Happynex viola sling — or else make one. This looks fantastic.
1) “When I am laid in Earth” is magnificent when sung by Andreas Scholl. I think Sarah Connolly still has the advantage just for sheer power since she’s a mezzo (and an unbelievably fantastic one), but he does a wonderful job with it.
2) It’s still a bit *shrug* for me, beautiful as it is, just because of the story. I’m a bit allergic to “then the chick kacked herself over some guy” as a general rule. I can still, forty years later, hear my father rolling his eyes when he was talking about Madama Butterfly and saying, “Then what does she do? She kills herself? Over some asshole!” It took a lot to make my father roll his eyes at Puccini, but that crossed the line. He loved the music. So did my mother. But the story just went too far, even for a genre known for its serial female death. (Only women died of tuberculosis, did you know that?)
So the general story of “Dido and Aeneas” tends to get up my nose. Even at the end, when he decides he’ll defy the gods and stay with the woman he loves, her reply amounts to, “No! This is an opera! These people paid to see some chick kill herself, and by god, they’re going to get it!” Come on.
So yes, beautiful music, but I think I’ll give the opera itself a pass. I’m glad opera took two hundred years to resettle on that sort of unfortunate gobbledegook.
I’m also trying hard to be surprised at the fact that Scholl’s decision to do this is something he feels he needs to defend. Legions of women have sung “Ombra mai fu” for years. This is absolutely no different. Of course, I’m really not surprised at all, which is why my love for opera tends to stick most profoundly to Haendel’s work, where the bad guys die, the lovers are reunited, the heroines do not pay for someone else’s crimes with their lives, and the heroes are often quite decent human beings.
It comes with pictures of many grumpy-looking men with hats, beards, and violins, some history, and lots of tunes. I shall be entertaining myself with it tonight.
Other things that arrived in the mail include Uli Jon Roth’s “Transcendental Sky Guitar” which I’m quite eager to listen to, Perlman’s “In the Fiddler’s House,” and Andreas Scholl’s “O Solitude,” which should be fantastic. Still waiting for Roth’s “Metamorphosis.”
You know, I have damned good taste in music.
It’s not much of a change, just thinning out some stuff that I wanted to emphasize when it showed up in the second go-round. Now, I’ve got to figure out what to remove for the first pass of the second theme.
Nice night with the viola last night, too — not a great night, but an okay one. Still mostly scales and exercises so I can get used to hitting 2s and 3s cold on open strings, and getting used to how they seem to wander up and down depending on what string I’m on. Also still settling out the setup; I think that’s going to be an ongoing thing, unfortunately.
Still. I swear, mentioning Steve Perry on your blog is like putting up a sign that says “Free Bacon All You Can Eat.” I adore the guy, but o_O.
Calluses don’t help if you keep absentmindedly chewing them off while you’re at work. I don’t even think I’m playing enough to warrant calluses, but I can feel them when I make an effort to nonetheless.
They don’t interfere with my piano playing at all, and to be honest, I don’t really notice them. I have to actually push at my scroll hand fingertips a bit and then do the same with my bow hand to feel a difference. It’s subtle but it’s there. And evidently, my response is to chew them off before I realize they even exist. God, how disgusting.
In other news, I’ve pretty much resigned myself to getting GAS and ordering a 15″ NUVO Baroque viola from the luthier in GA who did my pochette, Don Rickert. He’s in the blogroll at Adventurous Muse. I want a viola that I don’t have to fight with, and if it sounds quieter and more bottled, then so much the better.
I will hereby put my amateur nobody @$$ out there and make a prediction with no stakes, nothing on the line, and no one to bet with as to how and when we will ever hear The Voice singing anything other than in the past.
He has without a doubt recorded stuff. He’s like that. He’s done it, and we all know he has.
The chances of him ever touring again (I might even say “perform live in support of any new music at all, ever”) are zero. Seriously. It’s like trying to give a bath to a Great Dane that doesn’t want to get in the tub. I mourn it with a profound darkness, but it ain’t gonna happen. Those of us who have never heard him live, never will.
