Every class makes me go "yes!" (in a "knowledge, I needs it, GIVE IT ME" sort of way) and hanging around the Con is fun, there's always people I know and I'm slowly getting to know the rest.  It is possible I may have made myself more well-known by singing some Tosca for the vocal ensemble audition.  *ahem*  But what the hell.  This is so NOT the year to be hiding my light under any bushels.  I am what I am, dammit.

I went off and had my singing lesson from a world-class soprano and she got her accompanist to listen to me and he said the nicest thing ever: he said I sounded like a young Elizabeth Connell

Is there an emoticon for "Holy Fucking Shit, Batman"?

And that takes us up to Thursday.
catchmyfancy: (Default)
I've had a whirlwind time of it recently, much of it due to [personal profile] john  and [personal profile] toby  coming and staying in my house for about three weeks, with the odd visit from the adorable [personal profile] anatsuno .

I am a dyed-in-the-wool introvert, but apparently there are some people who just don't ping my argh-people-AWAYgoAWAY radar, and my two lovely International Housepests of Mystery are amongst them. 

Between them, my two other gay boyfriends (Canadian Dave and Arash) and other random friends who seem determined that my FQ (fun quotient) shall not get too low, I have had the most wonderful, alcomoholic, fooderiffic, carefree and lovely time this past month. 

I was sorry to see my IHoM go (especially having a tenor on tap, as it were, and also getting to hear the nightly installment of Adventrs-with-Grindr), but a New Adventure Looms - I'm starting the Graduate Diploma of Music at my Yewni in *gleep* eight days.

I seem to be the only one who is worried about things like timetables and enrolling and credit points and teacher choice and textbooks and assessment  - the staff at the faculty are....well, a little bit free-range and supremely unconcerned about deadlines and I feel like Hermione half the time (cue [personal profile] john  doing his best Maggie Smith: "Five points from Gryffindor, Mr Potterr").  I asked my friend Anna (a fellow music stewent) what the textbook was for Practical Anatomy for Classical Singers and she actually laughed in my face.  Apparently we have to keep a journal about how we feel after each class and how it may have helped us in our practice.  Really.  REALLY?  At this point I have to admit that I am vacillating between horrified and positively gleeful.  Erm.

I know and have worked with both the former Dean and the current Dean of this Faculty in my position as Graduations Lackey...one is now my course coordinator and the other is - now my Dean.  Former Dean was kinda...well, flakey at the best of times and talked a lot about feelings (I see a theme here) and Current Dean (who I have met with, worked with and chatted to on multiple occasions) recently spent 15 minutes talking at someone he thought was me.  She rang me to tell me the gist of the conversation because she didn't want to embarrass him by pointing out she wasn't me.  I would have had NO such compunctions.  This person? Is, yes, large-ish.  Also a caucasian woman.  Also over 35.  Also: half a foot taller, and not, you know, anything like me to look at.   There isn't a *headdesk* big enough.  My faculty management, you guys.

The fun of it will be watching his face when I walk into the prep meeting for their graduation in a couple weeks.  I better see some squirming, is all I can say.

Oh yes, I'll still be working: I am trying to pull this qualification off part-time and still do my job three days a week.

Miracles of miracles, management are supporting me taking my long-service leave at a rate of two days per week during Semester. Possibly because it was that, or me disappearing for three months sometime this year - they all got very nervous when I qualified for long-service leave (not sure what to do for study leave: I may end up being strategically ill - I have 100+ days of sick leave to burn through. Don't get me wrong, I've been ill: just didn't use the leave. Which should tell you all the things you need to know.)

I also have the physical goal of getting much much fitter, and turning my body into a better instrument.  That's what I'm about to become: an instrument. 

Also - wow - must pull together repertoire list for whoever-new-teacher-will-be - it could be this person. Or not. Who can tell?  A tree in a golden forest, people, a tree in a golden forest.

The best bit, though, the thing that makes the tiny anxiety attacks (am typing this in a sweaty state, believe me) and pulling my hair out over getting arrangements nailed down worth it, is that I get to finally - FINALLY - just be a musician and a music student.  Still have to look at that one out of the corner of my eye, because I get a little tired-and-emotional when I think about it properly.  I went and had a prowl around the music library the other day and was looking at baroque ensemble facsimile scores (in which I am interested not at all although they were very pretty), but I got the sniffles anyway.  I'm blaming the dust. 

catchmyfancy: (lieder)
Right, the concert today.

WENT WELL.

But really, we needed another week.  Hell, another three days.  Nah, a week.  two for preference.

I screwed up one entry and had to backtrack (finished flawlessly and without sweating too visibly thank goodness) and then forgot a phrase in my recit for another piece (not at all surprisingly the very next one, following that whole "one gymnast falls off the balance beam at the Olympics and then they all do"sort of deal) and had to look at Tom and say "nope - I got nothing", get the line, and then go on (also without sweating visibly and again finishing flawlessly, so at least I have picked up that trick).

i was fighting a glitch in my voice, and being vocally tired, and that feeling of "holy crap we are actually DOING THIS we are not ready it is TOO BIG" and also the sneaking suspicion that I'm human and have limits and are not nearly as awesome as I want to be, and  I did not feel that flow that comes with the best performances too often.

But the audience liked it, and were entertained, and really warmed up towards the end, and the Lyrebird people seemed happy.  Tom had fun (apart from a couple of his own *ahem* moments) and there was much positivity for the Tom and Alexandra show.

I'm still processing.  a lot of good stuff, but so much fell short of how I wanted things to be.  Guess that's what comes of a concert full of first-time performances of pieces.  Lot of stuff to think about!

Although here's one odd thing: I was wearing a new pearl necklace my parents had given me for my birthday, and it was quite snug around my throat.  Normally I hate that.  Today it was comforting. 

See, now i KNOW I'm tired.  Many thanks to all for the good wishes.  Soon is bed.  Singing lesson tomorrow as LMusA exam is in two weeks!
catchmyfancy: (lieder)
Biggest thing I ever tried.

I think it should work: the acoustic is awesome and I hardly have to work at all to make pretty sounds.

How one knows one is a musician (in case one ever spends time at 2am thinking: "can I really do this? really?" Not that I do, hem-hem!) - one spends most of rehearsal playing with the new acoustic and sorting out stuff in one's head about how to re-attack everything and generally wanting to jump up and down about how much fun it is all going to be.

The voice is a little tired and scratchy, but an early night, ginger tea and a decent warm-up should fix that.

Eeepity!  Concert report tomorrow night...

catchmyfancy: (nekkid)
This is from Not the Messiah, a full, proper oratorio (as in: orchestra, choir, soloists, royal albert hall, about a religious theme, holy moly!) written by Eric Idle for the 40th Anniversary of Monty Python.

If you can see the DVD or the movie in a cinema, YOU MUST GO. It is completely, fabulously barmy and utterly hilarious and my intercostal muscles are still sore from guffawing my way through this in the cinema.

Exhibit A: which Eric Idle coyly titles Amordeus; and which I instantly dubbed "the lost Handel sex scene". It is the nod at the end that slays me.

Maestro

Jul. 15th, 2010 07:35 pm
catchmyfancy: (lieder)
Sydney Opera House, January 1995.

As part of the Australian Intervarsity Choral Festival that year, we learned Carmina Burana (affectionately called either "carmina" or "the banana") to sing with the Sydney Symphony (thank YOU very much) in the Opera House (thank you very VERY much).

The big pop tune from Carmina is O Fortuna, (which opens and closes the piece) and rightly so.  It's a monumental piece to hear (full choir, full orchestra, two pianos, a huge gong and massive amounts of percussion - phwoar!); and wonderful to sing, because you absolutely get the maximum amount of emotional/vocal bang for your buck, especially the closing chorus.  I always ended up with a massive case of the shivers every time I sang it as a chorister.