I have also heard and tend to give credence to the belief that he has an adult child, a daughter. Or at least, he’s been seen attending various dress-up events with a young woman of the right age who looks suspiciously as if she got half her DNA from him.
I have a sneaking suspicion, although I’m prepared to be proven wrong, that the next time we hear him sing, it will be after he has died (I don’t like thinking about it any more than you do) and given his adult daughter the rights to publish his music for her own financial benefit. It seems like the sort of thing he’d do. He’s a bit of a peculiar, high-functioning diva, let’s face it. At the very least, it wouldn’t shock me.
Again, I have put no money whatsoever on the line on this. I simply speak this prediction into the aether as something that would not surprise me if it comes to pass someday. I won’t even put a probability on it. Maybe it won’t happen. Maybe it will.
But if it did, I wouldn’t exactly be knocked off my pins.
Okay, so I’m humming this to myself. Apparently, I need to just do it. I think it’s going to be another viola+piano one, because it doesn’t fit in with the piano stuff I’m writing now, and it works too well for viola. I can even come up with a nice way to trick it up on the second repeat. I need to get it into Musescore.
BTW, I ordered a copy of the
These have been making the rounds for a bit, but I think that Sivers and Herbert are unaware of even more ways in which they are right, and people need to keep their lofty goals to themselves.
Both assume that the major reason why people fail to achieve announced goals is that they feel they’ve already accomplished something, and flake. But I would advance another reason why this isn’t the case: because other people themselves can … let’s say, not exactly be in your corner when crunch time comes. This can manifest itself one of four ways:
- “I’m only looking out for you.” This is the person who receives news of your ambition with a deep, concerned foreboding. If you’re dead set on it, then they’ll support you, but … well, they’re just worried about you, because it’s going to hurt you so much when you fail. Which they’re positive you’re going to do.
- “Give me that wheel!” This is the person who hears all about your new plans, and insists that they know exactly what you need to do. And they will tell you this, loudly and in your face, as many times as it takes for them to wrench ownership of your enterprise out of your hands. Fight for your own project, and this person could get nasty.
- “It’ll be fun!/Lighten up!” This is the person who is all for your new ambition … until six months later, when you actually have nose to grindstone in pursuit of it. Then, they’re the first ones to complain that you’re taking it so seriously. Jeez, lighten up!
- “Yeah, what about that last project that went nowhere?” These are the ones that will remind you of past attempts at self-improvement. In fact, they have stashed those memories, sharpened them in the meantime, and are now drawing blood with them.
It’s a sad thing to say, even for a grumpy curmudgeon like myself, but a lot of people are just not out to see someone succeed. And the effect of these sorts of things can be damaging, even for the most ambitious person. Even if you do succeed in spite of this, it takes energy to fight it, and that’s energy that could have been spent more profitably on your project.
Keep it to yourself. And as Sivers says, if you must state your goals, do it in a way that makes clear the work that needs to be done and that gives you no satisfaction. (For example, turning comments off on your blog. )
I would add: Be extra-extra-extra close with the people within your inner circle to whom you entrust this news. Among those people, who do you really trust? If you were married to Claudia Schiffer or Jude Law, which of those people would you trust in a room alone with your spouse?
Otherwise, keep it entirely to yourself until the last possible moment. Don’t announce what you’re going to do. Announce what you’ve done.
Do you know what a “plateau” is?
It just means you don’t know where you want to head next.
There’s no reason for it, there’s no mechanical cause. Your goal has gotten hazy or has moved off, and you lost sight of it for a second. That’s a plateau. “Where am I heading to, again?”
It’s not your skill, and it’s not the instrument. When you stop your car in traffic, you don’t ask existential questions about why you aren’t moving. You aren’t moving because you have your foot on the brake. If you’ve pulled into a turnout, chances are you aren’t moving because you aren’t sure what direction you want to go in. Popping the hood and looking in there won’t help. You need to figure out where you’re headed. In other words, you’ve popped the wrong hood. Pop the other one.