You should really go and look at this version on YouTube: it has the latin and the translation, and the desperate, driven nature of the chorus makes so much sense and you may even get a little shivery yourself
.

In particular, you should listen to the last forty seconds when, after taxiing rather impressively down the runway for two minutes, the entire movement takes flight and roars into the sky and is unstoppable, because those last forty seconds of the Opera House Carmina have been running through my head for the last few hours.  Here's why:

It was my extreme good fortune to learn Carmina in exactly the right circumstances: a choir made up of passionate choristers from around the country, with the average age of same in their 20s and 30s (I am NOT saying older choirs can't sing Carmina - but I do think the raw energy an experienced younger choir pours into the piece can be quite electrifying); with big tenor and bass sections (they anchor the piece and they have to be good and have some depth of talent); a screamingly-tight learning curve (means one paid rigorous attention); and, oh my: into rehearsal walks a funny little man with a baton, a big smile and more charm and talent than should be able to be contained in such a dapper vessel. 

This was only Sir Charles freaking Mackerras.  He sat on a hastily-pulled up desk, and unconsciously swung his little dangling legs, and even stuck out his tongue in time as he conducted and took rehearsal and did the magic thing all the very best conductors can pull off: he made us love him and want to please him by getting it right.  I'm not sure how they do it; or how they face down the disorganised rabbles of huge orchestras and choirs and soloists and never (obviously) quiver or flinch; but he did it.  There was rank adoration billowing towards him from - well - the ranks - by the end of the first rehearsal.  

The correct etiquette in the classical music sphere is to refer to a conductor as "maestro" (you can call them Bob or whatever outside of rehearsal, but it should be "maestro" during, or they'll want to know why) - some of them accept it as a matter of course; and some of them you want to spit the title in their smug and untalented faces; and some of them you can't think of them in any other way, and those are the best ones.  Sir Charles was one of those conductors.

Fast-forward to the Sydney Opera house later that month.  We're (*schniff*) most of the way through Carmina.  It's been an absolute blast and we didn't need to read the glowing reviews the next day to know if was one of the good ones (one of my friends was in the audience and she said she could always find me in the 200-strong choir by the blinding smile I had on my face for most of it); and we come to O Fortuna.  You sort of fall into that last chorus after diving off a top B that you've been holding forever (depending on how long the conductor thinks he can keep you there and not shred the entire sop 1 section's vocal cords), and it comes as something of a relief to hear the big gong and scream "O ForTUNa!" down an octave.

We get drawn into the slowly-accelerating musical maelstrom, and it whips up into those final forty seconds of dear-god-I-could-not-stop-now-even-if-I-wanted-to-hang-OOOOON and as one we hit the last phrase:  mecum omnes plangite! - every single voice roaring out that huge, last chord; every player in the Sydney Symphony going hell for leather, scraping, banging and blowing like a whirlwind; and in the eye of the storm, a funny little man in tails, with his arms flung wide demanding EVERYTHING, and getting it, and suspending us all in that glorious, prismatic, climactic musical vortex for a little eternity; and searing it indelibly into my memory for the rest of my life. 

Ladies and gentlemen: Sir Charles Mackerras. 

Bravo.  Vale.

****************************************************************************************************

Conductor Charles Mackerras dies

Source

Conductor Sir Charles Mackerras

Sir Charles Mackerras had a 60-year relationship with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. (AFP: Radel Mica, file photo)

Mackerras was a noted authority on Mozart and the operas of Gilbert and Sullivan.

He had a 60-year relationship with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra (SSO) - first as a casual oboist during World War II, before becoming the orchestra's principal oboe in 1946.

He went on to conduct the orchestra for the opening concert at the Sydney Opera House in 1973.

In 1980, he became the first non-Briton to conduct the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Last Night of the Proms.

In 1982, he became the first Australian national to become chief conductor of the Sydney Symphony - a position he held until 1985.

Most recently, Mackerras conducted the SSO in 2007 as part of its 75th anniversary celebrations.

"The connection between Sir Charles and the Sydney Symphony has run deep for over 60 years," said managing director Rory Jeffes in a statement.

"He was a man of great musical scholarship, talent and energy.

"We are all deeply saddened to have lost such an eminent conductor and a special part of the Sydney Symphony family.

"Our thoughts are with Sir Charles' loved ones at this time."

Mackerras, who was born in New York in 1925 to Australian parents, was also the first recipient of the Queen's Medal for Music.


catchmyfancy: (squishy)
Waaay back in 2006, Tom the Baby Accompanist bounded into my singing lesson (and, as per the schmaltzy Merrkan movies, also into my life and my heart) as my teacher thought we would "suit" and it was about time I started taking lieder seriously, by working on them together as a proper singer-and-accompanist duo.

(I love the way musicians are so casual about stuff like this, that whole "send me over two or three of your better singers, yeah?" and some kind of musical-alchemy/mega-stardom/catalyst/perfect storm/life-changing wotsit/the plot of every backstage musical EVER is just part of the fallout.)

It's taken four years, here and there (the number of times I ran into him on a campus that holds about 40,000 students does tend to beggar belief), but we finally got serious about our musickes at about the same time and thus far it's working out okay.

Tom is kinda adorable.  It's very hard not to like someone with such enthusiasm for - well, everything.  He may be something of a yoga-obsessed hippie, who doesn't like things that aren't real (while still breathlessly working out my life-path number via numerology, hee hee) but he really is actually rather genuine.  If he likes you, then he likes you (and if he doesn't: oh, it's horribly amusing what he comes out with...)

I'm not quite sure how to explain our relationship: yes there is a friendship.  I spent a very cosy evening with him recently being a Virtual Flatmate and watching Death in Brunswick with him on DVD while he worked on remembering how to knit a scarf and was amazed that the term "stitch and bitch" did not originate with the book of the same name (is it bad I spend a lot of my time giggling at him?)

But we're also a musical partnership - quite a different breed of cat.  It's both more impersonal and yet it involves our more essential selves, and I fall into that brain-space with him far too easily.  It's snake-and-mongoose stuff.  He works grad ceremonies for me, and so I'll be striding around, doing Officer in Charge things and bending people to my will and then he'll wander up and say: "hey, do you know the Schumann opus 23?  I've been learning it and ohmyGAWD it is brilliant!" and then he will SING PARTS OF IT TO ME IN THE FOYER OF WILSON HALL while the normal pre-ceremony hustle'n'bustle is happening all around us and what is more, I will be listening and wanting to know how it goes.   That's where the twisty-torque in my life comes from, that moment right there.

Anyhoo, Tom the Baby Accompanist (or even Tom the Toddler Accompanist) is no more. 

He is simply Tom the Accompanist now, because if ever he proved that the P-plates could come off it was today, with his final recital for his music degree course. 

He played the Ginastera Sonata no 1, the Schumann Fantasiestucke No 2, and selections from Ravel's Le Tombeau de Couperin.

Holy CRAP.  Even though I know how hard he worked on these (I was shown a Timetable, with days divided into half-hour-per-piece lots) and had heard most of them off and on during rehearsals...in a concert setting, all presented together - his energy and the way he plunged into these and delivered literally made me breathless.  (The fact that I was holding my breath till he finished navigating each one had nothing at all to do with it.  That was a different breathlessnessness.)  It was exhilarating.

And in front of many of his friends, and his family (got to meet his Dad, who is also 9 feet tall; I am already friendlyish with his brother Jack who is - yup, about 9 feet tall); and his partner Rupert (you guessed it - only he's only about 8 feet tall - sometimes I feel like a squirrel in a forest of ambulatory trees hanging out with that lot); and two very bemused examiners, who went from a candidate who would not have an audience (and literally fell out the door in relief afterwards, poor girl); to one with his very own rent-a-crowd of thirty-five attendees.  Guy from Property & Buildings had to keep going and getting extra chairs.  I'd copied out the program, and had made 25 of them to hand out and thought I was being optimistic.  Hah!  

At the end, Tom got two bows, and oh my, he had earned them (plus I think there was also a slight element of "so you should give him an A, yes you should, examiner-shaped people!" to it). 

It struck me that this was Tom's graduation.  I've been after him to come to the ceremony in August, and he has been spectacularly uninterested.  Now I get why - it wouldn't be as real to him as what happened today - all the elements were there: an audience, protocol, procedure, programs, Tom was in his new suit, there were friends and family there to watch and congratulate, there were photos taken, and the traditional cup of tea afterwards.  Only we got the actual physical manifestation of all his hard work, and were entertained to boot. 

Now I'm going to be on tenterhooks till result release on July 10 - argh!
If he doesn't get a good result, it was because he was ROBBED.
catchmyfancy: (uber-bouncy ball)
I was working on my lyrics. I absolutely was.

But when I was taking a Brain Break from the Italian and the German I went and looked at some Stuff.

And discovered this song, which is insanely good and absolutely going on the Current Gym iShuffle which means it will be keeping exclusive company with the immortal works of Mozart and Wagner and Lehar and Boito.

THAT is how much I like this song.

YouTube has presented the following versions for your delectation - I'm putting this one first because although it means something this fabulous was used on THAT DREADFUL SHOW, you can concentrate on just the music:



And then there's this one by the very talented [personal profile] lim which is her take on Vampire Bill and his stick-up-his-arsedness on True Blood. And which is mega amounts of fun and which marries so well with the song, that you just want to cheer. Enjoy!

catchmyfancy: Picture of Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark holding a drink with the text "I used to jog but the ice kept falling out of m (drinking problem)
Or here's some linky-love to my new fave thing to play on eterna-loop on the iShuffle while I'm sweating away in the gym (the Official Music Bods Wot Own It have disabled the embedding, poo! So clickage is necessary.)

Invincible by Ok Go (they of the fabulous treadmill video from some years back).

They appear to be having far, FAR too much fun and I highly recommend it for getting your arse moving.

And what girl wouldn't swoon over a song which starts with the following lines:

When they finally come to destroy the earth, they'll have to go through you first. I bet they won't be
expecting that. When they finally come to destroy the earth, they'll have to deal with you first,and now
my money says they won't know about the thousand Fahrenheit hot metal lights behind your eyes. Invincible.


Crumbs!

Seems to be a popular song for the vidders too -

here's one for Plucky Girl Reporter Chloe Sullivan being Terribly Plucky from Smallville:




And finally, and bizarrely, and yet sort of fabulously, as a sort of soundtrack to "Aragorn Kicks Arse in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy with Bonus Coronation Scene at the End".

catchmyfancy: (reasonably affordable)
Petrified by Fort Minor

Have put in the non-video video because really, how many moodily-lit black-and-white shots of people miming into microphones do you really need in one lifetime?

Just enjoy this song and find your inner hip-hop-happy place.

Da.

Jun. 24th, 2009 11:49 pm
catchmyfancy: (lieder)
So Tom who is baby accompanist has Russian piano teacher called Igor.

Igor is superb pianist. Igor is married to Olga, also superb pianist. They are double act on piano sometimes.

Igor gives to Tom beautiful Rachmaninoff song called Vesennije vody, also called "Spring Waters" in English; sometimes"Spring floods" because English people can be a little bit slow, you know?

Igor says to Tom: "for this you need mature voice, grown-up singer" and Tom thinks (probably in Russian accent by now), "Hey, I KNOW one of those!".

Tom gives music to me. I fall even deeper in love with Sergei R. (Am going mad singing the Lakme duet, I needed a break!)

Here is the best youtubery of same I could find. This song goes from a low B flat (below middle C) to a high B flat and has (oh oh oh!) actual written fortes and triple-f fortissimos! In an ART SONG. Sure beats "I have twelve oxen" or "Apres un reve" hollow.

A little bonus for the music geeks among you: Gerald Moore's notes on performing same; containing the immortal phrase: Too often the soprano walks off the stage at the conclusion of 'Spring Waters' nourishing hatred for her colleague in her bosom. FanTABulous.




Ah.

Jun. 6th, 2009 11:23 pm
catchmyfancy: Picture of Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark holding a drink with the text "I used to jog but the ice kept falling out of m (drinking problem)
I saw this a couple of years ago, got the shivers, forgot to write down what it was, suffered a mental blank other than "and there's this little cartoon guy with a megaphone and insanely long legs" and was Very Sad.

Just found it again on iTunes: it is Gotye's Heart's a Mess. Perfect perfect perfect for my mood this quiet Saturday evening: I'm a little sad, a little detached, a little post-apocalyptic. But still ready to go: "ooooo" when something glorious pops up.

I wish, o I wish I could cultivate the innigkeit that just wells up out of this song.

Curse you, Gotye!

You make gorgeous indie pop with ridiculous amounts of self-assured muscial elan, and immediately my thoughts turn to my inadequacies with lieder. *sigh*

Enjoy the long-legged cartoon guy.

catchmyfancy: (*flail*)
I love the way you can sometimes stumble over new music and go YES O YES O YES YOICKS TALLY-HO FIRE UP THE iTUNES, HORTENSE!

The last time that happened was because Mr Neil Gaiman put a link to Vampire Weekend doing "Oxford Comma" live on his blog, and we all know how that turned out.

I was wandering about on the website of a Naice Young Gay Man and he always has this little online-jukebox-type-arrangement of his current faves playing and I heard the very lovely "Winter Song" by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson.

Cue a bit of wandering about on the intarwebs and HOMG I have a new favourite song: Be OK by the very talented Ingrid Michaelson.

Fabulous bittersweet pop:



Oh - and in case you were wondering where this sudden wist shortage in the world came from, wonder no more: this song appears to be using most of this DECADE's quota.



(Oddly enough this is from an album which also has Katy Perry doing obscene things to White Christmas. When Katy Perry dies, they will let Bing Crosby out of heaven on day release, give him a very large metal pipe, and all crowd around the hell-o-vision to cheer him on as he larrups ten different types of shit out of that vile, pretentious stravager of all that is good, decent and repertoire-appropriate.)
catchmyfancy: (Default)


Your result for Howard Gardner's Eight Types of Intelligence Test...

Musical

27% Logical, 41% Spatial, 45% Linguistic, 20% Intrapersonal, 8% Interpersonal, 51% Musical, 6% Bodily-Kinesthetic and 47% Naturalistic!

"This area has to do with rhythm, music, and hearing. Those who have a high level of musical-rhythmic intelligence display greater sensitivity to sounds, rhythms, tones and music. They normally have good pitch and may even have absolute pitch, and are able to sing, play musical instruments, and compose music. Since there is a strong auditory component to this intelligence, those who are strongest in it may learn best via lecture. In addition, they will often use songs or rhythms to learn and memorize information, and may work best with music playing in the background.


Careers which suit those with this intelligence include instrumentalists, singers, conductors, disc-jockeys, and composers." (Wikipedia)


Take Howard Gardner's Eight Types of Intelligence Test
at HelloQuizzy

MEtunes

Aug. 23rd, 2008 11:43 pm
catchmyfancy: (songbird)
So I was faffing about on iTunes (as you do) and amusing myself with the if-you-like-THAT-you-should-like-THIS-musicy-select-o-meter whatsit.

After a bit, though, it tends to annoy and/or depress me.  As the proud owner of selections from Lohengrin (Wagner), and Die Freishutz (Weber), then clearly I must also long for (a)  those fucking awful "50 bestest arias EVER in the HISTORY of TIME" compilations and (b) the Adventures of Erik (music by A. Lloyd Webber, plot by some French hack).  Ewww.

But sometimes you can confuse the select-o-meter slightly and it gets a little bit desperate and throws up something fun. 

I defy anyone to listen to Eartha Kitt singing I want to be Evil and not be immensely cheered up, especially when she puts on this slightly prissy-soubrette-soprano tone of "oh, if only SOMEONE would lead poor little me astray (no, not you, you scruffy man!)" that is clearly a huge piss-take.  I'm giggling just thinking about it.

Oh - and go me for the Knowledge of the Modern Musics that all the Young People are listening to: when I was looking at the new Watchmen trailer I was most intrigued by the song they were using as a soundtrack.  Turns out it is a Smashing Pumpkins number called The Beginning is the End is the Beginning.

Now, all I knew about the Smashing Pumpkins prior to this is that they (a) were musicians of some sort who (b) had "appeared" in a Simpsons episode.  But I really really like this song (although I totally want the gravelly-voiced guy in the clip to do the "God Help Us" bit over the top and then lots of shots of things blowing up and/or on fire, cos I'm a drama-addict like that) and I've downloaded it.   And now I might need to go check out their back catalogue...look at me with the Pop Culturalness!  Only about five years late too! Woot!

The rest of my iTunity for this evening (or: the select-o-meter is only slightly to blame):

Kiss me - Sixpence none the richer - No, I never watched Dawson's Creek.  Ever. But I like this song.  Wistpop.
What is this Feeling? - Kristen Chenowith & Idina Menzel (from Wicked). Hee hee hee.
Outer Space - Freezepop - cute cute cute and more wistpop, but really well-written and gorgeously-produced e-wistpop.
Don't Want to go to bed now - Gabriella Cilmi - WOW.  The girl can sing.  She's like a genetically-engineered pop songstress and appears to be having far too much fun. 
Fallin' and How come you don't call me - Alicia Keys - no idea why I like these.  She's not as good a singer as she thinks, but for what it is, it's fun and listenable.  The quaffable merlot of one's musical tastes.
Not that kind - Anastacia - another of these genetically-engineered types, but a belter this time.  Just effortless.  Would have been a torch singer fifty years ago and done a damn fine job too.
Complicated - Avril Lavigne - the select-o-meter made me do it!
Somebody to love and Save Me - Queen - good god, how could it have taken me so long to get these!! Bad Alexandra! No doughnut!
Still - Alanis Morisette - yup, the whole six minute fiasco.  Ah - Alanis - queen of putting strings of quite-long-concept-words into (what are ostensibly) pop songs.  But she did hand-stands in shiny silver Gaultier while playing the part of God, so what else would you expect?
catchmyfancy: (contented sun)
Today the magic piano fairies came and DELIVERED A PIANO!!

It is the family piano of the [profile] kirmish.

Which I am now agisting.

It is a Schwechten upright and extremely beautiful and polished and...and SOLID.

Bits of it are no more than about a quarter-tone out, which means I can use it to practice even before the work and tuning is done.  The concert A is about right (or at least close enough for jazz....).

It looks like it always was in my living room. This is how I know it is correct that it is here. 

I shall have to get busy and make a runner for the top and get some felt to make a runner to go on top of the keys.

Did I mention I HAVE A PIANO in my house??

Musicising

Feb. 23rd, 2008 08:49 pm
catchmyfancy: (glam shot)
How to get the heart-rate up:

1. Be offered possibly a couple of concerts in late March and mid-April.  More details as they come to hand.  If it all comes off, you will all be required to attend, AND bring all your friends, your enemies, your family and probably all your pets (we'll give them a special rate if they promise not to shed on the pews in the church).

2. Make a music studio by: throwing a slight fit and rearranging the front room - push the bed into the corner, cover liberally with the piles of sheet music collected from many corners and caches all over the house, throw in a keyboard and music stand, and put the Wagnerian Diva Beanie Kid on the mantelpiece as a garnish. 

2a.  Uncover lost, hidden sheet music treasures like my old ABC Songbooks, the Caccini Ave Maria (which I wanted to put on the demo CD) and the vocal book for Sweeney Todd. Sorry about the pun, but, you know, SCOOOORE!

3. Suddenly realise that the iTunes shop has just about every bit of my repertoire available for sale - no more having to buy the entire CD to get the obscure little lieder I need and which nobody else seems to sing. (wipes away small sniffly tear of happiness)

4. Start some vigorous ripping of CDs into iTunes.

4a. Realise you have amassed a hyooj and varied collection that is about 75% pure joy in its rediscovery.   Eg, despite everything I have ever said about choral music, I was transfixed listening to the Waverly Consort sing In te, domine, speravi....and I am PEEVED because I can't find my Bruckner motets CD - I was hanging out to hear Inveni David (because what is not to like about a male double-choir motet - oooo) and Ecce Sacerdos (so nice to hear other sopranos shredding their larynxes).  Shall have to make do with listening to Yo-Yo Ma doing exquisite, raw things to Bach; and the 1930s fabulousness that is a CD called The Horizontal Hip-Hop (cos subtlety isn't a big thing for jazz musicians).
catchmyfancy: (Default)


Torturing of Trees (well, it's not like they can run away - buwahahahaahaha!)

On the weekend I went up Home (that's Albury and the parental units at Ye Ancestrale Seate) and had a lovely three days off.

As part of the Not Actually Ackowledged Out Loud but Definitely Happening Passing of the Baton series of events as the Aged Ps actually start to become a bit Aged, it turns out I am the annointed heir for my mother's collection of bonsai trees.    

As part of the annointing, I got to pot up my first eensy weensy bonsai tree, a Japanese Maple (or Acer palmatum if you want to be posh).  Basically, I think the rest of the annointing consists of getting the tree through a year without killing it and slowly bending its way to my EVULL whims.  (I'd do the buwahahahahahahaha thing here except when you read the bonsai books, they say stuff like "for the first 50 years, do X" which takes the shine off a bit).

It could be worse - my sister is the annointed for the family history.  Erk.  That's where trees go to die, believe me.  I'm not that interested bar being able to pull out factoids to blindside and/or bounce back irritating people - like being able to say with absolute conviction that I can trace my family back to 1507; and that I am a sixth-generation Australian on ALL SIDES.  That aside, I think I'll stick to torturing trees, rather than scribbling excitedly on their pulped remains while veering through graveyards or dusty records offices.

The COMEBACK GIG!

Yesterday I fronted up to an Aged Care group and sang Danny Boy and Comin' Through the Rye as part of my Dad's singing group, Cynthia and Friends.  Cynthia and Friends are a bizarre collection of people who can all still Sing rather naicely, even though my Dad is the baby of the group at 72.  I loved loved loved sitting next to Little Eileen (and she is tiny).  Eileen is 85, but a second after we started giggling together, we were simply two sopranos.  It was just like doing a carol gig up at a suburban shopping centre, when you're a bit tired and bit silly and you start bopping away to your own rendition of Hark The Hare-Lipped Angels Sing.

My two solos sounded okay, and there was much applause from the old ducks who weren't at that point asleep.

I realised from watching the group of singers vs the group of elderly peeps that really, when you hit older age, it can go one of two ways - you can stay vigorous and interested....or you can go the other way.  

I want to stay vigorous and interested, thanks, and ending up somewhere like Keen-Agers, which is ostensibly the table-tennis group to which my parents belong, but which is just a FRONT for all manner of shady goings-on - DVD copies, and they all have gardens so there's always fruit and veg going, and illicit fruit-cakes and my mum plays table-tennis with the mother of the guy who runs the Albury Carols by Candlelight and my mum reckons she can get me IN.  They'll get raided one of these days - they'll go a box of cumquats over the legal limit and I'll next see my mother on Crimestoppers.

Today I had a singing lesson and I did a LIEDER, like a really truly classical song.  It's sounding good - every week I get a bit more of my technique and reliability back.  Next week: BACH.  Ooo-er.

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